ATEN CS1782 2PT Dual-Link DVI KVMPJul 14th, 2008 | By Jared
ATEN CS1782 2PT Dual-Link DVI KVMP
: 07/14/08 – 02:29:33 AM
: Input Devices
Page 1 : Index
ATEN is a new comer here at Overclockers Online, but they are far from a new company. Established in 1979, they have been producing top quality KVM switches and other remote connectivity devices. Today they are the largest manufacturer of KVM switches in the world.
Today I have ATEN's newest KVM, the CS1782 with dual DVI support. KVMs don't generally get a whole lot of glory, but when you find the right one it can make a world of difference in terms of space saving and ease of use. Read on to find out if the CS1782 is the right KVM for you.
Page 2 : Package
We will begin our journey by looking at the packaging that contains the CS1782.
The one thing that strikes me about the packaging is its rather low-key approach: no flashy graphics here. The front of the package has two units stacked on top of each other giving you a view of the front and back panels at the same time. Below that is listed the name along with some key features lined along the bottom edge.
The back of the package lists out diagrams showing the use of the different connections on the unit along with a definition of what dual link DVI is. Along the bottom are translations in eight different languages.
On the left and right sides are a list of features, requirements and contents of the package.
When you open up the box you get your first glimpse of the cables. Hidden under all of the cables at the bottom is the KVM itself.
Page 3 : Specifications
I ran on over to ATEN's website to grab the specifications and features from the CS1782 product site here.
* Superior video quality:
* Built-in High-Speed 2-port USB 2.0 Hub
* Independent (Asynchronous) switching of KVM and peripheral USB/Audio ports
* Surround Audio enabled
* Support widescreen resolutions
* Sources selection via front panel pushbuttons or hotkeys
* Multiplatform support: Windows 2000/XP/Vista, Linux, MAc, and Sun
* Display Emulation Technology – the KVM switch reads and remembers the monitor's information for error-free booting
* Sun/Mac keyboard support and emulation
* Auto Scan Mode for monitoring all computers
* Firmware upgradeable
*Dual link DVI monitor
*Dual link video card
*USB or PS/2 keyboard and mouse
*A free USB port on each computer
*2.0, 2.1,5.1, or 7.1 computer speakers
*Appropriate sound source
A quick note on the requirements: while requirements say that a dual link DVI monitor is required, a single link DVI monitor can be used; however, resolution output is limited to 1920×1200. Also note that while analog monitor support is included, you will need to purchase DVI-I or DVI-A cables as the included DVI-D cables do not contain the four pins required for an analog monitor.
Page 4 : KVM and Accessories
We will start with the included accessories.
Included are two custom DVI-D KVM cables that also include mic and speaker jacks and a USB connection. There are also two sets of audio cables for support of 7.1 surround speakers.
The remainder of the accessories include the power adapter, USB to PS/2 adapter, firmware upgrade cable, quick start guide and user manual. The first thing that strikes me as odd is the upgrade cable, while the CS1782 supports all of the latest features, in order to upgrade the firmware it requires a serial port. Serial ports are becoming quite rare on modern motherboards so this could be a potential issue with upgrading the firmware.
The CS1782's housing is silver with plastic inserts on the edges. With electronics, more weight generally means better quality and the CS1782 definitely carries some weight. On the front of the unit is a USB port, headphone and microphone jacks and manual switches.
Switching to the back of the CS1782, this is where all the good stuff is at. The dark gray area is the console hookup for your monitor, soundcard, keyboard and mouse. The two silver sections to the right are the connections for two PCs. On the far left is the power connection, upgrade port and another USB connection.
As mentioned earlier the only plastic on the unit is on the ends. While the unit has a small footprint, the plastic bumpers are easily stackable should you need more than one unit.
Page 5 : Installation and Testing
Connecting the CS1782 is extremely simple.
Anyone familiar with connecting PCs should be instantly familiar with the color coded audio connections. Even if you are not familiar, ATEN has each input labeled making it a no nonsense affair.
