HDMI VS DisplayPort

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When it comes to audio and display interface cables, HDMI cables have been the most popular input by manufacturers to date. These inputs can be seen on all sorts of devices from TVs, to game consoles, monitors, and much more.

The HDMI input allows for high-speed transfer of audio and video, building a connection from the source device to the display.

DisplayPorts, however, have also been an option for many manufacturers. They are known to be the gamer’s choice with the DisplayPort 1.4 being the most common and readily available version of its kind.

DisplayPorts have been popping up on a range of new devices such as Apple MacBooks, laptops, and graphics cards. As we will show you later, the current DisplayPort outperforms the HDMI. Despite this, many manufacturers still opt for HDMI ports in their devices. For example, the new LG OLED TVs have been manufactured to include HDMI 2.1 ports since 2019.

Do you wonder why HDMI inputs are still around given that DisplayPorts are better? Let’s compare in our HDMI VS DisplayPort guide below.

Bandwidth And Supported Resolution

When comparing HDMI vs DisplayPorts, looking at bandwidth is important. Bandwidth is the maximum amount of information that can be sent at one time from one source to another.

Display Bandwidth is made up of three main components: refresh rate, the maximum number of pixels, and color depth. Let’s explain what these terms mean below.

Color depth, also referred to as bit depth is the number of bits required to represent a color. The higher the color depth the greater range of tones your monitor can support.

Maximum resolution relates to the total number of pixels that are on your screen. Moreover, the monitor’s refresh rate, measured in hertz, gives us the frequency at which the display refreshes itself. To find bandwidth it is as simple as just multiplying each of these components together and has units of gigabits per second, or Gbps.

Knowing your monitor’s capabilities in terms of these features can help you understand what bandwidth you require from your display connector.

How an HDMI and DisplayPort compare depends on the versions you are considering. At the moment, HDMI 2.0, and DisplayPort 1.4 are the most common inputs to monitors. So we will consider these models in our comparison.

HDMI 2.0DisplayPort 1.4
Maximum Bandwidth18.0 Gbps32.4 Gbps
Supported Resolution4K @ 60Hz
1440p @ 120Hz
1080p @ 120Hz
HDR
8K @ 60Hz
4K @ 120Hz
1440p @ 120Hz
1080p @ 120Hz
HDR

As we can see from the table, DisplayPort 1.4 is superior when we look at supported resolution and maximum bandwidth. Those who are using gaming monitors can utilize the DisplayPort 1.4 for gaming in 8K or 4K @ 120 Hz. This can be achieved by an HDMI 2.1 too, however, there are only a small number of monitors which actually support this input as of today.

Is Using A DisplayPort Better Than HDMI?

An advantage of a DisplayPort that we are yet to mention, is its robust connection. The design of a DisplayPort contains two prongs. These lock into place when you insert them into their slot, creating a secure connection.

However, HDMIs are more versatile and widely used. HDMI cables are compatible with a number of devices such as TVs, Blu-ray players, monitors, cable boxes, and gaming consoles. A benefit we cannot say for DisplayPorts.

As of 2022, both HDMI and DisplayPort have come out with excellent and more powerful display connectors. The HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 2.0 currently exhibit higher maximum bandwidths and have much better resolutions than their predecessors.

That being said, when comparing the newest versions of these two connectors there seems to be not much difference between them when it comes to who is better.

Conclusion

Both HDMI and DisplayPorts offer great visual experiences but have their own pros and cons. They are both able to deliver high resolution, great color depth, and support refresh rates.

HDMI cables are compatible with more devices. However when compared to the more widely available DisplayPorts, the DisplayPort triumphs. As of now, since there is a delay in new hardware supporting HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 2.0 we would recommend using your Displayport – if it’s possible. If it isn’t, however, then your current HDMI will still do the job just as well.