KVM Switch Recommendations

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KVM Switch Recommendations

Postposted on Thu May 09, 2013 4:53 pm

I have 2 computers and only enough desk space for 2 monitors. A KVM switch would do nicely but I am not sure of which one would suit my needs. I have:

1. A laptop dock which must connect to 2 monitors (in a dual monitor fashion). One monitor needs to connect to the dock via DVI and other monitor must connect to the dock using a good ol' VGA connector.
2. A development workstation which can connect to the 2 monitors via 2 DVI connectors.

Can anyone recommend a high quality dual monitor KVM switch that would work for me?

Thanks.
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Re: KVM Switch Recommendations

Postposted on Thu May 09, 2013 5:29 pm

Well a couple of other questions for you. Are you planning to use a mouse and keyboard that utilize extra functions not normally found on a plain Jane keyboard and mouse. If so then you will want to find one that supports USB passthru.
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Re: KVM Switch Recommendations

Postposted on Thu May 09, 2013 5:49 pm

I think the need for dual-head plus both DVI and VGA is going to severely limit your options. Any chance you get get by with running the laptop dock in single monitor mode? Or just use the monitor's analog input for the VGA output from the dock, and switch that separately using the monitor's controls? (The second option also eliminates the need for a dual-head KVM, which should reduce the cost considerably.)
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Re: KVM Switch Recommendations

Postposted on Thu May 09, 2013 6:12 pm

just brew it! wrote:I think the need for dual-head plus both DVI and VGA is going to severely limit your options.

Gender adapters work for that. Just get a DVI KVM and use the gender adapter.
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Re: KVM Switch Recommendations

Postposted on Thu May 09, 2013 6:21 pm

Deanjo wrote:
just brew it! wrote:I think the need for dual-head plus both DVI and VGA is going to severely limit your options.

Gender adapters work for that. Just get a DVI KVM and use the gender adapter.

Dual-head DVI KVMs are expensive. Using one of the monitors to switch the analog source instead of getting a dual-head KVM will likely save him a couple hundred bucks.
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Re: KVM Switch Recommendations

Postposted on Fri May 10, 2013 8:33 am

I have no idea of the quality and i wouldn't say it's cheap, but this seems to fit your requirements:
http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-Port ... B00310EES0

Have you tried using remote desktop? If you're on windows I believe W7 and W8 support dual monitor remote sessions. For the money you'll spend on this solution you could buy another nice monitor - or desk for that matter. Also, the switch doesn't appear to come with any cables so unless you've got a bunch of spares laying around (which you might) you might want to consider some of these too: http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-6-Feet-C ... y_e_text_y

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Re: KVM Switch Recommendations

Postposted on Fri May 10, 2013 6:03 pm

While on the subject of KVM, any thoughts to which models and features are/aren't good for one (single monitor) gaming rig plus a secondary box for other stuff? Conventional wisdom would seem to be that a switch is a switch but I'm wondering if USB in particularly would suffer any sort of lag being run through a KVM, and whether devices with LDC display, auto-calibration, etc would get confused getting bounced between a W7 and Linux box.
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Re: KVM Switch Recommendations

Postposted on Fri May 10, 2013 6:23 pm

I've been using one of these, and have no complaints. There's also a cheaper 2-port version of it.

I don't game any more, but I'm a bit of a user interface Nazi (see: mechanical keyboards :wink:) and would've probably noticed (and been pissed off by) any increase in mouse/keyboard lag. I'm guessing that the USB connection is essentially a direct pass-through, and the switch just snoops the data as it flies past to detect the hotkey sequences to switch the ports.
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Re: KVM Switch Recommendations

Postposted on Mon May 13, 2013 9:44 am

DVI is digital and VGA is analog. You won't find a KVM Switch that supports VGA and DVI. You need to pick either VGA or DVI and then look for a KVM Switch.
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Re: KVM Switch Recommendations

Postposted on Mon May 13, 2013 9:52 am

martinbush1986 wrote:DVI is digital and VGA is analog. You won't find a KVM Switch that supports VGA and DVI. You need to pick either VGA or DVI and then look for a KVM Switch.

If the switch and monitor both support DVI-I it may be possible to use a DVI switch in both modes by using passive adapters, as Deanjo suggested a few posts back. (DVI-I provides analog RGB signals on 3 of the pins.)

Edit: FWIW the switch I linked a couple of posts back does claim to support DVI-I.
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