HDMI vs DisplayPort vs DVI vs VGA – every connection explained

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Most monitors will have a range of different inputs available, and your PC or laptop will also use different outputs, so it can be difficult to decide which is the best one for you to use. Under most general circumstances, you might be able to get away with using whichever cable you have lying around, but if you have more specific needs, such as carrying audio or using high resolutions or refresh rates, you’ll need to be more discerning in your choice of cable. We outline the different cables below and give you a few different usage scenarios to help you decide.

HDMI 

HDMI, or ‘High-Definition Multimedia Interface’ to use its full name, is one of the most common connections. You’ve probably come across it on your television, set-top boxes, tablets, laptops and games consoles.

HDMI is unique among the many connection options in that it’s able to carry both uncompressed video and uncompressed audio. This is why it’s become the connection of choice for most multimedia devices as it’s a one cable solution (like SCART but so much less annoying). Other benefits of HDMI include functions such as HDMI-CEC (HDMI Consumer Electronics Control), which allows you to control numerous devices with one remote. For example, connect a soundbar to your television through a HDMI-CEC compatible port and the soundbar can turn on and off with your television and be controlled by a single remote.

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HDMI has seen numerous revisions since its inception in 2002. Its most common version, used in most consumer devices at present, is 1.4 but there’s a newer, more exciting 2.0 specification now becoming more prominent. The main difference between the 1.4 and 2.0 specifications focus around bandwidth available. HDMI 1.4 has a bandwidth maximum of 10.2 Gbps/s whereas the HDMI 2.0 tops out at 18 Gbps/s.

The reason that bandwidth becomes important is due to the advent of 4K content. Due to the limited bandwidth of HDMI 1.4, only 24fps was possible at 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160). Now, thanks to the extra bandwidth available in the 2.0 specification, up to 60fps at 4K resolution is possible.

Colour depth is also another area where the new HDMI 2.0 specification gains some advantages. Where 1.4 was limited to 8-bit colour, HDMI 2.0 has 10-bit or 12-bit available. This is important for when High Dynamic Range (HDR) content becomes available.

HDR can be described as the ratio between the lightest and darkest parts of an image. Typically, with standard dynamic range, you’re losing detail at either end of the light spectrum. Expose a scene for the shadow detail and you end up with blown out highlights, or expose for the highlights and you lose shadow detail. HDR allows a greater range of detail across the full light spectrum.

You’ve probably already come across HDR through photography. Most smartphones now have an HDR mode where they essentially take numerous images at different exposures and combine them. As HDR has become part of the Ultra HD standard, you can expect more Ultra HD Blu-ray content to take advantage. The likes of Amazon and Netflix are going to be streaming HDR content as well.

More often than not, if you’re connecting something to a television, HDMI will be your best, and likely only, bet. Most PC monitors will also include an HDMI input. The good news, where it comes to 1.4 vs 2.0, is that you don’t need to rush out and buy new cables. To take advantage of the 2.0 specification you just need both devices on each end of the cable to be 2.0 compatible. Any HDMI cable will do, and we’ve already seen that there’s no difference in HDMI cable quality.

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The one thing to look out for are the different HDMI connection sizes. Not only is there full-size HDMI (Type A), but you can come across Mini HDMI (Type B) and Micro HDMI (Type C), too. These are commonly found on portable devices such as tablets, camcorders and action cameras, where their physically smaller connections are required. You can either buy HDMI-Mini HDMI/HDMI-Micro HDMI cables or you can buy Mini/Micro HDMI adaptors so you can use your full-size HDMI cables.

DisplayPort

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Until HDMI 2.0 became a standard, DisplayPort had it beat when it came to high-resolutions. DisplayPort 1.2 has long been able to carry 3,840×2,160 resolution video at 60fps (or a refresh rate of 60Hz) and is the most common DisplayPort specification on most consumer monitors and devices now. This has 17.28 Gbit/s of bandwidth. A newer 1.3 specification is becoming more widely available, however, and this opens the floodgates to higher resolutions such as 7,680×4,320 (8K).

