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What is DisplayPort 2.1?

Last Updated on April 25, 2023
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DisplayPort 2.1 is the latest iteration of the DisplayPort digital interface and it brings a host of features and performance improvements over its predecessors.

Developed by VESA (the Video Electronics Standards Association), DisplayPort 2.1 provides a unified interface for connecting video sources, such as laptops to displays or audio-video receivers (AVRs). It supports resolutions up to 16K, offers faster refresh rates, and improved power delivery capabilities.

The main advantage of DisplayPort 2.1 over its predecessors is speed; it offers up to 80 Gbps of data throughput per cable connection compared to 32 Gbps with DisplayPort 1.4a and 17 Gbps with DisplayPort 1.2a – that’s enough bandwidth to support 8K resolution.

Although both DisplayPort 1.4 and 2.1 are built to support higher resolutions DisplayPort 2.1 can triple the bandwidth of 1.4. DisplayPort 2.1 has up to three Ultra High Bit Rates (UHBR) that can each move a maximum data rate bigger than 1.4. This, plus DP 2.1 128b/323b encoding gives the technology better efficiency to handle big resolutions.

Can DisplayPort run 4K?

This updated version offers resolutions up to 16K, improved power management capabilities, higher refresh rates, and better support for multiple displays. With its enhanced performance, DisplayPort 2.1 can handle a wide range of resolutions for both audio and video applications.

For gaming applications, DisplayPort 2.1 supports resolutions up to 8K at 60Hz, 4K at 240Hz, and 1440p at 500Hz and 10-bit color depth for smooth frame rates with minimal input lag. All of this without even touching DSC; with DSC on it will support way higher resolutions.

Is it better to use HDMI or DP for gaming?

Thanks to the higher support for bigger resolutions and better efficiency, DisplayPort is the best option for gaming. Connecting the GPU to the monitor through DisplayPort will provide the experience with a more smooth and fresh look, besides it will make it easier for the GPU to handle 4K resolutions at higher FPS. Lastly, thanks to DP’s bigger bandwidth and support it’s more compatible with adaptive refresh technologies namely G-Sync and FreeSync.

Camilo is a contributor for PC Guide. He's been into tech since he was a teen, surfing through the web and local stores trying to find the cheapest way to play the latest Half-Life on his old Windows