10 Differences Between DVI and VGA

Two of the most common types of connections found on the display devices are DVI and VGA. If you need to make a choice between these two connectors, you will need to know the differences between them in the first place.

This article will guide you through your selection process by letting you know which among the DVI and VGA will be the best fit for you but before that it will enlighten you about the major differences between them.


  • DVI is a newer video standard having been developed and released in 1999 by DDWG in comparison to VGA which was developed and released in 1987 by IBM.
  • DVI transfers analog and digital video signals but a VGA connector transmits RGB analog video signals.
  • DVI can support higher resolutions and can display images of much better quality in comparison to VGA.
  • DVI is hot pluggable and backward compatible but a VGA is not which is primarily used as a video display controller.

The 10 Differences Between DVI and VGA

Differences Between DVI and VGA

1. Age

The DVI is considered to be a newer video standard in comparison to the VGA standard being conceived and released in the year 1999.

On the other hand, the VGA standard was released in 1987 and therefore is considered to be an older technology to DVI.

2. Stands for   

The full form of the DVI standard is Digital Visual Interface while VGA stands for Video Graphics Array.

3. Developers

The developer of the DVI video standard is Digital Display Working Group or DDWG.

In comparison, the developer of the VGA video standard is IBM or the International Business Machines Corporation.

4. Signals Transferred

The DVI transfers digital video signals through its DVI-D variant, analog video signals through its DVI-A variant and both digital and analog video signals through its DVI-I variant.

On the other hand, the VGA connector is known to transfer RGB analog video signals only.

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5. Display Quality     

The quality of images displayed by DVI is much better with cleaner and more precise pictures.

It is also quite faster with the kind of hardware support provided to it.

On the other hand, as for the VGA signals, the quality of the picture degrades when it is converted from digital to analog video signals and back.

The analog signals are known to be much more susceptible to noise than the digital signals.

6. Resolution Supported

A DVI connector can support a maximum resolution of up to 1920 x 1200 pixels with its single link format and up to 2560 x 1600 pixels with its dual link format.

VGA connectors, on the other hand, can support a resolution ranging between 640 x 480 pixels with a refresh rate of 60 Hz on the lower side and a maximum resolution of up to 2053 x 1536 pixels.

7. General Specification

A DVI connector is hot pluggable and comes with 29 pins.

On the other hand, the VGA connector is not hot pluggable and comes with 15 pins.

8. Compatibility

The DVI connector can switch other standards like HDMI and VGAs.

However, in comparison, you will get VGA to DVI and VGA to HDMI converters.

9. Used as

The DVI is used as a video display interface, but, in comparison the VGA is used as a video display controller.

10. Technologies Influenced

The DVI standard is influenced by HDMI and DisplayPort but, in comparison, the VGA video standard is influenced by technologies like XGA, DVI, and HDMI.

Which is Better to Use – DVI or VGA?

Differences Between DVI and VGA

The term ‘better’ is actually subjective and therefore determining which among the DVI and a VGA connector is better for you will depend on your personal needs and preferences, which may or may not match with others.

However, considering the differences between the two connectors simply, as well as other factors along with it, the DVI standard seems to outperform the VGA standard in several areas.

Nevertheless, this does not mean that you will need a DVI connection over a VGA connection especially when your computer use is limited to the basics.

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If you are confused, here are a few other important facts to know about DVI and VGA connection.

This will help you to have a much better understanding about them and also know why DVI is both objectively and subjectively better than the VGA connection.

If you thought VGA is obsolete, think again. As a matter of fact, this video standard, though old, has undergone a lot of improvements over the years as compared to its legacy version.

The modern VGA versions are much more capable than they were before when it could support a resolution of up to only 480p and can now support a resolution of up to about 2048 x 1536 pixels.

In some cases, with proper hardware and software support, a VGA connector can support even higher resolutions.

Most importantly, this particular video standard still supports older monitors.

As for the DVI ports, the most significant advantage of it is that you will get it in three different variants such as:

  • DVI-D connectors where D stands for digital signifying its digital video signal support
  • DVI-A connectors where A stands for analog video signal support which makes these ports compatible with the older CRT displays and
  • DVI-I connectors where the letter I signifies its integrated format making it usable for both digital and analog devices.

Furthermore, you will get the DVI connectors in single link as well as in dual link formats where the former supports lower resolutions and good for office use and the latter can support 4K resolutions with twice the bandwidth and power.

The refresh rate of the DVI is also high, often pushed up to 144 Hz which makes it more suitable for the gamers, video producers, and professional editors to use and to get highest fidelity video.

Though both these connectors work in the same method, the signal quality offered by a DVI connector is much better in comparison to the signal strength and quality offered by the VGA connectors.

This is all due to the operation, mechanism, as well as the length and quality of the cable of DVI.

As said earlier, the VGA connector is slower in comparison to the DVI connector because it needs to convert the digital video signals received by it into analog before transmitting the same through the cable.

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Well, this is useful as long as the monitor is a CRT display.

However, most displays available today are typically digital in nature and therefore these displays convert the analog video signals sent by the VGA connector back to digital.

This reduces the speed even further and at the same time it degrades the quality of the image as well.

However, in the case of DVI connectors, no such conversions are required in the signals because these are usually digital-only. As a result, the picture quality is better.

As for the cables, the VGA connectors are more vulnerable to noise and electrical conflicts in comparison to the DVI cables.

That is why it is needed to use VGA cables that are of high quality and come with a better and thicker insulation.

Also, the longer the cable is, the higher will be the degradation, which is the case with the VGA cables.

And, finally, if you use a VGA to DVI adapter to connect the monitor to the computer, do not expect to have DVI quality images.

When it comes to supporting audio signals, however, none of these supports such a feature.

Both DVI and VGA connectors will need a separate audio cable for that.

So, the choice is up to you now.


It is assumed that after reading this article that entails the major differences between a Digital Visual Interface and a Video Graphics Array, you will find it very easy to decide which among the two should you include your in display to connect it to your computer for a better viewing pleasure.

About Dominic Cooper

Dominic CooperDominic Cooper, a TTU graduate is a computer hardware expert. His only passion is to find out the nitty gritty of all computers since childhood. He has over 12 years of experience in writing, computer testing, and research. He is not very fond of social media. Follow Him at Linkedin

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