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KVM recommendation?
Posted by: davemchine
Date: June 08, 2022 11:58AM
I would like to have a KVM to control three Mac Mini computers and the options are overwhelming to me. I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction. The three Mini's are a 2009, 2014, and a 2021 (or whatever is available now). The last two can do thunderbolt video but I don't think the 2009 can do that.
What would I need to control all three computers?
Would I have to use a wired keyboard and mouse or can I retain my apple keyboard and mouse (bluetooth)?
I don't feel a strong need for an audio port in switching but maybe it's more important than I realize?

It feels like a big ask but if someone more knowledgeable than I could point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.



Ukulele music I couldn't find anywhere else.
[colquhoun.info]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/08/2022 12:00PM by davemchine.
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Re: KVM recommendation?
Posted by: ka jowct
Date: June 08, 2022 12:29PM
What monitor, at what resolution? With any KVM, you need to check the maximum resolution supported.

You can get KVMs with DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, etc. They can be fairly expensive, but in my experience, it doesn’t pay to skimp.

I’ve been using 4-port IOgear KVMs. At various times, I have had a 2012 Mini and a 2018 Mini connected, as well as Mac Pros (via DVI), a MDD G4 (DVI) and a G5 (DVI). But my needs are fairly simple because my Eizo monitor”s resolution is 1920 x 1200, and I can use a DVI KVM. The 2018 Mini uses an HDMI to DVI adapter, as did the 2012 Mini.

The Eizo also has DisplayPort as well as DVI. I can connect to both and switching between DisplayPort and the port with the KVM attached is simple.

The IOgear supplied cables are high quality and let you share a set of speakers as well as a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.



My life goes smoothly and in regular intervals



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/08/2022 12:37PM by ka jowct.
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Re: KVM recommendation?
Posted by: Gareth
Date: June 08, 2022 12:29PM
Probably better to use a wired or RF (USB dongle) keyboard. Otherwise, you'd have to reconnect the keyboard/mouse via bluetooth on each computer. Or swap for a wireless keyboard/mouse that can handle multiple connections, but then you have click the button the keyboard and mouse to switch everytime also.

This is an example of something that should work (not saying it's the best option):
[www.amazon.com]

Plug in the 2009 and 2014 with the appropriate cable to HDMI and USB, and the 2021 via USB-C. And then an HDMI cable to the monitor.
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Re: KVM recommendation?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: June 08, 2022 02:01PM
Dave,

How about using something like Screens, AnyDesk or Jump Desktop to control the machines remotely? Jump into one and it'll show up in a window on your machine.

Robert
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Re: KVM recommendation?
Posted by: Buzz
Date: June 08, 2022 02:32PM
It boils down to the monitor.
Everything else is easy=peasy.

What's your complete monitor situation?
Hint: if you have a monitor that has builtin input switching, you might wanna/(need to) take advantage of that.
==
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Re: KVM recommendation?
Posted by: davemchine
Date: June 08, 2022 03:32PM
Currently my screen is a 2013 iMac and I VNC to the 2009 Mac Mini. So VNC is possible. I just thought a KVM would be faster and work better.

I wasn't aware there are monitors with built in switching. If so then that sounds great!



Ukulele music I couldn't find anywhere else.
[colquhoun.info]
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Re: KVM recommendation?
Posted by: Gareth
Date: June 08, 2022 04:43PM
I don't think a KVM is going to work if you're using a 2013 iMac for the display as that requires a thunderbolt cable for the connection?

Some monitors will have multiple (video) inputs you can switch between, but they won't switch the USB connection. Also, sometimes it doesn't work as desired (i.e. one monitor we have seems determined to display whatever is on the HDMI input if that's plugged in, so to get back to the DisplayPort input, we have to disconnect the HDMI cable).
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Re: KVM recommendation?
Posted by: davemchine
Date: June 08, 2022 04:53PM
I am terrible at explaining what I’m doing.

Current setup:
2013 iMac
2009 Mac Mini
VNC

Desired new setup:
2021 Mac Mini
2014 Mac Mini (to replace iMac)
2009 Mac Mini
KVM
No Monitor selected yet

Now that I’ve muddied the water enough it sounds like I need to pick a monitor, attach it to the 2021 Mac Mini, and just continue with VNC to the other two computers. I know they run video slower headless and I was hoping to avoid that.



Ukulele music I couldn't find anywhere else.
[colquhoun.info]
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Re: KVM recommendation?
Posted by: Gareth
Date: June 08, 2022 05:15PM
Ah. If you're willing to replace the keyboard/mouse with USB wired or wireless RF dongle, a KVM will still work.

Otherwise, perhaps a "dummy monitor plug" would let the video run faster on the other machines? [www.amazon.com]
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Re: KVM recommendation?
Posted by: Buzz
Date: June 08, 2022 07:24PM
30" Dell U3011 & 24" Samsung both have electronic input switching which makes KVM'ing pretty straight forward.... even allowing the Frankenmac'ed G3'ed PM7300 to use just the smaller Samsung, since it won't/can't drive the BIG Dell at any gracefully viewable resolution.

With an iMac as the monitor, you're gonna need to find some sort of common GPU connection across all the Mini's that play nice w/ the iMac's video input, which looks to be mDP based. Something like this oughta work.....



It's full size DP based, so you'll just need a bunch of appropriate cables to cobble it together. Looks mostly reasonable, though the cabling/adapter for the newest Mini could be kinda pricey. I'm assuming all of the protocols involved are backward compatible as needed, otherwise it's back to the drawing board.
Good luck.
==
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