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Help with 2 PCs, 3 monitors (w/ different connections), KVM switch

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Deal Addict
Aug 14, 2012
1379 posts
179 upvotes
AB

Help with 2 PCs, 3 monitors (w/ different connections), KVM switch

I have a main gaming PC which uses a TV with HDMI, and I'd like to setup the other 2 monitors I have for a total of 3 monitors. This would be on Windows 10. I have read Windows handles this pretty flawlessly so hopefully it shouldn't be much of an issue. I have a GeForce with 1 HDMI input and 3 Displayport inputs. The monitors are VGA and DVI, and I have appropriate adapters to use on the Displayport outputs of my video card. Not ideal, I know but I'm using what I have for now.

I have a 2nd PC I want to setup beside it, would run Linux, home file serving, programming, tinkering. I have a basic KVM switch, can I just switch one monitor? It doesn't matter to me which one, I just sometimes want to access Linux through the KVM. The KVM has 2 USBs for the keyboard/mouse and VGA for the graphics, but I could always use some adapter. I'm not sure if Windows would like this. Imagine you have a 3 or 4 monitor setup in Windows. You hit your KVM switch and essentially take one monitor out of Windows. Does it adapt to this on the fly?
2 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
35166 posts
8615 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
That was one confusing read

You don't need the KVM unless you only have one keyboard and mouse

Your main PC is running complete digital displays, the Linux machine is using an analogue VGA.

Windows is totally oblivious to the state of the monitors. Monitors do not send data back to the video card. It doesn't know that the display is switched.

You incorrectly called the connectors on your video card an input. It is actually an output. Therefore it cannot receive any feedback from the monitors
Member
User avatar
Nov 13, 2005
326 posts
308 upvotes
Calgary
turkey9000 wrote: I have a main gaming PC which uses a TV with HDMI, and I'd like to setup the other 2 monitors I have for a total of 3 monitors. This would be on Windows 10. I have read Windows handles this pretty flawlessly so hopefully it shouldn't be much of an issue. I have a GeForce with 1 HDMI input and 3 Displayport inputs. The monitors are VGA and DVI, and I have appropriate adapters to use on the Displayport outputs of my video card. Not ideal, I know but I'm using what I have for now.

I have a 2nd PC I want to setup beside it, would run Linux, home file serving, programming, tinkering. I have a basic KVM switch, can I just switch one monitor? It doesn't matter to me which one, I just sometimes want to access Linux through the KVM. The KVM has 2 USBs for the keyboard/mouse and VGA for the graphics, but I could always use some adapter. I'm not sure if Windows would like this. Imagine you have a 3 or 4 monitor setup in Windows. You hit your KVM switch and essentially take one monitor out of Windows. Does it adapt to this on the fly?
Since the monitors have vga and Dvi, the main PCs use dp to dvi/Hdmi adapters to drive a 3 display setup. Then use a vga cable for the Linux box and use the monitors own switch input button to change when needed. Ideally you never need to switch unless the Linux box died and didn't boot into os. I would probably keep everything in windows and use a Vnc server to remote to the Linux box in a Vnc session. Or look up a software called synergy. Used to be free back in the day and let you use 1 keyboard mouse between multiple os/monitors.

But it would be similar to my setup, 3 monitors using Dvi for the pc. I rdp to the server 2012 box. Server 2012 is hooked up to one monitor by vga if for instance during boot or bios where os has not loaded yet and I can't rdp in. Then I just hit the switch inputs on that monitor and I have a dedicated monitor for that server box to troubleshoot.

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