VGA, DVI, HDMI & Display Port Cables: What’s The Difference?

VGA, DVI, HDMI & Display Port Cables: What’s The Difference?

When purchasing a new laptop or computer, it’s very important to look at what types of output ports the device holds. Depending on what you will be using the computer for, these outputs will be imperative in order to connect another monitor, projector or other devices.
Many displays have a couple of input ports, and there are a few different types of video cables. The most popular are VGA, DVI, HDMI and the new one: Display Port. So let’s take a more in depth look at these 4 different cables.





VGA stands for Video Graphics Array. (A three-row 15-pin DE-15 blue connector). It’s the oldest port that was introduced in 1987. It’s an outdated port however you will still find VGA is still featured on a lot of new computers, because it’s still the most common standard the computer and display market has in terms of a computer-video connectivity.


Advantages: You can connect VGA to CRT monitors without having to use an adapter.


Disadvantages: Low resolution; low picture quality; does not carry sound.





DVI (Digital Video Interface) is a digital replacement for VGA and has totally changed the PC monitor connection type in last 10 years. It’s a white plug and which has two common types: DVI-D (digital only) and DVI-I (analog and digital). The DVI – I has four pins surrounding the flat blade and this is what carries the analog signal.


Advantages: Supports HD monitors with resolutions of 2560 x 1600.


Disadvantages: Does not carry audio, does not support 4K monitors.





HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) connects all modern devices: gaming consoles, TV’s, laptops, and desktops at a 1080p standard. HDMI similarly to the DVI, was designed for the digital transmission of uncompressed data. Besides a video signal, HDMI can carry up to eight channels of compressed or uncompressed digital audio.


Advantages: Can carry video & audio together in one cable.


Disadvantages: Handles a single video stream for one independent display per port.


There are 3 common types of HDMI: A: full-size HDMI, C: mini and D: micro:




DisplayPort is the newest display standard and most similar to HDMI. It’s the first display interface to rely on packetised data transmission, a form of digital communication found in technologies including Ethernet, USB, and PCI Express. The main feature of a DisplayPort is that it can handle multiple video and audio streams and display resolutions of 7680 × 4320. This super port is available on all 4K monitors.


Advantages: Can handle up to 8k resolutions; supports multi stream for up to 3 displays.


Disadvantages: You may need to purchase an adaptor if you want to continue using older devices.





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