If I have an LCD monitor with DVI and RGB inputs, should I buy a new video card that supports DVI output?

Question

I bought a new Princeton VL1916 19" LCD monitor with rgb and DVI-D connectors. My computer has a S3 Graphics ProSavage display adapter which dosen't have a DVI connector.

Should I buy and new video card?

Will I gain any resolution with a new card that has the DVI connector?

Can you recommend a card? I don't use my computer for games or graphic programs.

Answer

This question was answered on May 7, 2005. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Digital to Analog to Digital -- Computers and Digital Displays

To experience the greatest benefits of using a digital display device, a digital connection is necessary You may think that when you connect a computer, which is a digital device, to a digital display, you automatically have a digital to digital signal However, without a digital cable connecting them, it is not the case.

When data from a computer leaves your computer memory, it has to go through what is called a RAMDAC (Random Access Memory Digital to Analog Converter), which converts the signal from digital to analog in order for a VGA or another analog cable to carry the signal to the monitor Once converted, the VGA cable carries the signal to your monitor If your monitor is a digital monitor, it has to be converted once more to digital.

Each conversion creates small amounts of signal loss which impact the overall quality of the picture DVI has eliminated the need for these conversions.

http://www.projectorpeople.com/tutorials/dvi-connections.asp

You would have to spend around $130 for a new video card with a DVI output A DVI cable costs around $50 If you are happy with the way your monitor looks, then I wouldn’t change a thing.

Adding a new card and cable won’t gain you any resolution, just a small improvement in overall picture quality If you are ready to spend $180 for this upgrade, I would recommend the ATI RADEON 9550 256MB graphics card for $129.99 You can purchase a Dynex 10’ DVI cable for $52.99 Both should be available at your local Best Buy store.

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Author

Posted by Jamie of Chandler-Gilbert Community College on May 7, 2005