dvi

jer446

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 28, 2004
826
0
I was just wodering, how big of a difference does dvi make from normal plugs? Can you tell the difference in normal activites?
 

dotdotdot

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2005
2,381
33
I was asking this myself for the Mac mini, considering its low VRAM and it would be easier for me to plug it into a VGA monitor instead of a DVI one...

Lets start from the beginning here.

CRTs usually are VGA monitors, and look pretty good. VGA is the older video output, but is still used today.

Most LCDs act differently. (Most, which is basically all... theres like a few from ViewSonic that don't do this, my sisters being one of them) LCDs have more intense, rich, and bright colors. You'll normally read that LCD monitors gray colors and other light-ish colors look pretty bad in VGA, but look amazing in DVI.

This is because when your video card sends out a DVI signal into the LCD, it "plugs directly into the monitor" (Lets just say this for now, so its easier to understand). When you have a VGA video card plugged into the VGA spot on a DVI monitor, it needs to interpret the VGA data into the LCD which makes it look a little worse...

Basically, DVI is a smoother, richer and crisper image.
 

Counterfit

macrumors G3
Aug 20, 2003
8,201
0
sitting on your shoulder
DVI = Digital
VGA = Analog

Running an LCD (digital until it changes the charge of the liquid) on a VGA (analog) connection is rather stupid and wasteful, as you have to convert from digital (the entire insides of the computer, through to the port), to analog to send it through the port and along the cable, then back to digital for the LCD to display.
CRTs are analog anyway, so running on DVI is alright, and might be better if the Digital/Analog converter in the monitor itself is better than the one on the video card.
 

Westside guy

macrumors 603
Oct 15, 2003
5,520
2,471
The soggy side of the Pacific NW
jer446 said:
but how noticable is the change?
It is quite apparent even at first glance. When we recently (at work) all got LCD monitors, everyone else had to use the VGA input; I connected via DVI directly from my Powerbook. My boss - who didn't at the time know I had a direct DVI connection - came in and immediately asked why his screen didn't look as crisp as mine did.

Now his was being driven by XP, while mine of course was OS X; but this quality difference didn't show up when we were all using CRTs. Everything just looked better on my monitor. I don't know how to quantify it, but it just did. :)

He has since ordered DVI video cards for all of our group's boxes. :D
 

Platform

macrumors 68030
Dec 30, 2004
2,879
0
jer446 said:
but how noticable is the change?
Think that it is a bit faster and that the image is more clear.
I have an 17"LCD with both VGA and DVI the DVI connection gives a lot more crisp picture, so if you buy an LCD make sure it has DVI. (also it is better for your eye's ;) )
 

ravenvii

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,584
490
Melenkurion Skyweir
It seems to depend on the LCD. I read accounts where people said they didn't see any difference on their LCDs between the inputs. On mine (Samsung 172T) I do notice a difference, the DVI input seems more crisp. Not that the VGA input looks bad - I had to use the VGA input 99% of the time because the iBook only has VGA-out (I use the DVI input for the PC, but I almost never use it since I didn't bring it to college).
 

anubis

macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2003
937
50
Westside guy said:
It is quite apparent even at first glance. When we recently (at work) all got LCD monitors, everyone else had to use the VGA input; I connected via DVI directly from my Powerbook. My boss - who didn't at the time know I had a direct DVI connection - came in and immediately asked why his screen didn't look as crisp as mine did.

Now his was being driven by XP, while mine of course was OS X; but this quality difference didn't show up when we were all using CRTs. Everything just looked better on my monitor. I don't know how to quantify it, but it just did. :)

He has since ordered DVI video cards for all of our group's boxes. :D

Here's my experience.

I have two LCD panels hooked up to my Powermac. One is a Samsung 17-inch that has VGA input only, and the other is a Gateway 18-inch that is connected with DVI.

To me, the image crispness and clarity are exactly the same.

The key is, if you get a VGA-only LCD, to get one that has good processing capabilities and the ability to automatically adjust the picture for maximum clarity, etc. On my Samsung, there is a button on the front labeled "Auto", which automatically runs a series of adjustments to how the VGA signal is processed and displayed. I cannot tell one bit of difference between the VGA and DVI signal.

People who complain that their VGA LCD panels don't look as good as their DVI panels have their VGA panels configured improperly. Either their VGA LCD panel does not have an automatic image processor, they havn't used it, or they are trying to run their LCD monitor at a non-native resolution.

Remember, running any LCD monitor in its nonnative resolution will DESTROY the picture quality.

In conclusion, if you are worried about quality on a VGA-only LCD panel, just make sure the panel has some sort of decent automatically-adjusting feature, and ALWAYS run at native resolution. All too often I see people running their panels at nonnative resolution, and it looks like dogpoo. They are astonished at how much better their picture is once i show them how to run their panel at native resolution.
 

Dont Hurt Me

macrumors 603
Dec 21, 2002
6,055
6
Yahooville S.C.
Anyone know if MacMini comes with a DVI cable? My new Alienware didnt so im running my lcd in vga mode. Guess whats coming in today? and i would sure like to run it in DVI .
 

neut

macrumors 68000
Nov 27, 2001
1,843
0
here (for now)
Dont Hurt Me said:
Anyone know if MacMini comes with a DVI cable? My new Alienware didnt so im running my lcd in vga mode. Guess whats coming in today? and i would sure like to run it in DVI .
it has a mini DVI to DVI adapter ...

DVI is better than VGA to most people who notice details. better screen stability also helps the eyes.


peace.
 

dotdotdot

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2005
2,381
33
neut said:
it has a mini DVI to DVI adapter ...

DVI is better than VGA to most people who notice details. better screen stability also helps the eyes.


peace.
it has a regular DVI to VGA adapter.
 

Crikey

macrumors 6502
Jan 14, 2004
356
0
Spencer's Butte, Oregon
I'm usually pretty picky. I haven't done any exhaustive A/B testing, but I don't notice a quality difference between the DVI and VGA inputs on my LCD panel. For daily use, I plug my Mac into the DVI input and one of the PCs into the VGA input.

One thing to remember is that LCD panels tend to prefer a 60Hz refresh rate coming out of the graphics adapter. Many of us used to drive our CRTs at much higher refresh rates to reduce CRT flicker. Some LCDs will provide better image quality at 60Hz than at 75 or 85 or whatever, and I've heard of some really cheap LCDs that won't display a picture at all unless the refresh is set to 60Hz.


Crikey
 

dotdotdot

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2005
2,381
33
Crikey said:
I'm usually pretty picky. I haven't done any exhaustive A/B testing, but I don't notice a quality difference between the DVI and VGA inputs on my LCD panel. For daily use, I plug my Mac into the DVI input and one of the PCs into the VGA input.

One thing to remember is that LCD panels tend to prefer a 60Hz refresh rate coming out of the graphics adapter. Many of us used to drive our CRTs at much higher refresh rates to reduce CRT flicker. Some LCDs will provide better image quality at 60Hz than at 75 or 85 or whatever, and I've heard of some really cheap LCDs that won't display a picture at all unless the refresh is set to 60Hz.


Crikey
Well... you HAVE plugged your mac into VGA?

Because when/if i get a Mac mini (to-be my first mac) I want to know if the picture is as sharp and "cool" as DVI for the Mini
 

Platform

macrumors 68030
Dec 30, 2004
2,879
0
Counterfit said:
K.I.S.S. = Keep it Simple Stupid. The picture you posted was much more concise and to the point than my rather lengthy explanation, and thus, less confusing. :)
Oh now I understand
 
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