One of the factors to consider when selecting a monitor is the port it allows you to connect to. Among the different ports are HDMI and the display port, which are remarkably similar but have different capacities and compatibility.
If you’re wondering what the difference is between the two ports and which one you should use, follow it to find out more as we will explain everything you need to know.
What is a display port?
The display port specification was developed and introduced by VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) in 2006 to replace the VGA and DVI standard used primarily for computer screens.
It is capable of carrying video and audio signals. You can find display ports on devices such as computers, PC monitors, some mobile devices, TVs, and some projectors.
What is HDMI?
The HDMI or high definition multimedia interface was introduced by the HDMI license in 2003 and is mainly found in consumer electronics, since it can transmit audio, video and certain control signals.
Some of the devices with HDMI include Blu-ray, DVD, Ultra-HD players, televisions and video projectors, home theater receivers, DVRs and cable or satellite boxes, game consoles, consumer computers, digital cameras, camcorders, multimedia streamers and some smartphones.
HDMI vs display port: which should you use?
HDMI and Display Port have different versions that support different standards. Even if your computer supports both outputs, it is best to determine which version of each standard your computer supports.
The display port is available in five versions: 1.0 – 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 and 2.0.
- DisplayPort 1.0 – 1.1: Supports up to 4K at 30Hz and transfer speeds up to 8.64 Gbps.
- DisplayPort 1.2: Supports up to 4K at 60 Hz and transfer speeds up to 17.28 Gbit / s. Some 1.2a ports may also support FreeSync from AMD.
- DisplayPort 1.3: Supports up to 4K at 120 Hz or 8K at 30 Hz and transfer speeds up to 25.92 Gbit / s.
- DisplayPort 1.4: Supports up to 8K at 60 Hz and HDR.
On the other hand, HDMI comes with version 1.4, 2.0 and the latest 2.1.
- HDMI 1.4: Supports up to 4K at 30Hz or 1080p at 120Hz.
- HDMI 2.0: Supports up to 4K at 60Hz and supports HDR
- HDMI 2.1: Supports up to 10K resolution at 120 Hz, as well as improved HDR and improved audio return channel (eARC).
Depending on the version of the port supported by your computer, you can decide which port will give you a better result.
For Apple users, the standard display port also works with Thunderbolt, although devices with Thunderbolt do not work with it. Therefore, if you try to connect a DisplayPort compatible device and a Thunderbolt compatible monitor, it will work, but the reverse will not work.
Nvidia or AMD graphics card
If you plan to use Nvidia G-Sync, then Display Port is the one you should choose. The display port is the only one that supports G-Sync at this time. However, the display port and HDMI support AMD’s Freesync technology.
Do you need to connect multiple monitors?
If you need to connect multiple monitors to your computer, you can use both ports to connect different monitors or the daisy chain display port to multiple monitors. If you have at least Display Port version 1.2 and Multi-Stream, you can use it with very high resolution monitors.
What is the connection output?
HDMI is able to send audio from the screen to the source because it supports Audio Return Channel (ARC). This is useful when using a smart TV. HDMI is good for connecting game consoles, streaming devices or Blu-ray players to your TV, while the display port is great for connecting a computer to a monitor and running multiple engines from one same cable using hubs or screens with daisy chain support.
The display port is mainly used for video and peripheral computer connections, while HDMI is mainly used for consumer electronic equipment.
The HDMI and Display ports only make a difference if you have a high resolution screen. For your standard non-4K monitor, if you’re not a game lover, it doesn’t matter which one you use.
Also see the other display standards and usage scenarios in which you will use their respective connectors.
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