Where should you buy monitor cables? | Ask an expert

Friends don’t let friends buy cables from questionable brands on Amazon.

Credit: Jared Newman / PCWorld

Q: Where do you buy your cables for your monitors? They’re not all made to equal specifications, especially DisplayPort.

A: Monoprice gets our staff’s vote for being a source for reliable, affordable cables, whether they’re HDMI or DisplayPort. You can buy them either through Monoprice directly or via Amazon. The direct site offers periodic sales in addition to overall lower prices (which helps offset shipping), while Amazon has slightly higher prices but free shipping for Prime members.

We would choose Monoprice over a generic Amazon seller, as cables from the latter may not always be certified. So while the cheapest DisplayPort 1.4 cable on Amazon is $8 at the time of this writing, or $3 cheaper than the Monoprice variant, we’d pick the Monoprice version as insurance against having to deal with a cable that doesn’t play nice with our gear.

We’ve had good experiences with a few brands that sell through Amazon, too. As of late, those include Cable Matters and Cables to Go (now known as C2G). Their prices tend to be close to the Monoprice equivalents, so often we’ll bounce between these brands depending on what’s in stock and how fast the item will ship.

By the way: We’re pretty sure that you already know to avoid the extremely overpriced cables available through stores like Best Buy and Target, given how you asked this question. We’ll still say it anyway: Skip the cable selections at big-box stores. A higher price doesn’t equate to better quality. Save that money to buy extra cables, because having a few on hand (from different brands, to boot) come in handy when troubleshooting monitor problems.

Welcome to Ask an Expert, where we tackle your questions about PC building. Have your own burning concern? Shoot us an email at thefullnerd@pcworld.com.

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Alaina Yee

PC World (US online)
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