Fetch Ye Monitor, or One Display To Rule Them All

zucchinizucchini robotheropretty much amazingRegistered User regular
Hey fellas I need some help. I've decided the number of wires and things on my desk is too damn high!

My current setup includes a late 2012 cMBP 15 and two Asus MS246H 24 inch monitors which are connected to my desktop PC.

I would like to consolidate to a single monitor (I'm thinking like 27 inch?) which would be connected to both the MBP and PC and I can just switch inputs as needed. It would also be nice if I could have a single mouse and keyboard to control both.

At first I was looking at Apple Thunderbolt Displays, and then I got sidetracked to thunderbolt hubs (I like the idea of only having to reconnect a single cable when I bring the MBP back to my office), and then KVM switches, and then I found a NEC display with a built in USB KVM switch, but it was pretty dang expensive.

Anyway, what the heck should I do here? Normally I'm pretty good with this stuff, but computer peripherals has never been my strong point.


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    hsuhsu Registered User regular
    What you want is synergy: http://synergy-foss.org/
    It's software that lets you use one keyboard/mouse to control multiple computers as if it were a single computer.

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    zucchinizucchini robothero pretty much amazingRegistered User regular
    edited February 2014
    I was actually looking at that too! But I didn't dig deep enough to see any good reviews.

    Is there noticeable input lag with synergy? I'm not a huge twitch gamer or anything, but I do play some stuff here and there (usually on the PC) so I'd like to avoid that if possible.

    Aside from $, what's the major benefit of Synergy over a KVM?

    And what should I do about my aversion to cables? Really not looking forward to plugging like 10 things into the mbp every time I move it.

    zucchini on
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    hsuhsu Registered User regular
    At work, I have 3 monitors, 2 desktops, and a laptop. I use both Synergy and a KVM. Synergy is my primary method, and the KVM is my backup. In fact, if I'm touching the KVM, it's only to restart Synergy.

    For all practical purposes, when Synergy is working (about 99% of the time), it feels like you have a single computer, no noticeable input lag. I don't play games at work, but if your keyboard/mouse is attached to your desktop, and you play games on your desktop, I doubt there would be any extra lag.

    For my laptop, I solved the cabling problem by using a USB 3 dock, which has 2 video connectors, some USB 2 ports, and wired ethernet. This is pretty much how everyone with a work laptop solves their cabling problem.

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    DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    You might be the only person I've ever met who was even considering abandoning a dual monitor setup to go back to a single.

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    Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    The only time I used dualscreen is when I'm working on spreadsheets, or when I'm doing something braindead and I have netflix going on on the other screen. Honestly, 98% of the time I'm just using one screen.

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    zucchinizucchini robothero pretty much amazingRegistered User regular
    I honestly just don't need it at home anymore, especially with the resolutions available now.

    When I'm at my desk, I'm either playing games (in which the second monitor is just web browsing or looking things up) or doing photo work (in which the second monitor is just for toolbars).

    The rest of the time I'm on my laptop or iPad or whatever, and being able to have basically endless spaces on OSX now has really reduced the need for extension

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    tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    I have a friend who uses synergy. No lag issues to speak of. I would suggest using your desktop as the server and the laptop as the client. This will allow you to take the laptop away and use its keyboard/mouse elsewhere, and will reduce any lag that may exist if you are gaming on the desktop.

    The benefit of synergy is that you don't have to plug anything in. Also another benefit is that if you take the laptop to go do work in the house, your friends can fuck with you by going onto your desktop and messing around with the mouse ;)

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