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View Full Version : Suggest ways of doing the following please



DeSade
12-01-2011, 02:21 PM
I game a lot but I also want other things available while I game.
Running the games in window mode is just not gonna happen so thats off the table.

I am thinking a good setup would be a KVM for the keyboard mouse and monitors and there comes the first problem.
I don't want to set up a whole new desktop for this process but I also do not know if a laptop will fill the bill.
The questions I have are


Do KVM switches support dual monitors?
Can you switch between the systems with a hotkey?
Could I use a laptop as the system?
Is it possible to keep a laptop running with the screen closed?
Can a laptop connect to dual DVI monitors?
Are there any issues with leaving a laptop mains powered and powered on for long periods?


What I would prefer is a lappy hooked into the KVM running as the 2nd system with the screen closed so I can hide it away easier.

I would like to hit the switch (or preferably a hotkey) and it flicks my keyboard, mouse and both monitors to the laptop.

pctek
12-01-2011, 02:35 PM
http://www.kvm-switches-online.com/cs122.html

Looks OK (all would be similar, whatever brand).
Laptop might get hot - about the only thing I can think of.
Why not just ALT TAB out of the game - it's what I do.

DeSade
12-01-2011, 02:43 PM
Not all games can be alt-tabbed.
I want a more permanant and universal solution.

pctek
12-01-2011, 04:09 PM
Well the KVM idea seems viable.

DeSade
12-01-2011, 04:44 PM
Any answers for the other laptop questions?

WarNox
12-01-2011, 04:54 PM
Yes, you can have the laptop running with the screen closed.

Some KVMs do support key a combination to change between different machines.

I don't think there is a good way of really doing this. It will work with the KVM setup but again won't be perfect. Having 2 systems running all the time is a PITA and the cost to set up is also there. And you'll have 10m of KVM cables too :)

Have a play around with ultramon (https://www.realtimesoft.com/ultramon/), it might have some feature to enable this.

DeSade
12-01-2011, 05:26 PM
I have tried fixing the issue with software without success.
When your playing a game in full screen it locks in the mouse that is the main problem.

If I could release the mouse I could flick between my screens with no issue.
As long as that release included something to stop the full screen app (game) minimizing whenever anything else was clicked.

Chilling_Silence
12-01-2011, 10:22 PM
Some games have 3rd party apps that'll lock the mouse to the screen. I play DotA (Warcraft III) and I use DotA Launcher. It uses the Scroll Lock to either lock or unlock the mouse to the window.

I also play LOTRO, windowed, but no need for locking in that game :)

What games are you playing?

DeSade
12-01-2011, 10:28 PM
All games lock the mouse, you cannot scroll off the screen with the mouse when the game is running in full screen mode.

Ideally I want to be able to just move between full screen games and anything else without any hassle such as alt tabbing which closes/minimizes the game and that's not what I am looking for.

8ftmetalhaed
12-01-2011, 11:30 PM
force it to run in windowed mode?
If it's a steam game, use steam community?

DeSade
12-01-2011, 11:32 PM
I game a lot but I also want other things available while I game.
Running the games in window mode is just not gonna happen so thats off the table.

I am thinking a good setup would be a KVM for the keyboard mouse and monitors and there comes the first problem.
I don't want to set up a whole new desktop for this process but I also do not know if a laptop will fill the bill.
The questions I have are


Do KVM switches support dual monitors?
Can you switch between the systems with a hotkey?
Could I use a laptop as the system?
Is it possible to keep a laptop running with the screen closed?
Can a laptop connect to dual DVI monitors?
Are there any issues with leaving a laptop mains powered and powered on for long periods?


What I would prefer is a lappy hooked into the KVM running as the 2nd system with the screen closed so I can hide it away easier.

I would like to hit the switch (or preferably a hotkey) and it flicks my keyboard, mouse and both monitors to the laptop.

See in red

8ftmetalhaed
12-01-2011, 11:50 PM
Ok, well it is possible to keep a laptop running with the screen down, but it might put out a fair bit of heat. Get it a cooling pad and keep an eye on temps, and it should be fine.
(and change power settings so that closing the lid does nothing/turns off the screen or something)

DeSade
12-01-2011, 11:59 PM
Thanks
So it seems a lappy will do the job.

