VGA vs HDMI:Exhaustive Comparison and Detailed Facts and FAQs

VGA and HDMI are both display interfaces. Nowadays, HDMI is widely in use, where VGA is used in limited applications as VGA is the oldest display interface. 

This article will discuss the comparison between VGA vs HDMI in a detailed manner.

VGA HDMI Comparison:

VGA is the oldest display interface, and HDMI is one of the latest display interfaces, so lets compare these two technologies:

Stands For High Definition Multimedia Interface Video Graphic Array
Founded in HDMI was introduced at the end of 2002 VGA is the oldest digital interface introduced in 1987
Designed and Introduced byHitachi, Sony, Toshiba, Philips, Silicon Image, Panasonic, and Thomson.IBM
Signal HDMI uses digital signals for communication. HDMI uses digital data signal and VGA uses analog data signal, then transfer or transmission of data is more efficient in HDMI than VGA. and HDMI is easily completable with digital devices VGA uses analog signals for communication. New devices use a digital signal, so for using VGA cable digital to analog and  then analog to digital conversion required.
CompatibilityHDMI is compatible with DVI, VGA, etc, with converter.VGA to DVI and VGA to HDMI converter is also available
Resolution and Refresh rate HDMI with different versions, it can attain 8k (7680 X 4320) resolution with 120Hz refresh rate, but HDMI with 2K resolution it can achieve 480Hz refresh rate. The maximum resolution of a standard VGA is 640 X 480 with a 60 Hz refresh rate. Higher resolution can be attained with different versions of VGA.
ConnectorHDMI has 19 or 29 pins in its connector, there are five different types of connectors in HDMI, such as Type A, Type B, Type C, Type D and Type E.VGA only has 15 pins in the D-SUB connector and VGA BNC connector has a separate connector for each color and sync, such as Red, Blue, Green, Horizontal Sync, and Vertical sync.
Noise or InterferenceHDMI cables are less sensitive to crosstalk but can suffer from interference by electromagnetic fields.VGA cables are easily subjected to crosstalk and interference.
CableVGA cable cannot carry audio, and video signal with one cable, for carrying audio and video two different cables is required. HDMI cables carry Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) which enable user to control HDMI devices with a maximum of 15 devices.HDMI cable carries both video and audio signal through one cable simultaneously .
CostVGA is inexpensive, but converters from VGA to any other signal can cost more than that of a VGA cable.HDMI is relatively costlier than that of a VGA, but converters of HDMI to Other signal is cheaper.
LagHDMI apply post processing on the input signal which causes lag.VGA connections generally exhibit less input lag than HDMI connections because VGA does not apply post-processing on the (input) signal.
Image Credit: “HDMI” by Sam-Cat is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

HDMI vs VGA quality

HDMI can transfer eight channels of uncompressed or compressed digital audio simultaneously

The quality of HDMI is better than that of VGA because HDMI uses an uncompressed or compressed digital signal. In contrast, VGA uses an analog signal, which creates a significant difference in quality.

Since HDMI uses an uncompressed connection, HDMI is independent of the various digital standards used by individual devices. It can carry high-quality multi-channel audio data and can carry all standard videos. HDMI is capable of carrying control and Status information in both directions, and as modern devices use digital signals, HDMI is easily compatible with them. HDMI allows managing pixel by pixel the native resolution of the screen with whatever the source devices.

VGA vs HDMI gaming

High-resolution and high refresh rates, all frame rates are required for a quality gaming experience for modern gaming.

The standard VGA is limited to 640 X 480 resolution and refresh rate of 60 Hz, which is not very much suitable with modern gaming standards. In contrast, the maximum resolution HDMI can attain 8K with a 120 Hz refresh rate which is very much ideal for every modern gaming experience.

Although the cables do not limit the refresh rate or resolution, they can be restricted by the source or connectors used. As HDMI is comfortable with digital devices, it is preferred over VGA because VGA Uses an analog interface which seems outdated nowadays. Only limited devices use an analog signal, so if it is not necessary to use VGA, always go for HDMI for gaming.

