This is a quick guide to common display cable adapters that you might require when connecting any type of display monitor or screen to your computer.
We’ll cover the different possible types of monitor/display ports, what types of adapters you might need in different situations, and other items to consider before purchasing an adapter.
Types of Display Connection Ports
There are many different types of connection ports for displays. Ones that you’ll likely come across are listed below –
- Mini DVI
- Micro DVI
- Mini HDMI
- Micro HDMI
- Display Port (DP)
The following connection types all have the same form-factor (physical appearance) and cables/sockets can plug interchangeably:
- Mini Display Port
- USB -C
Some monitor connector types also have the ability to carry audio signals.
There are also older connector types that pretty much aren’t used on newer systems anymore, but you may still see these on specialty or legacy equipment (for example VGA).\
In general, connector types are getting smaller and more streamlined – this is particularly true for laptops, where being more compact/slim is a selling feature.
What Type of Display Cable to Choose
An adapter simply allows you to plug one type of cable/port into a different type.
For example, if your computer display output only has a ‘DVI’ port for a monitor, but your monitor itself accepts only ‘HDMI’ or ‘Display Port’, then you will need a cable to connect these ports together.
You will therefore need a ‘DVI to HDMI cable’, or a ‘DVI to Display Port cable’.
When Do You Need An Adapter?
Sometimes, you might already have one type of cable, but due to a monitor or computer upgrade, your requirements to connect your display monitor to your computer will change. This is typical if you have upgraded to a newer monitor or computer, and the connection ports on that new piece of hardware follow newer conventions (typically HDMI or Display Port connections will have replaced the older VGA or DVI ports).
You have two choices here:
- You may be able to re-use your existing cable, with an adapter that adapts the connection type at one end as required
- You may just want to purchase a new cable that has the correct connector types at each end
The adapter basically converts the connection type at one end of your cable or at the connection point as required. This can be via a simple physical connection adaption, or a signal format adaption, or both.
You may also want to use an adapter if you are sharing a cable between multiple devices that have different connection ports available. In this case you might need an adapter when connecting your cable to device 1, but when connecting your cable to device 2, you might not require an adapter.
Common Types of Display Adapters
Below are some common display adapters. Some products even feature multiple ports to make them more flexible.
You’ll need to pay attention to male and female ends to ensure you are adapting the correct connector (or cable) as required for your particular situation.
|DisplayPort to HDMI, Benfei Gold-Plated DP Display Port to HDMI Adapter (Male to Female) Compatible for Lenovo Dell HP and Other Brand||Prime||Buy on Amazon|
|Moread DisplayPort (DP) to VGA Adapter, Gold-Plated Display Port to VGA Adapter (Male to Female) Compatible with Computer, Desktop, Laptop, PC, Monitor, Projector, HDTV - Black||Prime||Buy on Amazon|
|USB to VGA Adapter,USB 3.0 to VGA Adapter Multi-Display Video Converter- PC Laptop Windows 7/8/8.1/10,Desktop, Laptop, PC, Monitor, Projector, HDTV||Prime||Buy on Amazon|
|CABLEDECONN Multi-Function Displayport Dp to HDMI/DVI/VGA Male to Female 3-in-1 Adapter Converter Cable||Prime||Buy on Amazon|
|USB C to Dual HDMI Adapter 4K @60hz,Type C to HDMI Converter for MacBook/MacBook Pro 2020/2019/2018,MacBook Air,Chromebook Pixel,LenovoYoga 920/Thinkpad T480,Dell XPS 13/15,Surface Book 2, etc||Prime||Buy on Amazon|
Other Things to Consider When Selecting Cables or Adapters
Not all the different connector types are compatible or can be adapted.
In some cases you can get a loss of signal quality when using adapters. This is why some people prefer to purchase new cables with the correct connector types at each end rather than use adapters.
Always check the manufacturer’s advertised compatibility when purchasing an adapter.