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  1. #1
    tomtheheretic
    Guest
    Mac mini and KVM Switch
    Greetings all,

    I currently have a PC (unfortunately) and am looking to buy a Mac mini for the eventual day when this thing will decide to crash for good on me. But in the meantime I was hoping to be able to use both at once without getting a new monitor/keyboard etc. A friend of mine has used something he called a KVM switch to hook up a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to two different computers and, with the flick of a switch, go from one to the other. Is this feasible with a Mac mini and a PC? My understanding was that the Mac mini had been set up to take the non-USB PC monitors through their special ports with an adaptor (forgive me, I don't know any of the names) but, upon looking at the pictures, it doesn't seem like it'd be able to take a standard PC keyboard with the little weird purple plug in thing? I know there is both a KVM switch which can share a monitor and PC style mouse/keyboard, but I've also heard there are USB switches that do the same thing. Has anyone tried this, or knows enough to tell me if it's feasible or not? And forgive me if this has been posted here before, I wasn't really sure what to search for.

    Cheers,

    Tom.

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2004
    Posts
    3,378
    You will have to have a USB keyboard and a USB mouse. Your PC monitor will work fine with the mac mini, do you know if it uses a DVI connector or VGA? If it is DVI then a KVM will be kind of pricey, but if it is VGA then it will be pretty cheap and easy to find.

  3. #3
    tomtheheretic
    Guest
    Umm...I don't suppose you'd be able to tell me how to tell the difference?

  4. #4
    Tuned MP5T
    Guest
    I tried the KVM switch and it was a headache for me.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2004
    Posts
    3,378
    Quote Originally Posted by tomtheheretic
    Umm...I don't suppose you'd be able to tell me how to tell the difference?

    Go to apple's site, look at the pictures of the mini, thats a DVI port, if yours looks different, it is a VGA port.

  6. #6
    tomtheheretic
    Guest
    Excellent, that's what I thought. Thanks so much!

    Though why was it a headache, if I may ask, Tuned?

    Cheers,

    Tom.

  7. #7
    Tuned MP5T
    Guest
    Switching back and fourth. Plus I paid for BT, so I wanted to use it.

    I thought I could only use the monitor but then found out I had to share the keyboard and mouse also.

  8. #8

    IanCT's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 25, 2004
    Location
    California
    Posts
    497
    Specs:
    iMac 24" 2.66 C2D, 13" MacBook i7 2.9GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 4
    Quote Originally Posted by mynameis
    You will have to have a USB keyboard and a USB mouse. Your PC monitor will work fine with the mac mini, do you know if it uses a DVI connector or VGA? If it is DVI then a KVM will be kind of pricey, but if it is VGA then it will be pretty cheap and easy to find.
    Having successfully already done this, I can tell you you do not need a USB keyboard or USB mouse. If you have an existing PS/2 connection equipment, it will work thru a KVM.

    AND the MacMini has the DVI port, BUT it comes with a DVI to VGA adapter.

    So, that said.

    My father-in-law bought a MacMini on my advice, and a Belkin 4-Port KVM switch at Frys Electronics. The KVM has audio AND USB ports on it. On the input side, you plug in your PS/2 keyboard and mouse, monitor, and speakers. On port 1 thru 4 you plug in your computers, in the case of the MacMini you just run a single USB cable from the KVM to one of the USB ports on the MacMini. USB carries the data of both keyboard and mouse from the KVM to the computer.

    Hope this helps.

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2004
    Posts
    3,378
    Quote Originally Posted by IanCT
    it will work thru a KVM.
    It will work with some, like the the specific belkin one you mentioned, but most don't work like that.

    Your mini outputs DVI, but can output VGA with the included adapter, the same way PCs do, but if you monitor can accept both DVI and VGA input, you want to use DVI, the picture will be much better.

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