A visual guide to display cables: DVI, D-Sub, ADC and more

Here's how to identify every important cable for use with computer monitors.

Mini-DVI

193829-minidvi_hdmi_icon_original

Use it for: Connecting small devices to DVI displays

It's similar in performance and use to: DVI, HDMI

It adapts to: DVI, HDMI, Micro-DVI

Add more ports by: Connecting a switchbox

Most often found on midlife Apple laptops, this connector is just a smaller DVI design.

Micro-DVI

193829-micro-dvi_original

Use it for: Connecting small devices to DVI displays

It's similar in performance and use to: DVI, HDMI

It adapts to: DVI, HDMI, Mini-DVI

Add more ports by: Connecting a switchbox

Even smaller than Mini-DVI, this port is most often found on tiny devices. A few Apple laptops have used it, although Apple has moved on to Mini DisplayPort.

DisplayPort

193829-displayport_original

Use it for: Connecting recent computers and AV components to displays

If you have a choice, select it instead of: VGA

It's similar in performance and use to: HDMI

It adapts to: DVI and VGA (pass-through signal); Mini-DisplayPort; HDMI

Add more ports by: Connecting a switchbox; upgrading your graphics card

Similar to HDMI, DisplayPort carries both digital audio and digital video signals. It isn't widely used, but several Apple computers and displays, PC graphics cards, and Dell monitors currently include the plug. DisplayPort also supports HDCP copy protection, as HDMI does.

Mini DisplayPort

193829-mini_display_port_original

Use it for: Connecting small devices to displays

If you have a choice, select it instead of: VGA

It's similar in performance and use to: DisplayPort, HDMI

It adapts to: DVI and VGA (pass-through signal); DisplayPort; HDMI

A small version of DisplayPort, this connection is most often found on new Apple laptops.

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