What is a Display Port?
For many consumers out there HDMI will be a household acronym and doesn’t need much introduction, however the other connections may be slightly less well known and need a little more explanation. There are a number of ways you can connect your computer to your visual display and in the following article we’re going to talk you through the advantages, or disadvantages, of the following video output connections:
If your considering upgrading your system or building a new rig entirely then you need to be asking yourself what kind of output connectivity should I be using? If you were under the impression that the connection made no difference at all the following article is written with precisely you in mind. Before we discuss which one is right for you underneath is an outline of what is connector is capable of:
A lot of people reading this might not be aware of what DP (DisplayPort) is as it’s mainly targeted towards hardcore gamers and computing that requires 4k resolutions whilst still achieving maximum refresh rates and deeper colour depth to create a feeling of total immersion.
DisplayPort comes in the shape of a 20pin connector and is widely being considered as the go to connector for gamers and computer enthusiasts alike. HDMI was primarily designed with consumers in mind, think TV’s, DVD players, Blu Ray players and so on. DP however was specifically designed to accommodate higher resolutions and max refresh rates which from a gaming perspective is absolutely essential especially now G-sync is becoming more popular and mainstream.
DisplayPort 1.2 is capable of 3840x2160 (4k) at 60hz or alternatively 1080p at 144hz, whereas DisplayPort 1.3 which was introduced back in 2014 has the capacity to accomodate 8k at 60hz and 4k and 120hz. Moving closer to the present day we are met with the latest version of DisplayPort standard which is 1.4 and was published by VESA. DP 1.4 is the first of its kind to take advantage of VESA’s display stream compression technology which allows for 3.1 compression rates and virtually no visual losses. It makes use of the type-C connector which enables seamless high definition video output.
HDMI (High Definition Media Interface) was developed well over 10 years ago and as stated above was designed with the everyday consumer in mind. However since technology is now moving faster than ever HDMI has had to adapt to accommodate a whole plethora of new technologies and capabilities. Especially now Displayport is becoming bigger in the market and has abilities that earlier HDMI version do not.
The earlier versions prior to HDMI 2.0 were fairly limited in what they could produce in terms of output, take resolutions and refresh rate for example. A HDMI 1.4 would be limited to 3,820x2160 (4k) at 30Hz. However if you are making use of a GPU with 4K compatibility HDMI 2.0 will be able to produce 4k at 60Hz, double that of the 1.4. If you are familiar with refresh rates within the gaming universe you’ll be aware that the higher the better. Thus why all video output connections are trying to push the envelope where this is concerned.
The most recent update of HDMI comes in the form of it’s 2.1 iteration and has been equipped with forward thinking technology that is far ahead of what we require in the present day. It has the ability to accommodate 8k at 60hz, 4k at 120hz and everything in between right up to the 10k. Furthermore it supports high dynamic range whilst increasing it’s bandwidth capacity to 48GPs. The only way HDMI has been given this facility is via it’s new ultra-high-speed cable which includes uncompressed 8k video output with HDR.
If you’ve ever connected a monitor to a PC in the early 2000’s then you will undoubtedly know what a DVI connector looks like but might not know what technology it accommodates. DVI in the modern age is dying out rapidly but still to this day every GPU comes equipped with a DVI connector, just in case. New GPUs that make use of DVI however can accommodate both visual and audio output when connected to a DVI to HDMI connector, you know if that’s your kind of thing. Single link cables support up to 1920x1200 resolution whereas a dual link cable can support up to 2560x1600 all at 144hz so for gamers this is still a very viable option. Unfortunately DVI does not support 4k so if that is what you crave then you will have to opt for the HDMI or DisplayPort options.
VGA is the old boy in this article and has been used since visual display were first brought to consumers. VGA was an analogical video only cable output which isn’t supported by many consumer products today such as TV’s due to its lack of audio output. VGA has basically all but died out these days and can only be found in old laptops, PCs and some projectors, really not very versatile in today’s market but worth touching on regardless.
So which type is best for me?
So we get to the big question, we can straight away pretty much disregard VGA and DVI as they are both inferior to the new wave of DisplayPort and HDMI which are readily available in today’s market.
So the real question is do we go DisplayPort or HDMI? Well that is a fairly easy question to answer and it bowls down to one thing. If you require very high resolution whilst still maintaining a solid refresh rate then you have to go DisplayPort, however HDMI caters itself to pretty much every other user in the consumer market whilst still boasting solid resolution support and refresh rates.
Have you made the switch to DisplayPort? What results did you get?
Leave us a comment below letting us know your experience!