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Anybody play with a KVM switch?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by hunterguy86, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. hunterguy86

    hunterguy86 1/2 ton status

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    I have 2 computers in my room. One is my main desktop for games, school stuff and web browsing. The other box just for downloading. I was thinking about using a KVM switch so I could free up some space by only using one monitor, keyboard and mouse.

    I've seen some on newegg and at bestbuy. Anybody got a good recomendation for a good switch that is reasonably priced?
     
  2. Jagged

    Jagged 1 ton status

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    I still have a Belkin that I used a long time ago. I liked it, you either switched with the KVM itself or a keypress sequence on your keyboard.
     
  3. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    If they are both x86 machines you shouldn't have any problems with almost any brand out there.
    If you have some non x86 boxes, like Sun Sparc machines, or RS/6000's or IRIX boxes, you have limited choices. I have a Belkin dual consloe (wife on one console connected to one machine, me on another console in another room connected to a different machine), 8 machine version, works between IRIX, RS6000 and x86 boxes. $1200 list, $100 on ebay, w/cables! :D
     
  4. hunterguy86

    hunterguy86 1/2 ton status

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    One machine is a homebuilt box. The other is an older dell that I got for free.
    Do yall forsee any problems with this?
     
  5. Leper

    Leper 1/2 ton status

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    None what so ever. I do alot of computer repairs at the house and I will just hook the one I'm working on into the KVM. It lets me go back and forth between my "helper" rig and the one I'm working on.
    I buy almost everything from Newegg, Directron has some killer sales sometimes.
     
  6. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    You should be pretty safe going with almost anything.

    Just remember, you do get what you pay for here, cheaper models tend to crap out your graphics and have other little quirks. So if your a heavy gamer,video editor or graphics designer using CAD, running through a budget KVM and you will see a big difference. Other little quirks can be floating pointers when your mouse is stationary, and some goofy keyboards and mice don't work with the KVM.

    Make sure to get a KVM that is compatible with the keyboard and mice configuration your using and your computers use (USB,PS/2 etc). And check the price on the cables before buying too. Some KVM's want an arm and leg for the cables, some (usally 2port switchs) include the cables, but only for USB or only for PS/2, so just watch what your getting.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2007
  7. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    My experience with KVM's has been totally unpredictable. I've had very high end Cybex Commanders that will blow a power supply after a year, or give you a mouse on some machines, and no mouse on others.
    I've had dinky little 4-port Belkin units that lock up the machine if you reboot out of a certain sequence (that went away with a different KVM, so it was the Belkin; something with it's keyboard termination was wrong).
    Yet other experiences, I've had to reboot the KVM switch before rebooting ANY computer on it or it would not acknowledge the rebooted computer. Big PITA.

    I've had super-cheap 2-port units that I bought as emergency replacements, that have been ultra reliable and are even still in use at some sites after several years. Go friggin figure.

    So... I would politely disagree that quality is reflected in price. Unfortunately, experience has shown me it's pretty much hit or miss. Although I do agree with pretty much everything 75 said.
    Read lots of reviews. I'll see if I can find out what those cheap units were that are still in use and I'll post it.
     
  8. grimjaw

    grimjaw 1/2 ton status

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    I picked up a little 2 port Belkin KVM for Microcenter a few years ago for $20 on sale. Its the fixed cable type. Cheap, simple and reliable...what more could you want?
     
  9. CustomChevy

    CustomChevy 1/2 ton status

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    The only problem i've had with similar setups is slight mouse lag in gaming. depending on what you're playing you might notice it.


    Otherwise they are great.
     
  10. RingMaster4x4

    RingMaster4x4 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I use a tripplite for my bench at work. Been working great for about 5-6 years now use it daily.
     
  11. hunterguy86

    hunterguy86 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for all the input yall. I'm gonna browse newegg some more and see what I can come up with.

    I also just thought of another solution to my problem though. I guess I could just format my download box and run winxp pro instead of home and just use remote desktop. That would eliminate any question of mouse lag on my main box. I play battlefield 1942 and vietnam (yes its old) and will be installing autocad 2007 in the next few hrs. I really dont want to have any keyboard/mouse lag on my main box.

    hmm decisions descisions.
     
  12. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Here's a link to some FREE software that will let you control two systems from one keyboard and mouse.
    http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/

    It works great, but you still need a monitor for each system. You just move the cursor off the edge of one screen and it pops up on the other. You have control of the system that the cursor is on. It has always worked fine for me. I haven't hooked up my KVM switch since I got it. :cool1:
     

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