Here are some of the most commonly received video cable/video connection questions we receive at our Micro Center stores:
Q: How many types of video connections are there for computers?A: There are four primary types of video connections: VGA, DVI, HDMI, and DP. All four connections are currently used today, but not all computers include all of them.
Q: What does each connection look like?A: The overall shape for each video connection looks different from one another. In the picture below you can see the different connections side by side:
Q: What is the best cable to use?A: The answer to this question depends on the intended use of the cable. While HDMI was made primarily for home entertainment, DisplayPort was designed for connecting computing devices to monitors. The best connection for gaming is the newer DisplayPort cables because they provide the highest refresh rates and the better-quality resolutions using packet data transmission commonly used in Ethernet and USB connections.
Q: Does my computer include the cable needed for the monitor?A: The cable is normally included with the monitor. However, some monitors do not provide all the possible ways to connect it to the computer. There are cables and adapters available if your computer and monitor port do not match.
Q: Can I use an adapter if the cable doesn’t match what I have?A: Yes. Micro Center provides a variety of different adapters to ensure the monitor you want works with your computer. Keep in mind, however, that adapters can sometimes have limitations.
Q: Why do some of my video ports not work on the computer?A: Some computers come with a video card, and, when a video card is present in the computer, the integrated ports on the motherboard do not work because they are disabled. These ports would typically be separated from the rest of the connections near the bottom of the computer. For more information, please check out this helpful article on setting up a PC with a video card installed.
Q: My computer comes with multiple connections. Does that mean I can use more than one monitor?A: Most new computers will allow the use of multiple monitors, exactly how many will depend on your specific system. Check the specifications of the computer with the manufacturer to confirm this.
Q: How do I know if my computer has a video card?A: A video card is typically located near the bottom of the computer and has additional video connections on it. These would be grouped separately from all the other cables.
Q: Do I need all cables connected?A: No. Some monitors include multiple video cables, but only one is needed per monitor. If you have multiple cables connected to a single monitor from the same device, it can cause problems, so you should only use one.
Q: Why am I not getting the advertised refresh rate from the monitor?A: Depending on the monitor, you may need to use a better cable connection to achieve the maximum results. Even if your monitor has a refresh rate advertised, if you do not have a video card to back this up, your hardware can limit you. If you do not have a video card, you will not be able to push 144 Hz in most cases. If you do have the right hardware, you may need to change your monitor refresh rate.
Q: Does cable length matter?
A: Cables can experience signal degradation over long distances. Higher quality cables will have less issues with this, but even high quality cables at some point would need a signal booster if you're going long enough.
Do you have any additional video cabling / connection questions? Feel free to reply with them below!
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