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Turning a 27" iMac with a dead MoBo into a Monitor

#1

I have a 27" iMac late 2013 (a1419 emc2639) that I got for free because it has a dead MoBo, I don’t have the time or equipment to diagnose it and do board level repair. The screen looks to still be in good condition, so I’d like to see if I can find an inexpensive driver board for it so I can reuse it as a 1440p monitor. So far I haven’t been able to find a kit available that supports the specific model of LCD. The panel is an lg model LM270WQ1 (SD) (F2).

From what I’m aware it uses eDP. I can find plenty of driver kits for similar models, but not this one specifically. Does anyone have experience with these and know whether its just different pinouts where simply modifying the cable could make it work, or are there electrical differences?

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#2

Apple almost never uses anything apple specific once you get past the PCB unless its a mobile device. the panel is just a panel from LG that they marketed as “Apple Optimized”. will be almost nothing special about it.

Any standard display driver that is compatible should work

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#3

Sounds like another Mac that belongs in the garbage.

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#4

I looked into doing this a while ago, check with some of the Chinese sellers on Ebay if they can make one for that model. I had an odd one as well, they could make it, but it was about $120.00 from memory.

I didn’t really need another monitor at the time, so couldn’t justify spending that much, even though they are awesome panels. I may get around to doing it one day just for fun.

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#5

You could always make your own cable. Seems its not an LVDS hookup, but I can’t imagine it’d be too difficult.

https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/jae-electronics/FI-X30SSL-HF/670-1219-ND/1283352
https://www.mouser.com/productdetail/jae-electronics/fi-x30hl?qs=sGAEpiMZZMs7i6cT6ogu42p3BZjH0VfAm9xYWCVOYKA%3D
https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/jae-electronics/FI-X30HL/670-1215-ND/1283348

Edit: Here’s a spec sheet on the display itself.

http://www.panelook.com/LM270WQ1-SDA2_LG%20Display_27.0_LCM_overview_4999.html

Seems its interface is done over eDP, which is just a flat displayport if I remember correctly. There should be a cable for that somewhere online. I’ll keep looking.

Edit2: Getting Closer? Well… I mean sorta.

https://www.ebay.com/i/182936362785?chn=ps

Seems eDP isn’t like LVDS where the cable is a specific bandwidth for the screen, so the controller might be adaptive to bandwidth? LVDS was the standard before eDP, and theres another one, that was used in mac’s and basically every laptop since like 2005. So at this point it should be easy enough to find a cable and a translator for it. Dunno how you’ll do power supply though, is there a hookup on the controller itself for the PSU?

Edit3: https://www.ebay.com/itm/eDP-DISPLAYPORT-LCD-LVDS-CABLE-iMac-21-5-A1418-Late-2012-Early-2013-MD094-ME699/281928895611?hash=item41a4458c7b:g:vDYAAOSwaB5Xq1tv

Aight now for the card to plug in to that to make it a display.

Edit4: https://communities.intel.com/thread/98454

Seems you might be able to hook up a nuc to the thing BTW but I don’t know how you’d wire for that TBH.

Edit5: Theres these but I can’t find one specifically for the display you have.

Edit6: I’m outta time now, but I got to here.

There are eDP handlers that can do 2K easy, and some seem to be somewhat generic, but from what I can see of the controllers they have specific specs for different displays. Also seems some of them are built off of parts used for TV screen controls. Lotsa hobby projects. I’ll pick this up later if I remember, but you should be able to find a generic controller. If you do, power the controller and LCD SEPARATELY. I wouldn’t count on the controller to handle anything more than the RGB signal itself.

Good luck.

Oh and I made this real quick.

https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/81z1rz/trying_to_make_an_imac_2013_into_a_display/

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#6

Maybe you can find a replacement motherboard for cheap? (then sell it as working)

you could buy one with a broken screen:

Or sell it for parts.

I agree that they are decent as far as monitors go, but cobbling together a bunch of stuff to turn it into a stand alone monitor sounds like an exercise in frustration, with a low guarantee for success.

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#7

I know the guys that make the driver board for the iPad screens that Wendel and I use also make one forthe macbook pro screens, they might have good information of how to connect up one of these panels too. they might even be the same connection, but I cannot be sure at all.

Here is their link: http://dp2mbpr.rozsnyo.com/

It mentions nothing about the iMac screens, but they might be able to point you in the right direction, their website has not been updated in a long time though and they are not super cheap either.

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#8

Thanks. I’ve done a little looking myself.

So far I’ve been able to find these items for LM270WQ1 LCDs. Though my specific variant isn’t listed in the supported versions. I’ll send this seller a message to see if they can put together something for my model. I think the differences are probably down to powering the backlight.

no scaler direct display port to edp
HDMI, DVI, VGA with scaler

Edit: I got a response from the seller and they said they can confirm that my model of LCD is compatible.

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#9

What ever happened with this?

I remember making my post here but I musta been stupid busy. Hope OP is still around

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