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Confuse between HDMI and DisplayPort connectors? Here’s the answer!


It’s not easy to figure out whether to utilize DisplayPort or HDMI. Most users don’t give it much thought because most GPUs now include both ports. Powerful AMD Radeon cards like the RX 6800 and RX 6700 XT are likely to have both, while affordable choices like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super and the RX 5500 XT also do.

While comparing two entirely digital standards, they’re not competing in the traditional sense. In reality, the two have a lot in common, with nearly identical specifications and capabilities, not to mention audio and video quality. Whatever method you choose, you’ll end up with a fully digital link that allows you to create 3D photos and copies. They compliment each other, according to the semi-official response.

Because both protocols appear to be here to stay, choosing between HDMI and DisplayPort isn’t about future-proofing your system. They do, however, differ in a few areas, and it’s vital to understand what those distinctions are. You won’t notice a difference in quality regardless of which one you choose, however they do the job differently.

And here are the comparison of the two. Discuss their distinct benefits and why card makers eventually include them onboard their GPUs. Let’s look at what makes each standard fantastic in this HDMI vs. DisplayPort comparison, and see which one will best suit you.

What is HDMI?

What is HDMI?

The High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) was introduced in 2003 as a digital replacement for a variety of analog formats used in consumer AV standards in a single compact cable.

HDMI is a standard used in televisions, DVD players, and other consumer devices. It starts with S-VHS and composite signals as a base. DisplayPort is a more advanced and flexible data transfer mechanism developed by the computer industry.

It can transport any uncompressed TV signal with 48-bit color and up to eight audio channels. As well as control connections for those rare occasions when one piece of equipment can control another.

The maximum clock speed, which determines bandwidth, is a significant improvement in newer versions. A maximum of 165MHz was specified in the original standard, which is just enough to handle 1080p.

The current version, version 2.1, has increased bandwidth to 48 Gbps and can transmit resolutions of up to 10K at 120 frames per second, which is enough for a very powerful modern home cinema setup.

It’s available in single-link or double-link versions, with Type B corresponding to dual-link DVI.
In November 2017, HDMI 2.1 was released, which includes scene-by-scene HDR, less image lag for games, 8K resolutions, and spatial audio.

To appreciate the technology’s potential, you’ll need an HDMI 2.1 cable with 48Gbps, as well as a compliant HDMI 2.1 connector on any attached hardware.

There is no fixed standard for maximum cable length. It is up to the cable provider to get it working properly. Because the signal weakens as the cable length increases, the wire must be thicker and of higher quality.

Benefits of HDMI

Benefits of HDMI

Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) is a feature of HDMI. The idea is that one piece of AV equipment can send commands to another, such as turning on, changing channels, and so on. When it works, which isn’t as often as you’d like, it’s great. On a computer, it’s not a big deal.

BT.2020 with 10, 12, and 16 bits per color component, enhanced eARC for object-based audio codecs like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, and scene-by-scene and frame-by-frame dynamic HDR are all supported natively by HDMI.

If you buy a new television, it will come with an HDMI port, making attaching a PC much easier. This is the huge plus: games that take up real screen real estate.

HDMI adapters are currently fairly affordable, especially for monitors that are compatible.

What is DisplayPort?

What is DisplayPort?

DisplayPort was released into the world three years after HDMI was originally introduced into homes. The VESA standard was developed to bridge the gap between the graphics card and the monitor.

It is also important to note that it is royalty-free. After the United Display Interface (UDI) standard, which was primarily developed by Intel as a DVI replacement, was dropped, DisplayPort was adopted.

DisplayPort, unlike the previously stated HDMI, is an entirely new species. This implies that, unlike HDMI, a simple connection converter will not be available.

DisplayPort is a packet-based transport method that allows for variable bandwidth usage. With increasing data capacity, it is available in one-, two-, and four-link versions.

The original version could transfer up to 8.64GB/s, however, the 1.4 specification has a maximum total capacity of 32.4Gbps and a total combined data rate of 25.92 Gbps.

It defines a maximum copper cable length of three meters and a maximum fiber optic cable length of fifteen meters or more. If you want to put some distance between your box and your monitor, this is the display interface to use.

DisplayPort was created with a direct graphics card/monitor connection in mind from the start, even the internal one. It can power a monitor straight from the DisplayPort signal, without the need for any LVDS equipment on the panel.

Benefits of DisplayPort

Benefits of DisplayPort

DisplayPort is a royalty-free technology. Mind you, HDMI is only four cents right now. DisplayPort also has fewer implementation constraints and is less controlled, allowing manufacturers to have more fun with it.

Technically superior, more adaptable, and capable of transporting far more than simply video and audio. It also supports several monitors on the same connection, allowing you to daisy-chain two or more.

DisplayPort supports full resolution over a three-meter copper wire, and it’s also built for fiber optics, allowing for far longer lines. The signal can decrease since HDMI has no limited cable length.

Direct Drive Monitors are supported. Internally, this is most important in laptops but should see external DD monitors, which can be slimmer and, hopefully, less expensive.

A bi-directional accessory channel can be utilized to receive input from a microphone or USB device.

DisplayPort versions

Confuse between HDMI and DisplayPort connectors? Here's the answer!

It is available in four different versions on displays and graphics cards. Each with a slightly different mix of compatibility for different resolutions and frame rates.

