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Types Of Video Connectors

Understanding various display connections will help you when deciding which PC is right for you, and which components you want to choose. Various motherboards and expansion cards include varying display capabilities. When choosing which system and which options are right for you, it is helpful to keep in mind what you might want to do with your computer system, not only now, but down the road.

As of this writing, the three most common video connectors are DVI-D, HDMI 1.4 and Display Port 1.2.

  • HDMI tends to be used primarily for television, but is also a fairly common feature on computer monitors. HDMI 1.4 is limited to 24-30fps with 4K video output, making mouse control and flicker rates less than optimal for some computer users.
  • Display Port (DP) tends to be used with higher-end computer monitors. Display Port does not tend to be a feature on television monitors, if you are using your PC with a television.
  • DVI-D is a very common computer monitor connector, but is more limited to lower resolutions (max 2560x1600).
  • VGA connectors tend to only be used for basic monitor setups such as those used with servers, or as a means to connecting to older monitors.
  • Thunderbolt can be used with specialty high-end monitors. It can be daisy chained to support other devices without cable clutter, and is also used for extreme throughput data transfer.

The following chart details the differences and similarities between different video display connector types, and lists all current and recent display connectors.

Video Connector Chart

HDMI 2.0

  • Only available on high-end video cards and select motherboards
  • Digital
  • Provides Video/Audio
  • Uses the same (standard) high speed HDMI cables as HDMI 1.4
  • Max resolution 3820x2150 (at 60 frames per second) and 4096x2160 (at 50 frames per second)
  • Superior range of colors
  • Up to 32 channels of uncompressed audio
HDMI 2.0 Connector>
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HDMI 1.4

  • Digital
  • Provides Video/Audio
  • Max resolution 3820x2160 (at 30 frames per second) and 4,096x2,160 (at 24 frames per second)
HDMI 1.4 Connector

Display Port 1.3

  • RELEASED, BUT DP 1.3 DEVICES ARE YET TO BE DEVELOPED
  • Primarily for Monitors (most TVs do not have Display Port)
  • Provides Video/Audio (and Data)
  • Capable of up to 5120x2880 (at 60 frames per second), 24 bit color
  • Can handle up to two 3840x2160 displays, or four 2560x1600 displays
  • Effective Video Data Rate: 25.92Gbps
  • Provides audio enhancements
  • Multistream support (supports daisy chaining with DP out monitors)
Mini Display Port Connector

Display Port 1.2

  • Digital
  • Primarily for Monitors (most TVs do not have Display Port)
  • Provides Video/Audio (and Data)
  • Capable of up to 4096x2160 or 3840x2400 (at 60 frames per second)
  • Effective Video Data Rate: 17.28Gbps
  • Multi-Stream Support (supports daisy chaining with DP out monitors)
Mini Display Port Connector

Thunderbolt 3

  • NOT RELEASED YET
  • Digital
  • Provides Video (and Data)
  • 40Gb/s transfer rate
  • Currently there are no monitors available which utilize Thunderbolt 3
  • Will use a different connector than Thunderbolt/Thunderbolt 2 and will need a converter to work with Thunderbolt/Thunderbolt 2 or Mini Display Port
  • Will Support Daisy Chaining of up to 6 Thunderbolt monitors and other Thunderbolt devices
  • Also for use with high-speed Thunderbolt external data storage devices and Thunderbolt audio/video devices

Thunderbolt 2

  • Digital
  • Provides Video (and Data)
  • There are currently no monitors available which fully utilize Thunderbolt 2
  • Supports 4K Monitors (4096x2160 resolution)
  • Will be useful for 4K video processing at frame rates greater than 60 frames per second (when monitors with these capabilities become available)
  • https://thunderbolttechnology.net/sites/default/files/Thunderbolt_4kVideo.pdf
  • 20 Gb/s transfer rate
  • Can be used with monitors which support Thunderbolt (1) but will limit your Thunderbolt line to the 10 Gbps of Thunderbolt (1)
  • Same size as Mini Display Port
  • You can connect Mini Display Port devices to your PC with the Thunderbolt connectors on your PC (but you cannot plug a Thunderbolt connector into your Mini Display Port)
  • Supports Daisy Chaining of up to 6 Thunderbolt monitors and other Thunderbolt devices
  • Also for use with high-speed Thunderbolt external data storage devices and Thunderbolt audio/video devices
Thunderbolt 2 Connector

Thunderbolt

  • Digital
  • Provides Video (and Data)
  • A limited number of monitors support Thunderbolt (1)
  • 10 Gb/s transfer rate
  • Supports Daisy Chaining of up to 6 Thunderbolt monitors and other Thunderbolt devices
  • Also for use with high-speed Thunderbolt external data storage devices and Thunderbolt audio/video devices
Thunderbolt Connector

DVI-D
(Dual-Link)

  • Digital
  • Primarily for Monitors
  • Provides Video signal only (no audio)
  • Max 2560x1600 resolution
  • Max 85 frames per second
DVI Connector

DVI-I
(Single-Link)

  • Digital
  • Primarily for Monitors
  • Provides Video signal only (no audio)
  • Max  1920x1200 resolution
  • Max 60 frames per second
DVI Connector

S/PDIF

  • Digital
  • Provides Audio signal only
  • Can be used with DVI, Thunderbolt, or VGA for the audio portion of digital audio video connection
  • Not all audio/video devices have Display Port/HDMI connectors – S/PDIF is often helpful is tying audio/video devices to your PC
DVI Connector

D-Sub Port (VGA)

  • Analog
  • Not as clear as digital connectors
  • Provides Video signal only (no audio)
  • Older standard
VGA Connector, D-Sub Connector

 


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