If youve looked at DVI KVM switches, you know that you can spend quite a bit more to get the equivalent functionality as you would get in an analog video KVM switch. Based on previous purchases from Monoprice, I decided to try the Monoprice IC-1714-ID and see how it compared to my 2-output Gef DVI KVM I was using before.
Monoprice shipped the unit double-boxed, so the units box was in great condition. It comes with the unit, an AC power adapter and a pair of rack brackets and bracket screws.
The included rack-mount brackets are for installing the unit in a 19 wide rack, which was too wide for my computer hutch. I bought two small right-angle metal brackets at hardware store, painted them black and mounted them to the unit with the supplied screws. I then attached the unit, now with the right-angle bracket wings, to the underside of the computer hutch shelf with wood screws.
This does use PS/2 ports for console connection, so dont forget (like me!) to buy a pair of USB to PS/2 adapters if your keyboard and mouse are USB.
On computer end, I also need to buy 10 and 15 PS/2 male-male cables to connect KVM to computers, as the unit comes with no cables for the computer. I had spare DVI cables I could use.
Video works better than specd. Im using this on 3 computers, video cards set at 1680x1050 resolution, with no problems.
Instructions a bit convoluted on using hot-keys and mouse for switching,, so I didnt bother trying to wade through the instructions as the unit is within arms reach. I also dont need port scanning, so I cannot comment on that aspect of this unit.
Unlike the 2-output KVM from Gef I had before, there is no problem in starting up my IBM Netvista. With the Famous Maker KVM, the Netvista wanted to boot 3 times, EVERY time, on startup as Netvista had problems seeing the USB keyboard/mouse through the Gef KVM switch. I also had to buy an the expensive DVI repeater from Gef for the Netvista to display video.
Note that the Gef unit does have HDCP pass-through for protected digital content, and this unit doesnt. Therefore I cannot say if this this unit is suitable for a home theater setup.
Overall, 8/10 and I wouldnt hesitate in buying this unit again for computer KVM switching! Way to go , Monoprice!
This works up to 1280x1024 but above that is chancy. It will work sometimes, other times you will get occasional screen flashes to black then back to normal. Also on monitors with higher resolution you will get some "sparkles" on the screen. I have 4 computers running on this, with 4 different video cards. The monitor is 1680X1050. With one computer, Geforce 7300 it works almost correctly, just not quite right on high res graphics and occasional blinks to black screen. On the other 3 I get sparkles, apparently not driving correctly. Not a good choice for high res monitors and cards. Works fine is lower res. (I guess) Seems well built.
The first one didn't work at all. Returned it for a replacement. Second one worked "intermittently", but only after I spent a lot of money trying different cables before I found some that actually worked. And that was with only two computers hooked up to it. The paper instruction booklet lists two part numbers for cables that are recommended for this device. Monoprice doesn't carry them, but I found a vendor that did. Those didn't work at all because they were designed for DVI-I Dual Link interfaces and not the DVI-D Single Link interfaces that most of today's computer monitors have. I had to pay for shipping both ways to order and subsequently return them to that vendor.
I then discovered that the device wouldn't work at all unless you used matched pairs of DVI-D cables and not all of those worked either. The small power supply seems irrelevant to the devices operation by the way. The device's blinking light indicating the selected computer will blink eternally whether or not the computer is on or not. Annoying, but tolerable for me. But the biggest problem is that despite the limited resolutions allowed with the device the display will suddenly blank out for no reason or you will shut down one computer and get no display at all when you switch to the other one. Then you have to keep shutting it down and restarting the computer with absolutely no display to look at until you get a display. If you choose a resolution that the device can't handle you have to hook it up to VGA in order to correct it.
Monoprice handled the second return with their usual customer dedication.
PROS: Has the "potential" to be very useful, a bargain, and convenient if it worked reliably. Monoprice is great when you have a problem in terms of tech help and returns.
CONS: 1. Doesn't work with very many cables even the ones designed for it. 2. Unreliable operation. Intermittent screen blanking. No display on boot, etc. 3. Eternal blinking light.
Once I got the right ps/2 extension cables and ps/2 to USB this kvm switch works like a charm with 4 computers. My control mouse is a wireless USB converted to ps/2 and I had an old ps/2 keyboard. No complaints, monoprice keeps surprising me with quality and low prices!!!
I bought the switch because it is difficult to find a 4 port kvm like this one at this price. I had to furnish the cables because Monoprice didn't sell them which is not the best idea. If the resolution would be higher 1900x1200 then I wouldn't have any problems with this device. It would be a super switch if it had sound for each computer but I can live without that.
PROS: Easy to set up.
CONS: Instructions not the best. You don't need the transformer at all for it to wok. It gets the power from the computers that are plugged in and the connections are good.