Using an ADC display with iMac...

6 replies [Last post]
Joined: Dec 16 2005
Posts: 1

... is it possible using a software-only solution?

I need to put my old Apple 17" LCD Studio Display to some good use. I paid good money for it and I don't intend to let it rot in some corner, or sell it off for a few measely bucks.

I recently (July) purchased a 17" iMac G5 2.0Ghz, and now I want to take advantage of the LCD Studio Display, since its color gamut is much wider. I've learned about the VGAtor ( but it costs $300. Just out of principle, I feel I shouldn't have to spend $300 to use a monitor that cost me well over $600 a few years ago. Also, the VGAtor isn't guaranteed to work with the iMac G5.

Today I got these adapters (thinking they would work):
Apple VGA connector (to go from the iMac's mini-VGA to a standard VGA connector)
VGA-to-DVI adapter (self-explanatory)
Apple DVI-to-ADC (self explanatory)

After all was hooked up, my old monitor is not responding. The light at front lights up, but then turns off and then nothing.

I've learned that ADC monitors can't be used with this iMac, since the mini-VGA only outputs an analog VGA signal, but I've also learned that the ADC connection carries VGA signals, as well as DVI. So I'm confused as to why this set up won't work.

Does anybody have an idea as to how I can get this to work using a software-only solution? Is there a solution out there already?

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dankephoto's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 1900
Unholy adapter setup no workee? Answer is easy peasy!

The Apple DVI-to-ADC doesn't carry the VGA signal.

dan k


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iantm's picture
Joined: Apr 2 2005
Posts: 709

Unfortunately, the vgator is probably your best option in this situation. It is a sad situation you're in. However, even if you do connect an additional display to your iMac G5, it will only be a mirrored display as that's how the firmware is set up on those machines. I'm sure that some enterprising soul has found a way to enable display spanning on that machine, in which case the VGAtor would probably work, and be the most ideal solution.

- iantm


- iantm
ACPT & ACDT (long expired)
BMW Certified Technician

Joined: Sep 23 2005
Posts: 316

this is a dumb idea.

no 2nd display on imac, so it'll only be mirrored.... dvi->adc adapter not pass vga....

you should've bought a powermac if you wanted to use this display....

i'll give you $350.00 shipped for monitor and dvi->adc adapter if you ever decide to part with them. (my GF needs a monitor for her G$... not trying to lowball, but could get as good of a monitor new for 350-450...)

Joined: Sep 23 2005
Posts: 316

ok, i retract my previous statement... macworld did it here....

using a donationware program that modifies the firmware to enable screen spanning and using the VGAtor to connect the DVI display.... youd also have to use the ADC/DVI adapter...

sorry... but theres your answer, step by step

Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 566
I think the problem may be to

I think the problem may be to do with the fact that ACDs don't accept VGA input. ADC carries VGA down the cable, but this is more so that you can connect an older VGA monitor to your PowerMac with ADC out. AFAIK the ACD can only take in the DVI part of the signal, as it has no A/D converter. So basically a VGAtor is your only option!


Joined: Jan 14 2006
Posts: 1
17" studio display w/ dvi-adc adaptor


Not sure if you are still in need or have desire for a display. I'd be interested in selling both my display and adaptor. Both are in great shape with the display itself having seen minimal usage during the last 2 and a half years I've owned it. Let me know, thanks.