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The main advantage of DisplayPort is the ability to output to multiple displays through Multi-Stream Transport (MST). You can do this by daisy-chaining compatible monitors over DisplayPort or by connecting a DisplayPort MST splitter to your single DisplayPort output on your PC or laptop. You have to work within the bandwidth limitations of whichever DisplayPort specification you’re using, such as two 1,920×1,080 monitors over 1.2 or two 3,840×2,160 displays over the DisplayPort 1.3 specification. As such, DisplayPort is often a great choice for those looking to use multiple monitors.

DisplayPort also has advantages where it comes to screen refresh rates through Adaptive Sync. This is what AMD has used for its Freesync implementation. Essentially this helps reduce screen tearing, which will be of particular interest to gamers. Like HDMI, some laptops and devices use Mini DisplayPort, so make sure you get the right cable.

DVI

DVI stands for ‘Digital Visual Interface’, and is another common connection found on PC monitors. Things can become a little confusing when you consider there are three different types of DVI. There’s DVI-A (analog signal), DVI-D (digital signal) and DVI-I (integrated analog and digital signal). Not only that, but DVI-D and DVI-I have single-link and dual-link versions. Nowadays, DVI-A is very uncommon, as it’s no better than VGA.

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The differences between single-link and dual-link refer to how much bandwidth the cable can carry. A single-link DVI-D or DVI-I cable can carry 3.96 Gbit/s, which tops out at 1,920×1,200 resolution. Dual-link, on the other hand, physically has extra pins on the connectors, allowing a maximum bandwidth of 7.92 Gbit/s and 2,560×1,600 resolution.Although DVI is still a common connection, it’s becoming dated, so if you want to output a very high resolution you’ll need to use HDMI or DisplayPort instead.

VGA

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VGA is the oldest of the four connections outlined in this article. It’s been around for decades, dating back to the days of thick, heavy CRT monitors of yesteryear. VGA stands for Video Graphics Array but can also be referred to as an ‘RGB connection’ or ‘D-sub’. While VGA can technically output to 1,920×1,080, the problem is that it’s an analog connection, so as you push the resolution higher you get image degradation as the signal is converted from analog to digital. Unless you absolutely have to, use one of the above connections instead of VGA.

Using a combination of HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI and VGA

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Most motherboards and dedicated graphics cards will have multiple outputs. You can use a combination of these to output to multiple monitors. So if you have HDMI and DVI outputs, connect one monitor using HDMI and the other using DVI. As mentioned above, if you’re using DisplayPort and your graphics card or device supports Multi-Stream Transport, you can daisy-chain DisplayPort monitors, too.

Any questions regarding article give me a call. I am available M-F from 10:00am-6:00pm and Sat 11am-3pm. I also sell video cards with various connections to suit your needs.

CompGuyUSA                                                                                                      4620 W. Commercial BLVD. #7C                                                                          Tamarac, FL., 33319                                                                    compguyusa@gmail.com                                                                              Contact: (954) 228-7481

 

Crucial MX200

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THE GOOD The Crucial MX200 includes helpful enterprise-class features rarely available in consumer-grade SSDs. It should last a long time, and it delivers fast performance.

THE BAD The three-year warranty is short, and the drive is a bit more expensive than its competitors.

THE BOTTOM LINE For heavy storage users who also need a high level of data safety, the Crucial MX200 is an excellent buy. 

The Crucial MX200 is a mid-tier solid-state drive, rivaling the recently reviewed Samsung SSD 850 Evo as an excellent storage upgrade.

The new SSD has significantly higher durability, especially the 1TB capacity, and includes enterprise-grade data security features. In testing, it was also faster than the Samsung in certain categories.

I feel comfortable recommending the drive to anyone. The MX200 has enough power to make any hard drive-based computer perform much faster. And the ultra-high endurance means you can regularly use it for heavy tasks, such as HD video editing, without having to worry about quickly rendering it useless.

A consumer drive with enterprise features

The MX200 is a 2.5-inch standard internal drive, with a design similar to most other SSDs and laptop hard drives. It supports SATA 3 (6Gbps) and works with earlier revisions of the SATA standard.

On the inside, however, it’s the first such drive I’ve seen with a number of high-end features, normally found only in enterprise-class SSDs, that keep its stored data safe. These features include Exclusive Data Defense hardware encryption, and RAIN.

