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What is the difference between DVI-I and DVI-D? Which one is better?

If I buy a video card, which type is advisable to buy?

Very rarely I have even seen DVI-A. Where does that fit in?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

D is digital-only. A is analog-only (and VGA compatible with a simple adapter). I is integrated, or both.

You rarely see A by itself; most of the time, if you get analog, it is included in I.

A card should provide I, in case you want to connect to a VGA monitor. But the monitor should support D, and you will often use a D-only cable.

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DVI-I is a connector that is compatible with both DVI-A (analog) and DVI-D (digital), which are not compatible. DVI-A is largely a computer format. DVI-D is the consumer variety of DVI, the one that most people consider to be the same as HDMI without the audio (slightly inaccurately); it has found its way into the computer world between certain video cards and displays. DVI w/HDCP is DVI-D that carries the digital copy protection that is found most commonly on HDMI; at the dawn of DVI on consumer-video products, HDCP wasn't always included, sometimes making it incompatible with subsequent products that demanded it. DVI, component, and HDMI are all capable of resolutions higher than 720p.

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