- 1 Connectors: Differences Between DisplayPort and HDMI
- 2 Color Codes: HDMI vs DisplayPort
- 3 Other differences between HDMI and DisplayPort cables
- 4 Conclusion: HDMI vs DisplayPort
Looking for differences between DisplayPort and HDMI? Read further to know more.
While DisplayPort and HDMI are both digital cables, there are some differences between the two. They may look very similar, but there are some key differences that one needs to be aware of before using either cable. The first one is that the display port is not backward compatible with DVI or VGA ports while HDMI cables are able to work with any Digital Video Interface.
A second difference between DisplayPort and HDMI is that HDMI can carry audio signals along with video data for devices such as monitors, projectors, TVs, etc., whereas a display port can only carry video data. Also, unlike HDMI which has extensive support for HDTVs including support for multiple audio formats, DisplayPort has no built-in support for television signals.
There was, however, an update to the DisplayPort specification that allows it to carry high-definition video signals which are called Extended DisplayPort (eDP). It is expected that future monitors will use EDP for both internal and external displays. A fourth difference between the two cables is that while HDMI uses 19 pins, the display port uses only 15 pins on its connectors.
A final difference between the two Digital Video Interface cables lies in their maximum supported data rates with DVI supporting up to 6 Gbps while HDMI supports up to 10.2 Gbps. However, EDP has been designed to support high-speed data transmission up to 17 GB/s.
In short, HDMI is a cable with audio and video capabilities whereas DisplayPort is only a video cable so if you are looking for an audio signal along with your video signal then HDMI would be your choice. Otherwise, DisplayPort should work just fine too.
Connectors: Differences Between DisplayPort and HDMI
The HDMI standard specifies a 19 pin interface which is why it requires the larger Type-A connector. The DisplayPort version 1.1 and above use a 15 pin interface for their cables and connectors. This removes four pins from the previous specification, but this doesn’t mean that any of these pins are wasted or not used in any way.
They’re put to good use with the addition of new features such as the addition of an AUX channel which allows devices to communicate without interfering with each other over the same bus (e.g., multiple monitors). For example, one could display images on two screens that would otherwise conflict if both were showing images at once since they share common lines.
Color Codes: HDMI vs DisplayPort
Another difference between DisplayPort and HDMI is that while the HDMI interface uses a standard 24-pin configuration, the DisplayPort interface connectors use a color-coding system. DisplayPort cables have colored tabs that indicate which side of the cable should be plugged into its respective connector on each device. For example, if your laptop has a blue tab then you need to plug in your cable with the blue side facing up when connecting it to the laptop’s display port.
While this may seem more of a nuisance considering you will have to pay extra attention before making any connection but keep in mind that these colors make it very easy for users to hook up their devices correctly since they no longer have to rely on icons or symbols printed on the ports.
DisplayPort Cables are very easy to identify because of their color. However, if you are trying to connect your laptop’s display port with that of a desktop monitor then there is no need to worry about which side should be facing up since it does not matter in this case.
The good thing here is that even though HDMI only uses 19 pins since its connectors have multiple latches compared to Display Port’s single latch, DisplayPort can still maintain higher speeds when required. The maximum speed supported by HDMI is 10.2 Gbps while the DisplayPort version 1.1 specification allows for speeds up to 17 GB/s.
However, in practice, very little video data bandwidth is used so both HDMI and DisplayPort cables are limited by the capabilities of their respective CPUs rather than any limitations of their data interface. Keep in mind that colors indicate which side should be facing up when connecting devices together.
But this doesn’t mean that DisplayPort cables can transmit data at speeds higher than 17 Gbps since the standard itself has not changed to support speeds beyond this limit. However, you can still buy DisplayPort 1.2 and 2.0 cables without any modifications to your existing hardware if you’re just looking to increase the speed of transmission between two devices for whatever reason (e.g., streaming videos).
Resolution and bandwidth – HDMI vs DisplayPort
Another important difference between HDMI and DisplayPort cables is that while the former supports resolutions of up to 4K, its bandwidth remains limited at 10.2 Gbps at maximum. On the other hand, DisplayPort can support higher resolutions such as 2560×1600 or 144Hz refresh rates at a bandwidth of 21.6 Gbps (i.e., an image size of 2560×1440 pixels).
