HDMI vs. DisplayPort: Which Is Best for 4K, HD, and Gaming Monitors?

Two of the most commonly used connectors on displays and media devices are HDMI and DisplayPort.

There’s a good chance you have something that supports at least one of these connectors, from computers and gaming consoles to the smallest monitors and the largest TVs.

The majority of monitors include at least one HDMI and one DisplayPort connection, and most computers support both.

But what’s the difference between the two, and how do you choose between them?

Resolution

The maximum resolution and refresh rate available are determined by the DisplayPort and HDMI versions you have. 

 

Most modern monitors support DisplayPort 1.2 or 1.4 as well as HDMI 1.4 or 2.0. 

 

While exact specifications vary depending on a few other factors, we will try to provide an estimate of the maximum formats that each connector can support.

 

Technically, HDMI is technically superior due to the release of HDMI 2.1, which outperforms the capabilities of DisplayPort 1.4, but monitors that support it are hard to come by. 

 

However, that is about to change, as a number of manufacturers announced HDMI 2.1 monitors at CES 2021. 

 

DisplayPort 1.4 is superior to standard HDMI 2.0. 

 

DisplayPort 2.0 has also been announced, with an even higher maximum resolution.

 

Multi-Stream Transport

 

Multi-Stream Transport, or MST, was first introduced with DisplayPort 1.2 and allows you to connect multiple displays to a single DisplayPort connection on your computer. 

Although the total bandwidth cannot exceed the maximum bandwidth of the port in use, this technology theoretically allows users to run up to 63 completely separate displays on a single port. 

This device integration can be done either from one display to another (a technique known as “daisy-chaining”) or via an external hub.

Although HDMI does not natively support MST, similar results can be obtained by using DisplayPort to HDMI hubs. 

This still necessitates the use of a DisplayPort connection on the source device.

 

Compatibility

Originally designed for high-definition televisions, HDMI is now supported by nearly every home audio/video device, including computers, home theater systems, game consoles, and so on. 

 

HDMI is also supported by the vast majority of current displays, ranging from small portable displays to large 8K TVs.

 

The DisplayPort was created as a replacement for the DVI and VGA connectors on computers. 

 

At the moment, there are no consumer TVs that support DisplayPort, and we don’t know if there ever will be. 

 

DisplayPort is not supported by any of the major game consoles, nor by the majority of cable/satellite boxes or streaming devices.

 

In conclusion,

Although DisplayPort and HDMI cables provide very similar performance, they each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. 

 

Although HDMI is more widely supported, DisplayPort, which was designed for computers, has a few superiorities. 

 

Overall, if you want to connect your computer to a new monitor, use DisplayPort if it’s available. 

 

If not, HDMI is a nearly equal choice. 

 

If your monitor has a limited number of inputs, using DisplayPort will also free up your HDMI ports, which is ideal for connecting a game console or other device.

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