If you are shopping for a new screen, you may be comparing computer monitors with DisplayPort vs HDMI ports. The best computer monitors, after all, tend to include one of these two display connection types. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between HDMI and DisplayPort technology.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • HDMI is the better option for consumer-grade devices, such as HDTVs and gaming consoles, as the standard specializes in delivering both audio and video signals in a single cable.
  • DisplayPort only recently became available to transport audio and may require driver downloads to add audio to a video signal.
  • DisplayPort integrates with both G-Sync and FreeSync, and HDMI may offer support for only FreeSync.

Differences Between DisplayPort and HDMI

These are two different display standards, with differing histories, use case scenarios, and more. In other words, DisplayPort and HDMI offer different visions for the transmission of digital data to a computer monitor, though these differences are shrinking with each new update to each digital standard. The differences between the two used to be stark, now they are subtle, such as when comparing 24 vs 27-inch computer monitors.

Here are more differences between DisplayPort and HDMI connections.

Insider Tip

Be sure to check integration with your monitor and PC to see what types of ports and connections are available.

Audio Signals

Both options deliver audio signals, but HDMI has simply had more time to perfect the process. Audio transmission didn’t arrive until DisplayPort 1.4, which is a recent iteration of the digital signal standard. Additionally, those looking to stream audio via a DisplayPort cable may have to download all manner of drivers and related software to get it to work. HDMI, on the other hand, was always built with both audio and video in mind, offering something akin to a plug-and-play experience. There is a reason, after all, HDMI connections are so popular with consumer-grade devices, such as HDTVs.

Gaming Support

DisplayPort cables offer support for popular GPU syncing technologies, including both AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync. The same cannot always be said for HDMI cables, though some newer iterations, including HDMI 2.0, offer this kind of support with regard to AMD FreeSync. Integration with popular syncing technology helps gamers reduce screen tears, blur, and other visual artifacts. It could also help ease eye strain with prolonged use, if you are comparing LCD vs LED monitors for eyes.

Resolution

The two are in an arms race to deliver the highest resolutions with the highest refresh rates and it is essentially a draw. HDMI 2.1 offers 10K support with refresh rates up to 120Hz. The recently released HDR DisplayPort 2.0 offers 16K support with refresh rates up to 60Hz and 10K with refresh rates up to 80Hz.

F.A.Q.S

What’s the difference: VGA vs DVI vs HDMI vs DisplayPort?

There are many differences between HDMI 2.1, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, and related digital standards. It must be noted, however, that only HDMI and DisplayPort offer support for maximum bandwidth and maximum resolution. Additionally, HDMI was built with audio return channel capabilities in mind.


DisplayPort Vs. HDMI: Which is better for gaming?

Back in the days of HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort was the obvious winner, thanks to a better video resolution and superior display stream compression. Things have changed with recent updates, however.


DisplayPort vs HDMI for visual designers?

This depends on what kind of visuals you are designing and your PC setup. If you are designing high-definition digital video, DisplayPort may be the right bet, though be sure to avoid previous versions.



STAT: You’ll most likely find an HDMI port on the back of your television, so a 2.0 or 2.1 is essential for optimal 4K viewing. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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