Share one secondary monitor between two computers?
August 25, 2021 5:05 PM   Subscribe

I have a Win10 PC and a MacBook Pro. My PC already has a monitor attached, and I also have a second Dell monitor on the desk that I use as a secondary display for the MacBook (it is not always plugged in). I would like to be able to use it as a secondary for the PC as well, and switch between the controlling machine as necessary. I don't (necessarily) need to be able to share peripherals. What would be the simplest/cheapest reliable way to do this?
posted by softlord to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
That monitor appears to have three inputs (Displayport, HDMI, and USB-C/Displayport). Connect the PC to the input you're not using for the Mac, and you should be good to go.
posted by primethyme at 5:08 PM on August 25, 2021 [8 favorites]

What primethyme said, use the select input button/menu on the monitor to switch when both are on.
posted by TheAdamist at 5:23 PM on August 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

+1 to the prior suggestions, and if you don't naturally have the cables you need, it's time to go Dongle Shopping.

Beware that not all inputs are equal - some 4K inputs only do 30Hz, whereas some do 60Hz.
posted by soylent00FF00 at 5:23 PM on August 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

If the PC is a desktop machine and you're not using the USB-C hub in the monitor, and the mac has USB-C ports, the ideal configuration is probably to cable the PC up with the DisplayPort, and the mac with USB-C, which should also charge it.

If the PC is using the USB-C already, or if the Mac doesn't have USB-C, then you want a DisplayPort to either USB-C or DisplayPort to MiniDisplayPort depending on what the Mac has.

The HDMI will probably work fine for whatever, but that's the most likely interface to run into problems noted by @soylent00FF00.
posted by wotsac at 5:32 PM on August 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I should note that the the PC's monitor is connected to the PC via HDMI, to the GeForce GTX1060 which apparently has DP and Dual-Link DVI.

Yes MacBook has USB-C.

So the suggestion is to connect the Mac to the secondary monitor via USB-C and the PC to the monitor via DP?
posted by softlord at 10:27 PM on August 25, 2021

Response by poster: PC -> Monitor 1 (unshared) - Whichever connection (probably DVI)
PC -> Monitor 2 (Shared) - DP
Mac -> Monitor 2 (Shared) - USB-C
posted by softlord at 10:36 PM on August 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

Just a note to point out that it is possible to share both monitors - and their peripherals - between both computers - elegantly - using a KVM. For example I use this one from TESmart. It allows me to have both monitors showing computer A, both showing computer B or a split between both - all with the same wireless keyboard, mouse, network connection, speakers etc. It is, to be sure, a more expensive solution - and you need to take care in getting the right KVM for your particular requirements.
posted by rongorongo at 1:27 AM on August 26, 2021

If you want to be able to use both computers at the same time with one keyboard and mouse, see
posted by krisjohn at 4:13 AM on August 26, 2021

Best answer: Yup, you should be good with using USB-C on the Mac and Displayport on the PC. Many other configs will work, but this is fine.
posted by advicepig at 6:49 AM on August 26, 2021

I use a $13 switch from Amazon and works perfectly with one monitor attached to my dell laptop and apple macbook. You just press the button and it switches. So easy!

The switch has HDMI plugs, so I use 3 cables:
HDMI (monitor) - HDMI (switch) cable
HDMI (switch) - HDMI (dell laptop) cable
HDMI (switch) - USB-C (macbook) cable

Here's a link to the item (but you could also search DotStone HDMI Switch Bi-Direction splitter)
posted by jraz at 9:27 AM on August 26, 2021

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