How to convert DVI to VGA or VGA to DVI

Updated: 01/24/2018 by Computer Hope
DVI to VGA Cable Adapter

Today's video technology is moving away from analog (VGA) for a digital connection formats (HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort). However, there are still situations where you need to change the display technologies; usually due to differing ports on a computer and display. Video signals may be adapted in either direction (from DVI to VGA and VGA to DVI), but there are certain limitations and expense differences.


The DVI-to-VGA adapter is a cable or a small device (shown above). It allows a display device with a VGA connector (input) to receive an analog signal from a DVI-A (analog only) or DVI-I (analog and digital) connector attached to a computer's GPU. The converters are inexpensive and are occasionally packaged with video cards or available at many online retailers for around $5.


There's also the much less common scenario where a GPU on an older computer needs to send its signal to a newer display device with no VGA connector. In this case, a VGA-to-DVI converter is required to create a digital representation of the analog signal. These devices are harder to locate and often cost upwards for $100. If you find yourself in this situation, we recommend upgrading your video card or buying a new computer.

Signal quality considerations

Please note that moving between these two technologies may cause you to experience a loss of video quality. VGA, even in its highest resolution from SVGA, is only capable of an 800 x 600-pixel resolution. Therefore, if your computer is sending out a higher resolution DVI signal, it will be restricted by the lower resolution of VGA. Additionally, analog VGA signals are susceptible to a loss of quality based on how the cable was made.