We at Kogo often get asked which video connectors a particular computer or monitor uses, and whether they are compatible. So in this blog post I’ll be clearly defining each video connector so it’s easy to identify which your machine or monitor uses. At the end of this post is a connection guide that can be printed off and used for reference in the future.
HDMI is currently the top dog of video connections. Almost every modern machine and monitor has at least one HDMI connector, and this is likely to remain true for the foreseeable future.
HDMI carries audio and can support up to 4K resolutions.
DVI carries a similar signal to HDMI, but with greater limitations. DVI typically only carries 2K resolutions, and is very rarely capable of carrying audio. That said, DVI is still a common connector and is indistinguishable from HDMI in most situations.
While DVI is still commonly used, some modern monitors are replacing the DVI port with additional HDMI or DisplayPort connections, thus it is always worth checking whether your systems will work out of the box when upgrading.
DisplayPort is a powerful connection, but is less commonly used than HDMI or DVI. Capable of carrying 4K video at 60fps, DisplayPort works in much the same way as HDMI. DisplayPort has not been picked up by all manufactures however, so some monitors will not have DisplayPort connections.
The last of the popular analogue video connections, VGA was once the most common video connection around. It was capable of carrying up to 2K resolutions, but couldn’t carry audio. As it is an analogue signal rather than a digital signal like all of the above, the image it produces in modern monitors is never perfect.
While it was once great, VGA is no longer a suitable technology for modern systems, and is no longer supported by modern computers. Connecting an old VGA-only monitor to a modern computer now requires an adaptor, and will not produce as clean a result as a digital connection.
Here is a guide for what all of these connections look like from the pins. Click on the image to download a copy that can be printed off.
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