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HDMI VS. DisplayPort – Which is better for Gaming

HDMI VS. DisplayPort – Which is better for Gaming


When we think of modern serial interfaces, two names come to mind. The first one is more focused on multimedia and LEDs, and is called HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface). The second is a gamer’s choice and recently added the latest technology, commonly known as DP (DisplayPort). Both of these technologies transmit data via cable from one source to another. Analog interfaces like S-video, RGB, and VGA saw a steep decline with their introduction.

HDMI and DisplayPort both support high-definition (HD) audio and video data transfer at higher speeds. Despite the fact that both of these interfaces are perfect for data-intensive transfers, there is still a difference between their capabilities. Although these interfaces are both high-speed and digital, they differ in many essential aspects. In addition to what we have already discussed, HDMI is known more for consuming electronics equipment, while DisplayPort is known for targeting consumers for computer and peripheral video connection.

HDMI and DisplayPort ports

We are discussing HDMI vs DisplayPort, and the only thing that stands out is the phrase “it depends.” Both of these connections are highly efficient in transferring data over the digital interface. They can, however, be applied depending on several factors.

For gaming, video editing, photo studio, or mixed-use, the best cable depends on the system and monitor specifications. Monitors sometimes support both technologies; other times, they support only a specific version of an interface. Thus, the selection process will depend on your needs, the refresh rate, the resolution supported, and other features which will be discussed in this article.

See: HDMI 2.1: Why It Matters for PCs and TVs – Explained

Specs Overview

The benefits of HDMI and DP go beyond their high rates of digital data transmission. Backward compatibility is one of the most obvious advantages. As HDMI and DisplayPort have different versions, this feature is very helpful. The two technologies are not equal. With backward compatibility, older monitors with HDMI and DisplayPort interfaces can work with the new and more powerful GTX 1060 or. Sound Card

However, older and new interfaces have some limitations. If your monitor does not support the latest HDMI and DP interfaces, it will use the options supported by both, regardless of the specifications of your graphics card. Sending and receiving the data set at the maximum value that each system can handle. Backward compatibility has both positive and negative aspects. The advantage is that you don’t have to change the hardware. When used with an older graphics card, it can limit the performance of a 4K 144Hz monitor to 4K with lower refresh rates.

HDML VS Displyport for gaming.2

In terms of specifications and resolution, DisplayPort is a clear winner over HDMI. To support this argument, we compared the specifications of HDMI and DisplayPort. DP 2.0 supports a maximum transmission rate of 80 Gbps, versus 48 Gbps for HDMI 2.1. DisplayPort showed 77.37 Gbps data rates compared to HSMI’s 42.6 Gbps. DP supports 4K resolution at 240 Hz and 8K at 85 Hz. With HDMI, 4K works with 144 Hz, while with DSC, it can reach 240 Hz. With 8K resolution, HDMI can reach 30 Hz, and with DSC, it can reach 120 Hz.

There is a difference between the bandwidth claimed by HDMI and DisplayPort and the actual bandwidth. Transmission rate and data rate are divided by the bandwidth stream. When data of 8 bits is transferred, it actually transfers 10 bits. Best HDMI Switch in 2021 By transmitting extra data, the integrity of the signal is maintained. DisplayPort 2.0 uses 128B/132B, while HDMI 2.1 uses 16B/18B. DP 2.0 transfers 132 bits of data for 128 bits of data.

DisplayPort Vs. HDMI HDR Support

HDR (High Dynamic Range) is compatible with both technologies. They both support HDR with its wider color gamuts and larger brightness range. DP 2.0 and HDMI 2.1, however, support HDR10+, which is dynamic metadata, while HDMI 2.0 only supports HDR10, which is status metadata.

There is a distinct difference between static and dynamic metadata. Metadata that is static means that the adjustment data of a video is sent at the beginning of the video stream, and it remains the same throughout the video. Dynamic metadata distributes the adjustments throughout the video and allows for finer adjustments.

HDMI Vs DisplayPort Audio Transmission

DisplayPort and HDMI can handle 24-bit audio at 192 Hz. There is no difference in the ability to transfer data, but HDMI only uses one cable. HDMI uses ARC (Audio Return Channel) for uncompressed audio, but this is limited to two channels split over 44.1 Hz and 10-bit audio. ARC can support highly compressed 5.1 surround with sample rates of 192 kHz over 24-bit in the new HDMI eARC

Over 24-bit audio, DisplayPort supports uncompressed 7.1 surrounds with 192 Hz. If you have DisplayPort 1.4 or higher, it has not been issued as we see with HDMI. The audio stream can connect to four displays with DisplayPort, unlike previous versions that supported only a single receiver or display.

