[SOLVED] What Is A Good 2 port KVM Switch With Dual Monitor Support

joez430

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Jan 24, 2012
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Hi all, I'm in the market for a KVM that will allow me to switch from my work laptop to gaming pc. I have dual displays. I've read some of the reviews on a couple on Amazon I saw but there were some negativity on functionality with the second display as well as connectivity with the mouse and keyboard. Could somebody give a recommendation on a solid KVM that has been tried and tested in this particular setup? The displays I have are VGA. The gaming has HDMI/DVI so I'll probably have to get connectors. Thank you!
 

Eximo

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Herald
I think Soft KVMs have really replaced the need for hardware ones. Synergy is the one I see referenced most often for the home user. Personally I just use old fashioned Remote Desktop Connection.

Every KVM I have ever bought was obsolete a year or two after purchase. VGA gave way to DVI, DVI to DP/HDMI (even there the standards/bandwidth keep going up, 1.4, 2.0, 2.1) PS/2 gave way to USB 1.1, then 2.0, then 3.0, now you have 3.1 and Type-C to deal with.

And good luck getting things like G-sync or FreeSync to operate through hardware KVMs. All the models capable of everything on the market at any given time are several hundred dollars.
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
I think Soft KVMs have really replaced the need for hardware ones. Synergy is the one I see referenced most often for the home user. Personally I just use old fashioned Remote Desktop Connection.

Every KVM I have ever bought was obsolete a year or two after purchase. VGA gave way to DVI, DVI to DP/HDMI (even there the standards/bandwidth keep going up, 1.4, 2.0, 2.1) PS/2 gave way to USB 1.1, then 2.0, then 3.0, now you have 3.1 and Type-C to deal with.

And good luck getting things like G-sync or FreeSync to operate through hardware KVMs. All the models capable of everything on the market at any given time are several hundred dollars.
 

joez430

Distinguished
Jan 24, 2012
21
0
18,510
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I think Soft KVMs have really replaced the need for hardware ones. Synergy is the one I see referenced most often for the home user. Personally I just use old fashioned Remote Desktop Connection.

Every KVM I have ever bought was obsolete a year or two after purchase. VGA gave way to DVI, DVI to DP/HDMI (even there the standards/bandwidth keep going up, 1.4, 2.0, 2.1) PS/2 gave way to USB 1.1, then 2.0, then 3.0, now you have 3.1 and Type-C to deal with.

And good luck getting things like G-sync or FreeSync to operate through hardware KVMs. All the models capable of everything on the market at any given time are several hundred dollars.
This is really interesting and didn't think of trying that. Have you had any experience gaming over a soft kvm? I wonder if playing any shooter type games would be difficult. Thank for the info!
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
Not really ideal for playing games on as the screen itself is compressed and there will be added latency. Not to mention all your keyboard and mouse clicks going through the CPU, NIC, CPU, etc to take action on the other screen.

Though that is also true of a hardware KVM, but to a much lesser extent, that circuitry has a latency cost and is often why more advanced features don't work through them. Either it screws up the timing, or they don't bother including all the protocols to reduce chip cost. Or the KVM doesn't deliver enough power.

These days it would probably keep your RGB keyboards and stuff from working right. And you really want to plug in nothing that recharges over USB.

Aside from that you don't really have another option though if you want two gaming rigs. But it really depends on the game. If you are hot boxing MMOs or something, the soft KVM might work for you.
 
I am currently using a very outdated KVM (a Raritan SwitchMan USB 4-port) from over 10 years ago. It's only equipped with VGA ports.

In effect, I'm using it as a switchable USB hub at this point, but it also handles switching for audio input and output, which is convenient.

Given that current monitors have multiple inputs, and VGA has gone the way of the dinosaur, it's basically a "KMAU" switch for me for all intents and purposes (Keyboard, Mouse, Audio, USB), and I plug the various PCs I have into the various inputs my monitor has.

It's a little awkward to switch, as I have to use the KVM switch, then go to the monitor and manually switch the input, but it does the job.

Dual monitor adds a bit of trickiness to it. I imagine you could do something like what I'm doing, but then have to switch both monitors manually each time.

If you're not doing it multiple times a day or something, it's probably not too much of a hassle. If you need to do it a lot, it can be annoying.
 

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