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DVI-I - DVI-D - DVI-A Differences

Differences between DVI-I - DVI-D - DVI-A connector types


DVI connectors come in three types:


  • DVI-D (digital)

  • DVI-I (integrated; analog and digital)

  • DVI-A (analog)


DVI-I and DVI-D connectors have different data rates, also known as single-link or dual-link. Each link type has a maximum allowed data rate that ensures the data is not corrupted when transferred from the graphics card to a monitor.


DVI uses Transition Minimized Differential Signalling (TMDS) to transmit data over a single twisted wire pair. A single-link DVI connector consists of four TMDS links. Three of the four links link to the red, green, and blue RGB video signals, while the fourth is the clock control channel. Single-link connectors operate up to 165MHz and offer 1.65Gbps of bandwidth and can support resolutions up to 1920×1200 at a refresh rate of 60Hz.


Dual-link connections double the number of RGB TMDS pairs – exclusive of the clock pair, thereby enabling up to 2Gbps of bandwidth. They can also support higher resolutions up to 2560×1600 at a refresh rate of 60Hz. Dual-link connectors are fully backward compatible with single-link operation unless a display mode uses more than 165MHz pixel clock frequency or 24 bits per pixel. While a single-link connector cannot support dual-link connections at any time, so dual-link connections are preferable.


DVI connection pins are comprised of an 8×3 rectangle pinout supporting TMDS, DDC, analog vertical sync, power, hot-plug detection, and ground signals.


So there is:

  • Pins 1-24

  • 4 analog pins for RGB and horizontal sync C1-C4

  • Long flat pin for analog ground C5


DVI-A connectors have 17 (12+5) pins, they do not have a dual-link option and only carry analog signals. These signals are equal to VGA signals but are presented as an altered configuration. So, a VGA to DVI adapter is necessary to connect a VGA video card to a DVI-A monitor or a DVI-A video card to a VGA monitor. Due to VGA being the dominant connector for analog monitors and DVI as a standard for digital signals for many years DVI-A connectors are rare, while DVI-I and DVI-D connectors are common. DVI-A cables will work with both DVI-A and DVI-I connectors. Male DVI-D cables may fit in a female DVI-A connector but will not work as they do not carry any analog signals.


DVI-D connectors transfer digital video signals.


There are two types:


  • Single-link DVI-D connectors have 19 pins (18+1)

  • Dual-link DVI-D connectors have 25 pins (24+1).


DVI-D cables will work with both DVI-D and DVI-I connectors. HDMI and DisplayPort connectors will also support DVI-D video signals using an adapter, but DVI-D cannot support the supplementary features that HDMI and DisplayPort have, like:


  • Integrated audio

  • CEC control


Most digital monitors will have a DVI-D connector, while monitors that support digital and analog signals usually have a DVI-D with a VGA connector.


  • DVI-I single-link connectors have 23 pins (18+5)

  • Dual-link connectors have 29 pins (24+5).


DVI-I connectors will not convert analog and digital signals but will accept a digital or analog signal, but not at the same time. If a video card, monitor and cable all have DVI-I connections with the ability to support both analog and digital signals, one mode of operation must be selected.


DVI-I connectors will work with all DVI cable types. But a male DVI-I cable will not connect to a female DVI-D connector owing to the additional analog pins.


DVI Pins

DVI Pins





Display Port Pins

VGA Port Pins


Display Port Pins


VGA Female

DE15 socket - 

Port Pin


This image displays and tables a 15-pin VESA DDC2/E-DDC connector, the diagram’s pin numbering is a female connector that functions as the graphics adapter output. While the male connector numbering corresponds with the cable's wire-and-solder side.

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