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HDMI vs DisplayPort vs DVI vs VGA: Quick Comparison

by Evelina Fairclough
HDMI vs DisplayPort vs DVI vs VGA: Quick Comparison

It is every gamer’s dream to have a huge display of their game. Am I right? I know because my brother and I are always arguing over the use of extra monitors in our house.

When you connect your computer to a monitor or TV, there are so many cables that you need to configure. Universal cables have been made to facilitate the sharing of screens. Over the years, cables have evolved and the old types are now near to extinction.

I’d like to discuss these different kinds of connection – they are the HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI and the VGA. I’m sure you already heard of these terms. On this article, let’s have a deeper understanding of their uses and how do they differ from each other.

HDMI cable

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface)

HDMI is a standard cable for HDTVs and computer monitors. You can use this cable for visual and audio aspects, and the quality is good in most resolutions. With HDMI, you’ll be able to connect to several devices. HDMI is your way to go when you are going to plug in your laptop or computer to another screen. Through this cable, you can access the 4k gaming it requires for the HDMI 2.0 at 60Hz. The design of the cable is usually made and designed to be compatible with the DVI. That said, the quality of the video will not be lost when you are using the HDMI to DVI cable.

Most of the HDMI cables are the same. They might be made by different companies thus being sold at different costs, but they able to perform more or less the same quality. When you are dealing with the high speed category 2 cable, you can get resolutions of up to 1080p. If you purchase these cables, you will notice that there is HDMI 1.4 and also the HDMI 2. These will function in mostly the same speed. Some of these cables have the ability to support internet so there are few devices that will be able to use this feature.

Display Port Cable

DisplayPort

It is a good choice when you want to connect your computer to another monitor. Through the cable, you will achieve immense results. The DisplayPort 1.2 has 1080p resolution at 144 Hz. There has been an upgrade of this to DisplayPort 1.3 which was introduced four years ago.

Have you seen the newest graphics cards from AMD and NVIDIA in the market? They have featured a more upgraded DisplayPort 1.4. This means that through the display port, they have the ability to handle 4K at 120 Hz and also compatible to 8k at 60 Hz. The main challenge with this upgraded cable will be to find a suitable monitor. This can be compared to having a nitrogen fuel car in a country without the nitrogen gas fuel.

Through a display port, you’ll be able to use multiple monitors at the same time. You can even use different hubs or display so that you can support daily chaining. If you upgrade to the DisplayPort 1.3, you can view two different displays at 4k at 60Hz. This all comes from one single DisplayPort cable.

Just like the HDMI, the DisplayPort carries audio too. When making the purchase, you need to confirm first since there are those types that do not support the audio aspect.

DVI Cable

DVI (Digital Visual Interface)

The DVI is getting obsolete. The port is still present in today’s graphics cards though. It will produce a similar video signal to that of the HDMI with the difference that they do not have the audio aspect. The only way that you can get the DVI to produce the audio is connecting it to the HDMI adapter. There are single link cards where this will be linked to therefore providing the hardware support which is made up to 1920x120 resolution. When you choose to have the dual link, the DVI is able to support 2560x1600. Through the cable, you will have a 144HZ refresh rate that is actually very high.

When you a have a monitor that is 1080p with 144Hz, this is the best option to use. Any gamers using DVI and has an FPS of 60 will have a great experience. To achieve 4k however, you will be required to use the HDMI or the DisplayPort adapter.

VGA cable

VGA (Video Graphics Array)

Finally, we get to have the VGA adapter. Among all that we have discussed, this is the grandfather of them all. VGA sends analog signals and can be seen on the TVs very rarely. Modern electronics are now manufactured without a VGA port. You are, however, likely to have this adapter in an old projector. These are the kinds that used to show videos in cinemas back in the old days. When you are dealing with the legacy systems, this is the only option. You will even find the VGA ports in the old models of laptops; but nowadays, HDMI and DisplayPort are widely used.

Which is the right cable to choose?