Now what this means for gamers and PC enthusiasts, in general, is that considering all things remain equal (i.e., external images sources), you should choose the interface which has enough bandwidth to match your monitor’s maximum resolution and refresh rate if you want an optimal user experience although keep in mind that even though HDMI only transmits data at a maximum of 10.2 Gbps, this is still higher than the 8.16 Gbps that DisplayPort 1.1 can achieve since it uses the older specification.
In fact, for all practical purposes, the speed of HDMI and DisplayPort cables won’t make any difference to your gaming experience as long as you don’t plan on playing games using resolutions that go beyond 4K with refresh rates above 60Hz (which would be very rare considering most gamers prioritize performance over visual quality).
However, if you do own such an extremely powerful setup then we recommend that you use Display Port simply because it does provide some improvement in terms of color fidelity compared to HDMI since it properly supports chroma subsampling formats such as 4:4:4 (i.e., without color compression).
At the time of writing, there are no gaming monitors that support 4:4:4 chroma subsampling at resolutions above 1080p but this should change pretty soon since other premium features such as G-Sync and FreeSync, which were previously limited to higher-end (NVIDIA) cards, will soon be available for AMD’s Radeon RX 480 graphics card which is expected to ship in early July 2016.
HDMI vs DisplayPort – Major Difference
The major difference between HDMI and display port is clearly seen here as HDMI uses 26 pins whereas there are only 15 pins in the display port. Also, the color code system is used in DisplayPort Cable which helps users to connect it correctly, whereas HDMI has no Colors to identify one end from another.
Another difference between these two is that while HDMI can support bandwidth up to 10.2 Gbps, DisplayPort version 1.1 and above supports higher speeds than this due to its color codes which make it easier for users to connect their devices without any need of identifying Symbols or Icons over Ports.
As you can see in both types of connectors there are 3 rows of 9 pins but where things get confusing here is when we look at the middle row in each connector type as they seem identical in number and placement however when compared these pins don’t match up.
The DisplayPort has 1 extra pin in the center of the 3rd row while HDMI uses that one for their TMDS clock recovery which isn’t used by Display Port. Although, both connectors can use DDC to communicate EDID information between source and display device DisplayPort has an additional AUX channel for this purpose.
Other differences between HDMI and DisplayPort cables
On a final note, just like with any interface standards out there, there can be quite a few incompatibilities between devices using different versions of either protocol so before making a purchase we recommend that you check the version numbers with whatever device you’re buying into.
In addition to that, just as a general word of caution, we recommend that you avoid going for cheap HDMI and DisplayPort cables since they might not have the bandwidth necessary to handle high-resolution signals without signal losses.
Now with cable length, it is generally recommended that HDMI cables should be no longer than 5 meters or 16 feet while DisplayPort can go up to 15 meters or 50 feet since the standard it uses has been designed from ground-up to support long-distance transmissions using fiber optics.
Lastly, make sure your video card drivers have updated as well as Windows updates before thinking about overclocking your monitor’s refresh rates via display port or HDMI because most likely if things don’t work correctly after updating that would be the culprit.
HDMI vs DisplayPort – Which is Better?
Basically, The only difference between these two cables is seen when you compare the middle row of pins, while both types of connectors use 9 pins in each outer row they differ in Number and Positioning within Middle Row. For example, the different pin numbers don’t really mean anything since you can easily identify either end using color codes present on the connector.
Secondly, the speed at which data is transmitted between two devices using HDMI or Display Port is limited by CPUs, not by Data Interface itself, Still, you can buy an HDMI 2.0 version without any modifications to your existing hardware if you’re just looking to increase speeds of transmission between two devices for whatever reason (e.g., streaming videos).
So it doesn’t matter which type of cable you use since both are capable of delivering higher frequencies required for quality video and audio output. However, take note that both cables have different numbers of pins in their center row thus making them incompatible with each other when connecting devices but colors make it very easy for users to hook up their devices correctly.
Conclusion: HDMI vs DisplayPort
HDMI and DisplayPort cables look alike but they share little beyond their “high-speed” designation. First, the Display Port is better than HDMI Cable as it can carry audio and video signals because of its capability to transmit data at a speed of 40 Gbps (gigabits per second). Another feature that makes this cable better than HDMI is that it can auto-detect devices without requiring a port for each one.
Apart from all these differences between them, if you want to know which cable is the best option among the two then go for high-quality cables with strong craftsmanship as well as a warranty since nothing comes free in this world so always keep your priorities straight.
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Thanks for reading, hope this article helps!