Help using a VGA monitor with a DVI-D port on computer

By cableman
Oct 25, 2011
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  1. I recently bought several Dell Optiplex GX620 computers online for repair. I usually do a thorough review of what I am getting but this was a cheap deal on a big lot and a few things slipped by me.

    For one it takes a special power cord that I can't find for less than $17.00 and there were none with the lot. I ordered one to test them with for now.but that is not my main problem but if anyone knows where I can get those DA-2 adapter power cords any cheaper please let me know where.

    My main problem is that these are the small form factor cases so they have no card slots. I am dependent upon the motherboard options only. So here is my problem: the only connector for a monitor on the back of the computer is for a DVI-D which would be great if I had monitors with those connections. The only connections I have on my monitors are the VGA. I bought some adapters from e-bay that were supposed to convert the DVI port to the VGA which the connector did but I have no screen using this adapter and I am thinking that I was cheated. Can this even be done this way? I have always just changed the video card but this computer has no way I can see to do that, it is all in the motherboard. Does anyone know what I can do here? I put a fresh install of io xp pro on several of then since that is what they came with. They only have pentium 4's with hyperthreading 3.0 and 3.2 single core processors and I didn't think windows 7 would help any. If anyone knows what I can do to use these VGA monitors please tell me because without being able to put a video card in it I am lost. sincerely cableman.
  2. humblechap

    humblechap Newcomer, in training Posts: 37

    Your best bet for Global spares is www.pchub.com.

    As to the DVI to D-Sub you did the right thing in buying an adapter. It should work period. Did you get the joblot from eBay? Was it sold as untested? Are the PCs even powering on? Maybe there are issues with memory/cpu/motherboard....

    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/opgx620/en/ug/A02/solve00.htm#wp1286323

    Yes you have to be very careful when upgrading the CPUs for this unit as they follow a narrower roadmap. Top line CPU would appear to be a Pentium D3.4Ghz which worked in a GX620 usff with bios revision A11.

    Good luck!
  3. dmill89

    dmill89 TechSpot Guru Posts: 737

    If it has DVI-D ports and not DVI-I ports you cannot use VGA adaptors. DVI-D outputs digital only where as VGA is analogue. DVI-I which is much more common can output both digital and analogue so it will work with adaptors. Many manufactures mistakenly label their adaptors as DVI-D to VGA but in reality they are DVI-I to VGA only. There are some boxes out there that can convert a digital DVI-D signal to analogue but they are prohibitively expensive $300+ ea.
  4. Rabbit01

    Rabbit01 TechSpot Booster Posts: 862   +33

  5. dmill89

    dmill89 TechSpot Guru Posts: 737

    That is for DVI-A analogue. It will only work with DVI-A or DVI-I (Integrated digital and analogue) ports like all adaptors that don't contain any electronics and simply convert the pins. A DVI-D port only outputs digital and in incapable of outputting the analogue signal that a VGA monitor needs, only adaptor boxes with digital to analogue video converters in them can allow DVI-D to work over VGA and again these boxes are expensive.
  6. cableman

    cableman TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 158

    The computer is working fine with my 23" high def monitor but I cannot let the buyer have my monitor too. How can I tell the difference between a DVI-D and a DVI-I output? And yes I bought the adapters NEW from ebay, NOT USED. I need to know if they are the problem or something else so I can send them back if they are of no use. What is the best course of action?
  7. dmill89

    dmill89 TechSpot Guru Posts: 737

  8. cableman

    cableman TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 158

    Found some info

    Here is a link showing the different types of plugs and how to determine which one you have : http://www.datapro.net/techinfo/dvi_info.html

    The connector on the back of the computer is the DVI-I dual link (digital and analog) for sure. I still cannot figure out why the adapter didn't work. I have used them before. I will check by using another monitor but is there maybe some setting in the bios that has to be set to output both signal types?
  9. Rabbit01

    Rabbit01 TechSpot Booster Posts: 862   +33

    Yes, Dell's online support said the ultra SFF has DVI-I connection. As for the adapter, it should be plug & play. There shouldn't be any fiddling anywhere to get it to work. Dumb question, by have to ask, the monitor w/ VGA connection is working, right?
  10. cableman

    cableman TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 158

    I googled a list iof DVI plugs and there are 2 kinds, a DVI-I and a DVI-D the one with the D at the end is not compatible with the analog signal for a VGA monitor. The DVI-I can convert the plug to a VGA monitor as long as the plug on the computer is also DVI-I. I looked at all the diagrams and found that ebay sent me a converter plug with a DVI-D type fitting. They will both plug in but the DVI-D will never convert to analog signal. The manufacturer must have made a bad batch. I am sending these back and ordering the right adapter (DVI-I), The website was very specific so I am sure that this is the problem, the only thing that would keep the right plug from working is if the plug on the back of the computer was digital only and this is not the case according to the diagrams and information on the website. I believe the seller knew this because they only offered me half a refund and didn't even want the merchandise back. I emailed them back saying that I would send their product back and want a full refund. According to ebay rules they have to comply.


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