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I just bought a new late 2013 iMac and a new late 2013 Macbook Pro retina. Also bought an Apple thunderbolt cable.

Pressing CMD+F2 (enabling Apples "Target Display Mode") on my iMac lets me use the iMac as external monitor for the MB Pro, but I'd like it the other way around (which doesn't seem to work).

Does anyone know how I through Thunderbolt (for speed, am aware that apps like Air Display and Screen Recycler can do it through WiFi) so that my MB Pro becomes an extra external monitor for my iMac?

While this question addresses this problem for earlier hardware and software, I'm looking for a solution that supports using a thunderbolt cable and works with late 2013 Macs with OS X Mavericks.

With Maverick you can set up the network accross Thunderbolt. Be sure both machines are Thunderbolt and make sure to add the "Network" interface in "System Preferences". Then you can use AirServer on the Retina but not sure the latency will be great (as sending the image using TCP)…

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Target Display Mode is right out since the hardware doesn't support it. What about using one of the networked applications (Air Display, Screen Recycler, etc) and running it over Thunderbolt instead of WiFi? If you have two Macs connected by a Thunderbolt cable, there's a Thunderbolt Bridge network interface that runs at 10Gbps, which might solve your speed problem.

I don't have a TB cable to test with, but I believe the bridge is enabled by default and you should be able to just get the IP for it from Network Preferences (it should automatically pick something in the 169.254.x.y range). If the app you're using typically handles finding the server automatically, you might have to find the option to enter the IP manually to force it to run over the thunderbolt interface.

Here's an example of someone using this. Note that only one of the Thunderbolt ports on each device might be usable for this purpose, so if the interface doesn't seem to be connected, try the other port.

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If you really don't want to do it over the network, the retina MBP's display uses DisplayPort internally. You could disassemble your machine and use this pinout to connect it via Thunderbolt.

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