Saving Space: 4 Port KVM Switches

Features Table

Manufacturer Gembird Keysonic Lindy
Model CAS-431 IC-714-IK CPU Switch Lite 4 Port
Dimensions 182 x 102 x 57 mm 200 x 90 x 45 mm 190 x 90 x 35 mm
Weight 890 g 610 g 265 g
Case material Metal Aluminium Plastic
Console Connections
Mouse 1x PS/2 socket 1x PS/2 socket 1x PS/2 socket
Keyboard 1x PS/2 socket 1x PS/2 socket 1x PS/2 socket
Sound no no 2x 3.5 mm socket
USB Ports Mouse / Keyboard no no no
USB Peripherals no no no
VGA 1x 15-pin socket 1x 15-pin socket 1x 15-pin socket
Maximum VGA resolution 1600 x 1200 1920 x 1440 2048 x 1536
Video Standards SVGA, VGA DDC, DDC2, DDC2B VGA, DDC1, DDC2
Video Range 200 MHz 400 MHz 400 MHz
DVI Connections no no no
LAN no no no
RESET button yes no no
Client Connections
Mouse 4x PS/2 4x PS/2 4x PS/2
Keyboard 4x PS/2 4x PS/2 4x PS/2
USB Ports no no no
Sound no no 4x 2-3.5 mm socket
VGA 4x 15-pin socket 4x 15-pin plug 4x 15-pin socket
DVI no no no
Power input no 9V no
Other no no no
Accessories / Supplies
VGA Cable no no no
Mouse / Keyboard Cable no no no
Combination Cable VGA / Mouse / Keyboard yes, 4x 1.8 m yes, 4x 1.8 m no
Combination Cable KVM+Sound no no yes, 4x 2 Meter
Combination Cable KVM+Sound+USB no no no
Combination Cable KVM+USB no no no
Sound Cable no no no
LAN Cable no no no
Power pack yes optional no
Manual Yes, English Pamphlet, multiple languages Pamphlet, multiple languages
Client Switch
Tracer yes no yes
Autoscan yes yes yes
Scan Interval 5 seconds 5 to 30 seconds 8 seconds
Regulator no yes no
Hotkey yes yes yes
Acoustic signal yes yes yes
Security Function no no no
Display on KVM Switch
Enterprise LED no yes no
Client LED yes yes yes
On-Screen Display no no no
Warning Signal no no no

Test Procedure

Setup of the platforms tested
System 1
Barebone Shuttle Zen Xpc
CPU Pentium 4 3.2 GHz
System Memory 512 MByte DDR
Graphics Card Onboard Graphics ATI 9500
OS 3Ware NAS Soho, Linux-based
Resolution 800x600, 60Hz, DOS mode
System 2
Barebone Jetway MiniQ
CPU Pentium 4C 2.6 GHz
System Memory 512 MByte DDR
Graphics Card Nvidia Geforce FX 5700
OS Windows XP, SP1
Resolution 1280x 1024, 70 Hz, 32 bit
System 3
CPU Pentium M 1.7 GHz
System Memory 480 MByte RAM
Graphics Card Onboard Intel Graphics 82852/82855
OS Windows XP, SP1
Resolution 1024 x 786, 60 Hz, 32 bit
TFT 17"
Keyboard Keysonic ACK-720WK USB*
Keyboard Logitech Internet Navigator USB*
Keyboard Revoltec Lightboard USB*
Mouse Kensington Optical Elite USB
Mouse Microsoft IntelliMouse PS/2
* with PS/2 connection to KVM box with PS/2 adapter

Systems 1 and 2 were connected with the first two connections on the KVM box. The notebook served as the fourth PC on the 4-port KVM switch. The third client connection remained free so that the operation during manual switchover and in autoscan mode could be gauged. Because most KVM switches work without a separate power unit, various keyboards were used, some of which are illuminated and require various amounts of power.

The boxes were rated according to the following criteria:

  1. The functionality of the KVM box serves as the basis for evaluation, as well as the accessories included in the package (cables and user manual). Particular consideration is given to how easy it was to switch between the individual clients.
  2. Concerning the selection of individual test platforms, there should be an appropriate button on the device that can control the individual systems directly. The KVM box should emit an acoustic confirmation signal.
  3. Switchover must also be possible with a key combination on the connected keyboard. Furthermore, autoscan mode should support various time intervals. The more setting options, the better. Extra points are given for other functions, such as on-screen display and the ability to choose between various key combinations to switch over.
  4. If the tested KVM switch supports USB input devices, then no new recognition of the mouse and keyboard should take place in Windows XP when switching over. Strong fluctuations in the CPU load in the Task Manager should not occur, and NASCAR Thunder TM 2004 should run completely smoothly.
  5. When connecting the client computer cable, all cables should lead out from the KVM box in one direction and should not waste unnecessarily large amounts of space. Likewise, the cables should be bundled and not exist as individual video, PS/2, sound and USB cables. They should not be less than 1.8 meters long. It must be possible to screw the video signal connection cable to the KVM switch.
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