Is HDMI or DisplayPort better for the ultimate picture, sound, HDR, FreeSync, G-Sync and more
June 20, 2023
Key takeaway: HDMI and DisplayPort have multiple versions that support different data rates. Even on the same device, HDMI and DisplayPort can support different speeds, so if you're not satisfied with HDMI performance, then try DisplayPort. Usually, the DisplayPort port supports higher speed.
Better HDMI or DisplayPort for HDR and good picture
The latest versions of HDMI or DisplayPort support fast data transfer and all popular technologies and formats, such as:
- 4K and 8K
All this works equally well with the latest versions of HDMI and DisplayPort.
If your video card and monitor (or TV) support both HDMI or DisplayPort, then in most cases the choice between these two connectors will not affect anything.
If you cannot achieve the declared characteristics of the monitor, for example, in the settings you cannot set the maximum resolution that the monitor supports, or the maximum screen refresh rate, or FreeSync, G-Sync or HDR does not work, then try another connector.
Most likely, you will start with HDMI and if something does not work for you, then try DisplayPort – there are chances that changing the port will solve the problem.
By the way, in modern laptops, DisplayPort is usually combined with USB Type-C. For details, see the article: How to determine the type and functions of USB Type-C: charging, connecting to a monitor, Thunderbolt.
If I want to use the DisplayPort port, do I need to buy an HDMI adapter
No, if your monitor or TV is DisplayPort, then you must use a “DisplayPort To DisplayPort” cable to achieve the maximum data transfer rate, or a “Mini DisplayPort To Displayport” cable (“miniDP To Displayport”) if you are connecting a laptop to an external monitor.
If your monitor or TV does not support DisplayPort, then you can buy a “DisplayPort to HDMI” adapter or cable.
What is the minimum HDMI and DisplayPort version required for HDR
In HDMI, support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) video with static metadata was added in HDMI 2.0a, which was released on April 8, 2015.
Dynamic HDR to specify HDR metadata per scene or even per frame was added in HDMI 2.1 announced on January 4, 2017.
In DisplayPort, support for both static and dynamic HDR10 metadata was added in DisplayPort 1.4 released March 1, 2016. Some sources claim that DP1.3 is enough too.
HDMI and DisplayPort on a laptop
Notebooks of yesteryear usually have Mini DisplayPort (miniDP) in addition to HDMI. To connect to a full-sized monitor or TV port, you need to use a “Mini DisplayPort To Displayport” (“miniDP To Displayport”) cable.
In modern laptops, DisplayPort is usually combined with Thunderbolt or Type-C.
What to do if the maximum display resolution or maximum screen refresh rate is not available in settings
Try using DisplayPort instead of HDMI.
Try not to use too long cables – the longer the cable, the slower the data transfer rate.
If this does not help, then it is likely that the video card, or HDMI and DisplayPort, do not support such a high resolution and/or screen refresh rate and need to be updated.
What to do if HDR is not working
Try using DisplayPort instead of HDMI.
For example, the in following example I use HDMI. With this cable, the maximum screen refresh rate is only 50 Hz, HDR is not supported.
Then a DisplayPort cable is used with the same computer and monitor.
Now the maximum screen refresh rate is 100 Hz, HDR is enabled.
If this does not help, then it is likely that the hardware (video card and CPU) or HDMI and DisplayPort do not support the required high data rate for HDR. The only way out is to upgrade the hardware.
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