View Full Version : DVI vs. VGA
13th of December 2008 (Sat), 14:50
So I receive my new Dell system the other day, get it unpacked and find 2 cables in the box along with the monitor. Std cable and a DVI cable. The computer does not have a DVI plug, either need an adapter or the proper cable (DVI one end and VGA on the other). Is it worth it to spend the money on the DVI cable since it appears to be around $70 or is it not going to improve anything for me. Heck, just going from my old Samsung 19" to this Dell 24" seems like I'm in heaven as it is. From what I've read in reviews of the adapter I would just buy the cable if it'll change things.
13th of December 2008 (Sat), 15:10
I'm sure you can get DVI cables for easily under $50 and it does improve the image somewhat, and you may be able to notice it, but it won't be this huge dramatic difference. Or you can get an adapter which will work just fine - that's how mine is set up.
13th of December 2008 (Sat), 15:21
I've always gotten a cleaner image from using DVI cables. Either there is something up the the VGA cables not being able to transport enough information without distorting things, or my LCD monitors don't like the VGA signal. DVi for me.
13th of December 2008 (Sat), 15:22
After some searching, I've found the cable for $27. I'll probably just go ahead and get it for that.
13th of December 2008 (Sat), 15:24
A new computer with no DVI out? I think you would have a hard time even finding a video card with VGA out now so they must have used a very old one in your new computer.
Do you know what video card it is?
$70 is way too much for a cable. You can get a DVI to VGA adapter (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814999901) for a couple bucks.
13th of December 2008 (Sat), 15:30
It was a Dell Studio series. I thought it was a new model, maybe I'm overlooking the DVI plug on it. I was pretty excited setting it up and instinctively looked for the typical monitor port when I connected it as I was not familiar with DVI prior to seeing the extra cable. I'll look when I go home for dinner.
13th of December 2008 (Sat), 15:40
I agree - my 4 year old Dell tower even has a DVI-Out (from an ATI card).
A new computer with no DVI out? I think you would have a hard time even finding a video card with VGA out now so they must have used a very old one in your new computer......
13th of December 2008 (Sat), 15:46
I think, when Phil goes home for dinner, he's going to find he has an older motherboard with onboard video.
Gotta love proprietary hardware... Thanks Dell :(
14th of December 2008 (Sun), 10:46
If your GPU (or onboard video) only has VGA outoput, then getting a VGA-to-DVI cable probably won't improve anything. It is the source of that data that counts.
14th of December 2008 (Sun), 11:32
Didn't see the DVI plug, however, there is an HDMI plug. My monitor has an HDMI plug also. Would that help or is that just for DVD's and audio? Sorry if these are dumb questions but I'm not a computer geek that knows about all these different plugs, I'm from the old school when monitors and computers only had 1 plug in option.
14th of December 2008 (Sun), 11:51
Check pages 6, 7 and 8 of your setup manual:
Connect the Display
Your computer uses one of two
different connectors for the display.
The HDMI connector is a highperformance
digital connector that
carries both video and audio signals
for displays such as TVs and monitors
with integrated speakers. The VGA
connector carries only video signals
for displays such as monitors and
When in doubt, rtfm.
14th of December 2008 (Sun), 12:08
Hmm, that sounds rude and I certainly didn't mean for it to.
The HDMI connection is the one you want to use Phil. I've never had a system that connects the display with HDMI but it sounds like the higher performance option.
If your display has built-in speakers, it sounds like the HDMI connection will provide both sound and picture.
If your display does not have speakers, the HDMI will still work providing picture only.
14th of December 2008 (Sun), 12:56
I did read the manual and thats why I asked about the HDMI plug. The manual says "high performance video and audio". I do pictures, not video and audio. Until this new Dell showed up, I was using a 8 year old E-Machine, no option other than the VGA port so I wasn't familiar with all these other options.
Thanks for the help/replies :)
14th of December 2008 (Sun), 18:19
PEBKAC. HDMI and DVI are the same thing, except HDMI also carries audio. I'm not sure if the plugs are compatible or not. If so plus in with the cable you have. If not get an HDMI to DVI cable. Don't use VGA, though it actually looks very very close to the same as DVI.
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