If you are wondering whether you should connect your monitor to the HDMI or display of your graphics card would like to know more about the differences between the two connections. This quick guide will take you through what each connection is and provide a quick comparison of HMDI vs DisplayPort and answer the question is DisplayPort better than HDMI. If you are looking for the quick answer depends on your needs and what you are connecting.
Quick Links :
- What is DisplayPort
- Different versions
- DisplayPort 1.4
- DisplayPort 2.0
- DisplayPort 2.1
- HDMI vs DisplayPort
- Daisy chaining DisplayPort connections
If you’ve ever hooked up a computer to a TV, or a gaming console to a monitor, you’ve likely encountered HDMI and DisplayPort connections. Both are vital technologies that transmit video and audio signals from a source device (like a computer or game console) to a display device (like a monitor or TV). But what exactly are these technologies, how do they differ, and why are there different versions? Let’s break it down.
The industry introduced HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) in 2002. It’s a globally recognized standard for connecting high-definition (HD) and ultra-high-definition (UHD) equipment, such as HDTVs, Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, and personal computers. HDMI cables transmit both video and audio signals over a single cable, simplifying your setup.
What is DisplayPort
On the other hand, DisplayPort, introduced in 2006 by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), was designed primarily for the computer industry. It also sends both video and audio signals over one cable. A distinctive feature of DisplayPort is its ability to connect multiple monitors to a single output, termed as ‘daisy-chaining’.
Comparing the two, HDMI is typically found on a broader range of devices. It’s more common on TVs, gaming consoles, and home theater equipment. DisplayPort, conversely, is more prevalent on computer monitors and professional IT equipment.
Is DisplayPort better than HDMI?
You may have noticed different versions of HDMI and DisplayPort, such as HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4. These versions denote technological advancements and enhanced capabilities. For instance, HDMI 2.0, introduced in 2013, supports a bandwidth up to 18.0 Gbit/s, enabling it to carry 4K video at 60 frames per second (fps). HDMI 1.4, an earlier version, supports 4K video but only at 30 fps.
Similarly, DisplayPort 1.4, introduced in 2016, supports a higher bandwidth (up to 32.4 Gbit/s), allowing it to handle 8K video at 60 fps or 4K video at 120 fps. Earlier versions of DisplayPort, like 1.2, support lower resolutions and frame rates.
DisplayPort 2.0, introduced in 2019, significantly increased the maximum bandwidth to 80 Gbps, more than doubling the bandwidth provided by DisplayPort 1.4. It also introduced support for 8K resolution at 60Hz with full color 4:4:4 formatting, and even higher resolutions with display stream compression (DSC). In addition, it can support multiple monitors at lower resolutions from a single DisplayPort cable using a feature known as “daisy chaining” or “multi-streaming.”
VESA the Video Electronics Standards Association released specifications for DisplayPort 2.1 in October 2022 the latest version of DisplayPort. Backward compatible with previous versions, the DisplayPort 2.1 update provides greater robustness and enhancements to full-size and Mini DisplayPort cable configurations that enable improved connectivity and longer cable lengths. Beyond two meters for DP40 cables and beyond one meter for DP80 cables. Without diminishing UHBR performance.
VESA certified DP40 cables support up to the UHBR10 link rate (10 Gbps), with four lanes, providing a maximum throughput of 40 Gbps, while VESA certified DP80 cables support up to the UHBR20 link rate (20 Gbps), with four lanes, providing a maximum throughput of 80 Gbps.
HDMI vs DisplayPort
One of the key differences is support for ‘daisy-chaining’. This is a term used to describe the ability to connect multiple monitors to a single output, a feature exclusive to DisplayPort. HDMI does not support this feature.
While both HDMI and DisplayPort can handle high-definition audio along with 4K video, DisplayPort can support a higher refresh rate at this resolution, making it great for gaming or professional video editing Applications.
However, HDMI has an advantage for Consumer Electronics Control (CEC). This feature allows you to control multiple devices from one remote control. For example, you can use your TV remote to control your Blu-ray player if both devices are connected via HDMI, making it a popular choice for home theaters and multimedia applications.
HDMI cables are compatible with a wider range of consumer electronics. From TVs and gaming consoles to laptops and even some smartphones, HDMI’s widespread adoption is a significant plus.
But what about the newest versions of these connections, like HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 2.0? These versions are designed to keep up with the growing demand for higher video resolution, faster refresh rates, and enhanced audio quality. HDMI 2.1, for example, can support 8K resolution at 60 fps or 4K at 120 fps, making it a future-proof choice for advanced gaming and video streaming. Similarly, DisplayPort 2.0 boasts a bandwidth of up to 80 Gbit/s, supporting even more demanding video configurations like 16K resolutions.
Daisy chaining DisplayPort connections
Choosing between HDMI and DisplayPort often depends on your specific needs and the devices you’re using. HDMI’s universal presence and CEC feature make it a suitable choice for home entertainment systems. On the other hand, DisplayPort’s ability to support multiple monitors from a single source and its superior refresh rate capabilities make it ideal for high-end computing, gaming, and professional environments.
Both HDMI and DisplayPort are vital for transmitting high-quality video and audio signals. While they share some similarities, their differences in capabilities and suitability for specific applications make each valuable in their own right. Always consider the requirements of your devices and the features that are most important to you when deciding between the two. For more detailed specifications, jump over to the official Video Electronics Standards Association website.
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