Mac/PC share use switch

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by longmanzz, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. longmanzz macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2005
    I saw my boss is using a set of monitor, keyboard and mouse, and a spliter(or switcher), to connect to a PC and a linux box, it's pretty cool when he switch back and forworth just by pressing a botton. I wanna know if there is any switch like this compatible with mac and PC. Also, should i buy a windows or mac keyboard if i want both the windows key and apple key to be funtional.
  2. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    It's called a KVM switch and yes you can use them with Macs. Just make sure you have one that supports USB and the video out of your monitor. Most KVM's are PS/2 and VGA - these won't work with the Mac cause the Keyboard and Mouse ports have to be USB to plug into the Mac.

    I think Apple sell a compliant KVM switch at their online store.
  3. tuartboy macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2005
    Just a warning mate,

    I've had hell trying to get my "compatible" KVM switch working with my PB and PC. It apparently doesn't like the way the PB video comes out and the fact that I disconnect it everyday when I'm out and about.

    Ended up being a piece of trash for me (although I'd love to get one working...)
  4. gaelan macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2005
    i plan on bypassing the kvm switch and going with a usb 1-2 usb splitter. from what i can see you plug your usb kb&m into the splitter and then feed it to your two boxes. Anyone know of compatibility issues with these devices??

    BTW my monitor has 2 video inputs. one DVI and one VGA that i can switch inputs via a button on the monitor. I was surprised at the cost of KVM switches, so this is my workaround if it can indeed be worked around.
  5. tuartboy macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2005
    Is the USB just split or is it switched?
  6. stevep macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2004
  7. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    If you want to do this so that you switch on only one computer at a time, this sounds like a splitter will work. Otherwise, presuming it would even work with both boxes on, everything you type would be seen simulataneously on both computers. :eek:

    You need a switch for the keyboard and monitor, but most of the cost of KVM switches is in the "V" part due to the signals required. So maybe you can find a much cheaper KM only switch and use the multiple inputs on your monitor.

  8. CalfCanuck macrumors 6502a

    Nov 17, 2003
    I use this Belkin to link up three computers (iMac G5, G4 PB, and a Toshiba). I share a wireless MS keyboard and mouse and a Samsung LCD between them all.

    Work fine - they also have cheaper models (with or w/o audio) for two computer hookups -

    Haven't had any problems with the setup, beyond having to use the switch to reactivate the Mac after sleeping. Seems that once the Mac goes to sleep, it won't recognize key or mouse inputs to wake up. But toggling the switch to another computer and back to the Mac wakes it up fine.

    Edit -I should note that the 4 CPU model does NOT come with cables, so you have to add another $25 per CPU for these as well. The cheaper unit does include cables.

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