VGA vs HDMI resolution

HDMI was introduced in 2002 to improve existing connectivity standards by creating more miniature and better connectors which can summon tenuously transmit digital video and audio signals.

The standard VGA 640 X 480 resolution with 60 Hz refresh rate, whereas with a different version of HDMI, it can go up to 8K resolution with 240 refresh rate.

VGA’s maximum resolution can attend up to 2048 X 1536, but VGA does not prefer HDMI for high-resolution.

Image Credit: “Monitor” by davispuh is licensed under CC BY 2.0

VGA vs HDMI cable

Resolution and refresh rates are not limited to the cable but are determined by the source or device.

The quality of HDMI cables is much better than that of VGA cables, as VGA requires separate cables for audio and video, where HDMI can transfer audio and video simultaneously. HDMI cable is capable of up to 8 compressed or uncompressed digital audio channels, along with Consumer Electronic Control (CEC). 

13w3 to VGA cable
Image Credit: “13w3 to VGA cable” by gctwnl is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The data in the VGA signal is analogous, so loss in data or interference in this type of signal is easy. With an increase in the length of the wire, the quality of the signal decreases. VGA Analogue data signal is also prone to noise and interference. HDMI uses transmission minimized differential signaling (TMPS), which can convert A picture automatically into the most appropriate format such as 16:9 or 4:3.

HDMI cable has16 wires that are wrapped in a single cable and carry a bandwidth of 5gbps. HDMI carries high-quality multi-channel audio data and can carry all standard formate of video. HDMI has three different channels for communication such as Display Data Channel (DDC), Transition-minimized differential signaling (TMDS) and Consumer Electronics Control (CEC).

Does VGA to HDMI reduce quality

VGA to HDMI converter is more expensive than the price of the VGA cable.

As the signal in VGA is analog and signal in HDMI Digital, when the conversion of the signal takes place, some loss of Signal quality happens, which can also introduce noise in the Signal.

During the conversion from VGA to HDMI, the analog signal is converted into a digital signal (using analog to digital converter), and running the VGA signal directly into an HDMI connector can cause damage. The connector as an analog signal has a higher voltage level, so a scaler or converter is required, which will take the VGA analog signal and audio signal to convert them into a digital signal (using digital to analog converter), which can be sent out to HDMI cable for connection.

Why does VGA to HDMI not work

Convert the signal between VGA and HDMI using a converter chip, where the converter chip is either designed to convert a VGA signal to HDMI or HDMI signal to VGA signal.

VGA to HDMI converter is not working causes can be:

  • The problem with the connector or port.
  • The malfunctioning signal from VGA to HDMI.
  • Check the power supply of the converter as VGA to HDMI converter requires external power for processing.
  • Check connection or lose connections.
  • Bad quality display can be caused by incorrect interference with the cable or faulty connector.
  • Restart the device after connecting as VGA is required to restart for better compatibility with the device.
  • New cables can be covered with a plastic cap so remove the plastic cap before using it.

Can VGA do 1080p 144Hz

Nowadays, only the older version of devices uses VGA port; otherwise, the newer ones use DisplayPort or HDMI.

VGA is not recommended for 1080p 144Hz, as it can adequately work till 1080p with a 60 Hz refresh rate, when the refresh rate increases beyond 60 Hz resolution decreases.

Original VGA cable can have a maximum resolution of 640 X 480 with a refresh rate of 60Hz; nowadays, 1080p is possible with VGA. The maximum resolution of VGA can be limited by signal source refresh rate also depends upon the signal source and display different modern connectors can easily achieve 1080p with 144 Hz.

Is HDMI better than VGA for 1080p

HDMI carries a digital signal where VGA has an analog signal that causes a significant difference between both the signals.

HDMI is recommended over for 1080p as VGA carries analog signal where HDMI carries digital in VGA at 1080p refresh rate is limited to 75 Hz at most, whereas with different versions of HDMI 240hz frequency rate can be achieved with 1080p resolution.