Once everything is plugged in the LED lights on the front of the unit indicate active connections and which computer has the focus of the KVM switch.
Now that we have the unit installed and connected to two computers, it's time for some testing. The following systems were used for testing:
CPU: AMD Athlon 5000+ Black Edition
MB: Biostar TPower N750
RAM: G.Skill 2x2GB PC6400
Video: Biostar Geforce 9600GT
PSU: Ultra X3 1000W
HD: Seagate 1 TB SATA
DVD-ROM: LG 18x DVD Burner – SATA
Cases: CoolerMaster Cosmos 1000
OS: Microsoft Windows XP w/ SP2
CPU: Intel E4300 @ 2.9 GHz
MB: Gigabyte P35-DS3R
RAM: Mushkin EP 2x1GB PC8500
Video: XFX GeForce 8800GT XXX
PSU: Ultra X3 600W
HD: WD 250GB SATA
DVD-ROM: Lite-On 18x DVD Burner – SATA
Cases: Tagan Black Pearl WCR
OS: Microsoft Windows XP w/ SP2
Acer AL2216WBD 22′
Keyboard and Mouse:
Logitech MX5500 Revolution
LTB MG-AC97 5.1 Headset and Logitech Z4 2.1 speakers
There aren't any benchmarks to run or specific data to collect, the testing is all about the ease of use and execution of features. I'm going to break this down into three main points; audio, video and switching.
First I'm going to start with the audio portion. While I don't have a full 7.1 speaker set to test on, I am using a 5.1 headset. One thing I always worry about with putting a piece of hardware in between the sound card and output device (along with increasing the length the signal is traveling) is noise. With the CS1782 I am happy to say that I noticed no noise whatsoever in either the speakers or the headphones. Sound remained crisp and smooth in both PCs, a must if you're trying to listen for that enemy trying to sneak up on you in your favorite FPS.
Next up is video, where the main worry would be with any degradation in picture quality. I really had no worries due to the thickness of the included DVI-D KVM cables. With DVI cables it usually seems that the thicker they are the better quality and the cables ATEN includes are plenty thick and give no noticeable flaws in the picture.
And the final point is switching, because what would a KVM switch be without its switching ability and the CS1782 has almost everyone covered here. Whether switching manually or through the use of hotkeys, the CS1782 performed flawlessly with little to no lag in switching. Perhaps my favorite part is the ability to only switch the video focus to one machine while the keyboard, mouse and audio is still attached to the other PC. This is an absolute godsend for me as a reviewer since I can run benchmarks on one machine and be able to quickly check in while working on the other.
However, there is one issue with switching that will affect some users, as it did affect me. The default hotkey for port switching is the Scroll Lock key, which the Logitech MX5500 Revolution keyboard does not have – this created my first problem. However the hotkey can easily be changed by invoking the HSM (Hotkey Setting Mode) by pressing the Num Lock key, which brought me to my second problem – my keyboard doesn't have a Num Lock key either. I tried using the On-Screen Keyboard built into Windows XP, but had no luck and had to resort to another keyboard to change this function. However this wasn't such a big deal to me as I actually prefer to use the manual switch.
Page 6 : Conclusion
KVMs don't usually get all the glamorous attention. However, the CS1782 deserves some of its own. With support for all of the latest technologies from dual-link DVI, 7.1 surround sound and USB 2.0, the CS1782 has you covered. Port switching is quick and easy with no lag and clean signals.
I really had only one minor complaint though it isn't the CS1782's fault, and that is the use of the Scroll Lock and Num Lock keys. While this isn't a common problem, there are several keyboards out there that eliminate one or both of these keys so it's something to keep in mind.
With only a minor complaint and no faults, the CS1782 is a winner here at Overclockers Online. Ultimately, the CS1782 does exactly what a KVM should do and does it well with support for most any PC out there.
- Dual-link DVI
- 7.1 surround
- Manual or hotkey switching
- Works perfectly
Overclockers Online would like to thank ATEN for supplying the CS1782 DVI KVMP Switch for review.