DisplayPort vs. HDMI: Which Is Better For Gaming?

Alex Clarkson
Alex Clarkson

When we buy a gaming PC, we look for many specifications. But what we often forget is the interface. Which is the biggest part of a gaming experience. However, two popular interfaces are in competition. HDMI and Displayport both compete to replace each other.

So choosing one of these popular interfaces can be very tricky. Both have their specialties.

Now, want to know the comparisons of DisplayPort Vs HDMI?

The main differences lie in the features. Such as the types of connectors, the number of pins,  resolution, refresh rates, and bandwidth. There are also some differences in the cable length and audio features. The versions of HDMI and DisplayPort cables are also different.

These are the features that make both the cables so unique. But if you want to know why they are compared. Or which one is better for your gaming PC, spare us a minute. And take a good look at our comparison.

Let’s start-

DisplayPort Vs HDMI: A Direct Comparison

If you didn’t know what a DisplayPort or HDMI cable is, let me make it clear for you. You might’ve connected an external graphics card with a PC monitor, then you probably met one of the cables. They have also replaced the analog cables. And in case you own analog cables, you can use adaptors to convert analog signals to digital signals.

The cable used to connect the graphics card with the monitor is an HDMI cable or a DisplayPort. This is the reason you watch a high-resolution video on your monitor. This is because the cables ensure a smooth and timely flow of video signals. 

As a result, you get a high resolution of video and audio quality.

Although the function of the HDMI and DisplayPort cables are the same. Many features set them apart. From the number of pins to their refresh rates, there are many such differences. Which will eventually help decide the right cable for your gaming PC or television.

Before we dive into the detailed comparison, let’s take a glance at their differences. We hope the differences help you get a primary idea of these two interface cables-

HDMI Cable

DisplayPort Cable

HDMI was invented back in 2003

The first debut of DisplayPort was in 2006

Any consumer electronics or HDTV device supports an HDMI cable.

Any computer or PC monitor supports a DisplayPort Cable.

The most common version of HDMI available is 1.4

The most common version of DisplayPort available is 1.2

This cable has three data paths

DisplayPort cable has four data paths

HDMI has five types of connectors

DisplayPort cable only has two types of connectors

The highest data range of HDMI cable is 10.24 Gbits/s

The highest data range of DisplayPort Cable is 17.28 Gbits/s

The maximum cable length for the HDMI cable is not specified. 

You can only use up to 3 meters of DisplayPort cable for optimal performance.

HDMI cable has an audio return channel

DisplayPort cable does not have an audio return channel.

HDMI cable has ethernet availability

DisplayPort cable doesn’t have ethernet availability.

All these direct differences will help you identify the HDMI and DisplayPort cables. If you know which configuration will be the best for you. You’ll have the right cable for your monitor.

If you still haven’t decided yet, take a deeper look. And for that, we need to compare both the cables and their features head to head.

DisplayPort Vs HDMI: Head To Head Comparison

If you haven’t gotten an idea of the cables from the quick difference above. Then this head-to-head comparison is surely going to make you take the right decisions. 

As both the cables play a big role in gaming, all the specifications are based on that. So when you’re buying an interface cable you’ll choose the right one. It’ll be the best for your gaming experience.

Now, without further ado, let’s dive into the detailed specs and differences of the cables-

Number Of Pins

If you are not sure what pins or connectors are, don’t worry. We got your back. 

Connectors are the first difference that you’ll notice in HDMI and DP cables. These are the little pins on the front of the cable mouth. 

They are the ones that connect with a device port and transmit the signal. These pins are also responsible for locking the device in a secured connection. So that the pins don’t get disconnected. The modern versions have a dual-link system of the application.

Now of course both the cables have different pin numbers. This also makes the features of the cables different from each other.

HDMI has 19 pins in its connectors. Whereas a DisplayPort cable connector has 20 pins. However, there is also a lesser-known type of HDMI cable which has 29 pins in their connectors.

This means a DP cable has a more secure lock than an HDMI with 19 pins. 

However, the HDMI with 29 pins is more secure to use. The only drawback is that this cable is not largely accessible to everyone.

Types Of Connectors

Both the HDMI cable and the DisplayPort cable have several varieties of connectors. All of these types have different capabilities and compatibilities. So this is certainly something to consider before buying any of the cables.

For example-

HDMI with 19 pins has five types of connectors. Among them, only three are most used and popular. The types of connectors are-type A, type C, and type D. Among these, type A is considered the standard cable. These are used for projectors, TVs, and laptops. 

While other types such as type C [mini HDMI] are compatible with tablets and laptops. And devices such as mini-tablets and smartphones support type D [micro HDMI] connectors.

All of these HDMI connectors have a different locking system. Which helps to keep the connection steady and firm. Some use friction while others use locks.

There are other types of HDMI connectors as well. Which are rare ones. And they are not used pretty often. These are the type E and type B connectors. They too have different locking systems. Type E especially has a locking tab to keep the connections firm.

On the other hand, there are only two types of DisplayPort connectors. They are- the standard DisplayPort and the Mini DisplayPort. Both of the ports are commonly used. The standard display ports are used for monitors, projectors, and sometimes television. They too have a locking mechanism to hold the device firmly.

The mini DisplayPort cable however was made by the Apple company. And they are used exclusively for their devices only. So these have special locks to hold the connection. But they use friction to hold the connection as well.


