Monitor Cables

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You need a monitor cable to connect a digital display to a desktop PC or laptop. There are four common types of cables available for this. These are VGA, DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort. The one to choose depends on the available output connectors on your computer and input connectors on your PC monitor. You can find a wide selection of these cables at Staples®.

Choose the Right Legacy Monitor Cable for Your Old PC Display
VGA, or Video Graphics Array, is an analog connector that only carries video signals. You can find it on some computers, video game consoles, and projectors. The standard VGA cable has 15 pins arranged in three rows. A slimmer version, the mini-VGA cable, has 14 pins in two rows. You can find mini-VGA connectors on small laptops and some game consoles. In addition to VGA signals, a mini-VGA cable also carries composite and S-video signals. For excellent image quality and reliable performance, look for a VGA cable made of heavy-gauge wire and protected with braided shields. You should only choose this legacy cable if your computer or monitor only has a VGA connection for carrying video signals.

Minimize Cord Clutter With Monitor Cables That Carry Audio and Video Signals
DVI, or Digital Visual Interface, is another video-only connector. It comes in three varieties: DVI-A, DVI-D, and DVI-I. DVI-A only carries analog signals and is no better than VGA. DVI-D is for digital signals only while DVI-I integrates both analog and video signals. Unlike DVI and VGA cables, HDMI and DisplayPort cables carry both video and audio signals. They also have a higher video resolution than VGA or DVI for improved clarity.

HDMI, or High-Definition Multimedia Interface, transmits uncompressed video and audio signals. An HDMI cable can output 4K video and HDR contents to monitors and TVs. Besides the full-sized HDMI cable, there are smaller mini and micro versions. You can find adaptors to use cables with these connectors as full-sized HDMI cables. DisplayPort competes directly with HDMI. Depending on the version supported, a DisplayPort cable may have equal or higher bandwidth than an HDMI cable. Some Apple® computers use the smaller Mini DisplayPort connector. Mini DisplayPort cables can carry analog and digital video signals.

What Monitor Cable Do You Need to Daisy-Chain Multiple Displays?
You need DisplayPort cables. Make sure the monitors you want to string together have the same maximum resolution and support the same version of the DisplayPort standard.

Can You Use a USB-C Cable as a Monitor Cable?
Yes. You can connect laptops with USB Type-C outputs to monitors with USB-C inputs. This versatile reversible plug connector is increasingly common on smartphones and tablets too. A USB-C cable can transmit video, audio, data, and power.

What Is the Difference Between Single and Dual Link DVI Monitor Cables?
There are single and dual link versions of DVI-I and DVI-D cables. The single link versions of both cables have connectors with 18 pins and are capable of data transfer speeds up to 3.96Gbps while offering a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. Dual-link DVI-D cables have 24-pin connectors while dual-link DVI-I ones sport 28-pin connectors. Both have a maximum bandwidth of 7.92Gbps and support display resolutions up to 2560 x 1600 pixels.

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