VGA Monitors for the Apple IIGS

For the Apple IIGS, nothing beats the picture quality of an AppleColor RGB Monitor. The next best thing is a compatible CRT, like the NEC MultiSync 3D. For most of us though, the best modern option is a VGA LED Monitor that supports 15 kHz. We’ve listed a few of them in the table below.

If you are able to find one of these monitors, you will also need two things:

First, you will need an adapter to physically convert the DA-15 connector of the Apple IIGS RGB port, to the standard DE-15 connector of a VGA monitor.

DA-15 Male Connector


DE-15 Female Connector

Second, you will need a sync separator. Some monitors, such as the Benq BL702A, work just fine with the composite sync signal from the Apple IIGS RGB port. Other monitors, like the Samsung SyncMaster 510N/512N and 710N/712N series of monitors, require a separate (vertical) sync signal.

LM1881 Video Sync Separator

LM1881 Video Sync Separator

The Apple IIGS VGA Adapter combines these into one adapter to get you beautifully sharp video. Easy!

Apple IIGS VGA Adapter with Sync Separator

Some monitors, such as particular revisions of the Dell 2001FP, have been reported to have 15 kHz support. However in our tests we so far have not been able to make it work unless we also use a frequency upscaler. We tried using the Dell 2001FP with the upscaler for a while, but we were never truly happy, until we found a Samsung SyncMaster 712N and used it with the Apple IIGS VGA Adapter.

Here’s our list of monitors indicating a “Yes” for those monitors that would need the Apple IIGS VGA Adapter:

Benq BL702AYesBoth5:41280x1024
Samsung SyncMaster 510N/512NYes60 Hz4:31024x768
Samsung SyncMaster 710N/712NYes60 Hz5:41280x1024
Samsung SyncMaster 910N/912NYes60 Hz5:41280x1024
Dell 2001FPYesBoth4:31600x1200
LG Flatron M1721ATBCBoth4:31280x1024
LG Flatron M1921ATBCBoth5:41280x1024

Samsung SyncMaster 712N

w/no sync separator

Samsung SyncMaster 712N using an ordinary DA-15 to DE-15 adapter with no sync separator


Samsung SyncMaster 712N using the Apple IIGS VGA Adapter

17 thoughts on “VGA Monitors for the Apple IIGS

  1. Jeremy Barr-Hyde

    Could you update the thumbnails to link to higher resolution versions? Just a thought 🙂 Love your work

  2. Chris Morrison

    I picked up a Samsung syncmaster 710N and the VGA adapter works nicely. Besides being able to read the disk directories, etc, the color differentiation in games is very good. Like Mean18 Golf.

    Apple IIGS VGA Adapter on Samsung 710N - Mean 18
    Apple IIGS VGA Adapter on Samsung 710N - Carmen San Diego
    Apple IIGS VGA Adapter on Samsung 710N - Main Screen
    Apple IIGS VGA Adapter on Samsung 710N - Publish It
    Apple IIGS VGA Adapter on Samsung 710N - Hyperstack
    Apple IIGS VGA Adapter on Samsung 710N - Hyperstack

  3. Steven Hirsch

    I picked up a Samsung 712n on eBay and it does not sync to 15khz. H+V from a Tandy Coco 3. I’m hoping this is due to sync polarity or some other issue (still waiting for my adapter to try the GS).

    1. John Post author

      Hello Steven! What adapter are you using on the Tandy Coco 3? Does it send a separate H+V or does it send composite+V? Your adapter is already in production, it works wonderfully with the GS and a 712n.

  4. Bill Boswell

    Hey guys at Manila Gear,

    Per your recommendation, I am using the adaptor with a Samsung 712N and it is working as advertised. This came just in time for me to fix up a ROM1 GS that I’m going to give to my son-in-law for Christmas.

    Thank you for all of your amazing efforts in producing these goodies for our beloved Apple ][ GS machines.

    I also LOVE THE 4Soniq Quad Stereo Card that you produced!

    I bought (2) of those from you and they work wonderfully! I am using them in 2 different machines; one for my WOZ and the other for the one I’m fixing up for my son-in-law. I haven’t tried the 8-channel capability, but the quad certainly will be a treat after listening to “mono” built in speaker. You guys continue to blow my mind with these superb upgrades for this 30 year old machine.

    God Bless,
    Bill from Pottstown, PA

  5. Ken Cefaratti

    Just installed my Syncmaster 712N and the results are a bit below what people have posted here. Any adjustments that need to be made other the setting Course to 860?

    1. John Valdezco Post author

      Hi Ken! Can you share a photo of what you are seeing? You may also want to try and reset your monitor back to defaults first, then set the coarse setting.

  6. Joe Seeley

    Hello! I purchased the VGA adapter for use with the SyncMaster 712N and like Ken Cefaratti am getting really disappointing results. I have set the Coarse to 860 and H-Position to 73 and still no love. If I hit the Auto button, for a moment it looks decent half-screen but then goes back to very bad blocky mode which I can’t deal with.

    I’m wondering if I should just try another monitor like the Flatron M1721A as Giovanni did above – that looks beautiful. Any suggestions? Thank you for making such an awesome product to extend the life of our beloved IIGS. 🙂

  7. Marvin Malkowski Jr

    I have a Dell 2001FP that I am trying to get working but you mention a frequency upscaler being needed. What is this exactly?

    1. John Valdezco Post author

      The closest I have had a chance to test was a Samsung SyncMaster 743 and it did not work. If you manage to test on the 740N please do share the result!

  8. Romeo Guerrero

    Woohoo!!! I got a Samsung 712N on ebay and managed to get it working beautifully! It took a bit of adjusting, and at first I didn’t quite understand the monitor controls. But it’s working great now! Thanks for a great piece of tech!

  9. DonB.

    Hello,I got a SynchMaster 710″M” to work with my IIGS and the adapter.Gave up looking for the actual RGB CRT monitor and went this route.Very pleased!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *