Are DVI cables better than HDMI? (5 Factors)

Picture quality has increased multiple folds. We have reached 8K resolutions and require high-quality displays for accurate reproduction.

Whether it is a monitor or TV, the cable type and quality are very important to get a high-resolution display. 

Some of the popular cable types include HDMI, DVI, VGA, Display Port, etc. Among these HDMI and DVI are abundantly used. 

It is crucial to know which is the best type of cable and what are the use cases for each of these cables. So that we can easily choose the right type and get high-quality viewing through our display.

Are DVI cables better than HDMI

Are DVI cables better than HDMI?

HDMI cables are better than DVI cables because of the following factors. These reasons will help you to know why it is better to use HDMI than DVI for your monitor.

Form Factor

DVI has a large form factor. There are about 24 pins and each type of DVI differs in the arrangement of those pins. Some DVI connectors have 30 pins too which can perform data transfer too. 

On the other hand, HDMI also has about 19 pins but it is very compact in size. It looks more like a slightly large USB cable.

Therefore, connecting DVI requires some space on the back and might be bulky on the port. Whereas HDMI is more compact and can slide easily into small spaces.

Types Available

DVI has three types namely: DVI – A (Analog), DVI – D (Digital), and DVI – I (Analog and Digital). Along with this classification, you can get single link and dual-link cables which support higher resolutions respectively.

HDMI has 1.0, 2.0, and 2.1 versions which are relatively easier to choose when compared to DVI. The classification of HDMI is not confusing and you can easily pick an appropriate one for your requirement.

Audio and Video Support

DVI only supports video and doesn’t support audio. You have to buy an additional audio cable with your DVI so that you can enjoy audio along with your video. 

HDMI can support 32-channel audio along with high-resolution video. Within a single cable of HDMI, you can get both high-quality audio and video which saves you some space for other connections.


Finding a DVI port is quite rare in monitors and laptops. Even in TVs, you cannot find a DVI port. So, even if the DVI supports high resolutions, you will not find it in most PC monitors.

At the same time, HDMI is available on all kinds of monitors and TVs. Since it can provide both audio and video, HDMI cables have become a common medium of connectivity for displays. You can also connect an MHL cable with HDMI to support TV entertainment.

Video Quality and Refresh Rates

DVI has a maximum data transfer rate of 9.9 Gbit/s. That means it can support 8K resolution at a 30Hz refresh rate and 4K resolution at a 60Hz refresh rate.

The latest HDMI 2.0 version has an enormous rate of 42.6 Gbit/s. Therefore, it can support 8K resolution at 120 Hz refresh rate and 4K resolution at 144 Hz refresh rate. 

Even the older HDMI cables can support 1920 * 1200 HD video along with 8-channel audio simultaneously. 

DVI doesn’t support HDR and doesn’t have HDCP support. Whereas HDMI supports both HDR and HDCP. HDCP is the encryption used for playing Blu-Ray video. Without this support, you will not be able to play high-quality Blu-Ray videos.  

These are the major reasons to choose HDMI over DVI cables. If your computer monitor supports HDMI, then it is best to use an HDMI cable for your display. 

Also read: Is cat 8 the best Ethernet cable for gaming?

Where can I use DVI cable?

DVI was founded in the year 1999 and was very popularly used in monitors at that time. You can find DVI ports in older computer monitors.

DVI was created to replace VGA connectors. Therefore, it resembles them in format. You will be able to see these cables only on older monitors.

The latest monitors don’t have VGA or DVI ports and you cannot use those cables today. But you can use this cable on an old monitor.

If you have an old display but only an HDMI cable is available, you can make use of HDMI to DVI adapter and use your old monitor.

Apart from monitors, DVI cables are still usable with a graphics card. Even with the latest graphics card, you can find a DVI port that makes use of a DVI cable. 

If you have a VGA port, you can use a DVI to VGA adapter and use a DVI cable to connect the display with your PC.

Can DVI carry audio?

No, DVI cannot carry audio signals. With just a DVI cable you cannot transfer both video and audio. But there is a way to transfer audio with DVI cables. For that, you have to follow these steps and transfer audio successfully.

Steps to transfer audio with DVI

  • It is a known fact that DVI cannot transfer audio. But HDMI can transfer both. Therefore, we make use of a DVI/HDMI adapter and transfer both audio and video successfully.
  • Get a DVI to HDMI adapter from the store. Now plug the DVI side to the monitor. Then take the HDMI out and connect it to the PC using an HDMI cable.
  • If your PC has both DVI and HDMI, you will be able to hear both audio and video with this setup.
  • This is how you can transfer audio and video with a DVI port. Otherwise, there is no way in which both can be transferred with DVI.

How to care for DVI cables?

The DVI cable is a digital video interface. It is used to transmit uncompressed digital video data from one device to another. The cable is made up of four shielded twisted pairs of copper wire.

The following are some tips to maintain the DVI cables:

  • Keep the connectors clean and dry, as they can corrode over time and cause signal loss.
  • Use a high quality DVI connector when connecting cables together.
  • Do not pull on the cable to disconnect it, instead use your fingers on the connector head and push it sideways until it releases from its socket.
  • When you need to cut the cable, make sure you cut it at least six inches away from any connector head.
  • Don’t bend it too much, as this can cause cracks in the cable’s casing and reduce its durability.

How long do DVI cables last?

The lifespan of a DVI cable depends on the quality of the cable, how it is used and how well it is cared for. The lifespan of a DVI cable can be anywhere from 5 to 15 years.

DVI cables are used in the computer world to connect monitors and other devices to computer systems. They have been around for a while now and they are still used today.

In the early days, DVI cables were made of copper, but since then they have been replaced with more advanced materials like silver and gold.


DVI is an old technology that is slowly fading away from the digital world. But still, there are certain areas where this technology is used such as the graphics card and old monitors.

On the other hand, we can get HDMI support in almost all monitors and displays manufactured these days. HDMI has more advantages when compared to DVI.

A single HDMI cable is enough for you to transmit high-definition video and audio at a higher refresh rate. Because of such pros, HDMI is better than DVI. It is recommended to use HDMI for all your video devices.

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