Sharing one screen with 2 computers

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Slumbers, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. Slumbers macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2009

    I recently bought my first Macbook Pro.
    I have a desktop pc and an Apple cinema display. Now I want to use the laptop for my work and the desktop for gaming and other windows stuff.
    Is there a way to use the screen for both computers without plugging/unplugging the cable? I don't have much space on my desk so another monitor is not an option.
    I've heard that you can switch between computers with hardware or software but you need a VGA and DVI on your monitor. The thing is that the ACD only has DVI and most monitors have VGA and DVI.
  2. MooneyFlyer macrumors 65816


    Nov 18, 2007
    Software solutions include:
    - Run VNC Server on your PC and use a VNC client on your Mac
    - Use the Windows remote desktop option (never done this myself)
    - Use something like to access the PC in a window (I personally use this one)

    Not sure on the hardware side if there are any KVMs that will do what you want with different I/O requirements for the monitor. There might be though.
  3. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    VNC/Remote Desktop/Logmein will be too slow to play games if you have the monitor connected to your Mac ... yes even on a local network ... and will likely be frustratingly unresponsive if you go the other way (connect monitor to PC and use screen sharing on the Mac)

    As long as your PC has DVI your best bet is a DVI-KVM.

    I know the following doesn't help you, but for anyone reading this with a monitor with VGA and DVI ports, I set up my computers (before I grabbed a second monitor from the desk of someone who left the company) - one Linux and one Windows - in what I call a "poor man's KVM".

    I connected the Linux machine via VGA, plugged the keyboard and mouse into it, and ran Synergy server on it. The PC was connected via DVI and was a client of the Synergy server on the Linux. To switch computers, I would move the mouse off the correct side of the screen and switch the display from VGA -> DVI input, and vice versa.
  4. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    How about installing Windows on your MBP and hooking it up to the ACD.

    That way you have two computers in one machine attached to the ACD. And a spare PC that you can sell. :)
  5. MooneyFlyer macrumors 65816


    Nov 18, 2007
    Good point - I read that backwards (about the games). Sorry for the noise.
  6. Slumbers thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2009
    Thanks for the info guys.
    Yeah, my brother uses Log mein, and is has a lag.

  7. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    That's exactly what it's designed for. It shouldn't be that expensive, maybe $30.

    My computer doesn't have two DVI ports, but it has VGA and DVI and I can switch between them with the push of a button.

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