Saving Space: 4 Port KVM Switches

Features Table

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ModelCAS-431IC-714-IKCPU Switch Lite 4 Port
Dimensions182 x 102 x 57 mm200 x 90 x 45 mm190 x 90 x 35 mm
Weight890 g610 g265 g
Case materialMetalAluminiumPlastic
Console Connections
Mouse1x PS/2 socket1x PS/2 socket1x PS/2 socket
Keyboard1x PS/2 socket1x PS/2 socket1x PS/2 socket
Soundnono2x 3.5 mm socket
USB Ports Mouse / Keyboardnonono
USB Peripheralsnonono
VGA1x 15-pin socket1x 15-pin socket1x 15-pin socket
Maximum VGA resolution1600 x 12001920 x 14402048 x 1536
Video Range200 MHz400 MHz400 MHz
DVI Connectionsnonono
RESET buttonyesnono
Client Connections
Mouse4x PS/24x PS/24x PS/2
Keyboard4x PS/24x PS/24x PS/2
USB Portsnonono
Soundnono4x 2-3.5 mm socket
VGA4x 15-pin socket4x 15-pin plug4x 15-pin socket
Power inputno9Vno
Accessories / Supplies
VGA Cablenonono
Mouse / Keyboard Cablenonono
Combination Cable VGA / Mouse / Keyboardyes, 4x 1.8 myes, 4x 1.8 mno
Combination Cable KVM+Soundnonoyes, 4x 2 Meter
Combination Cable KVM+Sound+USBnonono
Combination Cable KVM+USBnonono
Sound Cablenonono
LAN Cablenonono
Power packyesoptionalno
ManualYes, EnglishPamphlet, multiple languagesPamphlet, multiple languages
Client Switch
Scan Interval5 seconds5 to 30 seconds8 seconds
Acoustic signalyesyesyes
Security Functionnonono
Display on KVM Switch
Enterprise LEDnoyesno
Client LEDyesyesyes
On-Screen Displaynonono
Warning Signalnonono

Test Procedure

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Setup of the platforms testedSystem 1Barebone Shuttle Zen Xpc
CPUPentium 4 3.2 GHz
System Memory512 MByte DDR
Graphics CardOnboard Graphics ATI 9500
OS3Ware NAS Soho, Linux-based
Resolution800x600, 60Hz, DOS mode
System 2Barebone Jetway MiniQ
CPUPentium 4C 2.6 GHz
System Memory512 MByte DDR
Graphics CardNvidia Geforce FX 5700
OSWindows XP, SP1
Resolution1280x 1024, 70 Hz, 32 bit
System 3Notebook
CPUPentium M 1.7 GHz
System Memory480 MByte RAM
Graphics CardOnboard Intel Graphics 82852/82855
OSWindows XP, SP1
Resolution1024 x 786, 60 Hz, 32 bit
KeyboardKeysonic ACK-720WK USB*
KeyboardLogitech Internet Navigator USB*
KeyboardRevoltec Lightboard USB*
MouseKensington Optical Elite USB
MouseMicrosoft 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.
Siggy Moersch