Mac and PC on same monitor

Solafaa

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Is it possible to use 2 desktops on the same monitor? I would like a way so that i can switch between the 2 monitors via a switch and would it be possible to use the same mouse and keyboard?

The problem i have is that i need to use a PC but would like to keep the monitor, mouse and keyboard and then switch easly and fast back to the mac.

Thanks.
 

redeye be

macrumors 65816
Jan 27, 2005
1,138
0
BXL
You're looking for a KVM switch (keyboard video mouse). Most shops have them now. I'm sure someone here will give you a recommendation.
 

Spanky Deluxe

macrumors 601
Mar 17, 2005
4,853
359
London, UK
It sounds like you're going to need a DVI switch.... which costs a *fortune*. Well I think they're around the $300-$500 mark. :(

I don't know if the Apple displays can support a 'VGI' in or 'Analogue DVI.' If they do support the latter and you can somehow switch between Analogue DVI and Digital DVI on the screen then you might be able to build your own cable - I've been doing a bit of research into this myself.
 

redeye be

macrumors 65816
Jan 27, 2005
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Spanky Deluxe said:
It sounds like you're going to need a DVI switch.... which costs a *fortune*. Well I think they're around the $300-$500 mark. :(

I don't know if the Apple displays can support a 'VGI' in or 'Analogue DVI.' If they do support the latter and you can somehow switch between Analogue DVI and Digital DVI on the screen then you might be able to build your own cable - I've been doing a bit of research into this myself.
You could just use a vga KVM and use a DVI-VGA adapter where needed. I got one of those with my mini, they don't cost a fortune.
 

Spanky Deluxe

macrumors 601
Mar 17, 2005
4,853
359
London, UK
redeye_be said:
You could just use a vga KVM and use a DVI-VGA adapter where needed. I got one of those with my mini, they don't cost a fortune.
The problem is I don't think the Apple screens support analogue DVi in which is what the DVI-VGA adapters require. Can anyone clear this up for us? I think they're DVI only.
 

Celeron

macrumors 6502a
Mar 11, 2004
704
9
While this probably won't work for you, this is what I do. I have a Dell 2005FPW which has a number of different video inputs. I have the DVI input on my PC and the analog input, using the mini-dvi to analog adapter, connected to my Powerbook. When I want to switch between the two I just change the monitor's input.

Also, because the 2005FPW has a built in USB hub I keep that connected to my PC and I plug my keyboard and mouse into the side of the screen. When I want to use the Mac I just unplug the USB cable and plug it into my Powerbook.

Works almost as good as a KVM but it didn't cost any extra.

Woot.
 

Switzermac

macrumors regular
Jun 28, 2005
230
0
What if i have three computers and i want to use the same keyboard monitor and mouse.
 

emoore3

macrumors newbie
Feb 9, 2005
15
0
I have a VGA KVM switch for my mini and PC. It works just fine. I use the DVI to VGA adapter that came with the mini.
 

Rob Real

macrumors newbie
Feb 13, 2005
2
0
Solafaa said:
Is it possible to use 2 desktops on the same monitor? I would like a way so that i can switch between the 2 monitors via a switch and would it be possible to use the same mouse and keyboard?

The problem i have is that i need to use a PC but would like to keep the monitor, mouse and keyboard and then switch easly and fast back to the mac.

Thanks.



Hi, I discovered this thread when I was searching for the same answer myself. After doing more research, I came up with this:

Sharing just a monitor is the cheapest and easiest way to go. All you need is a VGA Switch Box. This will let you plug in 2 monitors to the box, and just flip a switch to go from one computer to the other. It will work with 2 pcs, 2 macs, or 1 mac/1 pc. They make 4-way ones as well. The 2-way ones go for $10 at most on ebay! :)

This is of course provided that both computers have a VGA monitor port. If not, you can convert just about any format to VGA with a little cheapo adapter.

Compared to these VGA KVM boxes, which are way more expensive and can get complicated as well, a VGA switch box is the cheapest and easiest way to go. The KVM box (keyboard video mouse) is for sharing monitor, mouse, and keyboard . . . but it's a lot cheaper and simpler to just keep the 2 keyboards and 2 mouses, and only share the monitor.

Hope this helps anyone else who may come across it in the future. The VGA switch box was not mentioned on this thread at all.
 

grapes911

Moderator emeritus
Jul 28, 2003
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Citizens Bank Park
Rob Real said:
This is of course provided that both computers have a VGA monitor port. If not, you can convert just about any format to VGA with a little cheapo adapter.
Being the thread was about computes with DVI, this won't help. Why spend the money on DVI and then convert it to the vastly inferior VGA?


Skareb said:
As others have suggested the answer is yes, however you should be able to do much better than this price.
Why don't you post one then? I highly doubt you can find anything less than about $150.
 

Dopeyman

macrumors 6502a
Sep 5, 2005
599
28
Los Angeles!
I came up on this thread cause I wanna share my keyboard and mouse with laptop....

I'm already able to share my monitor cause my monitor has 2 inputs, DVI-D (which is connected to my G4) and VGA which is connected to my laptop... And with a push of a button on the monitor, it switches back and forth.....

And if you're wondering which monitor this is it's a Viewsonic VX924.....

