VGA is analog signal, there's one type of it. I don't understand how there could be different versions of a DVI to VGA adapter, but there are.

For example Matrox Triplehead2Go Digital has 3 DVI-I (both analog and digital) output ports. I want to connect to my projectors via VGA, so I need a DVI to VGA adapter. I'd assume there would be 1 type of DVI to VGA adapter, but there are two types I've found is sold. The manual only mentions you need a "DVI to HD-15 adapter" ( http://www.matrox.com/graphics/media/pdf/products/gxm/en_triplehead2go_guide.pdf ,page 10 )

Here are the two types:

enter image description here

There are a lot of these on eBay and in local stores. Notice there are no pins on the top and bottom of the lone "horizontal line pin" (the C1, C2, C3, C4 pins are missing). I think they are needed to pass analog signal. So what are these adapters? Do some weird devices use VGA ports to accept digital signal? Is that the explanation?

The second type looks like this:

enter image description here enter image description here

Notice that all the pins are there, including the C pins.

Er, what's the difference? If it weren't the necessary analog pins missing on the first I'd assume it's for single link or dual link DVI, but that's not it...

There's also the third kind missing the middle pins... enter image description here

I'd assume it's for single link DVI, but again, VGA is analog and the C pins are missing too...

  • why the downvote?
    – Leo Ervin
    Feb 8, 2016 at 14:12

2 Answers 2


There are a lot of different types because there are a lot of different DVI types. DVI-D, DVI-I to name a few.

Some DVI types have 4 pins on the left side near the -. They are analog signals, and the Sub-D (VGA) connector links to just those pins. Some connectors don't have them, then the signal is internally linked to a digital signal. It is up to the monitor to understand the digital signals then.

You should note that a VGA monitor that does NOT have a DVI port, does not understand digital signals, and will fail if the analog signals are not connected (missing those 4 pins near the -) it will simply say cable unplugged. These are only the old monitors from 10 years ago.



You would want a DVI-I(Single Link/Dual Link)/DVI-A to VGA:

DVI-D(Single Link/Dual Link) to VGA adapter will do unnecessary digital/analog singal conversion; since your Matrox device has a DVI-I port, it means that it can output analog signal directly.

Whether the adapter is single link or dual link DVI-I, or simply DVI-A doesn't matters, since all you need are the pins of DVI-A, which are covered by either single link or dual link DVI-I.

  • Not to mention that some DVI-D to VGA adapters on the market can be bogus and unusable because of the lacking of a DAC. Genuine ones usually look like this: amazon.com/Cable-Matters-Active-Female-Adapter/dp/B012DLMS1W
    – Tom Yan
    Feb 8, 2016 at 10:54
  • Lets just say I've hammered one of these DVI-D to VGA adapters to see whats inside and there were no chips inside, only rewiring. Is this a scam then? Too many in the shops and on ebay...
    – Leo Ervin
    Feb 8, 2016 at 11:16
  • I think so. I don't see how rewiring can convert digital signal to analog one.
    – Tom Yan
    Feb 8, 2016 at 11:36
  • We are talking about "passive" DVI-D to VGA in the comments.
    – Tom Yan
    Feb 8, 2016 at 13:08
  • That's exactly what we've been talking about -- those DVI-D to VGA adapter that has no DAC in it is probably useless.
    – Tom Yan
    Feb 8, 2016 at 13:14

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