Resolution is one of the biggest factors for comparing these cables. Both offer high resolution and quality. And this is the reason why these cables are so popular.

With every new version of HDMI and DisplayPort cable comes enhanced features: refresh rates and resolution. And this is why people keep updating their cables for a better gaming experience. 

However, you might want to keep an eye on the resolution that your monitor supports. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use the cable that you paid for.

This is why it’s an important feature when comparing both the interface cables.

But there’s a catch-

You can’t compare HDMI and DisplayPort in terms of resolution and refresh rates. To find out the differences, you’ve to compare their versions individually.

Before we compare, let us know what a refresh rate and resolution are. Resolution is the number of pixels supported by the cable showing up on the monitor. It is measured in pixels dimension.

And to put refresh rates simply, it is the amount of data transmitted into the device per second. Refresh rates are measured in hertz/Hz. 

Besides this, there are other important features. Such as pixels. The more pixels in the monitor the better. However, these pixels depend on the refresh rate. Which you’ll see next-

The DisplayPort cable version 1.2 supports a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. Which is at a refresh rate of 60 Hz. This means this cable will support all kinds of 4K and 3D video formats. On the other hand, the DisplayPort cable 1.4 version supports 5120 x 2800 pixels. And that too with the same refresh rate.

And when it comes to HDMI, Version 1.4 supports a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. Which is equal to DisplayPort cable Version 1.2. But only at a refresh rate of 30 Hz. However, if you want 4K video quality, you’ll have to use the HDMI version of 2.0 and 2.1. 

Version 2.0 uses the UHD resolutions at the refresh rate of 60 Hz. And meanwhile, Version 2.1 supports a resolution of 4K and 8K. And at the refresh rate of 120 Hz and 60 Hz respectively.

So when choosing the cables, it’s better if you look at the version rather than the cables.


If you are a big user of WiFi, you must be familiar with bandwidth. If not, then what are we here for?

Bandwidth is the rate of data passing through a particular area or length. This rate is measured in Gbps [Giga Bytes Per Second]. So the higher the rate of bandwidth the better. Again, this rate depends on the version number of both the cables.

The most popular version of the DisplayPort cable is the DP 1.2. This version has a bandwidth of 17.28 Gbps. And version 1.4 has a bandwidth rate of 25.92 Gbps. This 1.4 version, slowly but surely, is taking over the market of version 1.2. 

There is another version of DP cable which is DP 2.0. This has the highest rate so far, which is 77.4 Gbps. But there are no devices that support this rate.

On the other hand, the HDMI cable version 1.4 has a rate of 10.2 Gbps. Whereas version 2.0 has a bandwidth rate of 14.4 Gbps.

Think about the perfect version for your gaming setup before buying any of the cables.

Audio Features

The main difference between the HDMI and DisplayPort cable is the return audio channel. Which supports up to 24 bit and 192KHz. The return audio channel is what sets both the cables apart. An HDMI cable is ahead of the DisplayPort cable in this case.

Now, what is the return audio channel?

To put things simply, a return audio channel means a signal that not only travels to the TV but can travel back. Although this is not used quite as often in AV [audiovisual] technologies. This is only used when you want to use the in-built speakers of the television. And uses it while watching Netflix or smart-TV.

If you don’t have a surround system, go with the HDMI cable for this particular feature.

Cable Length

Now, this is one of the most interesting factors about the HDMI and DisplayPort cable. Although length doesn’t make a difference. In case of HDMI and DP cable, it does. Especially for the DisplayPort cable. Because the length of a display port affects its performance.

In the case of DisplayPort cable, the shorter the wire, the better the performance. Because longer wires have more signal interruption and data loss. As a result, the audio and video signal quality decreases. 

For optimal performance, one must use a cable of 6ft in length. Otherwise, the reception will have glitches and distortions. You might want to use a longer DP cable [more than 100ft]. For that, you need to use signal boosters after every 15 meters.

On the other hand, an HDMI cable can run as long as you need. And on the plus side, it has the audio return channel and the ethernet as well. However, unlike the DisplayPort cable, you can’t use multiple monitors with an HDMI cable.

Congrats! Now you know the main differences between HDMI and DisplayPort Cable. Hope you’ll be able to choose the right one. After going through this comparison.


Question: Is DisplayPort faster than HDMI?

Answer: Some versions of DisplayPorts are faster than HDMI cables. And some DisplayPort cables are not as fast as HDMI. For example, version 1.4 of DP cable can deliver 32.4Gbps. On the other hand, the HDMI Version 2.0 delivers 14.4Gbps. However, Version 2.1 of HDMI can deliver 42.6Gbps.

Question: Is DisplayPort better than HDMI for gaming?

Answer: Both the cables give you an excellent gaming experience. All you need to do is find the perfect version of cable that is supported by your device. However, DisplayPort cable is considered the standard choice for Gaming PC.

Question: Can I convert DisplayPort to HDMI?

Answer: Of course you can. There are many adaptors available that can convert HDMI signal to DisplayPort signal. And vice versa. These dongles have various types. So you don’t have to worry about the version of DP cable or HDMI cable.

Signing Off

We hope by now, you were able to compare both of the cables and make your decisions. Most features depend on the type of monitor you want to use for your gaming experience. The version numbers, refresh rates and bandwidth analysis will help you pick the right one.

Do let us know about your decision on DisplayPort Vs HDMI in the comments.

Till then, keep on being an awesome player!

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