HDMI vs Displayport: Is Displayport Better Than HDMI?

HDMI vs Displayport: Is Displayport Better Than HDMI?

Have you ever been in a situation where you have to choose a digital display interface, but you're confused about which one to choose? You may wonder, "Is DisplayPort better than HDMI?” In this article, we’ll explain which option is better. Which one should you choose based on your unique setup and computer display needs?

We’ll settle this debate once and for all by going through several aspects like audio/video quality and versatility as well as gaming/professional use. So, let’s start exploring, and learn what HDMI and DisplayPort stand for in the first place.

What is HDMI?

HDMI

The story of HDMI starts in 2002 when it was made to channel both audio and video signals. As of 2023, the global HDMI market stood at $1,700 million. Let’s see some technical specs on this display interface before comparing it with DisplayPort.

Technical Specifications

Pin configuration: It uses a 19-pin connector.

Maximum data transfer rates: It is 4.95 Gbps, 18 Gbps, and 48 Gbps for HDMI 1.0, 2.0, and 2.1 respectively.

Maximum resolution and refresh rates supported: HDMI 2.0 supports up to 8K @ 30 Hz, but HDMI 2.1 supports up to 16K @ 60 Hz.

Common Uses: It’s used in TVs, Blu-ray players, computer monitors, etc.
Typical use-cases for HDMI: You can use HDMI in home entertainment systems and gaming consoles.

What is Displayport?

Displayport

In 2006, VESA introduced DisplayPort to replace the DVI and VGA standards. DisplayPort has a relatively low market size than HDMI; even in 2033, it’ll have a market size of $409 million. It seems proper to first check some technical specs before comparing it with HDMI.

Technical Specifications

Pin configuration: It uses a 20-pin connector.

Maximum data transfer rates: DisplayPort 1.0 has a data transfer rate of 10.8 Gbps; however, DisplayPort 2.0 can go up to 80 Gbps.

Maximum resolution and refresh rates supported: DisplayPort 1.0 supports 4K @ 30 Hz, but you'll get 8K @ 120 Hz with DisplayPort 2.0.

Common Uses: You’ll use DisplayPort in multi-monitor setups or for professional video editing.

Typical use cases for DisplayPort: You can use it in dual monitors, VR headsets, and high-end gaming PCs.

HDMI vs Displayport: Is Displayport Better than HDMI?

HDMI vs Displayport

Now that you understand the key features of HDMI and DisplayPort, we can discuss some major differences between these two interfaces. Let’s see which one comes out as the champion!

Video and Audio Quality

As you can see, HDMI 2.0 supports 4K @ 60 Hz or 8K @ 30 Hz. But DisplayPort 2.0 gives you a maximum resolution of 16K @ 60 Hz. If you are a gamer or video editor who wants to know if DisplayPort is better than HDMI, then the answer is in the affirmative. Even HDMI 2.1 only goes up to 8K @60 Hz, so DisplayPort is a clear winner here.

DisplayPort also supports more audio channels (128) than HDMI (32). However, only HDMI supports the Audio Return Channel (ARC).

Compatibility and Versatility

So, is DisplayPort better than HDMI, after all? We have to look at two more factors to answer this question. Every digital interface’s compatibility and versatility matter a lot.

  • Device compatibility: HDMI is more prevalent in TVs and home entertainment systems. But you’ll use DisplayPort in high-end PC setups.
  • Adapter availability: Adapters are available to help consumers convert DisplayPort into HDMI or the other way around. But it may limit the signal’s bandwidth.

Support for Professional and Gaming Use

Are you a gamer and video editor about to choose between these two options? Let's give you a very clear answer:  DisplayPort supports AMD's FreeSync and NVIDIA's G-Sync; you can use it to eliminate screen tearing in games.

  • Multi-display setups: The daisy-chaining capabilities of DisplayPort make it the perfect interface for multi-display setups. HDMI needs a separate cable for each monitor, leading to clutter.
  • High-res multi-display: With DisplayPort, you can drive four daisy-chained 4K displays with 8-bit color depth and 60 Hz refresh rate. With HDMI, only two displays are possible (even with HDMI 2.1).

Should I use Displayport or HDMI for gaming?

Gamers like DisplayPort because it has a higher bandwidth. HDMI gives 8K @ 60 Hz, but you'll get 8K @ 60 Hz with DisplayPort (without compression).

Future-Proofing and Innovations

Another key area of discussion in the overall HDMI vs DisplayPort involves the latest versions of these two interfaces. However, DisplayPort 2.0 is still considered better than HDMI 2.1 thanks to its higher bandwidth and support for higher resolutions.

Some new technologies are still emerging in this industry, such as:

  • Daisy chaining in DisplayPort
  • Auto low latency mode in HDMI
  • Variable refresh rate and display stream compression in both

Even though USB-C port isn’t replacing HDMI any soon, we can’t say anything about the future. It’s a likely possibility that HDMI will surrender before a new innovation.

Cost and Availability

Again, HDMI is cheaper than DisplayPort when you’re buying longer lengths. A consumer may have to spend the same amount to buy these two interfaces, however. For instance, you can very easily buy an 8K HDMI 2.1 cable at $16.99. An 8K DisplayPort 1.4 cable, too, is available at this fair rate. However, DisplayPort is royalty-free, which is another advantage over HDMI.

Since manufacturers can't use HDMI without a licensing fee, the generally low cost of HDMI is of no benefit to large-scale consumers. That's why TVs and gaming consoles prefer HDMI, while high-end PC monitors and graphic cards often go with DisplayPort.

Conclusion

If you want to use DisplayPort or HDMI for gaming, now you know which one’s better.

HDMI uses a 19-pin connector and connects to a single screen; however, DisplayPort uses a 20-pin connector and can be used for multiple screens. So, choose an option based on your gaming equipment. If you want to lay your hands on the perfect equipment, then you should head over to Mobile Pixels right away. Choose the best digital display interface for your setup.

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