PC Monitor Cable Buying Guide

A monitor cable is the device you use to connect your PC to a display monitor. When searching for a new monitor cable, it's essential to be absolutely sure that you are getting the right model for the task. Monitor cables come in several different shapes and sizes, so perhaps a quick rundown of these different varieties will be useful for the novice.

Types Of PC Monitor Cables

DVI (Digital Video Interface)

The DVI is the most commonly available type of PC monitor cable. It's best used for connecting TV's, HDTV's, DVD players, and monitors to your PC. This is the most versatile type of monitor cable. It comes in several varieties, including the following:

DVI-I

The "I" stands for "integrated", meaning that it carries both an analog and digital signal, making it the perfect signal conductor for ancient and current PC monitors alike.

DVI-D

The "D" stands for "digital", meaning that this version carries only the digital signal and isn't compatible with older, analog based models.

Mini-DVI

The mini-DVI is a smaller, more compact version of the DVI monitor cable. It is immediately recognizable by its rounded design, and is generally used for connecting small devices, such as a modern Android, to your PC. This is a cable that you don't generally see much of these days, as its heyday was the "middle" era of Apple PC's, around the middle of last decade.

Micro-DVI

True to its name, the micro-DVI is an even smaller version of the DVI monitor cable. It's a bit of a rarity, as it dates back to the early years of last decade in tandem with its slightly larger cousin, the mini-DVI. It was, and still can be, used for connecting tiny devices, such as the old style flip phone and even smaller, to your monitor.

VGA (Frequently also known as the D-Sub 15)

This is the oldest and, at one time, most common type of PC monitor cable. Dating all the way back to the golden age of the 1980's personal computer revolution, this classic pure analog cable carries an RGA signal. Many PC and HDTV models still use this model, although some will feature a smaller "Mini VGA" cable. The VGA analog cable is best used for connecting PC's, PC monitors, HDTV's, and video projectors.

ADC (Apple Display Connector)

You may not see these around as often as anymore, as Apple has phased them out. However, the classic ADC monitor cable on an older Mac or its accompanying monitor. It's somewhat limited in scope compared to other models, as it's generally only compatible with the video or USB hub on older Macs (think 1990's up to the very early 2000's). The cable is immediately identifiable by its unique "padlock" or "horseshoe" design. You can buy a converter box to adapt a DVI signal to an ADC monitor (although it could get expensive).

Display Port

The modern Display Port monitor cable is best used for connecting recent vintage PC's and AV components to your monitor or other display system. The Display Port is rather more adaptable than most modern monitor cables as it carries both digital and analog signals. Its adaptability makes it compatible with a wide range of devices from a PC monitor to a modern DVD player. Like the ADC, it will be seen most commonly in conjunction with Apple products.

Mini Display Port

It's a pint sized version of the Display Port monitor cable, and is used to connect smaller devices, such as a Bluetooth headset, to your computer monitor.

Pay Attention To

There are a number of issues that you should pay critical attention to when purchasing a PC monitor cable. These issues include, but are not limited to, the following:

Size matters

It's important to choose the right cable for a job. A monitor cable that is meant to be used with tiny devices will simply not be the right size for a larger device, but will be a serious waste of time and money.

Compatibility is a relevant concern

A PC monitor cord that is specially designed to work with middle era Apple PC's simply won't cut the mustard on a modern Dell.

Be wary of using analog cables on modern digital monitors

They are prone to pick up a great deal of interference and can emit annoying feedback at times.

The more ports, the better

You should be able to upgrade the model you choose by adding such extras as a graphics card or splitter.

Shop around

Use the vast informational resources of the Internet to locate the make and model that is right for your needs. Make sure you pay proper attention to the individual stats and recommended usage guidelines of each cable you look at before making your final decision.

Top Brands And Product Lines

There are many different brands of PC monitor cable currently available on the market place. Some of the top rated brands include, but are not limited to, the following:

Cable Matters is another well known international manufacturer of PC monitor cables. The company largely specializes in modern DGA cables for personal use. The company's best known model is the foot long 113051 VGA Monitor Y Splitter.

Fulink is a long time contributor the field, whose best known product line is its Premium Blue Connectors series of VGA to VGA cables. These handy cable to cable connectors come in sizes ranging from 5 to 25 feet.

Dell is probably the best known and regarded of all major PC monitor cable suppliers, with models available for nearly all major types of cable.