Synergy or VNC?

Started 11 months ago | Questions thread
afterburn Senior Member • Posts: 1,044
Re: Synergy or VNC?

Patco wrote:

afterburn wrote:

BearLeeAble wrote:

so you think synergy is the best choice?

For what you want, yes. You have native graphics and performance with Synergy as it is just giving you control with keyboard and mouse to the second PC. It doesn't render an image of the desktop to be send over the network like VNC, which can be slow and/or color inaccurate.

wait, if its not sending the screen then how do I see the other 2 machines? I only have one display

Like I said in my previous message, if your screen has multiple input, you can hook both computers to the same screen and just switch input to one or the other.

You use the terms "second" & "both", but the OP says he has 3, "a mac mini, pc, & nix".
Can the 3 be accommodated on a single screen in any way with Synergy?

That is not a limitation for Synergy as it doesn't care about the screen, but rather one of the screen. My screen has 4 HDMI inputs and 1 DP so in theory I could hook up 5 different computers and use Synergy to take control of the mouse and keyboard for all of those.

Some screens allow Picture-in-Picture when using different inputs. If you wanted, you could then have your main screen and a secondary (small) PiP visible and control both at the same time.

It all depends on what you have, all you need to keep in mind is that Synergy is a virtual/networked keyboard and mouse switch. The display is not handled by Synergy so that is up to the user.

But if performance is a consideration, a remote desktop solution like VNC is not going to give you what you want. Even on a highspeed network, it will still be lagging if you run full color at a somewhat decent resolution. It basically sends an image of the screen x times a second to the other computer. This is not really an accurate depiction of how VNC works as it only sends changes, but if you are editing photo and video and a lot changes on most of the screen, that is essentially what happens. At 1920x1080 and 32b color, you are looking at 8MB for just a single screen update. Do that 60 times per second, and you are looking at worst case just under 500MB/s. There is still things like compression, but that is a lot of data that needs to be pushed over the network and if you keep in mind that the theoretical limit of Gb ethernet is 120MB/s, you will see there is a problem. Things get progressively worse with 1440p or 4k/UHD.

VNC is fine for some light, quick occasional desktop work and remote server administration, but you don't want to do any serious work on it. Especially if it is photo/video editing, gaming and other highly visual stuff.

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