Digital Cables – DVI-D, DVI-DL, DVI-I, DVI-Ayayay!

Wires… wires everywhere a wire.  Connecting all the electronics breaking my mind… Well, I tried to make it to the tune of a popular 70s song.  There are many wires and cables out in this world today, and one the has a lot of people confused is the infamous DVI cable. This cable, one of the first all-digital consumer video transfer cables, comes in many forms, and not many people realize it.



Let’s go down the line on what those different little sets of pins mean:

DVI-D – The “D” stands for “Digital.” Has a single bar on the left, 2 sets of 3×3 smaller pins on the right hand side.  This is used for pure digital connections.  You cannot plug an analog connection (like a DVI to VGA adapter) into a plug like this.

DVI-A – The “A” stands for “Analog.” Has 4 pins around the single bar on the left with scattered pins all throughout the right.   This is used for analog connections.  Most DVI connections have this ability built into other modes, such as the next configuration…

DVI-I Single Link – The “I” stands for “Integrated.”  Like the DVI-D, it has the bar on the left, the 2 sets of 3×3 smaller pins on the right but it also has 4 pins surrounding the bar.  Those 4 pins, in addition to others, transfer the analog signal and can be used with an analog adapter (like DVI to VGA.)

DVI-D Dual Link – Much like the DVI-D Single Link, except now the entire middle is filled in with 9 more pins, giving all 27 slots a fill for a full dual connection.  A dual link card can operate 2 individual monitors out of one DVI port.  You will need a special adapter to take advantage of this feature.  Because it is pure digital, an analog adapter will not work with this type of connection.  To do that, you will need the last type of connection…

DVI-I Dual Link – Just like the DVI-I Dual Link, but you can use it as an analog output as well.  A DVI to VGA adapter will work just fine on a card with this output.

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