DisplayPort and HDMI are the two most widely used video interfaces today. These are two protocols that serve the same purpose, but have different characteristics. In this post we analyze which of the two is the best alternative to play on PC. Are you ready? We started
HDMI, the most widespread digital multimedia interface
HDMI is the most widespread digital video interface in the multimedia world, although this does not necessarily mean that it is the best. The latest version available is HDMI 2.1, which offers an incredible 48 Gb / s bandwidth. This is sufficient to transmit video at a maximum resolution of 8K and at 60 Hz.
If we go down to 4K resolution, we find that HDMI 2.1 is capable of handling video at 120 Hz to offer better fluency. But HDMI not only transmits video, this interface also supports many sound technologies such as Dolby Digital, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby TrueHD .
One limitation of HDMI is that it only supports one screen for each connection , which limits us to transferring one video and one audio track. If we want more, we are going to need to use more connections forcibly. Multi-screen configurations are increasingly common among gamers and other PC users, graphics cards usually include several HDMI ports so it is not a real problem, beyond the biggest mess of cables we may have.
There are several versions of the HDMI cable, below, we summarize the most common:
- Standard HDMI cable: allows video at 720p or 1080i resolution.
- HDMI cable with Ethernet: adds support for 100Mbps networks.
- High Speed HDMI cable: allows higher resolutions and has support for 3D images. It is the most used today.
- High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet: Combines High Speed cable with 100Mbps internet support.
DisplayPort, HDMI's biggest rival
As for DisplayPort, it is a much more modern digital video interface than HDMI. The current version is DisplayPort 1.4, which offers a bandwidth of 32.4 Gb / s and also supports video at 8K and 60 Hz or 4K and 120 Hz. The bandwidth is lower than HDMI 2.1, but it does not affect you to handle very high resolutions. DisplayPort does not support Ethernet networks .
An advantage of DisplayPort is that it is a very versatile connector, we can use adapters to convert its signal to DVI, HDMI, VGA and even USB Type-C standards , which can integrate DisplayPort functionality. This makes DisplayPort a more versatile port than HDMI. It also supports the latest audio technologies, just like HDMI.
Another important advantage of DisplayPort is that it has the capacity to handle up to four monitors with a single connection . This is important for gamers using multiple monitors, but also for video and photo editing professionals. With this you can have a more orderly desk and with less cables. Current graphics cards allow up to six monitors using DisplayPort.
Currently both HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 offer the ability to transmit video at 8K 60 Hz or 4K 120 Hz. This means that for most users there will be no difference between them . There will be no difference in fluency in games between the two interfaces.
|HDMI 2.1||DisplayPort 1.4|
|Video||8K at 60 Hz|
4K at 120 Hz
|8K at 60 Hz|
4K at 120 Hz
|Monitors||1 per connection||Up to 4 per connection|
|Internet support||1000 MB / s||Not|
If we dig deeper, DisplayPort is a better alternative for gamers with multi-monitor setups , this can also be done with HDMI, but with multiple video cables coming out of the PC, versus just one in the case of DisplayPort. These types of players are a minority, but they are usually the most demanding.
HDMI can also thrive with support for 100Mbps Internet networks , something its rival can only dream of for now.
What is your preferred interface? We want to know your opinion.