Written by David

What is the difference between an HDMI and DisplayPort connection?

HDMI and DisplayPort are 2 connectors that many electronic devices have. They look similar, but in practice they do differ from each other. What are those differences? You can read that below.
HDMI 1.4 HDMI 2.0 DisplayPort 1.2 DisplayPort 1.3 DisplayPort 1.4
I want to connect 1 Full HD monitor to my computer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
I want to connect multiple Full HD screens to my computer No Yes Yes Yes Yes
I want to connect 1 4K screen to my computer No Yes Yes Yes Yes
I want to connect multiple 4K screens to my computer No No No Yes Yes
I want to connect my DVD or Blu-ray player to a TV Yes Yes No No No
I want to connect my game console to a TV Yes Yes No No No
I want to connect my computer to a monitor for gaming No No Yes Yes Yes
I want to make a wired internet connection Yes Yes No No No

HDMI vs DisplayPort

HDMI and DisplayPort are connectors that are used to transmit image and sound from one device to another. For example when you connect a laptop to an external monitor, beamer or TV. An extra option with an HDMI connection is that in some cases, you can also use it to make a wired internet connection. Both connectors are available in different sizes and versions.

Bandwidth Below, the term bandwidth is used several times. In order to explain the importance of more bandwidth, it is best to imagine a highway. The higher the bandwidth, the wider the highway. And the wider the highway, the more space there is to transmit signals simultaneously.

When is DisplayPort the best option?

If you want to connect a computer with multiple monitors

With DisplayPort, your bandwidth is higher than with HDMI. And a higher bandwidth means you can transmit more signals at the same time. You benefit from this if you want to connect a computer with multiple monitors. DisplayPort supports so-called daisy chaining, a method that allows you to connect multiple monitors via 1 DisplayPort port. The signal from the DisplayPort connection is then split. For example: If you split the signal from a DisplayPort 1.2 connection (normally good for a 3840x2160 resolution), you can connect 2 Full HD (1920x1080, or half of 4K) monitors.

If you connect a computer and a monitor for gaming

DisplayPort supports both FreeSync and G Sync. These 2 techniques ensure that the video card and monitor work together as well as possible. This prevents tearing and stuttering, or a stuttering image. FreeSync works with AMD video cards, G Sync with NVIDIA GPUs. HDMI only supports FreeSync.

DisplayPort versions

DisplayPort

DisplayPort 1.2

  • Supports resolutions up to and including 3840x2160 (4K UHD) with a refresh rate of 60Hz, or 60 frames per second.
  • 17.28GB/s of bandwidth

DisplayPort 1.3

  • Supports 3840x2160 (4K UHD) resolution with refresh rate of 120Hz, or 120 frames per second.
  • Supports 7680x4320 (8K) resolution, but only with 30Hz refresh rate, or 30 frames per second. This is actually not high enough, especially if you want to game.
  • 32.4Gb/s bandwidth

Displayport 1.4

  • Supports resolutions up to 7680x4320 (8K) with a refresh rate of 60Hz, or 60 frames per second.
  • 32.4GB/s bandwidth

When is HDMI the best option?

HDMI

When connecting your TV with a DVD or Blu-ray player

HDMI 1.4 and 2.0 connectors support Audio Return Channel (ARC). This technique comes in handy when you connect a TV with a home cinema set, such as a DVD or Blu-ray player. Do you watch TV? Then the audio is transmitted via HDMI to the speakers of your home cinema set. Are you watching a DVD or Blu-ray? Then the image goes to your TV and the audio is sent back to the external speakers. Each HDMI connection also supports Consumer Electronics Control (CEC). With this technique, you control multiple devices with 1 remote control. For example: connect your TV to a soundbar via HDMI and turn the TV and the soundbar on and off with the same remote control. If you want to make a wired internet connection With HDMI 1.4 and 2.0, you can also make a wired internet connection up to 100MB/s. This way, you can connect a laptop to the internet. If your laptop also has an Ethernet port, we recommend to use this connection for a wired internet connection. To use Ethernet via HDMI, you do need an HDMI cable that supports this function.

HDMI versions

HDMI connections

HDMI 1.4

  • Supports resolutions up to 3840x2160 (4K UHD), but only with 30Hz refresh rate, or 30 frames per second. This is actually not high enough, especially if you want to game at 4K.
  • 10.2GB/s bandwidth

HDMI 2.0

  • Supports resolutions up to and including 3840x2160 (4K UHD) with a refresh rate of 60Hz, or 60 frames per second.
  • 18GB/s bandwidth

© 1999 - 2019 - Coolblue B.V.
Customer rating: 9.3 / 10 - 34,413 reviews