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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

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I would guess that any intensive use is best done in a remote access fashion: ssh or remote desktop. That way, the remote computer doesn't even have to be physically close to your keyboard and monitor and you can have a giant two-link DVI monitor without putting an expensive graphics adapter in every computer, some of which may not even be upgradable. And no need to harmonize HDMI, DVI, two-link DVI, and displayport.

A KVM would then be relegated to monitoring bootup and resolving any associated issues. You'd want to minimize cost and VGA should be fine. IPMI will eat away at the high-end of KVM markets too.

I don't actually do all that much switching; mainly, the monitor is connected to the workstation and I have, variously, VNC, RDP, or NX connections to the various other machines (server, lab Linux, lab Windows). Also, these days, the second workstation running Windows is actually a virtual machine running on the primary workstation, so the console is all taken care of.
However... every so often, things do need rebooting, and when the server needs rebooting I may need to bounce back and forth between it and the workstation a few times before everything's back to normal and I can use the NX connection to manage the server.
Given the probably-permanent lack of need for a second workstation, I might just get a VGA+USB switch to replace the old one, and leave the main workstation as the only thing connected to the monitor via DVI.
I'm not convinced that a networked display connection would be appropriate when running display-intensive applications. Seems like 3D CAD (never mind a flight simulator) would get seriously bogged down; I've even noticed significant lagginess in running GUI debuggers via VNC. (Also, some CAD software refuses to run if it detects a remote desktop.)

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