PC and Mac? KVM Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Celeron, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. Celeron macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2004
    This is my problem. I have a 15'' Powerbook that I use all day at work. I really enjoy it. When I come home, I primarily use my PC. Unfortunately the experience is less than spectacular. Before, I was using my 12'' Powerbook only occasionally so I never really got used to the niceties of OS X. Now, because I'm using it all day at work, using Windows is pretty disappointing.

    My problem is this. I would like to use a Mac, let's say a Mac Mini at this point, as my main every day machine. Surf web pages, check email, play music, stuff like that. I still want to use my PC to play games because really there isn't any Apple products out there that can match its performance. The key is that I want to be able to switch between the two without much issue. The only logical choice is a KVM switch. Unfortunately I don't have any experience with consumer grade models so I'm not sure what is good.

    I want a KVM that isn't going to degrade my video quality. If it makes my Sony monitor look like crap I'm not interested. It also has to be USB based, obviously, because the Mac only does USB, not PS/2. Lastly, it needs to support all the extra buttons on my mouse and keyboard. Does anyone have any suggestions? Experiences? Maybe a nice 20'' Dell Widescreen monitor with multiple inputs and a USB switch would be a better choice.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. Celeron thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2004
  3. slooksterPSV macrumors 68040


    Apr 17, 2004
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Belkin 2 port USB. It is $60 at outpost.com (sold out many other places) and it works wonderfully!
    My complaint....cables plug in the front and back, silly design, but it works and I can't complain about that.
  5. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    Do you by any chance have a DVI-compatible digital display (generally an LCD with the rectangular connector)? If so you'll be wanting a DVI KVM, which is digital and probably won't have the signal loss.

    I use a KVM between my Dell and my old 486 -- sadly only two ports or I'd stick the old Gateway on it too and get all the PCs consolidated in one place.

    All our Macs are all-in-one (being either iBooks or an iMac) or I'd do something with KVM between a Mac and a PC.

    I think there are PS/2 to USB adapters you could use to hook PS/2 peripherals to your Mac but it's probably better just to go all-USB on the PC as well and use a USB KVM.
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    What type of Sony monitor? If it is a CRT monitor you will need to go with a VGA/USB KVM. This means using the DVI to VGA adaptor that comes with the Mini. Some people complain of dark screen when using the Mini with the VGA adaptor. I haven't had any problem with mine.

    If you have a Sony LCD monitor, or are planning to get an LCD monitor, it depends entirely on the port(s) that the monitor has - VGA vs. DVI.

    Best quality will be to go DVI from both computers - but a DVI switchbox is expensive. I have a Sharp LCD that has 1 x DVI and 2 x VGA ports with front panel switching. I use s simple USB switcher and powered hub for the Kbd and mouse, and use the monitor's input switch for the video. The Mac is plugged in by VGA, the PC by DVI.

    The KVM will not affect the function of the additional keys on the keyboard. What will affect them is whether the keyboard manufacturer has software for the Mac that will support these buttons... or not.

  7. kgarner macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2004
    I have been using an IOGear 2 prt USB KVM that has been quite nice. If you're interested, I will actually be selling it soon as I have managed to rid myself of the PC. PM me if you have questions about it.
  8. dsharits macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2004
    The People's Republic of America
    I use the same one, and it works very well for me.
  9. phampton81 macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2002
    usb switcher

    Canada RAM, which usb switcher do you use? I have a dell 2005fpw that can switch vga (pc) and dvi (mac) but need a usb switch so that I can use one keyboard and one mouse for the pc and mac. Thanks

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