PC/Mac compatable DVI KVM switch?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by DesmoPilot, May 18, 2010.

  1. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    I apologize ahead of time if this is the wrong forum for this thread. Now, I'm hoping someone on here has experience with PC/Mac KVM switches. Have the two systems in my sig I'm wanting to attach to a KVM switch, have a Dell 2209WA that runs @ 1680x1050 (great display) that I'm hoping to share between the PC and MBP (it's DVI thus the need for a DVI KVM switch). Have no experience with KVMs (don't even know if it's right for my needs), here are my questions etc.

    - Obviously would need one that works on both PC/Mac.
    - Do KVMs use software? If so, is it required or optional?
    - Since Apple insists on annoying us with the MiniDisplayPort, would a KVM even work through a MiniDisplayPort>DVI adapter?
    - the PC will be attached to the KVM all the time, with the MBP being disconnected from the KVM when I take the MBP to work etc, will that create problems?
    - Price, I assume I'm to be looking at around $200-$300?

    Any comments, help etc is apprecaite. Thanks ahead of time.
  2. RMo macrumors 65816


    Aug 7, 2007
    Iowa, USA
    I'll have a go since no one seems to have replied yet:

    • Most KVMs don't really care what OS they're using, which is related to the next point...
    • Most I've seen don't use special software. It's normally a special key combination (like "doube tapping" the Scroll Lock key or, not often, turning a physical switch on the KVM itself) that switches between devices.
    • The KVM won't have a problem with the Mini-DisplayPort-to-DVI adapter, as long as the KVM really accepts (at least) digital input. (It should because otherwise they'd probably just use VGA, but I say it because Apple's DVI adapter outputs only digitial DVI, not both digital and analog). However, if you use the MBP in "clamshell mode," I have to wonder if switching monitors will make the MBP think you have disconnected the external display and thus go to sleep. Maybe, maybe not--perhaps the physical connection will be enough. (You can't change this because Apple knows better than you, and if your display is closed without an external one attached, you must want to put the Mac in Sleep mode.)
    • Disconnecting the MBP from the KVM shouldn't be problematic; your KVM may or may not automatically switch to the PC. I think mine would always switch to an "active" computer if it realized the current one was no longer there.
    • That price does seem a bit high. (Most cheap ones are VGA and PS/2; I'm assuming you're looking for DVI and USB, which will probably run a bit higher and I'm sure there are some in that price range, but it looks like there are several slightly below that price range.)

    Hope this helps! I've never used a KVM with my Mac (so I'm not sure how some that depend on Scroll Lock would behave--does one of the upper function keys on the Mac send the same code?), but this is what my experience with them on PCs would suggest.
  3. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    I use a four port VGA/USB KVM switch with my two Macs and one Windows box. It works out well. The double tapping of the switch key (Number Lock in my case) on the keyboard doesn't work when on a Mac, but in Windows it does go to the next computer.
  4. leggerk macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2010
    Hey, I use two computers in my office and one of them is a Mac. I bought a SmartAVI DVI KVM Switch from a store called KVM Equipment not too long ago and it worked for me. You should check out their inventory, they specialize in KVM products and outline all of the specifications and product details. Check out this switch, it worked for me...


    I know that most DVI switches will work with both PC and Mac computers, but you might have to call and specify. What kind of peripherals all you using?
  5. rex4mac macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2010
    tested DVI switches working perfectly with two Mac systems

    I had tested ConnectPRO UD-12+ which is it the newest USB DDM switch provide smoothly working flows with 2 DVI systems. I had tested three configurations.
    1. one Mac PRO and one MacBook Pro
    2. one MacBook Pro and one MacMini
    3. one MacBook Pro and one Windows 7 desktop

    All of them passed my tests. The only thing I think they need to be improved is the current model is only supporting DVI-I not DVI-D.

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