HDMI 2.1 vs DisplayPort 1.4: what's the difference

HDMI 2.1 vs DisplayPort 1.4: what’s the difference

HDMI is perhaps one of the most common connectors at the moment. These ports are almost anywhere, from consoles and streaming sticks to TVs and monitors, just like HDMI cables. However, if you’re into gaming, of course, you should know that the humble HDMI isn’t the only connector available. Like its counterpart, DisplayPort also allows you to stream and play high-resolution videos from your TV box or computer. Over the years, these two technologies have undergone many interesting changes, and HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 are the last two iterations that are gradually coming to the market.


HDMI 2 1 vs. Display port 1 2

And that brings us to a question, how are HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 different from each other? Is this just an incremental update to the old one, or does it bring something new and exciting to the table?

Well, that’s what we’re going to find in this article today, as we see the differences between DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.1.

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

HDMI vs DisplayPort: major differences

HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface and was released in 2002. As you might have guessed, this type of connector has caught up. Since then, it has been found in almost all consumer electronics such as TVs, monitors, streaming sticks, and game consoles, among others.

HDMI 1.0 was capable of pushing around 3.96 Gbps at maximum and supported 4K at 30Hz. Fast forward to HDMI 2.0, HDMI cables can push up to 14.4 Gbps of data and can support 8K at 30Hz.

Naturally, HDMI has gone through many iterations, with HDMI 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 being two of the readily available standards. From monitors to televisions, you can find them almost anywhere. Backward compatibility between different iterations means you can switch between different HDMI ports in a single device. Of course, you will miss some features.

HDMI 2 1 vs Display Port 1 4

HDMI 2 1 vs Display Port 1 4

On the other hand, DisplayPort debuted much later in 2006. When first revised, it could push around 8.64 Gbps of data and support 4K at 30Hz. Things have changed a lot since then. Today, the data rate and the transmission rate have almost quadrupled.

It should be noted that DisplayPort 2.0 was announced in 2019. However, it has yet to see its popularity among device makers. Speaking of popularity, DisplayPort 1.2 and DisplayPort 1.4 are two of the readily available standards and are backward compatible.

PropertyHDMIDisplayport
PropertyHDMIDisplayport
First iteration1.01.0
Year introduced20022006
Maximum transmission rate4.95 Gbit / s10.8 Gbit / s
Maximum data rate3.96 Gbit / s8.64 Gbit / s

Unlike HDMI which is available in almost all consumer electronics devices, you won’t find DisplayPort connectors in devices other than high-end gaming monitors (see best monitors with dual DisplayPort) and laptops and computers. compact laptops (Mini DisplayPort).

What does DisplayPort 1.4 bring

It’s no secret that DisplayPort connectors or cables can provide incredible bandwidth for data transmissions. And that’s one of the big reasons they are found on high-end monitors.

DisplayPort 1.4 can push about 25.92 Gbps of bandwidth. This jump in data transmission speed also allows 8K resolution at 60Hz or 4K at 120Hz. And it does not stop there. You also get the 10-bit color HDR experience. It should be noted that we are talking about the theoretical speed.

HDMI 2 1 vs. Display port 1 1

HDMI 2 1 vs. Display port 1 1

These numbers mean that when your gaming monitor is connected to the high-end GPU, you will be able to enjoy smooth gameplay. Of course, there are other playback factors like refresh rate and adaptive sync, but you get the picture.

Perhaps one of the main benefits of the increased bandwidth of DisplayPort 1.4 is that it enables multi-stream or MST transport. With MST, you will be able to connect multiple monitors in series using a single cable. This arrangement means that you will have a multi-monitor system without having to worry about connecting the individual monitors to the processor.

HDMI 2 1 vs Display Port 1 3

HDMI 2 1 vs Display Port 1 3

If we’re talking numbers, DisplayPort 1.4 lets you daisy-chain up to 4 compatible monitors into a single interface. Besides, you can also run two 4K monitors together. Cool, right?

What’s New in HDMI 2.1

HDMI 2.1 was announced in 2017. As you might have guessed, it boosts gaming by several times. For one thing, it lets you stream 10K content (if available) at 120Hz. You also get the eARC advantage in addition to enhanced dynamic HDR.

For the uninitiated, the eARC helps to route high quality sound from your TV / monitor to your (compatible) audio device. The best part is that it’s compatible with Dolby Atmos and DTS: X audio, which means you’ll be able to enjoy high fidelity sound in all its glory. And just like ARC, you can drop a separate audio cable. Obviously, you will also need a new HDMI cable. A high speed cable or an ultra high speed cable will do just fine.

HDMI 2 1 vs. Display port 1 1

HDMI 2 1 vs. Display port 1 1

Interestingly, HDMI 2.1 also brings variable refresh rate, or VRR, and is aimed at gaming enthusiasts. As the name suggests, it will help remove screen tearing and stuttering, allowing you to enjoy smoother gameplay (much like FreeSync). Apart from that, you will also find features like Automatic Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Fast Media Switching (QMS).

It should be noted that HDMI 2.1 has found its home in several new devices, including LG’s latest 2020 OLED TV crop, the new Xbox X series, and the PlayStation 5.

PropertyHDMI 2.1DisplayPort 1.4
PropertyHDMI 2.1DisplayPort 1.4
Number of displays supportedN / A4
Maximum resolution supported10K to 100Hz, 10K to 120Hz8K at 60Hz
HDRStatic and dynamicStatic
audio32 channels max32 channels max
Maximum transmission rate48 Gbit / s32.4 Gbit / s

However, not all is warm and hearty in this new country as there are some bugs associated with it. For example, some Nvidia Ampere GPUs may display a black screen when the screen is raised to operate at 4K 120Hz. Initial investigation suggested that the problem lies with an HDMI 2.1 chip made by a specific company. It’s unclear if this can be fixed with a software update or if it needs a global replacement. Well, the audio amplifier and Hi-Fi systems based on HDMI 2.1 have already been announced and are about to be rolled out to the rest of the world. For now, hold onto your horses.

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HDMI 2.1 or DisplayPort 1.4

Since the two media are aimed at transferring high-resolution data, it is anything but natural to get confused. The good news is that DisplayPort 1.4 is all about gaming, as NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards support it. And for now, that also gives you the flexibility to switch between GPUs, be it AMD’s FreeSync and Nvidia’s G-Sync. In addition, it is readily available.

On the other hand, HDMI 2.1 is quite new and is still used in the affordable segment of television, audio equipment and monitors. Hopefully, as we approach 2021, we’ll see more gadgets rolling out with either port.

Then:

Do you own a MacBook Pro? Check out the article below for the best HDMI adapters for the MacBook Pro.

Last updated on Nov 11, 2020

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