A computer system is not just the traditional setup of monitor, keyboard, sound system, and mouse anymore. We connect that one monitor to a projector, an additional monitor, or another type of visual output device. Bluetooth has made it easy to connect all these wirelessly. Should we need wired connections, which may prove to be more secure in that they maintain the connection without disruptions, there are specific types of cables whose main purpose is to transmit video. 

The two main types of connectors are DVI and VGA. Let’s delve into them more.

DVI Connector

DVI stands for Digital Visual Interface. DVIs are considered distinctive because they can carry both digital and analog signals and give a sharp picture quality. These connectors are relatively newer and usually come in white or gray. A big advantage of DVI connectors is that they can be plugged into your source device without the hassle of shutting it down. Just plug it in while the source device is in use, and the display flow should be seamless. These connections are typically wide and consist of twenty-nine or twenty-five pins. 

DVI cables are available in three types, each with its own function:

  • DVI-A

Only analog signals are transmitted through this type of DVI cable. When you want to connect a CRT (cathode-ray tube) monitor, you would want to use this type of DVI connector. Essentially, this is old technology, so the signal would be converted to analog from digital, but it would still give out a high-resolution picture. 

  • DVI-D

Only digital signals are transmitted through this type of DVI cable. They are mainly used to connect DVI cards to LCD screens. Single-link and dual-link are the two formats in which this particular type of cable is available. The single-link does not offer as fast and powerful a transfer rate as a dual-link. 

  • DVI-I

This type of DVI connector is the best of both the other ones. It can transfer both digital and analog signals and is compatible with equipment required for analog and digital devices. The only drawback is that it cannot convert pure DVI-D data to analog. 

VGA Connector

VGA stands for Video Graphics Array. Unlike the DVI connectors, which transmit both analog and digital signals, the VGA cable only transfer analog signals, making this technology old-school. Created and distributed by IBM in 1987, it was primarily used for computer monitors and TV sets.

VGA connectors consist of fifteen pins with three rows of five pins each. Every one of these pins has a unique function. The first row of these pins transfers the color red, the second row transfers green, and the last row transfers the color blue. 

If we were to compare these two connectors on the basis of release dates, the DVI would be the new kid on the block, having come out in 1991. As mentioned earlier, VGA came out in 1987. 

Now, let’s see which is better, DVI or VGA.

Difference Between DVI and VGA

 

DVI (Digital Visual Interface)

VGA (Video Graphics Array)

Display

Cleaner, more precise picture 

Not a clean picture as the quality degrades because it converts digital to analog and back. And then only analog is transferred

Specification

Can be hot-plugged, 24/29 pins, digital video signal

Cannot be hot-plugged, 15 pins, RBG analog signal

Type of signal transferred

DVI-A: analog, DVI-D: digital, DVI-I: both analog and digital

Analog

Compatibility

Is compatible with other standards, namely HDMI and VGA

Is compatible with DVI and HDMI

 

So, VGA vs. DVI? What to choose?

Technically speaking, there is not that great a difference between DVI and VGA. The analog signals from VGA are old tech, so there are issues where it can be noisy due to interference from nearby devices and wires. This makes the video quality poor because the signals are converted from analog to digital, and some of the charm is lost. The difference between the picture quality from DVI and VGA cannot be determined when viewing a text or standard definition video, but it becomes apparent when viewing HD videos or hi-res displays. 

Both are considered good tech. You can find devices with ports compatible with either type of connector in the market. The ones that connect only to VGA may be a little harder to find, but that does not make them less useful. DVIs are just preferred more nowadays. 

Conclusion

Computer systems are not limited to just one display unit. People need expanded monitors, multiple monitors, projectors, and TVs to connect their primary monitor. To have a smooth connection, we make use of cables that give us the perfect output that makes our work appear coherent and magnified.