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Is there a device I can buy that will convert the analog signal to digital?

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There are, but they are quite pricey. For example:

VGA to DVI Converter/Scaler

VGA / HDtv To Dvi-i Scaler / Converter

VGA to DVI Converter

A simple VGA<->DVI adapter will work the other way (DVI output to VGA display).

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Thanks. I guess it'll just be cheaper to buy a second cheap monitor then! Makes me wonder why the hell Dell would put a VGA port on a new >$1000 laptop that has a discrete graphics card... – Corey Apr 22 '10 at 14:54
No HDMI port either? – coneslayer Apr 22 '10 at 15:33
DVI -> VGA assumes that the DVI port outputs a DVI-I or DVI-A signal. Many cards do, but there are a few that are DVI-D only and require active conversion. – afrazier Apr 22 '10 at 15:39

You may find that a USB-to-DVI video adapter costs less than either a new monitor or a full-on VGA-DVI converter.


This works best if you are using the laptop's external display primarily for office work, web browsing, or other non-intensive graphics applications. I would not recommend it for 3-D gaming or for watching movies.

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Yes, there seem to be Adapters available.

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That adapter will only work if the monitor accepts an analog signal over a DVI connector. Most don't. – coneslayer Apr 22 '10 at 14:46
Yeah, I bought a similar $5 adapter and it did not work :( – Corey Apr 22 '10 at 14:53

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