Connect external monitor via DVI or VGA? (DVI will cost me more)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by anguyenn, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. anguyenn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    #1
    The monitor came with the VGA cable, but not a DVI-D cable. Should I get the DVI-D cable and adapter instead of a VGA adapter? Why do I ask, because the adapters both cost $34 each (I'm Canadian) but the catch is for DVI I would have to add an extra $20 for the cable and I'm not sure if it's worth it or not since I'm tight on money.
    Should I worry myself over getting a DVI adapter AND the additional cost which is the DVI-DVI cable? Thanks!

    Already answered:
    Just like Windows which makes it super easy, I tried searching but didn't find the right solution... Does anyone know how I can extend the my MBP's monitor to my external as I can do this on my PC -> External but can't get it to work from my Mac.

    Just to clarify, I want to do this via Leopard, not XP, Vista or 7.
     
  2. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040

    NewMacbookPlz

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    Sep 28, 2008
    #2
    In the monitor option just uncheck "mirrored display" or whatever it's called, and it will default to extended mode.
     
  3. anguyenn thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 23, 2009
    #3
    You mean the display option? Is the option available only when you connect the monitor? As I can't see anything at the moment since monitor is not connected.
     
  4. NP3 macrumors regular

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    Jul 12, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #4
    Yes, the monitor must be connected to set this up. Once you set it up in extended mode, it will remember your settings and automatically do it.
     
  5. anguyenn thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 23, 2009
  6. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040

    NewMacbookPlz

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    Sep 28, 2008
    #6
    As for VGA vs DVI, I definitely prefer DVI just because you don't ever have to worry about "Auto Scan" or whatever your monitor calls it to sync the monitor timing with the output signal. DVI carries this information with it.

    Also, on some setups you can get some pretty nasty ghosting via VGA if you have a poorly shielded cable and a power set of speakers nearby whereas DVI would be unaffected by this since it's a digital signal.

    IMO, the $20 is trivial compared to the price of the MacBook to begin with. You could always get a DVI-D cable from www.monoprice.com for a few bucks and quite high quality as well.
     
  7. m85476585 macrumors 65816

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    Feb 26, 2008
    #7
    DVI will give you better picture quality and possibly better color. I think DVI is also required for HDCP, which I think you need if you want to rent/buy HD movies from itunes (though I might be wrong).

    With a quality VGA cable, you might never notice any difference in quality. If the cable is thick and has ferrites on both ends (black plastic cylinders near the end of the cable), it is probably OK. I've had some cheap VGA cables that distort the picture significantly (colors were bad, there was ghosting, etc). The higher the resolution you want to use, the higher quality cable you will need. I would assume that a new monitor comes with a good enough VGA cable, but you never know.

    I'm not up to date on the price of DVI cables in Canada, buy try to find one cheaper. A cheap DVI cable will not degrade the picture quality the same as a cheap VGA cable will; since it is digital, either there will be a picture or there won't. There is some chance that a cheap DVI cable will introduce digital artifacts, but I haven't seen it happen. In the US, DVI cables from retail places like BestBuy are overpriced, and the best option is to buy one online.

    You can get this cable from Newegg.ca for $8.50 + shipping, though I don't know how much shipping would cost.
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812186011
    they have a 3 foot one for a little less, but I don't know if that would be long enough for you. 3 feet is really very short for a cable.
     
  8. Sneakz macrumors 65816

    Sneakz

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    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #8
    Even if you are Canadian, buying your stuff from Monoprice is always the cheapest method. Mini Display Port to DVI and a DVI-D cable w/ shipping will be around $20CDN.
     
  9. anguyenn thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 23, 2009
    #9
    Thanks for the replies, how do you know if you will need a male or female cable? What's the difference?
     
  10. Sneakz macrumors 65816

    Sneakz

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    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #10
    You will need male. Male connector has pins. Female connector has holes, sockets, whatever you want to call them. VGA and DVI cables are made with two male ends because video cards (In this case, an adapter) and monitors have female inputs.
     
  11. benlangdon macrumors 65832

    benlangdon

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    Jan 13, 2008
    #11
    omg $34
    try monoprice.

    jeez i got a dvi -d cable for like 5 bucks.

    EDIT: ya 3rd or 4th person to say this.
     
  12. anguyenn thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 23, 2009
    #12
    Don't I need a male in this case (double sided pins), as according to the picture here:

    http://store.apple.com/ca/product/MB570Z/A

    It has holes meaning one side will require pins, and from the back of my monitor, I would assume I will need pins to to plug it in..? Why female?
     
  13. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040

    NewMacbookPlz

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    Sep 28, 2008
    #13
    You're right anguyenn, you'll need a male-male double ended cable.

    Sneakz, you had it right there in your post, monitors and whatnot have female connectors, but so do Apple adapters.
     
  14. Sneakz macrumors 65816

    Sneakz

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    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #14
    It was an error. I contradicted myself in my post.
    Yet I said you needed a female cable. I fixed the post.
     
  15. anguyenn thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    #15
    Alright, great -- Male DVI-DVI cable + Adapter it is. Thanks for the help guys. Did not want to go get the wrong thing. :eek:
     
  16. benlangdon macrumors 65832

    benlangdon

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    Jan 13, 2008
    #16
    you know at mono price they have mini displayport to dvi cables.

    i can kinda tell you trust apple and that that will be the best choice, but mono price is very high quality, and substantially less price.

    i have bought many many cables from them dvi-d, hdmi, hdmi-dvi, usb, cat 6, toslink, toslink-mini toslink, and they have all be amazing quality.

    all i got to say is when ordering cable though, go long, or really short if need be, it works the best.

    EDIT: oops it says they are not available right now, but i would still go through them.
     
  17. anguyenn thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    #17
    It's not that I don't have any trust for Monoprice, it's just I need to get it as soon as possible and with that said, getting it from the Apple store would mean a) I get it sooner and b) I get it cheaper (since express shipping makes it more expensive).
     

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