Can I improve Mac-to-Mac performance with a physical connection?

I’m using a Luna Display with a 2017 MBP as my primary display and a 2015 5k iMac as my secondary. I’m reasonably happy with how it has performed since I got it this week, but it’s sometimes noticably sluggish.

Is it possible to improve performance by directly networking the machines together? Maybe with a thunderbolt 2 cable or ethernet cable? (Either of those would require an adapter for my MBP, so I want to know if it will work before purchasing those parts.)

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Just want to type my own update here, since I heard back from support over email that it is possible to directly network computers for better performance, but the tricky part is forcing Luna Display to use that connection.

Apparently it’s possible to do using manual connect and specifying the IP, but that’s not ideal. They’re exploring intelligently detecting that connect, but don’t have a timeline on that functionality.

Will update again if I end up picking up the cables to try this with the manual connect.

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I had a similar problem and changed to this setup at home, which is the one with best performance by far:

  • Luna Primary: MBP 2019 connected to a external screen via HDMI (USB-C to HDMI adapter).
  • Luna Secondary: iMac 2017 27" 5K.
  • Connected to each other with Thunderbolt 3 (Apple official cable).

Internet:

  • MBP WiFi is turned off.
  • iMac is connected to a 5GHz WiFi SID with full Internet access, and shares Internet connection from WiFi interface with Thunderbolt (so the MBP has Internet access).
  • Both using DHCP on all interfaces (home).

Seems a little bit complicated, but the experience is super fluid, I would say native if 4K/5K Retina was supported (hope soon will be).

Hi firstly thanks for the configuration advice, I can confirm the set up works well for me, I’m using an older late 2014 5k iMac as a secondary screen, networking in this instance is via a 2018 MacBook Pro 15, using a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 connection ( using the Apple TB3->TB2 adaptor) as the networking interface. I’ve switched Wifi off on the MacBook and am sharing the iMac’s internet connection. I can confirm the performance is better than just using a wifi to wifi connection for the secondary display.

Thanks!

Karl