HDMI vs DisplayPort: which is better and more relevant

Most monitors have both HDMI and DisplayPort. Manufacturers often include both cables in the kit. Let’s figure out which one is better to connect the display to. Let’s compare the two interfaces: let’s talk about their features, how they differ, note the pros and cons.

Specifications

For convenience, let’s summarize the characteristics of both interfaces in a comparative table. Let’s group by versions that roughly correspond to each other.The table shows that DisplayPort, being a standard developed exclusively for connecting monitors, surpasses its “universal” brother in the face of HDMI.

It should be borne in mind that DP2.0 and HDMI 2.1 appeared quite recently. The latter is supported only in some new TVs, and DisplayPort 2.0 still exists only on paper: monitors with such a connector will appear on the market at the end of 2021.

What should you choose?

We have already released two detailed articles on interfaces: we analyzed the features of HDMI and found out why DisplayPort is needed . For those users who don’t want to delve into the wild, let’s take a quick look at a few typical scenarios.

If you have a regular monitor with a refresh rate of 60-75 Hz and a resolution of 1080p or 1440p, then the DP port may not be there. For such models, even taking into account the FreeSync technology, HDMI is enough. However, it should be borne in mind that it will only work on AMD video cards – to activate the G-Sync Compatible function from NVIDIA, you definitely need a connector and, accordingly, a DisplayPort cable.

In such displays, especially in the budget format, manufacturers usually make older versions of HDMI ports – the monitors connected to them operate only at a lower refresh rate and do not support HDR. In addition, do not forget about FreeSync and G-Sync – these options are most relevant specifically for gaming monitors.

4K displays are now primarily used for graphics and video, so most models run at 60Hz. An HDMI 2.0 cable is enough for them. 144Hz gaming models require DisplayPort 1.4 (DSC) and Display Stream Compression capable graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce 2000-series, AMD Radeon 5000-series and above). Otherwise, get a maximum of 120 Hz. Forget about HDMI connection – you won’t see more than 60 Hz at 4K.

HMDI also has its advantages: for example, cable length can reach 15 meters (versus a maximum of 3 meters for DP), as well as lower price, versatility and availability of cables.

conclusions

For regular monitors with 60Hz, especially if you are not playing games, an HDMI cable is sufficient – it is usually included in the package. For gaming models with a high frequency, especially in the case of NVIDIA video cards, DisplayPort is better suited. For AMD owners, budget monitors with FreeSync can be connected with an HDMI cable.