Standard VGA has a maximum resolution of up to 640 X 480, but with the latest technology, it is capable of 1080p. Still, the resolution and frequency rate can be limited due to the signal source or display.

Is HDMI sharper than VGA

Currently, HDMI is used with most devices as devices are compatible with digital signals, where is the use of VGA is very much limited.

HDMI has sharp images or videos, then VGA for higher resolution.

HDMI uses a digital interface that is able to carry video and audio 17 easily as HDMI uses digital signal which has many advantages over analog signal practically the difference in image quality is unnoticeable between HDMI and VGA. As VGA uses an analog signal, which can decrease image quality during transmission or conversion of the signal, noise or interference may occur incorrect translation of level may happen, as the length increases, the quality of signal decreases. The difference in quality VGA and HDMI is noticeable for higher resolution.

Can a VGA cable affect screen resolution

Connectors have 15 pins for VGA cable and VGA cables require separate cables for video and audio transmission. The source and quality of the cable can control the resolution of VGA.

Analog signal is not much immune to external noise, flickering, interference, etc. And with an increase in the distance, the quality of the signal degraded, which affects the overall resolution. Using a better quality VGA cable with a covering minimum length as possible may reduce noise and interference.

Do I need both VGA and HDMI?

VGA uses analog interference, whereas HDMI uses digital interference.

Display devices cannot use VGA and HDMI simultaneously, but display devices can change or switch between the cables if required.

Generally, VGA and HDMI are not required simultaneously. VGA is the oldest interface with display. The devices which still use the VGA port are very much limited, where the HDMI port is widely in use.

How can I increase my VGA resolution?

The standard VGA resolution is very much limited; it doesn’t support high-definition images or video.

HDMI to VGA converter or adaptor can be used to get better resolution from the source for a better and sharper image or video for VGA connector.

HDMI to VGA Adapter
Image Credit: “HDMI to VGA Adapter” by SparkFunElectronics is licensed under CC BY 2.0

HDMI uses digital signal and can carry both audio and video conversion of HDMI to VGA converter will not improve the quality of the original signal, but for better transmission HDMI cable can be used instead of VGA cables. If Required but with HDMI converter will be needed, which will increase the overall expenditure.

Do monitors need a VGA cable

VGA is the oldest display interface, introduced by IBM in 1987.

Only an older version of monitors or devices have a VGA connector so the VGA cable can only be used for only older monitors or devices.

As VGA cable is much more intensive than other cables, it can be used when the budget is limited but not recommended with converters as the converter is more expensive than that of the VGA cable. If any device has an HDMI port, use an HDMI cable. If any device has a VGA port, then only use a VGA cable because using a converter also reduces the quality of the signal and using a converter increases the overall expenditure.

Does VGA to HDMI adapter work

HDMI adapter is used to convert the analog VGA signal into a digital HDMI signal.

If all the connections are correctly connected to the eye doctor and from the adapter, then the adaptor should work properly if their adapter is not faulty.

HDMI to VGA Adapter
Image Credit: “HDMI to VGA Adapter” by SparkFunElectronics is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Does VGA affect gaming

VGA uses separate cables for audio and video. It cannot transfer video and audio simultaneously through a single cable.

The slandered version of VGA is limited to 640 X 480 resolution with a 60 Hz refresh rate, which is not suitable for modern gaming standards. With many different versions of VGA, it can extend up to 1080p with a 60 Hz to 75 HZ refresh rate, which can limit the use of VGA in gaming.

VGA can affect the quality and can get interference, on lower quality of VGA cables and the image quality also may get affected. Several devices that produce or use analog signals had different refresh rates with different resolutions, the processor of the device must be able to process it as VGA cable does not limit the resolution or reference rate these are mainly limited by the source, but with higher refresh rate then limit can degrade the image quality.

Does VGA cause lag

More components or converters are connected in the path of the signal, and more lag is added to the signal as every component causes some degree of delay.

VGA has a relatively lower leg than HDMI because the VGA signal does not apply post-processing on the input.

Leave a Comment