VGA

HDMI

DisplayPort

DVI

• It is an analog video standard cable


• Has been in the market for a very long time


• Carries the video signal only

• Used in computers

• This is a digital video standard cable


• Came into the market just recently


• Has the ability to carry both the video and the audio signals


• Used in TV sets and in media players

• Able to connect a computer and a monitor


• Use up to date


• Can run many displays from a single monitor

• Connections mainly on graphics card


• Usage is dying out


• Single phase only 


Additional Hardware Requirements

Of course, each of these connections require at the very least, a port to port cable. You need to be able to connect it from the video source (for example, your laptop), to the display source (like your projector). But dependent on which type of connection you use, some are far more likely to require an adaptor than others.

For example, if you attempt to connect a laptop (lacking a VGA port) to an old overhead projector (which uses only VGA ports), it will be necessary for you to obtain an adaptor. One end of which will be either USB, HDMI, DisplayPort or an Apple product connection. To make things super complicated, you could even go down the route of using a VGA to DVI converter. But this will be dependent on which variety of DVI port your laptop has.

Unfortunately, the use of DVI connection involves the same annoying adaptor hardware, such as DVI-D to HDMI cable. Once you’ve obtained this very single thing, you must take care of it like it’s your firstborn child. If you happen to misplace it, any chance of you using your electronics for the next few days is out the window because it will take you that long to find a replacement.

With the HDMI, it’s an entirely different story, due to the all-pervasive presence of HDMI ports on every electronic equipment. The omni-presence of this connection means the cables are everywhere too, so there is usually a spare you can purloin in an emergency. DisplayPort is similar in many ways to HDMI but has added advantage that the signal can be sent to multiple devices. You’ll also be needing a basic DisplayPort cable if you wish to use it with other types of connection.

Ease of Use

Both the VGA and DVI connectors require the unbecoming and frankly barbarous tedium of tightening and loosening of screws on either side of the pin connector housing. This seems to be an arduous, inconvenient, and detrimental task. It involves frantically yanking at the connection, attempting to pull it out without loosening the screws, and leaving you with a broken husk of your former equipment.

HDMI connection is the easiest of the four options (well, in my opinion) due to its universal presence. DisplayPort is also easy to use, but is nowhere near as common as HDMI, which makes the use of it slightly arduous. You will most likely need to source HDMI adaptor cables if you wish to use it with standard High Street products.

What to Check to get More Monitors for an Extended Desktop

To have an extended desktop, there are a few things that you need to have. The challenge is to get the dual monitors working well. It is not just a matter of plugging in a video display through the applicable computer port. Once you get to fix this in your computer or gaming laptop, you can then start working on it. It is not a direct plug and you are good to go. Well, that is not the case.

There are different scenarios that you need to consider. This will assist you as you use the extra displays with your computer.

  • Is your video card capable?
  • Have you checked your hardware checkup?
  • Is the hardware set up in the right manner?

The video card settings should have the ability to display to multiple monitors. This is the feature that it comes along with. You simply need to ensure that you plug in the monitor. Go to your control panel and click on the “change the display settings.” Here you then click on the monitor tab of your display and if only one appears, it means it can only utilize one at a time. If you have multiple, it means that you can display to multiple monitors.

Checking the ports that are available is important to ensure that you have the right requirements before you proceed. To allow the process, you will have the VGA and the HDMI ports in most cases and you can use one of these as an extended display.

You always need to keep in mind the screen resolution that you are dealing with. The image might never get better regardless of the cable that you use. Therefore, you do not have to go for the very expensive cable to improve on the image quality. Simply use the cable that comes along with your graphics card or with the display. If your devices can support these cable, they are the best pieces to use.

To Conclude

These days, the only reason you would be using equipment with either VGA or DVI connections is because you don’t have access to modern ones. Hard luck my friend. Frankly, it seems easier to have dinosaurs silently act out the contents of your video, rather than attempting to use either of these connections. And the dinosaurs will just be silent because neither VGA nor DVI will provide you with audio.

DisplayPort seems to be a little ahead of its time due to the relative paucity of the feature among standard electronics. However, it is possible this will change in the future and become more standardized. The HDMI cable included in most electronic products will no doubt be the clincher for people with regard to this issue. Pretty much the only reason you’re going to be a regular Joe not using HDMI is because your equipment is too old to have it as an option.

HDMI remains the victor of its triplet of competitors, at least for now. And for the unforeseeable future, it’s most likely to be the option you and I will be using whilst setting up our brand new home theater systems on Christmas day, with the obligatory background noise of derision aimed your way by your beloved family as you do so.

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