If you want to connect your PC or console to a TV or game display, you have several options and even more cords. Since different ports have varying capabilities and compatibilities, you should check the back of your PC to see what you're dealing with.
Fortunately, there is a clear hierarchy for players to follow when it comes to visual ports.
Certain video cards won't have the correct port and some displays won't show the best signal – so knowing the pecking order and best alternatives is a good idea.
It's not always clear which to choose based on your rig's specifications and display resolution. If you want to connect a new monitor to your gaming PC, you'll undoubtedly see two connectors that appear very identical.
There will be DisplayPort connections and HDMI connections to pick from.
But what is the difference? And does it matter which one you use? Let's find out.
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What Is A DisplayPort?
DisplayPort is a video and audio cable technology that transmits high-definition video and audio. The most recent version, DisplayPort 2.0, was released in 2019, although no commercial products support it as of yet.
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DisplayPort is not as widely used as HDMI, so that you won't find a DisplayPort jack on your gaming system, and it's unlikely that your TV will either.
On the other hand, DisplayPort is most helpful and often required for PC gamers since it can link from a monitor to the PC's specialised graphics card, the GPU, and offers greater resolutions, frame rates, and bandwidth than HDMI.
Attaching numerous monitors is much more versatile with DisplayPort, as daisy chaining in the Thunderbolt manner is feasible.
This is beneficial for production activities, but gamers should be aware that this multi-monitor connection distributes bandwidth between screens.
Here are some of the top choices for DP cables (easily available on Amazon*)
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What Is HDMI?
The HDMI cable, which stands for high-definition multimedia interface, allows users to send high-definition video and music to their TV or monitor.
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HDMI originated in 2003, so unless you plan on playing games on a CRT, your TV or monitor almost probably supports HDMI. If you're utilising a TV, it's also likely to have numerous ports.
HDMI is ubiquitous and inexpensive, although it has several drawbacks compared to DisplayPort 2.0. The latest HDMI version, however, enables resolutions at high refresh rates, namely: 4K at 144Hz, 1080p at 240Hz, and 1440p at 385Hz.
That's fantastic news for PC gamers, but not every display supports high refresh rates, so your results may vary.
Here are some of the top choices for HDMI cables (easily available on Amazon*)
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DisplayPort vs HDMI – The Details
HDMI and DisplayPort both provide the same eight audio channels and at the same quality level, 24 bit, 192kHz.
When it comes to sound, the main difference between the two formats is that HDMI contains an audio return channel, which means the connection can carry audio both ways.
Video And Bandwidth
HDMI has gone through several revisions throughout the years. HDMI 2.1, launched in 2017, is the most recent and greatest.
This latest cable can transport data at 48Gbps, a significant increase above prior lines' 18Gbps. Of course, previous versions are still compatible with most devices, but they do not give the same image quality or bandwidth.
DisplayPort's new version, on the other hand, has a bandwidth of only 32.4Gbps and is capable of supporting 4K resolution.
DisplayPort's older version which was released in 2010, and less competent than 1.4, with a maximum bandwidth of 21.6Gbps and support for 5K resolution at 30Hz, 4K resolution at 75Hz, and 1080p resolution at 240Hz.
Console Vs PC
HDMI offers a significant advantage if you intend to play on a console: Both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X/S offer HDMI 2.1 capability, the most recent and finest HDMI version.
Either console doesn't support DisplayPort. DisplayPort is probably your best choice for maximum performance if you're a PC user.
If you want to learn even more, check out this awesome video by Greg Salazar on the in-depth difference between HDMI and DP:
One cable is not always superior to another in every way, but each has its place. If you must choose between DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort is the superior alternative.
In other circumstances, if a display only offers the option of HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI may be the better option for HDR compatibility; as long as all of your devices support the HDMI version in question.
Which port you choose is determined by the capability of both your display and video card. What is ideal for your specific configuration is the greatest option you can make.