I am simply trying to use my DVI monitor with my laptop that only accepts VGA. I've been doing some research for an adapter from DVI female to VGA male and it seems that not only do I need an adapter, but I also need a converter, which costs around 100 dollars.

Is there another alternative? I have an LG monitor that uses DVI-D and currently has a DVI cable attached. Is it possible for me to find and use a cable that is DVI to VGA that would work with my laptop?

I have also read somewhere that sometimes the video card does the converting so people only need the adapters. I am currently using an NVIDIA Geforce GT 540M, so would just purchasing the adapter and not a converter be okay for my purpose?

  • Your laptop doesn't have an HDMI output?! This would give you much better image quality than the VGA output. Jul 23 '12 at 18:11

Unfortunately, a converter is the only possibility if your monitor is DVI-D ONLY.

I'm going to simplify and summarize the information contained within this Wikipedia article in a way that you can understand.

  1. There are two separate DVI specifications you need to be aware of: DVI-D and DVI-I.

  2. If your monitor requires DVI-D and not DVI-I (i.e. if it does not have four round pins surrounding the long, flat blade-like pin) then it cannot be used with a passive VGA adapter to connect to a VGA video card. You must use an active connector which converts digital to analog.


Your monitor, which you mentioned in your comment, says it supports D-Sub which is a separate output on the back of the monitor (look at it; you should see it on the back) which directly supports analog VGA. So just use a VGA to VGA cable. No conversion needed!

  • 1
    Oh wow, I failed to notice the VGA port in the back of my monitor. Excellent Answer. Cheers.
    – krikara
    Jul 23 '12 at 16:48
  • Just for your edification, if you ever scroll through the modes on your monitor by pressing the input button, you should see a mode that prints somewhere on the screen, "D-Sub" (short for Digital Substitution). If you see this, then your monitor does have a VGA connector and it has a built-in DAC that converts the original digital (DVI-D) video signal into an analog VGA signal. Saves you the trouble of hunting down connectors. Some really cheap, terrible LCDs only have DVI-D though, so your question is valid for someone stuck with such a POS, er, I mean cough device... Jul 23 '12 at 16:50
  • @allquixotic D-Sub has nothing to do with Digitl Substitution. Id means D-subminiature due to the vaguely dshape of the VGA plug.
    – kinokijuf
    Jul 24 '12 at 14:25

Depends on what kind of cable your monitor accepts. There are multiple variations on the DVI cable, some of which do not offer support for analog signals(VGA).

Run down of various DVI connectors: http://ancillotti.hubpages.com/hub/The-different-versions-of-DVI-HDMI-and-VGA-adapters

I would assume that your monitor supports analog signal, in which case you may be able to get by with a simple VGA-DVI convertor plug.

  • This is my monitor. I am not sure exactly how to interpret all the specs, but I think it only accepts DVI signals. lg.com/us/monitors/lg-W2053TX-lcd-monitor
    – krikara
    Jul 23 '12 at 16:42
  • It looks like your monitor has D-sub input, which could be a VGA plug. It that is the case then all you need to do is plug in a VGA cable and attach it to your laptop, then switch the source to the VGA cable. You DVI connector is DVI-D, which is strictly digital so a simple VGA-to-DVI adapter will not work for oyu. Jul 23 '12 at 16:47

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