RAIN is a technology that allows a portion of the SSD’s flash memory to be dedicated as parity. This means when data is saved on the drive, it’s dispersed to multiple different storage components. As the result, if one storage component fails, you can still retrieve data from other components. And to reduce the chance of data corruption, each storage component has four layers of Exclusive Data Defense.

The MX200 supports AES 256-bit hardware encryption that is TCG Opal 2.0- and IEEE1667-compliant. This makes it fit in business environment where data security in case of theft or loss is important. On top of that the drive also features power-loss protection, adaptive thermal monitoring, TRIM, SMART and DevSleep, which enables it to use very little power.

CRUCIAL MX200 SPECS

250GB 500GB 1TB
Drive type 2.5-inch, 7mm thick 2.5-inch, 7mm thick 2.5-inch, 7mm thick
Controller Marvell 88SS9189 Marvell 88SS9189 Marvell 88SS9189
Flash memory 16nm 128GB NAND with Dynamic Write Acceleration 16nm 128GB NAND 16nm 128GB NAND
Interface SATA III (6Gbps) SATA III (6Gbps) SATA III (6Gbps)
Max sequential read 555 MBps 555 MBps 555 MBps
Max sequential write 500 MBps 500 MBps 500 MBps
Max random read 100,000 IOPS 100,000 IOPS 100,000 IOPS
Max random write 87,000 IOPS 87,000 IOPS 87,000 IOPS
Endurance (TB written) 80 TB 160 TB 320TB
Endurance (GB written per day for 10 years) > 40 GB > 80 GB > 160 GB
Warranty 3-year 3-year 3-year

ULTRA-HIGH ENDURANCE, HELP SOFTWARE

The Samsung SSD 850 Evo has impressive endurance, but the MX200 tops that by a large margin. Endurance, also known as program/erase (P/E) cycles, is the rating that quantifies the total amount of data that can be written to an SSD before the drive becomes unreliable. You can think of endurance as the drive’s durability.

Generally endurance increases with capacity: the MX200 is available in 250GB, 500GB and 1TB capacities that have respective endurance ratings of 80TB, 160TB and 320TB. Particularly with the 1TB drive, you’d have to write 40GB of data to it per day, every day, continuously for 22 years before it became unreliable.

Note that an SSD’s endurance relates only to writing, as reading doesn’t affect its life span at all. Also, 40GB is quite a lot of data. On average, most days we don’t write even a fraction of that to our computer’s main drive, and many days we don’t write anything at all.

Nonetheless, the high endurance allows pro users to use the drive for heavy tasks that involve lots of data writing, such as video editing or data swapping. If you get the 1TB capacity, it’s safe to say that you can use it without having to worry about abusing its P/E cycles.

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Are you looking into getting a SSD drive for your computer but worried that you would lose all you data or programs? Don’t worry, I can help you switch drives smoothly without sacrificing your information. I am available all week until 6pm and have drives available for your choosing. Stop by today so that we can get you that extra performance your looking for.

CompGuyUSA                                                                                                       4620 W. Commercial BLVD. #7C                                                                           Tamarac, FL., 33319                                                                     compguyusa@gmail.com                                                                               Contact: (954) 228-7481

Mac troubleshooting: dealing with hard drive woes

Your Mac has begun showing signs of trouble. Perhaps you frequently get errors when trying to open or save files. You suspect a problem with the hard drive. Before panic sets in, you want to launch Apple’s Disk Utility and select Repair Disk from the First Aid tab. Hopefully, that will remedy the situation. One problem though: Repair Disk is dimmed and you can’t select it. Why? Because OS X cannot attempt repairs on an active startup drive. You can still use Repair Permissions, which may help in certain situations. But let’s assume it doesn’t.

So what do you do instead? That depends on what Macs you own, how you have set them up, and what other precautions you may have taken prior to the start of the trouble.

