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What Is DisplayPort on a Computer Monitor?

Jed Smith Profile image

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Updated June 27, 2022

Key Takeaways:

  • DisplayPort has the fastest transfer rates of any video port type
  • DisplayPort is compatible with most other port types via inexpensive adapters
  • DisplayPort is the best option for 4K video streaming and gaming

Modern PCs and graphics cards can offer a variety of different input and output ports for video or video/audio transfer to monitors. Among the newest variety of video port types is DisplayPort, which, like the more common HDMI, transfers high-definition video and audio to displays at ultra-fast rates for maximum frame rate response and flexible refresh rates. Here’s everything you need to know about DisplayPort.

About DisplayPort

Though somewhat similar-looking to, and often confused with HDMI, DisplayPort (DP) was developed in recent years to deliver next-generation digital video data streaming with bandwidths much higher than HDMI and USB-C port (and all other digital port types) onto digital displays like your monitor or external display if you use dual mode. That impressive maximum bandwidth can contribute to better video resolutions from a variety of video sources like from mobile devices. Not only does this allow for reliable streaming of even high-resolution video like 4K in a vivid color depth range, but it allows for the highest refresh rates (the rate at which a monitor refreshes its image), all desirable features for professional video and graphics work, not to mention high-resolution, high-performance gaming.

DisplayPort 2.0 streams video and audio data and speeds averaging 80 Gbs, compared to HDMI 2.0’s maximum of 18 Gbs, and refresh rates of up to 240hz at 1080p (average refresh rates for non-DisplayPort monitors are 60hz.) Even streaming 4k video data, refresh rates of 30Hz are possible with modern displays, even with external monitors if you use a setup involving connected monitors.

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Connecting your PC to Display via DisplayPort

If your PC’s graphics card and your display both offer DisplayPort functionality, connecting them is as simple as connecting your DisplayPort cable to the graphic card’s DisplayPort output to your monitor’s DisplayPort input. You can use the locking mechanism to secure the cable connection.

After powering on your PC, your desktop should appear at whatever default resolution and refresh rate your Windows install is set to. If you wish to change your resolution, simply click Select Start > Settings > System > Display.

Additionally, you should make sure that your DisplayPort’s driver software is up-to-date. To check your driver version:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Device Manager and click the first option
  3. Expand the drop-down branch to show the display device
  4. Right-click on your display’s icon and select “Properties”
  5. Click the Driver tab.
  6. Click “Check to see if the driver is updated”. If your driver is in need of an update, Windows will ask permission to download and install the update. Click okay to allow this. When finished, your display may reset.

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DisplayPort streams video at up to 80 Gbps

DisplayPort is capable of monitor refresh rates of 240Hz

HDMI is the second-fastest port type with streaming and transfer speeds of up to 18 Gbps

Mac’s mini-DisplayPort is capable of the same speeds as DisplayPort, but only up DisplayPort’s version 1.2



What Is DisplayPort on a Computer Monitor FAQ

Can you use DisplayPort with HDMI inputs?

DisplayPort outputs and inputs can be used with HDMI and DVI outputs and inputs with an adapter, which are widely available and generally inexpensive, however, you won’t experience the full benefits of DisplayPort’s speed and stability unless both connections use DisplayPort.

Can Mac use DisplayPort?

Newer Mac models include Apple’s mini DisplayPort connection, which features comparable speeds to standard DisplayPort, though only up to DisplayPort version 1.2.

Which is better for 4K movies and video, DisplayPort or HDMI?

DisplayPort features the fastest available transfer speeds and monitor refresh rates, and thus is the optimal port type for watching 4K movies and playing games in 4K resolution.
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