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Are VGA Cables Universal?

VGA (Video Graphics Array) cables rose in popularity in the 1980s. These cables, which are commonly used in computer setups, are used to establish a video connection between a display and another device, such as a computer.

However, are VGA cables universal? 

VGA cables are not universal. As VGA connectors are gendered, cables can vary in the types of connectors found at the ends of the cable. VGA cables can also vary in length.

Quality is another way these cables can differ from one another, with cheaper variants often being linked to graphical issues.

Are All VGA Cables the Same? 

a black VGA cable

Not all VGA cables are the same. The reason for this comes down to the connectors used by VGA cables: these connectors are gendered.

A male VGA connector features the plug and pins. However, a female VGA connector features a socket with holes for the pins. 

Due to this, there are three overall types of VGA cables you’re likely to come across.

Perhaps the most common type is the male-to-male VGA adapter. This type of cable can be plugged into a computer and monitor with a VGA port to create a working display connection between the devices. 

Pasow VGA to VGA Monitor Cable
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However, there are also male-to-female VGA adapters and female-to-female adapters. Depending on the type of VGA cable and the available ports, other devices may be required to create a working display connection.

This leads us to the following question we’ll address: 

Are VGA Cables Standard?

The answer to this question ultimately depends on your definition of the word “standard.” In terms of the connectors used by VGA cables, this type of cable can be considered standardized.

This will be considered more closely in the following section, when we consider the size of VGA cables.

However, this question can be interpreted differently: is the use of VGA cables standard?

VGA cables were introduced in the 1980s and were once widely used. Since then, other types that offer higher quality outputs have become more commonplace, making VGA cables less standard in this regard. 

In fact, there is also a cable known as an SVGA cable, which looks identical to a VGA cable. However, the difference lies in what they are capable of outputting.

VGA cables are designed to generally output video resolutions of up to 640 x 480, whereas SVGA cables can output resolutions of 800 x 600. 

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Today, most displays can handle much higher video resolutions. For this reason, other cables, such as HDMI cables, are used. However, it’s still possible to use adapters and other accessories to establish connections using a VGA cable.

Are All VGA Cables the Same Size?

When looking at whether all VGA cables are the same size, there are two core aspects to consider: the connectors and the cable itself.

Firstly, let’s look at the connectors. As we discussed earlier, these are labeled as either male or female. Of course, this means that not all VGA cables are the same. 

However, the connectors are all the same size. This means that all male connectors are alike, as are all female VGA connectors.

Male VGA connectors feature 15 pins, which all have a particular purpose. Due to this, all connectors must be alike to establish a working connection using VGA cables. 

Warmstor 6-Pack 15 Pin VGA Male to Male
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In terms of the actual cable, there are many different sizes or lengths available to consumers. You’ll be able to find VGA cables that are as short as 0.75 feet. However, you’ll also be able to find VGA cables longer than 30 feet. 

Does it Matter What VGA Cable I Use?

As we discussed above, the connectors used by VGA cables are all the same size. Due to this, many consumers are under the impression that it doesn’t matter what VGA cable they use.

However, two additional factors set VGA cables apart from one another. 

Of course, these factors are the build quality and materials used. Typically, this will be reflected in the price of the VGA cable. 

VGA to VGA Cable, Benfei VGA to VGA 6 Feet Cable with Ferrites
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This doesn’t mean you need to splurge on an expensive cable. It just means that you need to carefully consider the VGA cable you use! 

Many graphical issues are commonly associated with cheap cables. From blurry video output to excessive electromagnetic interference, a cheap VGA cable can often be more trouble than it’s worth! 

You might be able to notice shoddy workmanship by looking at lower-end cables. For instance, there might be soldering defects by the VGA connectors. 

Instead of identifying poor quality, you can read our next section on the type of VGA cable you should be using. 

Can You Use Any VGA Cable?

From the previous sections, you have a better understanding of why VGA cables are not universal. 

These cables can differ from one another in specific ways, from the VGA connectors used to the length of the cable and the quality of the build. To consider whether it’s possible to use any VGA cable, we briefly need to consider these aspects again. 

Firstly, VGA connectors — of which there are two types, male and female — are all essentially the same. However, you’ll need to ensure the cable you use has the appropriate connectors.

As mentioned, it is possible to use an adapter to remedy this, of which there are many available online.

You’ll also need to consider the length of cable you’re looking for. If you want to avoid excess cables that are visible, you may opt for a shorter cable that fits your needs.

However, in many instances, consumers require longer cables for specific connections. 

Finally, it’s crucial that the overall quality of the cable. Cheaper cables can lead to many unwanted issues, which can impact the quality of the output.

If you decide to use a VGA cable to establish a video connection, you’ll want to ensure you purchase a high-quality cable, of which there are many to choose from

Pasow VGA to VGA Monitor Cable
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In this article, we looked at why VGA cables are not universal.

There are many ways VGA cables can differ from one another, from the length of the cable to the type of VGA connector that is used.

These cables can also vary in overall quality, with cheaper VGA cables, often resulting in a poor video connection. For this reason, consumers should carefully choose the suitable VGA cable for their needs. 

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