DisplayPort 1.2 

It has been in use since 2010, and it provides 17.28 Gbps of bandwidth for 4K quality video at 60 frames per second, as well as lower resolutions like Full HD (1920 x 1080) and Quad HD (1920 x 1440). (2560 x 1440). It also produces images with larger aspect ratios and resolutions, resulting in a wider field of view. These formats are available on a variety of DisplayPort connectors. It includes Mini DisplayPort and Thunderbolt, making them a particularly useful format for laptop users.

DisplayPort 1.2a, an improved version of the 1.2 protocol, introduced support for AMD FreeSync. It syncs the display refresh rate with AMD graphics cards’ frame-by-frame output, enabling smoother gameplay without screen tearing.

DisplayPort 1.3

With 32.4 Gbps bandwidth, DisplayPort 1.3 can handle 4K resolution at 120Hz or 8K resolution at 30Hz with ease. It was the first single-cable choice for 8K video outside of Ethernet when it was introduced in 2014.

DisplayPort 1.4 

With 60Hz 8K compatibility and HDR10 metadata for high dynamic range (HDR) material, DisplayPort 1.4 improved on this little. You’re missing out on HDR gaming if you have an HDR-capable monitor but are still using an older DisplayPort standard.

It allows you to exchange sound in addition to video, but it normally involves downloading additional drivers and turning on the capability in settings. Many monitors still lack built-in speakers, preventing them from taking advantage of this feature.

DisplayPort 2.0

DisplayPort 2.0 is the most recent version of DisplayPort, with a higher bandwidth (77.37 Gbps) and support for 10K (10240 4320) and even 16K (15360 8640) resolutions at 60 Hz, as well as different levels of color and compression. More crucially, it supports twin 8K displays at 120Hz or up to three 4K displays at 144Hz, allowing for multi-monitor support at high resolutions and frame rates.

The 2.0 standard was supposed to be released in 2020. However, due to COVID-19 delays, 2.0 monitors and graphics cards won’t be available until the second half of 2021.

HDMI versions

Confuse between HDMI and DisplayPort connectors? Here's the answer!

Similarly, the HDMI connection has a number of various specifications, with three main HDMI standards now in use.

The most popular HDMI connection is HDMI 1.4, which is also the most basic. HDMI can deliver 720p or 1080p quality. It had a good maximum video bandwidth of 8.16 Gbps when it was first released in 2009. HDMI was the first HDMI version capable of producing a 4K video? It was, however, small to 24Hz, the same frame rate as most theatre movies made on UHD Blu-ray. If your 4K TV is older than 5 years, it is most likely still using HDMI 1.4.

While most smart TVs rely on Wi-Fi and separate Ethernet connections for network connectivity, this additional two-way data flow was a significant advancement in the HDMI standard, leading to some of the most useful capabilities available today in later editions.

It’s also the first HDMI version to enable an audio return channel (ARC), which allows you to connect a soundbar to your TV without having to run another cable between them.

HDMI 2.0 

HDMI 2.0, often known as HDMI UHD, increases the bandwidth to 14.4 Gbps, allowing for 4K video at 60 frames per second. While it’s not always labeled as such, many 4K gamers favor this format because it supports 4K 3D content and better frame rates for 4K gaming. High dynamic range (HDR) content, such as HDR10 and Dolby Vision, is now supported via HDMI 2.0a, an enhanced version of the 2.0 standard. This revised 2.0a version is seen in the majority of 4K TVs sold in the last five years.

HDMI 2.1

HDMI 2.1 is the latest and most capable version. It has a bandwidth of up to 77.4 Gbps and supports 8K resolution, which previously required multiple HDMI cables and specialized hardware and software to stitch together four 4K inputs. HDMI 2.1 provides resolutions up to 10K thanks to its huge 48 Gbps capacity.

It can also support 4K resolution at 120Hz, which has been possible on high-end TVs for a time but required playing content from attached storage or sophisticated video-over-IP connections. New features such as enhanced audio return channel (eARC), variable refresh rates (VRR), and automatic low-latency mode are now possible because of the increased bandwidth (ALLM).

What does this mean?

We could get into all kinds of technical specifics beyond the essentials of plug type, resolution, and format support stated above. Colour spaces, compression formats, encoding techniques, and copy protection protocols are all supported by HDMI and DisplayPort. And if you really want to dive into the details, there’s plenty of information available online.

What you should know is that HDMI is the standard for home entertainment equipment and game consoles such as the PlayStation 5 and Xbox One X. HDMI is king when it comes to TVs, soundbars, and console gaming – just make sure you use the appropriate cables to access all of the benefits. It’s HDMI all the way if you’re using a cheap display or a PC without a separate GPU.

Gaming PCs and monitors, on the other hand, have long relied on DisplayPort for its superior resolution and frame rate support, particularly as technologies like AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync have gained popularity. When it comes to visuals, professionals and hobbyists favor DisplayPort.

However, this could change in the coming months as HDMI 2.1 catches up to DisplayPort in terms of its capacity to handle 8K video and enable the same gamer-friendly features on TVs. With Nvidia’s 30 series GPUs, the first HDMI 2.1-equipped graphics cards have debuted, and AMD cards are on the way.

For the time being, the equipment you already have will determine the connection or wires you require.


HDMI connectors are suited for usage in living room equipment, whereas DisplayPort connectors are not. DisplayPort connectors, on the other hand, are suited for usage in desktop PCs and laptops. Furthermore, HDMI has a maximum bandwidth of 18 Gbps.
Although HDMI and DisplayPort are both high-speed digital connections, they differ in a few key ways. HDMI is largely utilized for consumer gadgets, whereas DisplayPort is used for computer and peripheral visual connections. Personal computer video monitors are analog devices.

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