MONITOR CABLES

hdmi-cableMonitor cables are mass produced but they vary considerably in quality.

VGA

VGA has no defined limit to its maximum resolution. HDMI and DisplayPort can achieve a better picture quality.

Video card makers limit VGA to 2048×1536 which is the top resolution of professional monitors like our old Dell P991.

We used an NVIDIA Quadro NVS 210 which was able to achieve 2500×1780 interlaced on the P991 which shows that the restriction is artificial.

Digital resolutions have grown over time to 3840×2160 and now up to 7680×4320. The bandwidth required is extraordinarily high.

DVI

Digital Visual Interface (DVI) is backwards compatible with VGA and it adds new digital signals. DVI-I have both analog and digital signals.

DVI was designed for early LCD panels. DVI can be single link which is capable of 1920×1080 and dual link which is capable of 2650×1600.

Video cards for many years used a pair of DVI-I ports which can be converted to VGA or HDMI as desired with low cost adapters.

HDMI

Existing monitor cables are usually made from cheap cabling to reduce the cost. Still most HDMI cables can handle 3840×2160 without problems.

There are lots of more expensive video cables out there, Most are a waste of money. HDMI cable can easily handle 18 gigabit speeds needed for 3840×2160. New HDMI cables will be needed for 48 gigabit rates of HDMI 2.1 when it’s done for 7680×4320 displays.  Existing DisplayPort cables are suitable for 7680×4320 due to the older high bandwidth standard.

DISPLAYPORT

Things are a bit more esoteric at 7640×4320 which is far above the HDMI capability at present. DisplayPort 1.4 uses digital compressed stream (DSC) to be able to increase the net bandwidth, DSC compression works on a horizontal line of pixels encoded using groups of three consecutive pixels for native 4:4:4 and simple 4:2:2 formats, or six pixels (three compressed containers) for native 4:2:2 and 4:2:0 formats.

DisplayPort has a clip which secures it but HDMI is a simple press fit connector.

MINI PORT CONNECTIONS

More recently smaller plug versions of HDMI and DisplayPort have been seen. These are mostly seen on laptop computers. The smaller connectors are full featured and are seen on thinner laptop machine designs such as our Lenovo X230,  Adapters and cables are readily available,

If  you need new cables, the more expensive cables generally have better connectors which tend to be helpful when swapping hardware extensively.