EDIT: I found this: I think this will do the trick!
 

topgunn

macrumors 65816
Nov 5, 2004
1,467
1,263
Houston
I did the same thing but instead of unplugging the cable, I got a $15 USB switch to do essentially that.
Celeron said:
While this probably won't work for you, this is what I do. I have a Dell 2005FPW which has a number of different video inputs. I have the DVI input on my PC and the analog input, using the mini-dvi to analog adapter, connected to my Powerbook. When I want to switch between the two I just change the monitor's input.

Also, because the 2005FPW has a built in USB hub I keep that connected to my PC and I plug my keyboard and mouse into the side of the screen. When I want to use the Mac I just unplug the USB cable and plug it into my Powerbook.

Works almost as good as a KVM but it didn't cost any extra.

Woot.
 

robthomas47

macrumors newbie
Nov 22, 2005
7
0
KVM Switch / RDC

RDC is a decent solution, and I use it everyday at work... however i've found that it's still nice to have a KVM switch hooked up to the PC so you can actually reboot the PC from time to time and more easily troubleshoot it if Remote Desktop Client isn't working.

Having said that... I think a VGA switchbox is a waste of money, but a VGA KVM switch is totally worth the $100 or less you'll spend on it. When I was in search, i found really good reviews on a Connectpro usb kvm on amazon's website and i've been thoroughly impressed upon my purchase.

People complain about converting DVI signals to VGA but i have no issue.. the fact is that most people won't even notice a difference in video quality upon converting. I do plenty of webdesign and picture editing and a VGA monitor works well for me.
 

grapes911

Moderator emeritus
Jul 28, 2003
6,943
3
Citizens Bank Park
robthomas47 said:
RDC is a decent solution, and I use it everyday at work... however i've found that it's still nice to have a KVM switch hooked up to the PC so you can actually reboot the PC from time to time and more easily troubleshoot it if Remote Desktop Client isn't working.
RDC sucks comparied to a KVM. It is not a good solution.

Having said that... I think a VGA switchbox is a waste of money, but a VGA KVM switch is totally worth the $100 or less you'll spend on it. When I was in search, i found really good reviews on a Connectpro usb kvm on amazon's website and i've been thoroughly impressed upon my purchase.
If you spend more than $30 on a 2 computer VGA KVM, then you've been ripped off.

People complain about converting DVI signals to VGA but i have no issue.. the fact is that most people won't even notice a difference in video quality upon converting. I do plenty of webdesign and picture editing and a VGA monitor works well for me.
No one said it doesn't work. It just degrades quality. It's like buying a Benz and putting in a Ford engine. If done right you can get it to work, but why do such a thing?
 

Mord

macrumors G4
Aug 24, 2003
10,096
21
UK
get two identical lcd hook one up via vga and one up via dvi, the difference is huge i cant stand vga lcds.
 

robthomas47

macrumors newbie
Nov 22, 2005
7
0
grapes911 said:
RDC sucks comparied to a KVM. It is not a good solution.

If you spend more than $30 on a 2 computer VGA KVM, then you've been ripped off.

No one said it doesn't work. It just degrades quality. It's like buying a Benz and putting in a Ford engine. If done right you can get it to work, but why do such a thing?
I know from experience if you only spend $30 on a 2-port KVM you're gonna be screwed.. it won't support high resolutions well and won't work with Wireless keyboard and mouse. I also never meant to say converting from DVI to VGA doesn't work.. i'm only saying most people complain about degraded quality when it's unnoticeable for what they're doing. Like using a racecar engine when all you're doing is driving to the store - it's unnecessary.

Ford owns Lincoln, Jaguar, and Aston Martin.. so is it really gonna be that bad to have a Ford engine in a Benz?
 

grapes911

Moderator emeritus
Jul 28, 2003
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Citizens Bank Park
robthomas47 said:
I know from experience if you only spend $30 on a 2-port KVM you're gonna be screwed.. it won't support high resolutions well and won't work with Wireless keyboard and mouse.
I purchased a $20 KVM for my Parents to control their Mac and PC. It is over 3 years old and working strong. The resolution on both computers is 1600x1280. They use a Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse.

I also never meant to say converting from DVI to VGA doesn't work.. i'm only saying most people complain about degraded quality when it's unnoticeable for what they're doing. Like using a racecar engine when all you're doing is driving to the store - it's unnecessary.
It is extremely noticeable by most people. I notice a difference just by looking a a website. It's more like driving a luxury car to drive to the store. No required but still preferred.

Ford owns Lincoln, Jaguar, and Aston Martin.. so is it really gonna be that bad to have a Ford engine in a Benz?
I was specifically talking about the Taurus. :D Sorry, I couldn't find a better analogy.
 

robthomas47

macrumors newbie
Nov 22, 2005
7
0
grapes911 said:
I purchased a $20 KVM for my Parents to control their Mac and PC. It is over 3 years old and working strong. The resolution on both computers is 1600x1280. They use a Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse.

It is extremely noticeable by most people. I notice a difference just by looking a a website. It's more like driving a luxury car to drive to the store. No required but still preferred.

I was specifically talking about the Taurus. :D Sorry, I couldn't find a better analogy.
Well i consider you lucky.. i've read quite a few complaints from the cheaper side of Belkin and IOgear product... especially when used with wireless keyboard and mice.

I see where we differ: I buy my parents love with high priced computer accessories