DisplayPort vs. HDMI

What's the Difference?

DisplayPort and HDMI are both popular digital video and audio interfaces used to connect devices such as computers, gaming consoles, and televisions to displays. While HDMI is more commonly found in consumer electronics, DisplayPort is often used in professional settings. HDMI supports a wider range of devices and is backward compatible with older versions, making it more versatile. On the other hand, DisplayPort offers higher bandwidth and supports higher resolutions and refresh rates, making it ideal for gaming and multimedia applications. Additionally, DisplayPort allows for daisy-chaining multiple monitors, while HDMI does not. Ultimately, the choice between DisplayPort and HDMI depends on the specific requirements and preferences of the user.


Maximum ResolutionUp to 8KUp to 4K
Audio SupportYesYes
Video SupportYesYes
Connector TypeVarious (DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, USB-C)HDMI Type A
CompatibilityCompatible with most devicesCompatible with most devices
Hot PluggingYesYes
Audio Return Channel (ARC)NoYes
Consumer Electronics Control (CEC)YesYes
Supported by Gaming ConsolesYesYes

Further Detail


When it comes to connecting your devices to a display, two popular options stand out: DisplayPort and HDMI. Both of these digital video and audio interfaces have their own strengths and weaknesses, making it important to understand their attributes before making a decision. In this article, we will compare the key features of DisplayPort and HDMI, exploring their capabilities, compatibility, performance, and more.


DisplayPort and HDMI are both capable of transmitting high-definition audio and video signals, but they differ in terms of their capabilities. DisplayPort, developed by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), is known for its versatility and ability to support multiple monitors, daisy-chaining, and high resolutions. It offers a higher maximum bandwidth, allowing for higher refresh rates and greater color depth. HDMI, on the other hand, is primarily designed for consumer electronics and is widely used in TVs, gaming consoles, and home theater systems. It supports features like Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) and Audio Return Channel (ARC), making it more suitable for home entertainment setups.


When it comes to compatibility, HDMI has a clear advantage due to its widespread adoption in consumer electronics. Most modern TVs, monitors, projectors, and audio/video devices come equipped with HDMI ports. Additionally, HDMI is backward compatible, meaning you can use an older HDMI cable with newer devices. DisplayPort, on the other hand, is more commonly found in computer monitors, laptops, and professional displays. While DisplayPort is not as prevalent as HDMI, it is gaining popularity in the gaming and professional sectors due to its superior performance capabilities.

Connectors and Cables

DisplayPort and HDMI use different connectors and cables. DisplayPort connectors have a unique design with a rectangular shape and a latch that ensures a secure connection. They come in two sizes: standard DisplayPort and the smaller Mini DisplayPort, commonly found on laptops and some desktop computers. HDMI connectors, on the other hand, have a more familiar shape with a wider and thinner profile. HDMI cables are available in different versions, including the standard HDMI Type-A, the smaller HDMI Type-C (Mini HDMI), and the even smaller HDMI Type-D (Micro HDMI). It's important to note that the version of the cable can affect the supported features and maximum resolution.


When it comes to performance, both DisplayPort and HDMI offer excellent quality, but there are some differences to consider. DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 are the most common versions available today. DisplayPort 1.4 supports a maximum resolution of 8K at 60Hz or 4K at 120Hz, while HDMI 2.0 supports a maximum resolution of 4K at 60Hz. However, DisplayPort 1.4 can achieve higher refresh rates at lower resolutions, making it a preferred choice for gamers and professionals who require smooth motion and reduced input lag. HDMI 2.1, the latest version of HDMI, offers even higher resolutions and refresh rates, including support for 8K at 60Hz and 4K at 120Hz, making it a great option for future-proofing your setup.

Audio Support

Both DisplayPort and HDMI support high-quality audio transmission, but there are some differences in their audio capabilities. HDMI has built-in support for audio formats like Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, making it ideal for home theater systems and surround sound setups. It also supports up to 32 audio channels and offers audio synchronization features. DisplayPort, on the other hand, supports up to 8 audio channels and can transmit audio in formats like Dolby Digital and DTS. While DisplayPort may not have as many audio channels as HDMI, it still provides excellent audio quality for most applications.

Adaptability and Conversion

One of the advantages of DisplayPort is its adaptability. DisplayPort can easily be converted to HDMI, DVI, or VGA using adapters or cables, allowing you to connect to a wide range of displays and devices. This flexibility is particularly useful when dealing with older monitors or projectors that may not have DisplayPort inputs. HDMI, on the other hand, does not natively support conversion to DisplayPort, although there are some active adapters available on the market. If you have a device with HDMI output and a display with DisplayPort input, you may need an active adapter to make the connection.


Cost is an important factor to consider when choosing between DisplayPort and HDMI. HDMI cables and devices are generally more affordable and widely available due to their popularity and mass production. DisplayPort cables and devices, on the other hand, may be slightly more expensive, especially for higher-end versions like DisplayPort 1.4. However, the price difference is often negligible unless you require specific features or performance capabilities that are only available with DisplayPort.


DisplayPort and HDMI are both excellent choices for connecting your devices to a display, each with its own strengths and areas of specialization. DisplayPort offers superior performance, higher resolutions, and multi-monitor support, making it a preferred choice for gamers and professionals. HDMI, on the other hand, provides widespread compatibility, audio features, and is commonly found in consumer electronics. Ultimately, the choice between DisplayPort and HDMI depends on your specific needs, the devices you own, and the features you prioritize. Consider the capabilities, compatibility, performance, audio support, adaptability, and cost to make an informed decision that suits your requirements.

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