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KVM switches, 2 computers, one monitor, suggestions?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by hxckid88, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. hxckid88

    hxckid88 Active Member

    I have a gaming machine/audio machine and I'm finally putting down some money for a Mac Pro (as my dedicated DAW) and keeping my PC as a gaming/internet build.

    I'm looking for a reliable KVM switch (a switch that allows me to have one monitor display, yet have 2 computers hooked up to it simultaneous so I can switch back and forth but leave them both on).

    I currently use a USB mouse (Razer mouse, mainly for gaming) so that might be a problem, and I a PS/2 keyboard (which I will probably get a new one anyway.)

    Can someone recommend a good switch, any problems, suggestions or comments about DVI vs VGA or USB vs PS/2. Thanks!
  2. basilbowman

    basilbowman Guest

  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The Belkin device should work OK. I would get the USB version (not PS/2). This may mean your having to buy a new USB keyboard (PC or Mac). You also need to choose whether or not you want to switch the sound card outputs as well as KVM.

    Presumably you are used to using a Mac with a PC keyboard or vice versa.
  4. hxckid88

    hxckid88 Active Member

    Very awesome, the Belkin seems pretty nice. I saw some on Newegg.com but they have so many features I'm not sure which one to choose.

    The mouse generally uses software but it may work for Mac and PC plug-n-play style, but yes, I'd much rather invest in a USB keyboard and see if the mouse works, if not, it would be okay.

    I would like one with the switchable sound card outputs. My monitors have TRS inputs straight from my interface so when recording via Mac that is okay, but during playback I would need to switch it. Seems that Belkin offers different models with different inputs/outputs so it looks awesome!

    Its a tad expensive but probably a more reliable brand
  5. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    I have a Belikn KVM - works fine. Some mouse drivers have issues with KVM switches. I ended up with a separate wireless mouse on each computer. The Microsoft Wireless Notebook Mouse 3000 is a good basic mouse, and it's available in colors so you can tell which mouse goes with which computer.

    Also, I have dual monitors. One of my screens has vga/dvi inputs - the other is a single VGA, so the older screen goes through the KVM and I use the input selection button to change the newer screen between computers.

    As far as Audio control - I feed all my gear into a mixer and send it to the monitors that way - no audio goes through the KVM. I like that because I can start something playing for review on my DAW and can then switch computers and do something else while listening.
  6. hxckid88

    hxckid88 Active Member

    Sounds good. Belkin sounds like a good choice. I currently have a CRT but I am definitely getting a LCD with DVI, probably a single for now so that should be no problem for me. Thanks for all of the input guys, any other suggestions are still welcome. =D
  7. sibleypeck

    sibleypeck Guest

    I did a great deal of research before I bought my KVM. I wanted to run a Dell and a Mac with one keyboard, one monitor, and one sound system. The Avocent Switchview DVI was what I chose. I was not disappointed.
    You can spend less money, but you won't find a greater value for your dollar.

    Here's a link:

  8. hxckid88

    hxckid88 Active Member

    That looks like another good choice if I go with the DVI version. Plenty of expandability and upgrade options. I bet my girlfriend would love it when she brings over her Macbook too =P
  9. EricUndead

    EricUndead Guest

    I would never buy belkin again. They make cheap stuff. To me Belkin is the Beringer of computer equiptment. Ill try to let you know the one I have when I get home.
  10. EricUndead

    EricUndead Guest


    This is what I have and it very rarly locks up. I have had it for 3 years maybe. For its cost I would recomend it.
  11. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Eric: That one only has ps2 connections. Can't be used with a Mac as the keyboard and mouse are usb only. IOgear does have a usb version but it's a bit iffy and has a tendancy to lock up......speaking from experience.
  12. EricUndead

    EricUndead Guest

    I was mostly trying to stear him away from Belkin (which I have an extreamly low opinion of because of trial and error). There are a ton of KVMs out there. I need to get one with USB also. Good to know that about the USB thing with IOgear. I will stay away from that when I go to upgrade to USB. I have not had negitive experiences with IOgear.
  13. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Generally IOgear are great product. My experience with that one product wasn't great. I have a feeling though that my motherboard in general is a bit of a lemon.
  14. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Glad this thread is here. Might be looking at the exact same thing for a recording PC and a Projector-feeding-PC at the Church.
    Or, some more bits for a PC which would then be capable of running some slides and recording up to 6 channels of audio (unsupervised) at once.

    Does recording actually chew up major CPU time, I've never checked?
  15. EricUndead

    EricUndead Guest

    What Motherboard?

    BTW, another option for controling 2 PC's with one Keyboard and Mouse is to use a program called synergy. You would still need 2 monitors, but I like it because you dont need to switch between computers. All you do is scroll over to the second monitor and your controlling the second computer. You need only a network connection like a router and the clip board works between them also.

    Synergy is open source and released under the GNU Public License (GPL).

    I'm not trying to spam this either its just a cool program. Hope this helps.
  16. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    M2V-MX Asus.
  17. EricUndead

    EricUndead Guest

    I had trouble with my last AMD and found it to be less capable of multitasking without crashes, although I haven't had a VIA chip set. I think with the 2 AMD processors I had sis (yuck) and N-force chip sets.

    I went back to Pentium and have had a much better time with stability. While the AMD processors are very fast in single applications I have found that they lack the multitasking stability I desire. The last motherboard I bought had a N-force chip set and it has worked out well for me. I have a tendency to leave too many windows open when I get to working.
  18. hxckid88

    hxckid88 Active Member

    That would technically expose my second computer to the internet wouldn't it? That's something I personally wouldn't want it to do unless it was a closed network. But that means I'd have to buy a router anyway. Thanks though!
  19. EricUndead

    EricUndead Guest

    You would not have to expose your computer to the internet but having a router would make it easier to use that program and if you didnt want to expose your "second" computer knowing how to use the routers built in NAT software might help. Although if you have a crossover cable and an Ethernet port on each computer.......
  20. hxckid88

    hxckid88 Active Member

    I see I see. You know how windows XP, sh*t gets into it and you'll only find out when something goes wrong =P I'd rather avoid the internet as much as I Can on my new DAW as I can! =P Some of these switches looks like they will do the job... Still working on my DAW before I purchase though =)

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