Would the l1kvm fit my needs? 2 3440x1440 screens + lots of peripherals

Sorry for the generic title but couldn’t think of a better one >.>.

About a month ago I posted a question asking of the L1 KVM could handle an Alienware QDOLED 3440x1440 at the full 175hz. Wendel replied that he had some success reports so that’s great. At that time I hadn’t received the monitor but now I did and trying it out with my existing KVM I’m running into a couple issues and wanted to get some opinions on whether upgrading to the L1KVM would fix them or if there’s something else.

Mainly because I’m in Germany and shipping overseas is expensive so would rather be sure it has a decent chance of working before going through the hassle.

My original setup was:

Worked great. I could switch between both computers and all good.

I bought the Alienware AW3423DW QD-OLED monitor. My ultimate goal is to have both screens stacked and working on both computers.

Once I got it home I connected it to the KVM and connected the Acer monitor straight to my desktop computers. Immediately I ran into this issues:

  1. I was not able to extend the displays, only mirror them. Extending them would drop the signal on the Alienware.
  2. I could not set the Alienware to anything over 120hz. 144 or 175 would drop the signal and revert to the previous config after the timeout.

Connecting the screen directly to the desktop computer would make everything work perfectly.

I thought that maybe the DP cables weren’t good enough so I bought 2 of these 2M Club3D cables. And I connected Alienware → KVM → Desktop using these cables.
This time 144hz would actually display though with some random flickering. 175hz is still a nogo.

So, at this point I’m guessing the KVM isn’t up to the task of handling that much bandwidth/signal strength. Does that make sense? Would assuming that the DP1.4 2 PCs 2 Monitors KVM from Level1Techs fare better in this same setup?.

Thanks!.

If you can manage a 1m cable, I would try that instead of the 2m cable. The goal here is to reduce the total run from 4m to 3m. It sounds like you’re running into signal quality limitations.

Personally, I run the L1kvm DP 1.4 at 3840x1600 @100hz. It works great and the old L1kvm for DP 1.2 did not provide the bandwidth needed.

I would say that the L1kvm has a good chance to work, but I can’t make any guarantees.

I can easily shorten the run from my desktop computer to the KVM to 1M (Would this cable be suitable?). Can likely shorten the run from the Macbook Pro to the KVM as well though on that one I can totally make due with 100/120hz.

Trying to shorten the run from the KVM to the monitor would require some replanning on my desk space and not sure I can pull it off. I’ll try to give it a shot though.

That cable will do fine.

My recommendation: buy one cable for now and see if it helps. If not, it’s time to look at the L1kvm.

There may also be some helpful info here: Level1Techs KVM FAQ -- Ultimate Guide & Help!

1 Like

Got it, thanks!. Will give it a shot with a shorter cable and see how it goes.

1 Like

OK, tried with a 1m cable and still same result. Can’t get it pass 120hz. I’m guessing I’m running into some limitation on the KVM itself?. Next option is to give the L1 KVM a shot.

On a related note. I was looking into the bandwidth requirements for [email protected] and it should still be slightly less than 4k (3840x2160) at 120, right?. So both the KVM and the Club3D cables that advertise up to 32.4Gbps should be enough to handle everything. Unless I’m screwing up the math somewhere.

Yep. Though wrve had two customers get dud club3d cables lately.

Fibbr brand fiber optic is also a good choice

@SgtAwesomesauce and @wendell. Just a quick update/maybe success story?.

I just got the 2-PC/2-Screens DP1.4 KVM an hour ago. Did a quick sanity check and using 2 Club3D DP->DP for my desktop computer and 2 “Uni” branded USB-C->DP cables for my M1 Macbook Pro I was immediately able to get both screens at the target resolution and refresh rates 3440x1440 120hz and 175hz working.

Only issue I faced was sitting there for like 5 minutes trying to figure out why it wasn’t working before realizing I had plugged the monitors to the input and the computer to the output XD.

Haven’t tried HDR yet and will do proper setup and testing over the weekend but all good so far! Thanks!.

1 Like

Glad to hear it’s worked out for you!

KVMs are a mess, but the Level1 kvm does its best to address most of the issues at what I consider to be a reasonable price to performance ratio.

So, proper setup and further testing and everything seems to work as expected!. Desktop and macbook, 2 monitors, a USB hub with 7 or 8 devices and switching works flawlessly. Even HDR on both systems.