First things first, if you don’t have a recent backup, make one now. But be careful. At this point, you don’t want to overwrite an existing backup—lest you replace valid data with corrupted data. Instead, back up to a separate drive. When you’re done backing up, here are the things to try. You can try each method until you find one that works:

Boot from the startup drive’s Recovery HD partition

The startup drives of Macs formatted with OS X 10.7 (Lion) or 10.8 (Mountain Lion) typically have a hidden partition designed just for moments like this. This 650MB partition is called Recovery HD. Boot your Mac from Recovery HD by holding down Command-R at startup (or by choosing it from within Startup Manager, which you access by holding down Option at startup).

If you are able to boot from Recovery HD, Disk Utility will be one of its four main options. Open Disk Utility and locate the name of your startup drive. You should now be able to select Repair Disk for that drive. From Recovery HD, you can also browse the Web for troubleshooting info using Safari as well as erase your startup drive and restore its contents from a Time Machine backup.

If you are unable to boot Recovery HD via either of these methods, it means there is no Recovery HD partition on your drive or your drive is too damaged to allow successful booting from the partition. In either case, it’s time to move on to the next repair attempts.

Boot from your emergency drive

If you previously created an emergency drive (see “Mac troubleshooting: Be prepared for hard-drive failure”), now is the time to use it. Restart while holding down the Option key. From the screen that appears, select the emergency drive. Once booted, things should work nearly identically to starting up from the Recovery HD partition. LaunchDisk Utility, choose your startup drive in the list, and select Repair Disk.

Run from a cloned startup drive

If you created a clone of your startup drive, you can boot from the clone and run Disk Utility from there. To do so, restart while holding down the Option key. From the screen that appears, select the cloned drive. When startup is complete, you’ll find Disk Utility in the /Applications/Utilities folder, just as it is on your original drive.

You may be wondering: “Does my clone drive include a Recovery HD partition? Could I start up from that partition instead?” Maybe. If you used Shirt Pocket’s $28 SuperDuper to make a clone, the clone will likely not have the Recovery HD partition. If you used Bombich Software’s $40 Carbon Copy Cloner, it should. However, if you are using a cloned drive, I wouldn’t bother with its Recovery HD partition in any case. Instead, boot from the drive directly, as I just described.

Try Safe Boot


Restart your Mac while holding down the Shift key to perform a Safe Boot.

To perform a Safe Boot, restart your Mac while holding down the Shift key.According to Apple, a Safe Boot “forces a directory check of the startup volume.” This is essentially the same thing as running First Aid’s Repair Disk. A downside of this method is that you get no feedback as to whether or not the repair succeeded. Still, if your problems vanish after doing a Safe Boot (and restarting again normally), you can assume that success was likely.

Access your Mac via Target Disk Mode

If you have two or more Macs, you may be able to connect one Mac to the other using Target Disk Mode. To do this, you’ll need a cable that can connect the two Macs. For Macs with FireWire ports, that means an appropriate FireWire cable. For Macs with Thunderbolt ports, you’ll want a Thunderbolt cable. If one Mac has FireWire and the other has Thunderbolt, you’ll need a Thunderbolt to FireWire adapter.

Once connected, boot from the second (properly working) Mac and put the problem Mac in Target mode (by holding down the T key at startup). The Target Mac should now appear as an external drive to the startup Mac. You can now attempt to repair it via Disk Utility.

Boot from Internet Recovery Mode

Internet Recovery mode uses a combination of code stored in your Mac’s firmware and a net-boot image stored on Apple’s servers to boot your Mac.

To enter Internet Recovery mode, hold down the Command-Option-R keys at startup. Run Disk Utilityfrom there.

I would use this method only if you can’t boot from the standard Recovery HD partition. This is because Internet Recovery mode requires that you download the needed software before it kicks into action. Depending on the speed of your Internet connection, this can take anywhere from about 5 minutes to more than 30 minutes. Also, note that Internet Recovery will not work with older Mac models.

Start up in Single User mode

You can do a disk repair attempt by starting up in Single User mode (holding down Command-S at startup) and running Unix’s fsck command. This method should almost never be necessary. However, if you find yourself with no other option, an Apple support article details exactly what to do.

You’ve run Repair Disk. Now what?


