R.I.P. VGA: Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080 dumps analog support, following Intel and AMD's lead

So long and thanks for all the fish

Nvidia appears to be joining the post-analog revolution. One notable item appears to be missing from Nvidia’s recently unveiled GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card: a DVI port with wiring for analog signals, also known as DVI-I. Instead, the GTX 1080 packs a digital-only DVI-D port. That means the reference card does not have native support for VGA, as first reported by TechPowerUp.

If this is a sign of things to come, the end of native analog support would be a significant change for Nvidia. It’s easy to find versions of Nvidia’s current flagship card—the $1,00 Titan X—with a DVI-I port, for example. Graphics cards that natively support analog connections typically include either an actual VGA port, or a DVI-I port with a DVI-I to VGA adapter in the box.

If Nvidia doesn’t have any plans to continue supporting VGA it could mean we are finally coming to the end of a technological line that began nearly thirty years ago. VGA first came into existence in 1987 and has been a mainstay on PCs and monitors ever since.

91tb3avqsrl. sl1500

HP’s 22cwa 21.5-inch 1080p monitor is modern, cheap, and rocking a legacy VGA option.

In fact, it’s not hard to find new flat screen LCD monitors still rocking a VGA port. Just type “computer monitor VGA” into Amazon’s search box and you’ll find a number of options for going analog. This is largely because there’s still a big enough demand for the legacy technology from enterprises and hobbyists rocking older peripherals such as projectors and monitors.

But time may finally be running out for VGA. Both AMD and Intel said they would end chipset support for VGA by 2015, with Intel's Skylake platform ending native VGA support. AMD went as far as to phase out even DVI support in its Fury graphics card lineup. Now it looks like Nvidia may be following suit.

It’s hard to blame AMD, Nvidia, and its partners from dumping support for legacy technologies. DVI is no longer under development and far more physically bulky than HDMI and DisplayPort connections. That means using these technologies automatically enforces some design constraints on newer cards.

The impact on you at home: Just because Nvidia’s reference cards are dumping native VGA support doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll actually disappear. If card manufacturers feel there’s high enough demand for analog they could add a DVI-I port to custom versions of the cards. But don’t count on it. When AMD did away with DVI last year, the custom graphics cards introduced by partners like Asus and Sapphire only added back a DVI-D port—which, of course, lacks native analog support.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AMDnvidiaintel

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?