Before delving into which connector is suitable for specific applications, it's crucial to understand how they differ physically and the supported functions.
Specs and Resolutions of DisplayPort vs. HDMI
DisplayPort and HDMI ports are not all made equal. It's both the transmitting and receiving sides of the connection support.
The most acceptable 4K gaming track with 144 Hz and HDR will run at 4K and 24 Hz on an older graphics card!
HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 2.0, and previous digital signals use bitrate encoding. It ranges from 8 bits per pixel to 128 bits per pixel for DisplayPort 2.0.
8 bits of data are transferred as 10 extra bits in 8b/10b encoding. Again, you need the supplementary data to maintain signal integrity.
With 8b/10b, only 80% of the theoretical bandwidth is accessible for data consumption.
16b/18b encoding boosts efficiency to 88.9%. Meanwhile, 128b/132b encoding increases efficiency to 97 percent.
Other factors to consider are the HDMI auxiliary channel. Yet, this isn't a significant factor.
DisplayPort is a connector like HDMI. But it is more commonly seen on computers than on televisions.
It still supports high-definition video and audio, but the standards aren't the same. For example, any of the following is likely to appear on current monitors:
DisplayPort 1.2: Up to 4K at 60Hz, with specific 1.2a ports supporting AMD's FreeSync
DisplayPort 1.3: Supports resolutions of up to 4K at 120Hz and 8K at 30Hz.
DisplayPort 1.4: Up to 8K at 60Hz and HDR (High Dynamic Range)
DisplayPort 2.0: Supports 16K at 60Hz with HDR and 10K at 80Hz without HDR.
DisplayPort also provides a few more essential features. First, it helps AMD's FreeSync and Nvidia's G-Sync technologies. It's to ensure a tear-free gaming experience.
You may connect many displays to a DisplayPort connector rather than using connections. A USB-C connector on a laptop can even provide DisplayPort signals.
Many DisplayPort cables come with clips to keep them in place in your display. It is a benefit and a disadvantage because they can be difficult to remove!
HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface)
People can most use HDMI in televisions. For a tidy and easy setup, it transmits high-definition video and audio signals via a single cable.
HDMI has gone through several revisions, each one improving on the previous. As a result, you can find any combination of the following ports on current monitors:
HDMI 1.4: It supports 4K at 24Hz, 4K at 30Hz, or 1080p with 120Hz.
HDMI 2.0: Up to 4K at 60Hz, including HDR capability in the following versions (HDMI 2.0a and 2.0b).
HDMI 2.1: Up to 10K resolution with 120Hz and better HDR.
It also contains a variable refresh rate (VRR) like FreeSync in the standard. But, many HDMI 2.0 displays enable the capability.
These are simplified explanations of each HDMI version. But they're the ones that most PC users will be interested in.
You'll also need an HDMI cable with the appropriate bandwidth. It's to take full use of those requirements.
For example, if you're 4K at 60Hz with HDR, you'll need a Premium High Speed or 18Gbps connection (or better).
Lower-quality cables may work in some situations. But they can be fussy, adding "snow" to the image or failing to route your surround sound audio correctly. Check the cable if you have any problems; it could not be up to par.
Additionally, all modern HDMI connectors should support AMD's FreeSync technology. It minimizes screen tearing in games by syncing the monitor's refresh rate.
Nvidia's G-Sync technology isn't always compatible with HDMI. On many monitors, it's only available via DisplayPort.
What Kind of Cable Should You Get?
There isn't always a better cable than another, but there is a place for each. While HDMI 2.0 has some advantages, DisplayPort 1.4 is the way to go. HDMI may be the best option for HDR compatibility on a display that only offers HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.2.
Choosing which video output port to use is constrained by your monitor's and video card's capabilities. With HDMI 2.1 features, if you want to use a check and video card that both support the newer technology—you'll need both. Unfortunately, if one of them is running HDMI 2.0, you won't be able to benefit from the better capabilities.