8ftmetalhaed
13-01-2011, 12:07 AM
Well one would assume so. I mean, if you're listening to music it might not work so well with the screen down haha

Just rereading the bit of your first post that I missed due to being tired, 1- no problems generally with leaving laptops on over long periods. My only suggestion would be to leave it without the battery in. Just run it off AC. That should also reduce power consumption and heat issues.
2- Dual dvi monitors - not so sure. I know many have HDMI that would probably do with an adapter, not too sure on whether bandwidth is capable of DL DVI resolution.

actually, while typing this I figured something - if you used a laptop, how would you connect it to the monitors if the ports are already occupied by your PC

DeSade
13-01-2011, 12:13 AM
I believe the idea is the monitors plug into the KVM and are then available for use on either machine.

But only one will be switched at any one time.
I will keep my main machine running my game for instance and the lappy running say a browser.

8ftmetalhaed
13-01-2011, 12:17 AM
Hmm.. just thinking aswell, it might be an issue finding a KVM that will work with DL DVI. Most I see only work with video and a couple of USB or PS/2 ports.

Maybe You'll just have to get a setup that involves two monitors with either one or both hooked up to a second PC where you flick the monitors to the other outputs individually?

dugimodo
13-01-2011, 07:55 AM
I use 2 PC's myself and I don't use dual screen because I have very little use for it with a 2nd pc available. Expensive perhaps but the most versatile option. I used to try and run things in a dual screen setup but it tended to cause issues and software crashes.

On a side note, not all games lock the mouse. Titan quest for example happily runs full screen on the main monitor and allows you to simply move the mouse onto the 2nd monitor and do other things, at least for me it does and by default.

Paul.Cov
13-01-2011, 08:11 AM
KVMs that support DVI will cost more than the older VGA KVMs.

Also the hotkey to switch the KVM is sometimes inconvenient to gamers. In my case the Ctrl key (hit twice) will switch machines - and in a lot of games Ctrl is the Fire key, so you can imagine the trouble that causes when gaming.
A manually switched KVM may be less trouble.
Also beware that KVMs vary according to using PS2 or USB peripherals, with the newer USB options also being dearer.

I'm not aware of KVMs that support dual monitors - they probably exist, but will cost the earth.

DeSade
13-01-2011, 08:49 AM
Not too concerned about the cost, this type of setup will solve numerous annoying issues for me so its worth it, if it works as I want it too work.

Your right about the monitors, only one of them needs to be switchable now I think about it.

So that brings up another question, can you flick the monitors at will and still retain all the extended settings etc.

8ftmetalhaed
13-01-2011, 09:48 AM
I'm wondering about that myself to be honest. I would assume as long as it has the monitor connected, then the extended settings would stay but if a KVM switch were to disconnect the monitor from the first PC in order to connect it to the second signal, then it might indeed break the settings.
Perhaps go HDMI or VGA to the second system with a KVM switch for just the KV part, if that happens though.

Paul.Cov
13-01-2011, 09:49 AM
Yeah, provided the KVM supports the resolutions you are using you can think of it as simply a switch. The monitor itself should detect and automatically adjust to differing settings between each machine.

The extended desktop settings will remain unchanged. All that will determine which image gets changed is which video output you hook the KVM up to - it will be happy with either the primary or the secondary (extended) desktop role.

All you're doing with the KVM is eliinating one set of keyboard, mouse and monitor. If you're using 2 screens already, then effectively you get access to a third desktop. If you had a quick way (via software/shortcut) to switch the primary desktop to the secondary desktop you could effectively extend your control to 4 desktops via the KVM and the primary/secondary monitor swap - all via a single monitor.

DeSade
13-01-2011, 09:56 AM
Do you see much (if any) of a delay when switching with this setup?

SolMiester
13-01-2011, 01:02 PM
I game a lot but I also want other things available while I game.
Running the games in window mode is just not gonna happen so thats off the table.

I am thinking a good setup would be a KVM for the keyboard mouse and monitors and there comes the first problem.
I don't want to set up a whole new desktop for this process but I also do not know if a laptop will fill the bill.
The questions I have are


Do KVM switches support dual monitors?
Can you switch between the systems with a hotkey?
Could I use a laptop as the system?
Is it possible to keep a laptop running with the screen closed?
Can a laptop connect to dual DVI monitors?
Are there any issues with leaving a laptop mains powered and powered on for long periods?


What I would prefer is a lappy hooked into the KVM running as the 2nd system with the screen closed so I can hide it away easier.

I would like to hit the switch (or preferably a hotkey) and it flicks my keyboard, mouse and both monitors to the laptop.

How about a VM for the 2nd system running on the 2nd monitor?

DeSade
13-01-2011, 01:53 PM
The second monitor would still be running from the main system and then I will still have the issue of getting from one screen to another within (most) full screen games.

Unless I am mis-reading what you are saying.