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Multi-Display Support on HDMI and DisplayPort

DisplayPort is the clear winner when it comes to supporting multiple displays. DisplayPort and HDMI can both support multiple displays, but DisplayPort can run four displays whereas HDMI can only run two. Recently, HDMI Switch in 2021 has not been used for multiple displays much because gamers and graphics designers prefer DisplayPort’s speed and versatility.


Another important aspect of multiple display connectivity is the transfer speed of the two interfaces. HDMI 2.1 is limited to 48 Gbps, while DisplayPort can run at 80 Gbps. When connected to four displays, DisplayPort 2.0 can deliver 19.34 Gbps per lane, for a total of 77.37 Gbps. HDMI Switch in 2021 2.0 is capable of delivering 14.4 Gbps per lane. DisplayPort has a clear advantage over its competition because of its ability to connect to multiple displays and its more incredible speeds.

Resolution Supported

DisplayPort and HDMI support different resolutions and refresh rates. Depending on the version, each technology has its own advantages. If we compare HDMI 2.1 with Display 1.4, HDMI is the clear winner. DisplayPort 2.0, on the other hand, reversed the specs game. DisplayPort 1.4 does support a triple fold increase in resolution. You can theoretically achieve a resolution of 16K. Even the refresh rates can be staggeringly high as DisplayPort 2.0 can support 240 Hz refresh rates at 4K resolution.

When we compare the technology’s availability with the resolution and refresh rate, HDMI is the winner. Comparatively to DisplayPort 2.1, which is a relatively new technology, HDMI 2.1 is readily available. DisplayPort 2.1 is likely to become more common in late 2021 or the first quarter of the following year.

Variable Refresh Rate Support

Today, VRR, or variable refresh rate, is pretty common. Adaptive refresh rate technology adjusts the display refresh rate according to frame rate per second demand. Currently, there are two mainstream VRR technologies: FreeSync and G-Sync.

HDML Guide

You are stuck with FreeSync if you have an AMD graphics card. HDMI and DisplayPort both support FreeSync, so you do not have to worry about your cable selection in this case. The HDMI fans will be disappointed since it does not support Nvidia’s G-Sync. If you have an Nvidia graphics card, the only option is DisplayPort.

USB-C Alt-Mode

Many compact computers and some smartphones have USB-C Alt-Mode connectivity options. Video signals can be sent over the USB cable as an alternative to video data. HDMI and DisplayPort both support USB-C Alt-Mode. HDMI, however, requires a more complex cable setup, and its signal must be converted from DisplayPort to HDMI.

DisplayPort supports USB-C Alt-Mode since 2014. Since the data can be sent over the same cable, no complex cable setup is needed. USB allows data transfer based on bandwidth requirements. In terms of data transfer, this USB-C Alt-Mode is ideal if you are looking to set up a monitor USB connection. Using the same cable, data and video signals can be transferred as well as power the display effectively.

DisplayPort vs. HDMI: What’s in for Gamers?

Even after discussing the technical and functional aspects of DisplayPort and HDMI, you may still be wondering which is better for gaming? In addition to specs sheets, the most important influencing factor of your decision is the gaming hardware you have. For most of the time, the two standards are equally good, and their compatibility is not an issue with the exception of G-Sync (which we’ll discuss later), so gamers are clueless until the very end.

Let’s look at things from the perspective of the gamer. HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 are both highly capable and provide a great gaming experience. However, HDMI 2.1 has better performance than DisplayPort 1.4, but the release of DisplayPort 2.0 has shaken HDMI’s survival chances. HDMI and DisplayPort both have issues. If you want HDMI 2.1, you may want to use a TV instead of a monitor. Since DisplayPort 2.0 is not yet available in bulk for normal users, it is still not mainstream.

DisplayPort 1.4 is the best connection for NVIDIA graphics cards. G-Sync displays synchronize the refresh rate with the frame rate. G-Sync is only compatible with HDMI 2.1 TVs and does not support monitors. When playing on NVIDIA cards, the only viable option is prioritizing DisplayPort over HDMI.

AMD graphics cards support both HDMI and DisplayPort. DisplayPort remains the main driver for AMD-based cards. A preference for DisplayPort over HDMI is probably due to the availability of FreeSync-compatible monitors for DisplayPort. DisplayPort is easier to find than HDMI for 144 Hz monitors.

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Edward Connelly
By Edward Connelly

I’m Edward, and I am a passionate tech writer who loves to try new gadgets. I work as the blog editor at TechHamster where I write about everything from how to use technology in your business, to what apps you should download for your next vacation. I also test out all of the latest and gadgets that come along!

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