You’ve finally found at least one way to attempt a disk repair with Disk Utility’s First Aid or its equivalent. Congratulations. Now what? That depends on the outcome of your attempt:

Your disk is OK: If First Aid reports “the volume appears to be OK,” it’s time to look elsewhere for the cause of your problem. Ultimately, in a worst-case scenario, a fix could require reformatting your drive, reinstalling a fresh copy of OS X, and restoring your data from a backup. For details on how to do this, see “Should you do a ‘clean install’ of Lion?” The advice still applies for Mountain Lion.

Your disk has a problem but First Aid repairs it: If First Aid reports a problem and is able to repair it, that’s the likely end of the story. Conventional wisdom says to select Repair Disk a second time before quitting Disk Utility, just to be certain that no further repairs are needed. After that, reboot from the repaired drive and hope that all is fine now.

Your disk has a problem that First Aid cannot repair: If First Aid finds a problem but cannot repair it, you can try a third-party repair utility, such as Alsoft’s $100 DiskWarrior, which is even compatible with Apple’s new Fusion drive. Otherwise, reformatting the drive may help. It’s worth a try. (Even if this works, be aware that your drive is likely living on borrowed time. If you can’t copy your files off the drive, it may be time to look into recovery options.)

Software utilities and reformatting cannot fix a physical problem with the drive. If your drive is making unusual clicking noises, it’s almost certain you have a hardware problem. Assuming you’ve backed up your data, and given how inexpensive drives are these days, I would replace a drive before wasting too much time trying to resurrect it. If you can’t replace the drive yourself (which is likely with recent Mac models, almost all of which Apple has made difficult to pry open), it’s time for a trip to an Apple Store or Apple-authorized service provider.

 

Asus ET2410IUTS Hard Drive Replace

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TODAY IN THE SHOP I SERVICED AN ASUS ET2410 ALL IN ONE DESKTOP NEEDING A HARD DRIVE REPLACEMENT. IF YOUR HAVING ISSUES WITH HARD DRIVE OF ANY KIND GIVE ME A CALL OR STOP BY FOR YOUR FREE ESTIMATE.

CompGuyUSA                                                                                 4620 W. Commercial BLVD. #7C                                                                 Tamarac, FL., 33319                                                                                     compguyusa@gmail.com                                                                               Contact: (954) 228-7481

To start off remove power and any other usb / connections. Lay Display face down on flat soft area.

Asus ET2410IUTS

Next remove small backing cover under display prop.

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Next remove prop by removing 4 screws

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Carefully remove prop from base

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next remove 4 black covers around corners to reveal screws

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Fifth screw is located behind/under label

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with all screws removed pry edges around casing to seperate. (careful not to force pry tool too deep)

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Hard Drive is located in the center, remove connections from drive alone with 4 screws around casing.

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unscrew Hard Drive from casing and install new Hard Drive.

Reassemble in reverse order. Be sure to reinstall an Operating system.

CompGuyUSA                                                                                 4620 W. Commercial BLVD. #7C                                                                 Tamarac, FL., 33319                                                                                     compguyusa@gmail.com                                                                               Contact: (954) 228-7481

 

Compguyusa Review Referral from Mr. Biggs

Here at CompGuyUSA we make sure that our customers are well taken care of. We offer 1 day service for many of the repairs out there today, such as Virus removal, Screen Replacement, System Cleanup, just to name a few. If your having any kind of Computer issue don’t hesitate to give us a call at 954-228-7481.

CALL TODAY FOR YOUR FREE IN STORE ESTIMATE

CompGuyUSA                                                                     4620 W. Commercial BLVD. #7C                                                             Tamarac, FL., 33319                                                                           compguyusa@gmail.com                                                                               Contact: (954) 228-7481                                                                                                           Open: Mon-Fri 10AM – 6PM                                                                                                                Sat: 11AM – 3PM

Run Windows on Mac – Parallels Desktop 10

You can run Windows on a Mac with various software solutions, here are a few:

* Boot Camp – lets you run either Windows or Mac OS X, not both at the same time, and you have to restart the computer to go back and forth.
* VMWare Fusion
* VirtualBox
* Parallels Desktop 10 – Because of it’s speed and integration with booth Mac and Windows OS, Version 10, seems to be the best solution, for now!