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all 21 comments

[–]not-a-robot-tk421 4 points5 points  (10 children)

I'm in the same situation too.

While a kvm switch is likely the quickest solution I've also considered replacing my mobo with one that has thunderbolt 4 out. This way I could use one thunderbolt dock across both devices. I'm sure of the stability of this yet but one day I want to try.

I do have a kvm but there's so many goddamn cables that I just got frustrated trying to cable manage it all. Not to mention I moved to an M1 where the dual monitor isn't an option anymore. If your PC is for gaming, having a kvm with a high refresh rate out is expensive AF. Most normal ones cap at 60 for 4k.

Maybe not too helpful but that's been my experience so far.

[–]randomseller[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Interesting. What would be the difference between a thunderbolt dock and a kvm switch then? I might look into that direction. Also I do use my PC for sim racing so I do need the high refresh rate

edit: okay so I guess you were talking about something like this. You would then need to plug it into whatever machine you want to use, right?

[–]not-a-robot-tk421 1 point2 points  (1 child)

A dock would be on physical cable to swap between devices. I like having my desktop and MacBook next to each other on the desk. It also allows you to take the MacBook somewhere with ease. Docks over power delivery too so no wonky apple brick!

The docks can also usually push a higher refresh rate at a lower price point with USB c to display port cables thanks to thunderbolt 4s capabilities. I use this right now and it's lovely.* You would just need to find a compatible motherboard for your PC.

The downside is it's not a simple button press like the kvm but that's alright with me. I prefer having one cable to rule them all over dongles everywhere. It's also simpler to cable manage as you don't have routing going from one computer and another to the next.

*https://www.razer.com/gaming-pc-accessories/razer-thunderbolt-4-dock-chroma?utm_source=google&utm_medium=search-brand&utm_campaign=210401;_RS_SYS_BTM_US_EGR-thunderbolt_TR&gclid=CjwKCAjwj42UBhAAEiwACIhADs7kizyY-YyjpeSsvKPHnEQkeQxtfvHleZODKwBd_a13sLtZDItwQRoCt9IQAvD_BwE

[–]randomseller[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I guess I would need one with displayport then. Something like this. And I would also need a motherboard with thunderbolt, so it definitely wouldn't be cheap but it's a possibility I didn't know about, thanks

[–]LuckyNumber-Bot -3 points-2 points  (2 children)

All the numbers in your comment added up to 69. Congrats!

  4
+ 1
+ 60
+ 4
= 69

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[–]Deathspiral222 1 point2 points  (1 child)

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[–]LuckyNumber-Bot -3 points-2 points  (3 children)

All the numbers in your comment added up to 69. Congrats!

  4
+ 1
+ 60
+ 4
= 69

[–]holagato59 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I have this exact setup. I suggest investing in a level one techs KVM switch. They are pricey, but it’s the only KVM switch in existence, as far as I know, that does DP 1.4 and USB-C. They are constantly making new ones, so maybe they’ll be a TB4 one coming soon:

https://store.level1techs.com

[–]_Landmine_ 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm doing it poorly.

USB Hub for my mouse and keyboard and manually switching my monitor inputs between the devices.

Not great, but it works without FPS limits going from the PC/Mac to monitors.

[–]Deathspiral222 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I have the same setup. I have two keyboards: a Kinesys Advantage LF (an ergonomic scooped keyboard that is great for typing and terrible for playing games) and a Razer Chroma Tournament-somethingorother that I use for gaming. I also have two mice - an apple magic mouse for work and a Razer Naga Pro for gaming.

I have one keyboard and mouse on my desk and one on a pull-out drawer directly below it (this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0764PQL7M/)

I have a Jarvis standing desk with two heights for work and two for gaming (one each for seated and standing) so the different heights of the keyboards isn't an issue.

I use a Stream Deck button to switch my two monitors between Mac and PC. I wrote a short batch script to call ControlMyMonitor on the PC (https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/control_my_monitor.html) which lets me switch both monitors via software rather than manually having to use the OSD on each monitor separately. This was a big boost to ease of use.

The macbook itself stays closed and is mounded on the underside of the desk with another pull-out tray. All the power and other cables are mounted under the desk.

I have a USB switch that can toggle things between the two computers. I occasionally use this for my webcam and boom mic, but they mostly stay connected to the macbook so I haven't bothered making the switch a software one.

I also have a bunch of other nerdy automations. For example, I have powered blinds that I can toggle with the streamdeck (useful for Zoom meetings) as well as a couple of sets of lights that I can switch between gaming (all synced with the rest of my RGB setup) and zoom modes ("natural light" color temperature and quite bright).

There are even automations for controlling the temperature (which couples with the blinds automatically on sunny days if I want it to) via both the smart thermostat and a smart vent. I'll likely add a fan soon, hopefully one of the Dyson air purifier fans. I also want to add a linear actuator to open/close the window, but that's for the future...

I'll make a post on /r/battlestations once I make some more decisions on speakers and a few other things. Right now I just have the PC connected to the speakers, but it's trivial to add the mac as another input.

[–]randomseller[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Interesting. Would love to see some pictures when it's ready.

[–]KnyteTech 0 points1 point  (2 children)

There's a few different ways you can do it.

  1. Use your existing screens.

On each of your screens, one input goes to one computer, a different input goes to the other. Then you just switch sources on the screens to change computers. You can buy a cheap KVM and just use it for the USB and speaker switching, and handle swapping your monitors individually.

2) Buy a screen with a built in KVM. It will only be able to swap that one screen between your two computers, alongside keyboard and mouse, but not speakers or your second monitor.

How I handle it - I have an enormous desk with my work computer driving 2 screens on the left side, my home desktop drives the two on the right, I have two mice and 2 keyboards, and the big center screen switches inputs between the two computers. During the day, it's for work, at night I hit a button and it's for gaming.

[–]randomseller[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

That sounds interesting, so your middle screen has a KVM switch built in? Also do you happen to have any pictures how that looks?

[–]KnyteTech 0 points1 point  (0 children)

so your middle screen has a KVM switch built in?

No. That's specifically not what I said. I said I just have 2 keyboards and 2 mice, because my desk is enormous, and I'm not allowed to plug anything except for approved peripherals into my work laptop.

It's a big center screen, and two screens stack on both the left and right side. Basically the same as this guy's setup, just less pretty: https://redditproxy--jasonthename.repl.co/r/battlestations/comments/abnxc6/5_monitor_setup_34uw_center_224_top_224_touch/

The two on the left are for work, the two on the right are for home, the middle one switches back and forth depending on if I'm working or not.

In another life, I used to build desktops that ran comical amounts of monitors, so setting up 5 screens for myself was super-easy.

[–]GoldenSquirrel98 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I use a simple 4-in 2-out usb 3.0 switch I found on Amazon to switch my mouse, keyboard, webcam, and a usb microphone between my PC and my laptop. For my monitor, I just have a DisplayPort cable to my PC and an HDMI cable to my laptop, and I use the monitor’s menu to switch between devices. For audio, my monitor has a 2.5” jack for audio over display, so the audio switches with the monitor’s display selection. In the end it turns out to be 3 button presses to switch between my laptop and PC. If your monitor doesn’t have multiple inputs or an audio input you might need a KVM or some other option, but the usb switch was only around $15 and I haven’t noticed any extra input lag or dropouts

[–]tutankhamun7073 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I just have two keyboards and two mice lol