KVM, ethernet and games?

I have several questions about KVM units:

  1. Any out there that are also ethernet splitters?

  2. What about lag in games? Someone told me that KVM devices can introduce slight lag in games.


I have seen ultra fancy KVMs that have ethernet built in. It’s not a splitter per-se, they just build in an ethernet switch which is a much better solution all around.

I run all my gaming through a KVM switch without any lag issues that I’ve ever been able to perceive.

I had slight mouse lag with my KVM (a Cybex SwitchView) when I first got it, and it would drop mouse clicks if I clicked it while it was moving or too soon after stopping it.

One of the mice was using the serial port though, and after replacing it with a native PS/2 one, the lag and click problems went away and it’s been fine for gaming since.

There’s no need to use a KVM for ethernet. With a cheap old Linksys switch or HUB, you can have all of your computers connected to the 'net/LAN at the same time.

Actually, for what I do, the KVM+E solution would work better. I have a setup in my basement lab that needs to switch between testbed PCs (which are not always attached or even physically present) and gaming systems, which are always there. I’m going to do some kind of pigtail setup, and a KVM would make it easier.

I’m something of a KVM fan. I’ve purchased 4-5 units the last few years. KVM shopping is a bit of a pain as there are many compromises.

Finding a satisfying KVM is hard enough that you may look to see if you can get a decent KVM and a separate ethernet switch.

I wanted:

Separate USB cables (not bonded with the video cable as those tend to be problematic.)

Image quality will never be the same. Best workaround I’ve found is using the monitor’s dual input mode. One goes for the KVM, and the other goes directly to my main machine. that way, when I don’t need to switch around I can leave it to a direct connection which is superior.

Digital-input KVMs are more expensive. Instead of $100 they are closer to $250.

Keyboard control to switch displays should be configurable. Anything that’s a double-tap control is a no-no (bad for FPS gaming)

Most of the feature rich KVMs i’ve seen are PS2 only - unfortunately this means that mice with 5 buttons may not quite work correctly (the USB to PS2 converters are flaky)

As to lag in FPS’s - i’m actually using a wireless (MX700) through the KVM. If I get to blame this for lowered reaction times this would mean i’m actually really really good in battlefield 2. It may make a differnece, but very hard to measure :) i find it easier to gauge the amount of caffeine in my bloodstream.

After having many problems with a Belkin KVM, I bought an Aten KVM, using USB and DVI - it’s great.

I need to get one soon… So let’s hear more stories of brands/models that are good for gaming.

Aten/IOGear (same company) make some of the best KVM’s, imo.

I’m currently using a KVM switch from IoGear. I really like it. I haven’t noticed any keyboard or mouse lag and the image quality on my monitor is still very good. I still get 80+ fps while playing Doom 3 through the kvm switch. The only way you are going to see if there is a difference is to run all your benchmarks without the kvm switch and then run the exact same tests with the computer hooked up to the kvm switch. In fact I would be interested in seeing a comparison of kvm switches and find out if the switches do have an effect on gaming benchmarks.