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Difference Between DVI and Dual Link DVI

crt_lcdDVI vs Dual Link DVI

As CRT technology ages and LCD screens become cheaper and better, the need for a newer interface that is capable of conveying digital signals grew. The Digital Visual Interface was created to address this need and remove the unnecessary extra step of converting the signal to analog then back to digital. Dual Link DVI is one version of DVI that provides a performance level that is beyond the need of most common people.

Dual Link DVI uses twice the number of data lines than what is used in a standard DVI. The extra data lines allow more information to be passed every second to the display. The increased amount of bandwidth is the whole point of Dual Link DVI as standard DVI has its own set of limitations that cannot be surmounted with any other solution aside from Dual Link. At 60Hz with GTF blanking, standard DVI is limited to a resolution of 1600×1200. With the same settings, Dual Link DVI is capable of utilizing a resolution of 2560×1600. You can easily see that Dual Link is the only way to go in situations where you need extreme resolutions. Professional level photo or video editing and animation often prefer Dual Link although having the hardware to support that high a resolution with identical performance would cost way more. Not just in the system components like the memory, processor, and graphics card that handles what should be on screen but also with the high resolution display as there are only a few devices that support it.

Although DVI is an interface that incorporates both digital and analog signals, you cannot use analog signals and still retain the Dual Link functionality. The standard Dual Link DVI connector has also taken out the pins for the analog signals as it is expected that those would not be used. Even when using the DVI-M1 connector that has all pins available, you would still forfeit Dual Link functionality when switching to analog signals.

1. DVI is a recent interface intended for computer displays while Dual Link DVI is just one version of DVI
2. Dual Link DVI has twice the amount of data lines compared to the standard DVI
3. Dual Link DVI allows high end computers to utilize very high resolutions not available to standard DVI
4. Dual Link is for digital only while standard DVI can be used with digital or analog

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