Computer Monitor Cable Types: What & How They Work?


If you are a computer geek or a lover of the computer world then it is essential to know of the thing that connects some significant components of the computer, i.e., different computer monitor cable types and their connectors.

Whether you desire to set up a new PC or intend to upgrade to a second monitor, the essential things to have the best experience are the computer components.

Having a good knowledge of the computer cables will help you avoid the confusion in choosing the best one.

You now need not be in a foreign jargon while looking at the computer equipment.

Here you will find an exciting overview of the computer monitor cable types that you will have to encounter when using the computers.

What are the Most Common Computer Monitor Cables Types?

In this technological era, it is quite essential for you to have a good knowledge of computers.

While using desktop computers, you will have to work with the cables too to attach different devices.

Following are some essential cable types that you will have to use while working with computers:

  1. VGA
  2. USB Cable
  3. HDMI Connector
  4. HD 15 Monitor Cable
  5. DVI cable
  6. IDE

What is the Definition of Cable?

These are the insulated wire that transmits the electricity.

There is a plastic covering around the cables.

They are also known as:

  • Cord
  • Connector
  • plug

Types of Computer Cable

Two main types are:

1) Data Cables


It provides a mean of communication between various computer components.

Some popular ones include

  • DVI
  • HDMA
  • SATA

2)  Computer Power Cable


It provides power to the device

Computer Monitor Cable Types

The most common ones are:

1) VGA Cable


VGA stands for video graphics array.

  • They were introduced in 1987 by IBM.
  • It transfers the video signals.
  • It carries the electronic signals from one hardware device to another.
  • Its function is to connect an analog PC monitor to a laptop or a PC. It uses an HD15 connector to connect the monitor to the PC
  • Pins are present on the inside of the plug. These pins fit into the hole pattern that is present on the backside of the computer.


To identify them you can look at the pins inside the plug. VGA cables have mostly 14 pins on the inside.


  • All PCs have VGA installed in them.
  • Thet gave the capability of displaying the video even without installing the drivers,

VGA vs. SVGA Cable

VGA is the Video Graphic array while SVG stands for Super Video Graphics Array

Video Resolution

VGA supports video resolution up to 640 x 480 while SVGA can have a resolution of 800 x 600

Thickness and Shielding

SVGA has more shielding than the VGA cables. This shielding is the reason that they are a bit thicker than the VGA.


SVGA cables perform well for long distances.

For devices that are much closer to each other, you will most probably need the VGA cable. In such cases, buying an SVGA cable will be a wastage of money.

2) USB Cables


USB stands for the universal serial bus. It is now widely used in the computer peripherals.

USB is primarily an industry that came up with a goal to standardize the computer peripheral for the computer connection.

Many computer components in modern times have some form of USB cables and connections.

  • Their primary use is to connect the computer to the camera, mobile phones and other device of this sort.
  • You can also use it to connect the computer to any secondary display device.
  • Well, it is better not to use it to connect to the monitor. The reason is that the USB cables have a limited resolution, i.e., 1024 x 768.
  • These cables work for replacement screens for laptops.

Types of USB Cable Connector

Types of USB Connector (1)


You might be thinking that by name its universal then how its three types came?

Well, there are different types because each of these types offers different functionality. They all perform various functions.

Some of these types are:

  • USB 2.0 Type-A
  • USB 2.0 Type B
  • Mini USB 2.0 type B
  • Micro USB  2.0 Type A
  • USB 3.0 Type A
  • USB3.0 Type B
  • Micro USB 3.0
a) USB 2.0 Type-A
  • It is also known as the USB standard connector.
  • It was introduced in the 90s.
  • It works on the computer’s host controller.
  • Its function is to provide a downstream connection.
  • It also protects the incorrect connection, i.e., you cant plug it upside down.

Its size is a bit greater, and that’s why it is not much suitable for portable devices.

