DVI vs HDMI vs DisplayPort vs VGA Comparison

There are different types of display interfaces and cables available to connect your monitor to your computer or other video device. They are VGA, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort interfaces and cables. Here I talk about these display interfaces and cables and tell you how they are different from each other.

VGA (Video Graphics Array)

VGA or Video Graphics Array is the oldest way to connect your Monitor to your computer or video device. A VGA cable carries analog signal which does not produce great images or videos on your latest LCD monitors.

VGA-Cable

VGA Cable

VGA connectors are virtually absent on modern day graphics cards which generally come with DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort connectors. The maximum resolution supported by VGA adapter is 1920 x 1080 at 60 Hz (or higher resolution) but the quality of video degrades with increase in resolution, cable length & quality. VGA adapter is also not recommended for gaming because the lag in video signal (due to analog conversion) and somewhat inferior display quality. You should only use VGA cable when you have an old monitor that only supports VGA cable; otherwise go for the other better options mentioned below.

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DVI (Digital Visual Interface)

DVI or Digital Visual Interface offers digital signal and has very good display quality as compared to VGA. The maximum resolution supported by single link DVI cable is 1920 x 1200 pixels and by dual link DVI cable is 2560 x 1600 pixels at 144 Hz refresh rate which makes it great for gaming purpose.

DVI-Cable

DVI Cable

There are three types of DVI connectors:

  1. DVI-I (integrated, combines digital and analog in the same connector, digital may be single or dual link)
  2. DVI-D (digital only, single link or dual link)
  3. DVI-A (analog only)
Types-of-DVI-Connectors

Types of DVI Connectors

DVI-D connector is very common and is used in most of the cables and systems.

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HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface)

HDMI or High Definition Multimedia Interface also carries digital signal but it can carry audio signal too. HDMI cables are great for connecting HD TVs or monitors with inbuilt speakers as both video and audio can be carried over a single cable only. The maximum resolution supported by HDMI cable is 3820 x 2160 pixels at 30Hz, and it is good for gaming as well as for watching HD movies and playback.

HDMI-Cable

HDMI Cable

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DisplayPort

DisplayPort is the best and advanced way to connect your LCD monitor to your computer or video device. DisplayPort 1.3 can also be used to run multiple monitors with a single cable only. DisplayPort can support maximum resolution of 3840 x 2160 at 60Hz and the cable can carry audio and USB data too. If you are gamer and your monitor and graphics card supports DisplayPort then I would advise you to connect your card to monitor using DisplayPort cable only.

DiplayPort-Cable

DiplayPort Cable

Buy Branded DisplayPort Cables

Comparison of VGA, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort

Here is a complete comparison between VGA, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort interfaces and cables.

Features / Specs

VGA

DVI

HDMI

DisplayPort

Signal Type Analog Digital Digital Digital
Audio Supported No No Yes Yes, Optional
Maximum Resolution Supported 1920 x 1080 at 60 Hz or higher (varies) 2560 x 1600 at 144Hz 3820 x 2160 at 30Hz 3840 x 2160 at 60Hz
Picture Quality Fair but degrades on higher resolutions Very Good Very Good Best at Higher Resolutions
Backward Compatible NA Yes Yes with DVI Yes with VGA, HDMI and DVI
Recommended for Gaming No Yes Yes Yes (Best)
Recommended for HD Playback No Yes (somewhat) Yes Yes
Price of Cable Cheap Moderately Expensive Moderately Expensive Moderately Expensive

So if we have to rate these three cables or display adapters then I can say that

DisplayPort > HDMI > DVI > VGA

If you have any queries then feel free to ask me by leaving a comment below.


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