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-   -   KVM switching between computers (https://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15884)

hishadow January 3rd, 2012 19:54

KVM switching between computers
Anyone have any experience with these KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) switches? I keep manually plugging my monitor and usb cables between my docked laptop and pc. I do all my work on the laptop, while gaming on the pc, so why not simply buy a switch for that? The plugs I use are 1x DVI, 1-2x USB. Don't need audio, ethernet, or PS/2.

Some products after a quick search. Seems a bit expensive for such simple equipment though.

Aten CS1762A


Pladio January 3rd, 2012 20:36

I remember using one at work for a while. It's quite useful when switching between PCs, but I have no need for one at home. I don't know much about the different kinds, but if it's not too expensive and you actually do switch a lot then I guess it's worth it.


BillSeurer January 3rd, 2012 20:55

I use one and have for years. Works fine.

Be careful with cheap ones, though. Some cause video issues.


That's the one that I have.

pibbur2012 January 3rd, 2012 22:45

I agree with BillSeurer, cheap ones cause video issues. I've tried that.

I've had 3 Aten boxes, very satisfied with all of them. Two Aten Petits. Replaced the first one after a rather unpleasant experience with lightning. Replaced the second one with the one I'm using now, a 4-port Aten CS-1784, when I switched to DVI.

hishadow January 3rd, 2012 23:13


Originally Posted by pibbur2012 (Post 1061118917)
…the one I'm using now, a 4-port Aten CS-1784, when I switched to DVI.

Oh, I see you are a serious multitasker! :)

Maybe I have to cough up some doe for the Aten afterall.

pibbur2012 January 3rd, 2012 23:32

A word of warning: There are problems with some Logitech keyboards/mice and KVM swtiches. Quite often you'll see on Logitech support faqs that KVM switches are not supported. In some cases using an alternative hot-key setup for switching between PCs may work, in other cases it's not so simple. A couple of months ago I had to return a keyboard I had bought (K750) because of this.

One more thing: There is an alternative to KVM switches which is cheaper: Stardock's Multiplicity software. It's not really a switch, more like using several computers at the same time from one keyboard/mouse. In this case keyboard/mouse events are sent from one primary computer to one or more secondary machines over the network, you "switch" between them by moving the mouse pointer. The downside is that the primary computer must alwasy be turned on, and all connected PC's needs their own monitor, but that may be acceptable when using a laptop as the secondary machine. I've tried it, works OK, better than the KVM in some cases (when you just want a larger "desktop"). But I use the switch far more than Multiplicity.

BillSeurer January 4th, 2012 00:50

You could also possibly use Remote Desktop.

BTW, I have a Logitech Wave keyboard and it has worked fine with two different KVMs.

hishadow January 4th, 2012 01:51

Keyboard and mouse is equipment of the cheapest kind. Only thing that might be troublesome is my EMU soundcard which is USB-based. Any problems with USB-powered harddisks btw?

BillSeurer January 4th, 2012 17:44

A USB hardrive would be problematical if switched while "hot". OSes don't like having drives disconnected without warning.

sherwinz28 January 4th, 2012 19:32

I use a cheap 4-port switch but it was VGA which apparently made it much cheaper than what you are looking at. It was finicky to say the least…worked fine but if you switched between ports too quickly it wouldn't work and then you'd have to disconnect all the connectors and reconnect them again.

pibbur2012 January 4th, 2012 20:23

I have a Corsair USB soundcard/headset, and I've tried connecting it to the KVM switch. Whether switching worked or not depended on the application. For some switching works just fine. For others, mainly games, not - no sound when switching back and I had to restart the program.

hishadow January 21st, 2012 21:40

I got the cheapest I could find with Aten CS682. Everything except my soundcard (and a license dongle) don't work, hehe. But it's not too much hassle changing it, like when I needed to power down to change DVI, PS2, and USBs.

Thanks for all advice ignored.

Btw, switching is super-neat! My only fear slowly becoming..

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