b) USB 2.0 Type B
  • They are not much popular.
  • The modifications are either square-shaped or trapezoidal shaped.
  • They have a bit larger size that why they are mostly used in many peripherals and stationary devices like printers and scanners.
c) Mini USB 2.0 type B
  • It is used widely in portable devices like card readers and iPod
  • It is a bit less prevalent at present because of the micro USB.
d) Micro USB  2.0 Type A
  • This one is the modified version of the one described above. i.e., the mini USB type A.
  • In 2011, this connector was approved as the single standard for charging the portable devices.
  • Modern smartphones have this connector.
What is USB 3.0?
  • It is much faster than the older versions
  • It provides higher data transfer rate.
  • It can receive and transmit much higher power than the earlier versions.
e) USB 3.0 Type A
  • This one has the capability of providing a much higher data transfer rate as compared to the earlier versions.
  • You can still use USB3.0 Type A with the USB 2.0 plugs without experiencing any speed loss or any other thing of this sort.
  • Thus they are compatible with the earlier version too.
  • Modern laptops have this connector.
f) USB 3.0 Type B
  • Modern laptops have this connector.
  • This one is a bit different from the type B of the earlier version, and that’s why it cant be used in USB2.0 type B plugs.
  • It works well with higher performance devices.
g) Micro USB 3.0
  • It provides much higher data rate as compared to the earlier version micro USB, i.e., micro USB 2.0.
  • You can use old concestor of this type in the new plugs but not the new ones in the old plugs.

Micro VS Mini USB

Many people have confusion between these two connectors.

The first one is larger in dimension than another one.

3) HD 15 Monitor Cable

HD 15 is the most commonly used one.

  • This cable is referred to as the standard VGA cable.
  • It is mostly blue.
  • Its responsibility is to communicate the image data.
  • It is a universal connector that you can use as the video interface for PCs.
  • HD displays, satellite receivers, and cable boxes also use it.
  • The HD15 connector has 15 pins in a row.
  • Each row consists of 5 pins.
  • It is also called HD DB15. This is because it is a high-density D style connector.

It’s one drawback is the limitation of resolution features. It supports the resolution of 640×480. This resolution value is the reason it can’t be used in the new devices and gadgets that need high resolution.

4) DVI Cable


Full form of DVI is Digital Video Interface. It is one of the most common technologies for the video display across LCD monitors.

  • This one provides a complete solution as it can communicate digital and analog data.
  • Modern devices use this type of cable to connect to the digital monitor.
  • It also can reduce the digital noise in LCD.

DVI Resolution

It can support the following resolutions:

  • 2560 x 1600 video resolution
  • 1920 x 1200 image resolution


You might think that it resembles the VGA cables.

Well at first glance it might look similar to the VGA cable, but in reality, it isn’t.

The difference is that it has longer flat pins as compared to VGA.

DVI Length

  • The maximum length is not an exact value. The reason is that the manufacturers are trying their best to provide the best quality output and for this, they go for stronger cables.
  • The minimum length that they should maintain is 5 meter approx.
  • One more thing that you should note is that if you use DVI-I cables of extended length, then you will not be able to see an excellent quality display.

Types of DVI Monitor Cable Connectors


It has the following categories:

  • DVI-D-True Digital Video
  • DVI-A- High Res. Analog
  • DVI-I – Integrated
a) DVI-D-True Digital Video
  • It has three rows. Each row with eight pins.
  • To connect a DVI computer to another DVI monitor, you will need a DVI-D cable.
  • Their primary task is to provide a faster and higher quality digital connection between the video source and the monitor.
How DVI-D Works?
  1. First, a digital video signal is reduced by the video card.
  2. Then this digital video signal is converted into the analog at the VGA output.
  3. Then this signal (that is now the analog signal) is converted again into the digital signal when it goes to the monitor.

Thus DVI-D works in eliminating this analog conversion process and provides a higher quality connection in between the two devices (the source and the display).

b) DVI-A- High Res. Analog
  • It consists of 17 pins and carries the analog signals.
  • If you intend to connect a DVI monitor to a VGA monitor, then you will need this type of cable.
  • They carry the DVI signal to the analog display.
  • They are mostly used in connecting to the device with the VGA connector.
c) DVI-I – Integrated

They are the integrated cables that can transfer the following:

  1. A digital to a digital signal
  2. An analog to an analog signal

5) HDMI Cable


  • HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface. Modern computers now have the HDMI port.
  • It consists of 4 shielded twisted pairs
  • You will find this cable in many home theatre and LCD televisions.
  • It is an interface that transmits uncompressed and decompressed audio and video data to a monitor or any projector.
  • It has many versions.

HDMI Cables Feature Explained

It has replaced the analog solutions that required separate cables for radio and video.

Some feature that its newer version include are:

  • 3D
  • CEC Extensions
  • Ethernet Data Connection

How to Increase the Distance Between HDMI Signals?

Following are some of the ways in which you can do so:

  1. Use HDMI operators
  2. DMI switches
  3. HDBaseT Technology

HDMI Monitor Cable Types

There are five types of HDMI cables.

