I recently moved my flat-panel displays further away from my computer, but the DVI cables they came with weren’t long enough to connect the displays to the computer in their new location. So, I ordered some longer DVI cables from Newegg.com.
Turns out that both of my displays’ ports are DVI-D and that the cables were DVI-I. Well, DVI-I cables have four extra pins that carry analog signal in case you want to use it to hook up an analog display with an analog video adapter. And you can’t stick a 29-pin DVI-I cable into a 25-hole DVI-D port (but you can put a 25-pin DVI-D cable into a 29-pin DVI-I port)!
Yes, it was my bad for not looking at the display ports before buying these cables. I didn’t think to — all of the video cards I’ve used have DVI-I ports.
It sucks that displays have a DVI-D ports
It would be nice if digital displays and video cards only had DVI-I ports and never DVI-D ports — just have those 4 extra holes (and a wider analog ground pin hole) not do anything. I understand that it could possibly cause confusion (“Why is analog not working with my display over my DVI-I cable?”), but I think that’s much less likely and less significant than not being able to put a DVI-I cable to use with the display (don’t just take my word for it).
It should be very difficult to buy DVI-I cables
Really — why the heck would you want to use a DVI cable for an analog signal? I’ve hooked up a dozen analog displays to DVI video cards, and to do that it always involved a VGA cable (because any display I’ve ever seen that supports analog does so with a VGA cable or VGA port) and a DVI-I -to- VGA adapter at the video card.
I had three options…
… before me as stood there holding DVI-I cables in front of my DVI-D displays (well, technically I was behind them).
- Exchange the DVI-I cables for DVI-D cables. Would have taken several days and cost return shipping.
- Buy DVI-I (female) -to- DVI-D (male) adapters. Would have taken several days and cost as much as the cables themselves.
- “Convert” my DVI-I cables to DVI-D cables.
I chose #3, which involved using needle-nose pliers to break off the four analog pins (twisting each back-and-forth until they break, then bending the remaining stubs down) and using wire cutters to cut off the sides of the big flat analog ground (pin C5 is wider in DVI-I than it is in DVI-D).
Rosewill and Newegg, shame on you for making DVI-I cables so easy to buy.