Review Display Connectors: VGA vs DisplayPort vs DVI vs HDMI

Technologies in the graphics world have seen revolutionary development in recent years, and the innovation in display connectors over the course of time has played a vital role in this development. These display connectors transmit audio and video signals from sources like media players, computers and video game consoles to display devices such as monitors and televisions.

Most of the monitors and televisions have a variety of different display inputs. Under most circumstances, almost all of the general-purpose cables can fulfill your needs. However, in specific cases, such as gaming systems, you may need to emphasize on higher resolution, better refresh rate and audio output. In that case, these cables will differ in quality.

Here we discuss what kind of cable would be best for your system outputs according to your needs.

The Old and Classic – Visual Graphic Array (VGA)

VGA connectors are the legacy transmitters available in the market. These connectors were quite popular in the older computer displays since they were capable of transferring visual data over analog signals. These signals do not produce high-quality images or videos on modern and advanced monitors.

Visual Graphic Array (VGA)

VGA being an analogue rather than digital connector tends to degrade quality gradually as bandwidth increases. They can support up to 1920 × 1080p display resolution at 60Hz refresh rate. In gaming systems, VGA connectors are not recommended because of the lag in display signals. In modern day DVI vs VGA scenarios, VGA cables are only used when no other display connector is available.

High Bandwidth – DisplayPort

DisplayPort is a system that carries both the audio and video signals over a single cable connection, very similarly to HDMI. Additionally, DisplayPort cables support a locking connection with a simple pushbutton release. This allows the cable to stay latched into your equipment, but easily released by pushing a button on the cable end.

DisplayPort is a digital video signal supporting the highest resolutions available on modern displays. Until HDMI caught up with these resolutions, DisplayPort was already capable of delivering 60 frames per second at 3840 * 2160p resolutions. Choosing between HDMI vs DisplayPort, DisplayPort is ideal for PC Gaming.


The latest versions of DisplayPort, DisplayPort 1.3 and 1.4, transmit up to 24.5 Gbits/s visual and audio data. Such increment in bandwidth has made it an ideal visual transmission medium for 8K (7680 * 4320p) resolution. Additionally, the Nvidia G-Sync are now supported on these versions for a faster refresh rate technology.

One of the most important usage of DisplayPort is multiple display systems. By using a DisplayPort MST splitter, DisplayPort can produce two 1920 * 1080 resolutions on 1.2 and higher versions. In DisplayPort vs DVI, DisplayPort is clearly the winner in multiple displays.

Best for Budget Displays – Digital Visual Interface (DVI)

DVI is a popular form of video interface technology made to maximize the quality of flat panel LCD monitors and modern video graphics cards. DVI supports both digital and analog video signals over a single DVI cable and is very widely used in budget LCD monitors. However, audio signals are not supported over standard DVI connections.

DVI has many formats depending upon the quality of the image and delivery of the output. DVI-D provides a faster, higher-quality image than with analog, due to the nature of the digital format. Comparing VGA vs DVI, DVI can convert digital signals from video cards and convert it into analogue signals at the DVI output and vice versa. This format of DVI is used to connect DVI monitors to DVI computers.

Digital Visual Interface (DVI)

On the other hand, DVI-A transmit High resolution analog signals towards an analog display. Most of the budget LCDs use VGA inputs and DVI-A is capable of connecting to these inputs. However, there is some quality loss involved in the digital to analog conversion, which is why a digital signal is recommended whenever possible. Additionally, DVI-I is one of the most versatile video transmitting mediums which is capable of transmitting digital to digital or analog to analog signals.

Although most of the digital market has settled for HDMI, DVI is still exclusively used in computer and gaming markets. DVI provides smooth displays at 1920 * 1080p resolutions at 144Hz refresh rate ideal for gaming. In addition, higher resolutions, such as 2560* 1600p are supported with smooth 60 frames per second.

Stable Resolutions – High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI)

HDMI or High Definition Multimedia Interface is capable of transmitting audio signals as well as visual signals. They are widely popular in connecting HD Televisions and monitors with built-in audio capabilities. When compared to VGA, HDMI can produce high quality images and videos up to 3820 × 2160p resolution at 30Hz refresh rates.

HDMI are highly recommended by console gamers all across the world. Considering, DisplayPort vs HDMI, HDMI are capable of providing a stable connection between the console and the monitors. Most of the console games lock their refresh rates at 30 fps or 60 fps. HDMI is capable of providing quality resolutions at these frame rates.

High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI)

There are different types of HDMI cables available in the market which vary in quality of display. HDMI 1.4 supports 2560 × 1600p at 75Hz as well as 1920 × 1080p at 144Hz displays which are very popular in PC gaming. The older versions of HDMI are capable of delivering HD resolutions at 60Hz refresh rates while latest versions of HDMI, 1.4 and onwards, support AMD FreeSync technology for higher resolutions and refresh rates.

Read also about Ten Best HDMI Switch

Comparing VGA vs DVI vs HDMI, the latter one operates over digital signals and produces more stable visuals at higher resolutions as compared to VGA and DVI. Moreover, HDMI is adaptive to FreeSync technology which can be very beneficial with an AMD graphic unit. On the contrast, if you are looking for the ideal connections for a budget LCD monitors, DVI is preferable than VGA for its support in digital signals. However, if you are looking to connect multiple displays or to support stable resolutions at 4K or above, DisplayPort is the one to go for.