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Old 06-19-2012, 10:31 AM   #1
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Default Is a KVM switch what I need?

Please let me know your thoughts.. I have been looking for a solution to my problem and a KVM switch seems to be what I need but I guess I don't fully understand how it works..

I have a desktop with dual monitors for personal use.. at the same time I work from home so I have a work laptop also on my desk.. currently I do not have a docking station but I would like to use both of my monitors WITH my laptop (3monitors - laptop mon + dual mons) while I am working then be able to switch back to my desktop(only two mons) with simple ease.. how best do I go about doing this? recommend products or situations? It might be a simple question but for some reason it is hard for me to visualize and I don't want to buy something and then it not work like i want it.. you know? Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: Is a KVM switch what I need?

You do not want a KVM switch. A KVM switch works by allowing you to share one keyboard/one mouse/one monitor with two different desktop towers.

Personally, I don't see any way to allow you to do what you want.

I don't think there is a way to allow a laptop to use two other monitors as secondary monitors (especially while still being connected to the desktop and switching them back and forth).
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Is a KVM switch what I need?

You'd need a dual way splitter of some kind to initially separate the Dekstop and Laptop displays, but it'd be far easier if you would just swap two cables or something.

I think theres something that allows you to split your monitor into 3 by treating the 3 monitors as one screen, but that would not be ideal.

TripleHead2Go

This is a maybe though, never actually tried it.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: Is a KVM switch what I need?

You would really only need the DualHead2Go from that website, but I've also never tried it. However, you still aren't looking at switching back and forth between the desktop and laptop without unplugging cables.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: Is a KVM switch what I need?

I think KVM switch is the answer, but it is going to be complicated.

The desktop monitors (d0 and d1) will each connect to the KVM switch. Depending on the type of KVM switch you get, you might have to get two.

Corresponding to d0 and d1, they will each have two options through the switch, i.e., the laptop (L) and the desktop tower (D). So d0 will have d0L and d0D; d1 will have d1L and d1D.

I am going to assume that you can connect d0L and d1L to the laptop with ease, but in reality, I suspect this will get ugly. In any case, the laptop will have control to d0 and d1 through KVM switch by d0L and d1L. The laptop also its own monitor, so three monitors in total.

When you wish to break the monster apart and use the laptop and the desktop separately, you can switch to d0D and d1D. The desktop should then have access to d0 and d1.

Both desktop and laptop will probably need a managing software, e.g., Synergy -- I am sure there are others, to handle the monitors.

Since you do not have a docking system, you can leave the cables of d0L and d1L as is. Just bind them or something to keep it tidy and easy for you to connect.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: Is a KVM switch what I need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmacavali View Post
You would really only need the DualHead2Go from that website
Good point, my bad, the 3 screens includes the laptop monitor
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: Is a KVM switch what I need?

dale, can you find online a kvm switch that will do this? And still, he's looking at having to connect and disconnect cables.

Beyond seeing a picture or better description of it, I'm at a complete loss for understanding your solution.

I think the key in the OP is "relative ease".
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:30 AM   #8
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Default Re: Is a KVM switch what I need?

Depending on the laptop and dock, it may be doable, but as mentioned, you will a docking station and a dual-monitor capable KVM to begin with.

Some laptop manufacturers make their docking stations so they can accommodate better hardware such as a video card capable of handling multiple monitors, and that may be needed in this situation.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: Is a KVM switch what I need?

I read somewhere (a long time ago) that wireless implementation is possible, but I don't know how it works in practice or where to get it. So I think without a docking system, it has to be assumed that he will have to connect and disconnect cables anyway.

I admit I don't know if all this will make things easier in the end, but I personally think it will be easier to plug in and unplug cables at the laptop's end (than to temper with them at the back of the desktop, whilst bringing them back and forth between the desktop and the laptop every time).

It does not have to be one KVM switch (in which case, he will have d0-KVM-d0L/d0D and d1-KVM-d1L/d1D, with "KVM" being the same switch). He can have two switches, one for each monitor (i.e., d0-KVM0-d0L/d0D and d1-KVM1-d1L/d1D).
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Is a KVM switch what I need?

I see, and how does a keyboard and mouse work when you have 2 KVM switches?

Also in theory that will work, but do you know in practice if it does?
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