I was browsing old FAQs on the wayback machine1 and noticed that it said some early Mitsubishi Diamond Scan monitors, and reportedly the Dell Ultrascan 17ES monitor2, use a standard HD DE-15 VGA connector for their input but use a non VGA-standard pinout. What type of video card would this have been able to natively connect to without using an adapter?


1 Shows pinout for Dell Ultrascan 17ES; two pages down shows the same pinout for some Mitsubishi Diamond Scans: Notes on Video Conversion

2 Not sure this is true; why would a Dell monitor not have a standard VGA pinout, as their PCs at the time were IBM compatibles...

  • The title/question is a quite missleading, as any VGA card can drive that screen using the right cable. Shouldn't it rather read 'Is there any computer/graphics card with the same connector pinout as the Dell Ultrascan 17ES?'
    – Raffzahn
    Jun 23, 2019 at 10:49
  • I am guessing (and therefore not answering) that there were no video cards that enabled the use of these monitors with straight-through cables. Instead, my guess is that these monitors were intended to be used with special cables that were wired to present pinouts at the PC end that were compatible with the intended video card.
    – Ken Gober
    Jun 23, 2019 at 14:47
  • @Raffzahn- That had occurred to me, but wouldn't make much sense in practice, as this would produce a cable with identical connectors on each end that could potentially damage the equipment if it were to be accidentally plugged in backwards...
    – Hitek
    Jun 23, 2019 at 18:17
  • Given that you already have a monitor that could potentially be damaged if you plug in a standard straight-through cable, a special cable with one end labeled "PC" and the other end labeled "Monitor" isn't really any worse. It wouldn't be more sensible to make a custom video card using this new pinout because now you've enabled the use of a straight-through cable, but produced a video card that's easily connected to monitors with standard wiring, risking damage to both.
    – Ken Gober
    Jun 24, 2019 at 12:16
  • 1
    One of those Diamond Scan monitors model #AUM1391A mentioned in "Notes on Video Conversion" was listed on eBay and the rear label showed a manufacture date of April 1988. But it doesn't have an HD-15 connector, only a DB-25 (Analog), DE-9 (TTL), and BNC (composite). Aug 12, 2019 at 21:29

1 Answer 1


More a hint than a real answer:

There where several quite successful PC families in Japan with only partial IBM compatibility. Most notably NEC's PC-98xx series which used several non-IBM pinouts for their graphic cards, including a 25 pin and a 15 pin variant. It would make sense for Mitsubishi to have their own connector when an adapter was needed anyway for either market (home or overseas).

And since Dell never manufactured screens on their own, the pinout may just result from the electronics and/or monitor they OEMed.

  • Also, some manufacturers back then liked to supply power to the monitor via the monitor port... Aug 16, 2019 at 21:40

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