I've got this 2009 macbook pro that I haven't touched in a while. It barely runs, but lately I've been thinking it'd be useful to have a second monitor for my desktop. I've looked into directly hooking the laptop up to the PC, and apparently that won't work, but is there any way to separate the screen from the machine, house it in something else, probably connect it to an adapter or something, and use that with VGA input?

More specifically, I guess I'm looking for a component that'll adapt the VGA to whatever kind of input the macbook's LCD takes.


Worth mentioning since there's an older question about a non destructive method of doing what you want

Depends on what interface it uses. It might be a simple ~40 dollar driver board, or a even simpler adaptor.

If it uses LVDS (which is more likely), there's boards consisting of a driver chip, various other parts and such that will let you plug in VGA, HDMI or even composite connections. Make sure your vendor asks you for the panel type since the boards are tailored to specific displays, and there's some variations depending on resolution. Google's your friend here (since vendors will change) but you're looking for a "lcd driver board"

If its eDP (and I'm pretty sure a 2009 mbp is not) a 'simple' edp-dp adaptor would do the trick.

To identify the interface

LVDS cables look like this

enter link description here

I've not seen a eDP cable in the wild yet

  • This is very useful! Unfortunately a quick google search revealed that a driver board would cost almost exactly as much as just buying a monitor of almost exactly the same size, which is what I'll probably end up doing. Thanks for the help and education, though! – SquarerootSquirrel Jul 9 '15 at 0:16
  • I was under the impression they were 30-40 dollars. I was looking at it for a while to revive an old 4:3 display for a project, but I ended up buying a 100 dollar or so display with the same kind of driver board and using that. – Journeyman Geek Jul 9 '15 at 0:20
  • 30-40 is right from what I've seen, but I could buy a used 17-inch Dell monitor for $35, which seems just as good. – SquarerootSquirrel Jul 9 '15 at 0:21
  • Oh, that's a whole nother conversation. If its CRT, forget it, unless you need one for specific reasons. If its CCFL backlit, it may eventually suffer from inverter or CCFL failure. If its a semi modern LED backlit one, at that price? Grab it. – Journeyman Geek Jul 9 '15 at 0:25
  • It's an UltraSharp 1708FP, which I'm pretty sure is CCFL. – SquarerootSquirrel Jul 9 '15 at 0:33

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