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The ageless Dual-link DVI-D question??

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
September 28, 2009 3:17:50 AM

I need assistance choosing a DVI cable. My questions are:

1. I'm running at 1920x1200 @ 60hz, which is purported to be single-link DVI compatible. However, if my monitor is capable, I'd like to run at even higher refresh rates than 60 hz. Will blanking space cut into the 165 hz clock speed so much that a single-link DVI-D cable will be unable to provide me higher refresh rates?

2. Because 1920 x 1200 @ 60hz refresh is right at the limits of single-link DVI-D capabilities, will cord quality and/or other possible externalities cause picture degradation making a dual-link dvi-d cable purchase justifiable?

I just really want the BEST POSSIBLE picture quality my new monitor can provide me without buying unnecessary parts. Any information you can provide me will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Additional information: My monitor looks like it's dual-link dvi-d capable, and I have twin 8800 gts video cards, which both appear to be dual-link dvi-d capable. My monitor can be viewed here:
a c 271 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
September 28, 2009 3:33:41 AM

Just get a dual link cable and be done, the most you are going to get is 75hz but it may not do that at it's native res where 60hz is more likely to be the max.
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
September 28, 2009 9:13:18 AM

In all likelihood, the monitor will come with a single-link cable, and won't be able to run at higher than 60Hz at 1920x1200 anyways. Image quality is unlikely to change between cables, and it's probably not worth the money to change out the cable. I have a 24" 1920x1200 monitor, and I'm using the standard cable and the image looks fine.
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a b U Graphics card
September 28, 2009 3:59:34 PM

The monitor's spec says that it can do 1920x1200 at 75hz, so it can do it. However, like you said, at 75hz it'll be right at the theoretical cusp of a single link connection (maybe even over it). I was calculating the numbers for mine, which is only 1920x1080, and it was right at the cusp at 75hz, so yours may be just over it.

I'd go with a dual link cable to be on the safe side.

Also, has a VERY good explanation on DVI and HDMI cables, quality, and lengths.
October 1, 2009 8:49:40 PM

Thank you Gentleman/(Ladies too if applicable) for your answers. I think the last reply was most applicable, however all your answers were prudent. I'm going to go ahead and get the dual-link cable, because like the last poster stated, my feeling is that my monitor's performance might push a little past the abilities of a single-link cable.

Thank you again for your prompt replies. The quality of people at Tom's Hardware is stellar.
March 30, 2010 2:26:24 PM

I know Im a year late but please respond if you see this. Were you able to do 75hz at 1920x1200 by using a dual link DVI cable?
March 30, 2010 5:08:38 PM

I assume I did, but I don't really know for certain. The problem is that my monitor has a 75hz refresh rate vertically, but not horizontally (or something like that) and I didn't have a way to check.

However, I never questioned the DVI-D's Dual Link capability on resolutions of 1920 x 1200 resolution at 75hz AND greater resolutions. The dual-link should have capacity to go much higher than those specifications. The purpose of my post had to do with whether I could achieve the aforementioned specifications with a single link DVI-D cable, to which the helpful thread responders stated I would be borderline.

Many helpful websites will tell you how to determine if the DVI-D Dual Link will be sufficient. There is an equation that goes something like this: 1920 x 1200 x 75hz = (so many pixels). (so many pixels) <= (DVI-D Dual Link's maximum output).

I was going off of memory above, so it's almost certainly wrong. Regardless, these websites will give you the equation and the DVI-D Dual Link's maximum output. I'd provide you a web address, but I don't have time right now. It wasn't too hard for me to find though.

Best wishes.
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
March 30, 2010 5:26:16 PM

at 1920x1200x32x60 it's already beyond the spec of TMDS without blanking, which limits it to 52hz (IIRC), with reduced blanking (I think 5% for 1080P and 10% for 1200P) you can get 60Hz but it's already at the edge of the TMDS and the 25% increase going from 60->75Hz is well beyond, and if the TMDS are mediocre (which was the case for nV in the past) then the length is going to be an issue too even at 6ft.

As MM said, just get the dual-link cable and be done with it, the difference is usually about the price of a coffee and it gives you flexibility for later if you upgrade to a larger res.