How To Hook Up New Computer To Old Monitor

If you want to know how to hook up a new computer to an old monitor, you're in luck. Old monitors are notoriously long lasting and provide a level of quality that is hard to get with a newer monitor. Also, even if your new computer does not have the right video output, there are still ways to run a cable with a converter and still keep the high quality.

To hook up a new computer to an an old monitor, you will need:

  • A new computer with an VGA, DVI, or HDMI output
  • An old monitor with a VGA input
  • A VGA cable, if not already attached to the old monitor
  • Adaptors and converters as detailed below
  1. Know Your Enemy. Determine what connectors you are using and have available. Generally you are working with two types of connections. VGA connections have three rows of five holes or pins. DVI comes with a larger flat grid of holes or pins. If you have neither of these two connections, you're probably working with HDMI, which looks like a longer, flatter hole or protruding connector.
  2. Gather Intelligence Virtually all old monitors use a VGA connector. Computers, even laptop computers, generally still come with VGA outputs. If this is the case, just run a cable straight from the computer. Use a VGA cable that is male (has pins, not pinholes) on both ends.
  3. Address Alternatives If your computer doesn't have a VGA connector, it almost certainly has a DVI output. You can buy a small, inexpensive adaptor that will transform the DVI signal into a VGA signal. Plug the adaptor into your DVI slot on the back of your computer, then the VGA cable into the adaptor.
  4. Hard Decisions If you're very unlucky, you only have an HDMI output. HDMI normally provides a very high quality signal, but moving it to a VGA monitor requires some expensive equipment that can easily exceed $100. While VGA is an analog signal, HDMI is unfortunately completely digital, and you need a true converter, not just an adaptor. With the amount of money required, you'll need to decide whether it's cheaper to buy an imperfect convertor or just buy a new monitor for roughly the same price. After you buy the converter, carefully follow the more in-depth instructions included with the unit to hook up your new computer to your old monitor.
  5. Wrapping Up Once you've made all of the appropriate connections, adjust the settings in the Display tab of your Control Panel to make sure your monitor is set up correctly. Congratulations, you've connected your old monitor to your new computer!

References and Utilities:

VGA Cable

DVI to VGA Adaptor

HDMI to VGA Converter

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