  • Standard HDMI
  • Standard HDMI with Ethernet
  • Standard Automotive HDMI
  • High-Speed HDMI
  • High-Speed HDMI with Ethernet
a) Standard HDMI Cables
  • It is used in home applications and also in satellite television.
  • Moreover, it can transmit a 720p video.
b) Standard HDMI Cables with Ethernet

It has almost the same features as compared to the one discussed above.

One feature that makes it different from the standard HDMI cable is a device networking feature.

It consists of dedicated data channels that are called HDMI ethernet channel. If both the connected devices have this setting enabled then this functionality can be observed clearly.

c) Standard Automotive HDMI Cable
  • It provides higher performance.
  • It can send much stronger signals than the other HDMI cable types.
d) High-Speed HDMI Cable

It can support video resolution of up to 1080p. If you intend to connect your 1080p display to a 1080p source, then this cable is what you will need.

e) A high-speed HDMI cable with Ethernet
  • This can provide the same functionality as the HIgh-Speed HDMI Cable.
  • The additional feature is the dedicated channel that works for device networking. Networks and Networking are an essential part of the internet world.

The development of the HDMI cable began in April 2002. The aim was to create a connector that has the functionality of backyard compatibility with the DVI. DVI was the most popular cable of that time.

HDMI Connectors


The different types of this connector indicate that its applications are vast and it can be used in various devices quite easily.


They are of 5 types. These types are explained below:

  • Type A
  • Type B
  • Type C
  • Type D
  • Type E
Type A
  • The male connector of Type A has an outer dimension of 13.9 mm x 4.45 mm while the inner side of the female connector is of 14mm x 4.55mm
  • It consists of 19 pins
  • It is also used for single link DVI-D
Type B connector
  • It consists of 29 pins.
  • It measures 21.2mm x 4.45mm
Type C Connectors
  • It is also called the mini HDMI connector. It is a bit smaller than the type A connector.
  • It consists of 19 pins
  • It was created in the verison1.3 of the HDMI.
  • It measures 10.42mm x 2.42mm
  • You can easily connect the type C connector to the type A connector. For this, you will need a type A to type C cable.
Type D Connector
  • It is also called micro HDMI. The reason for this is that its size is much smaller and resembles the micro USB connector.
  • It consists of 19 pins
  • This connector was introduced in version 1.4 of the HDMI.
  • It measures 6.4mmx 2.8mm.
Type E Connector
  • It is mostly used in automotive applications.
  • This connector was introduced in version 1.4 of the HDMI.
  • It consists of a relay connector that can connect the standard consumer cable to the automotive.

How to Connect the Laptop to Monitor?


To connect a laptop to a monitor, you will need to follow these four main steps:

a) Connect it to the Monitor

  1. First, check what type of connector is compatible with your laptop.
  2. Check the port
  3. Switch off the laptop
  4. Connect one end of the cable to the monitor and the other to the port on the laptop.
  5. Tighten the screws on both sides
  6. Switch on the monitor

b) Changing the Screens

  1. Right clock on the desktop and then click on the options screen resolution
  2. If you are a Windows XP user, then you can do this by selecting properties and then go into the setting tabs
  3. From the multiple display settings option, you can control how you want the display to be.
  4. You can also change the resolution.

If you are unable to see the second monitor in the options, then you need to do troubleshooting.

You might be thinking if your computer monitor screen has scratches then will you be able to see a brighter display on the second monitor?


Well, the answer is yes, you can surely enjoy a brighter display on the second monitor in this regard, but if there is an issue with any video hardware, then the display might not be as per your desire.

Which Cable to Use Among Different Monitor Cable Types? – A Tough Decision

pc connectors types


After reading about all the types of DVI cables, you must be thinking about which one to use?

Am I right?

Well, it is a bit critical situation too, but you don’t need to be confused in this regard.

The first thing you need to do is to check the female DVI plugs and see their compatibility signals.

  • You will need a DVI-D cable if you see both the connector or any one of them as a DVI-D cable.
  • If both or any of them are DVI-A, then you will need a DVI-A cable.
  • You will need a DVI to VGA cable if one connector is DVI and the other one is the VGA.
  • And last but the most important one. If one is analog and the other one is digital, then you can’t connect the two with anyone cable.
  • For this connection, you will need a converter box.

Final Words

Thus different computer monitor cables help you enjoy the best display on your screens.

Monitor cable connector types are also explained above in this article so that you can have full knowledge in this regard.

In this way, you can enjoy a display of your desire.

They allow you to connect multiple devices to your PC too. This knowledge will also be much useful for you in building your own PC.


Computer Monitor Cable Types: What & How They Work?