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Which DVI Cable Should I Choose?

Which DVI cable you choose depends on whether you want to connect digital signals, analogue signals, or both.

There are three types of DVI connection; DVI-Digital (DVI-D), DVI-Analogue (DVI-A), and DVI-Integrated (DVI-I).

The signals in a video card on both PCs and Macs are initially generated in the digital format. Therefore the best connection to a flat panel display is via a DVI-D lead, connected to the purely digital input of the DVI-D input of the display (or HDMI input via an adaptor).

DVI-D Cables

These provide a faster, high quality image than analogue, due to the nature of the digital signal.

DVI-A Cables

These are used to carry the analogue signal to the DVI-A input of the display (or VGA connector input via an adaptor, as the analogue signals are the same for DVI-A & VGA).

There is some quality loss due to the digital to analogue conversion.

These cables are not extremely common as VGA to VGA cables are often used with VGA to DVI adaptors.

DVI-I Cables

These are integrated cables which are capable of carrying a digital to digital or analogue to analogue signal, making them more versatile than the other options.

Format Interchange

DVI digital and DVI analogue formats are non-interchangeable.

A DVI-D cable will not work on an analogue system, nor will a DVI-A cable work on a digital system. To connect an analogue source to a digital display, a VGA to DVI-D electronic converter is required. Similarly, to connect a digital output to an analogue display, a DVI-D to VGA electronic converter is required.

Single Link and Dual Link

The digital formats are available in Single and Dual Link.

This means there are 4 types of cable that carry digital signals available - namely DVI-D Single Link, DVI-D Dual Link, DVI-I Single Link and DVI-I Dual Link.

Single Link cables carry 165MHz bandwidth, Dual Link doubles this to 330MHz.

DVI Single Link can display a resolution of 1920 x 1200 whereas DVI Dual Link can display an impressive resolution of 2560 x 1600.

Maximum Cable Lengths

The maximum cables length usually for digital signals is 10 metres for Single Link and 5 metres for Dual Link. Longer lengths are possible but require the use of DVI boosters.

Jigsaw also offer a range of custom DVI cables for extending the new DVI Apple displays with Firewire and USB.

Find out more by getting in touch with us on 03332 400 222 or email