One of the factors to consider when selecting a monitor is the ports it provides for you to plug into. Among the different ports are the HDMI and Display Port, which look remarkably similar but have different capabilities and compatibility.
If you’re wondering what the difference between the two ports is and which one you should use, follow along to learn more as we explain everything you need to know.
What Is a Display Port?
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 displays.
It’s capable of carrying video and audio signals. You can find Display Ports on devices such as computers, PC monitors, some mobile devices, televisions, and in some projectors.
What Is HDMI?
HDMI or High-Definition Multimedia Interface was introduced by HDMI Licensing in 2003 and is mostly found in consumer electronics, as it can pass audio, video and some 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, gaming consoles, consumer computers, digital cameras, camcorders, media streamers and some smartphones.
HDMI vs. Display Port: Which One Should You Use?
Both HDMI and Display Port have different versions that support different standards. Even if your computer supports both outputs, it is best to find out which version of each standard your computer supports.
Display Port comes 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 8.64Gbps.
- DisplayPort 1.2: Supports up to 4K at 60Hz and transfer speeds up to 17.28Gbps. Some 1.2a ports may also support AMD’s FreeSync.
- DisplayPort 1.3: Supports up to 4K at 120Hz or 8K at 30Hz and transfer speeds up to 25.92Gbps.
- DisplayPort 1.4: Supports up to 8K at 60Hz 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 includes support for HDR
- HDMI 2.1: Supports up to 10K resolution at 120Hz, as well as improved HDR and enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC).
Depending on the version of the port your computer supports, you can decide which one will give you a better result.
For Apple users, the standard Display Port also works with Thunderbolt, although devices with Thunderbolt won’t work with it. Consequently, if you try to connect a DisplayPort-enabled device and a Thunderbolt-enabled monitor, it’ll work, but the opposite won’t work.
Nvidia or AMD Graphic Card
If you are planning to use Nvidia G-Sync, then Display Port is the one yu should choosr. Display Port is the only one supporting G-Sync for now. Both Display Port and HDMI support AMD’s Freesync technology, though.
Do You Need to Connect Multiple Monitors?
If you need to connect multiple monitors to your computer, you can either make use of the two ports to connect various monitors or 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 Connecting Output?
HDMI is able to send sound from the display to the source because it supports Audio Return Channel (ARC). This is helpful when you’re using a smart TV. HDMI is good for connecting gaming consoles, streaming devices or Blu-ray players to your TV, while Display Port is great for connecting a computer to a monitor and for running multiple motors from one cable using hubs or displays with daisy chaining support.
Display Port is primarily used for peripheral video and computer connections, while HDMI is mainly for consumer electronics equipment.
Both HDMI and Display Port only make a difference if you have a high-resolution display. For your regular non-4K monitor, if you are not into gaming, it doesn’t really matter which one you use.
Also check out other display standards and the usage scenarios where you’ll be using their respective connectors.