First post, by dumpsterac1d
God I feel like I've been all over this site, all over the internet, have asked FB groups, reddit, necro'd posts here, and have researched so many devices that I'm starting to re-research stuff I've already counted out. I need some fresh, firsthand accounts from people who game through their KVMs.
Bought an Aten KVM (CS84U) to connect a modern PC and a vintage PC to the same KB/Mouse/VGA monitor. This switch is so bonkers-level awful when dealing with any PS/2 outputs, I'm surprised they're even on there. USB KB-to PS/2 results in stuck keys after about 15 seconds of gaming. PS/2 to PS/2 results in canceled keys, aka 0-key rollover. I ended up leaving the USB mouse connected to the switch, but for some reason, the mouse PS/2 output scatters the system, and I was getting massive slowdown, stuck keys, etc in Doom and Marathon 2. All resolved when switching to native PS/2 devices connected without the KVM at all. Comically bad.
Pretty much every alternative I've been recommended or come across besides a dummy data transfer switch (which has its own set of issues) has a hotkey-to-switch-inputs combination that is mind-bogglingly daft. Some are Ctrl, Ctrl. Some are Ctrl+Alt+Shift. I can think of at least 10 games off the top of my head that will trigger these accidentally. The data transfer switches seem like the best option, however if the mouse loses its 5v connection, it will fail to work. More importantly, if I boot a machine I'm not focusing on, I'll likely get a keyboard error.
Other devices have had reviews from gamers that specifically reiterate the issues I've experienced already with stuck keys, canceled inputs, and weird mouse behavior. The closest I've gotten to a possible solution is the
Startech SV411K, who's hotkey is specifically Left Ctrl, Left Ctrl, but there's still unresolved questions surrounding if I can actually game using it.
Hoping to get some firsthand endorsements from folks who play Doom, Keen, Jill, Unreal, etc through a KVM in DOS, win3, 98, etc and don't experience keyboard and mouse weirdness. I wanted to have Audio and/or possibly Serial mouse conversions but I've given all that up and would just rather get something barebones that simply works for 4 computers. If it doesn't have a hotkey combination at all, I'll love you forever. I've also given up on trying to use any USB peripherals and will just adapt to USB on the other end of the KVM.
So thank you in your ultimate wisdom Vogons and save what little hair i have yet to pull straight from my skull (and my dwindling bank acct)
EDIT: Posted below, but added here for anyone who's looking:
Got the DKVM4. It's completely transparent and works perfectly. It even resolved some other issues I had that might or might not […]
Got the DKVM4. It's completely transparent and works perfectly. It even resolved some other issues I had that might or might not have been related to the other KVM I had, which was some noise coming through the VGA sync pin (shimmery edges).
If you're picking one up, be sure it has the power supply, or at least you know how to pick power supplies from specs.
This works on devices like the Microsoft Intellimouse Optical, which have a USB cable but *explicitly* state they just need a passive adapter to get PS/2
This works adapting at the other end to USB. I can't confirm it works with all PS/2 to USB devices, but a pretty generic Y-cable I had lying around works perfectly
The device is great because you can use generic dual PS/2 + VGA KVM cables from any manufacturer (just be sure you're getting M to M cables)
No issues whatsoever with canceled input on the keyboard, straight up does what it says it does. Played an hour of Unreal Tournament and 20 minutes of Keen 3 with no issues at all
Sucks that you have to cycle through all sources, but a very small price to pay for a device that works.
So it looks like the older D-Links are the ones to get, for anyone who's looking up this topic in the future. There may be others, but until another one emerges that "just works", allow me to save anyone the cash hit of buying devices that don't work, or the energy involved in looking this topic up.