HDMI vs DisplayPort for gaming

HDMI vs DisplayPort for gaming

When you buy a new graphics card, you get multiple options for connecting your monitor with the graphics card, like you get the HDMI option and also DisplayPort option.

But, the question is which is the best for gaming? Since we buy the super expensive GPUs so we should utilize the maximum of it, right? So, let’s discuss HDMI vs Displayport, which is the best for gaming?

There are different versions of DisplayPort and HDMI available, but I think for gaming, especially after 10 years, display port is going to be our first preference. Since companies are giving importance in 8K resolution now, with consoles like Ps 5, 3080 GPUs, seeing the latest versions of DP and HDMI, I recommend going with display port to get the best gaming experience.

I am gonna compare these two in some basic factors so that you can easily understand why they are different and ultimately which is better for gaming.

Comparison between HDMI and Displayport:

Speed:

Speed is the main and the most important factor if you wanna get the best performance. The faster an HDMI, display port, it can transfer more data, the more it is gonna perform well. So, speed (bandwidth) is a very important factor if you wanna use these ports for gaming.

I am gonna compare these latest versions of HDMI and DisplayPort as well so that you can assume the estimated speed/transfer capacity of them.

HDMI:

The latest version of the HDMI port is HDMI 2.1 released back in 2017. It can offer a maximum of 40 Gbit per second bandwidth. Please don’t confuse with Gbit, it is not GB (gigabyte bdw).

If we convert it to gigabyte, we get the bandwidth of HDMI 2.1 is around 6 GB/s (this is gigabyte:) It can give a maximum of 10K, 120Hz, sound enough right?

But, practically, it can give up to 8K (personal experience) if you are playing games, and want smoothness and good fps from it.

HDMI versionsBandwidth (GB/s)ResolutionFrame rate
HDMI 1.31.27 GB/s1080P60Hz
HDMI 1.41.27 GB/s4K30Hz
HDMI 2.02.25 GB/s4K60Hz
HDMI 2.16 Gigabyte/s10K120Hz
different HDMI versions

Display port:

Talking about the display ports, the latest version of it i.e. Displayport 2.0 can give bandwidth up to 77-80Gbit per second. Again, in gigabytes, it is around 9.6 to 10 GB per second.

HDMI vs DisplayPort for gaming

So, we can clearly see display pots are far ahead than the latest version of HDMI at least till now. But, the question is do you really need 10GB per second transfer speed/bandwidth? Can your monitor handle it? Let’s discuss:

DP versionsBandwidth (GB/s)ResolutionFrame rate
DP 1.33.24 GB/s4K120Hz
Dp 1.43.24 GB/s8K30Hz
DP 2.09.6 GB/s16K60Hz
different Display port versions

Like HDMI, in this case, also, we can see some less output than this table, written. But, overall you get 4K 60fps from DP 1.3 and 1.4 versions.

However, to really test the latest version, we have to wait for at least 10-15 years, I think.

How much bandwidth is sufficient for you?  

If you also play or want to play games at maximum resolution, get the best fps and things like refresh rate and response time, then how much bandwidth capacity your cable/slot should have?

Because, no matter how powerful your GPU, the monitor is, if the ports and the cable by which you connect these two can’t deliver the data rapidly from your GPU to your monitor, all your money is gonna be waste, right?

That’s why it is very important to know exactly how much bandwidth your system needs to run games.

4k gaming:

So, a standard 4k display (3840×2160) needs atleast 2.3GB/S (gigabyte) to run games or other stuff at 60Hz. Clearly, in this criteria both HDMI and display ports are far ahead and sufficient for transferring data for a 4K display at 60Hz.

Personally, I found that, if you want 4k 120Hz, then also both HDMI and display port can do the work pretty well (Make sure to buy a quality/branded cable).

8K gaming:

Talking about 8k gaming (I don’t know how many monitors really support it) but things getting separate from the previous situation in this resolution.

I know you might be thinking about why we are even discussing about 8k since there are almost no GPU, monitor here that can give such numbers. But, believe me, after the release of PS5, and new 3080 series GPUs things are gonna change.

Oh, it may take a few years but really things are gonna change.

In 2020, even with GPUs like 2080Ti, we are struggling to get 60fps continuously, but a few years later, maybe in 2021-22 8k gaming is gonna possible.

We are going of topic now:) let’s get back-

So, as of now, the latest HDMI version supports up to 8k 60Hz while the display ports can give output up to 8K 120Hz and 16K 60Hz, awesome right.

So, display ports are gonna give some awesome results after a few years if the next version of HDMI will not beat these specs.

Overall, talking about the speed display ports are far ahead from the HDMI. However you can’t see its true power now, but after a few years, you will take the advantage of display port since it can easily give more bandwidth especially if you are playing games a higher resolution.

Usability:

Usability is also a big factor while choosing any port. The features like controlling multiple devices with one remote make HDMI more user friendly. Yes, by CEC you can control your PlayStation, other gadgets support this technology by only one remote.

However, With display ports also you get this same features, but personally the HDMI works way better in this case.

Not only about this, but generally we can see HDMI slots everywhere. TV, monitor, console, almost every electronic gadget that has a big screen (excluding mobiles) contains HDMI.

While we can’t say the same with the display ports.

They are not available everywhere. So, in general, if you are thinking of connecting your screen with anything by display port, make sure both of them contain it or just use an adapter.

Moreover, one more thing I don’t like about the HDMI is that it doesn’t have any locking mechanism. So, when I move my PC cabinet (which I often do), I have to reinsert all the ports, they become loose.

While display ports do have a solid locking mechanism. Locking they will not loose automatically and when you want to pull out, you have to press the button and then it comes out.

So, we can see HDMI ports everywhere and it is easy to connect. While display ports also come with their own advantages like locking feature in terms of usability. So, the decision is completely yours which one you want.

Other things to consider:

See, if you are using display port but the cable can give only 4K 60Hz, then you can’t go beyond it anyway. Usually, gamers just connect their monitor with a cabinet with a random cable without checking its specifications and think why there are not getting the right performance.

Just think, if your cable can’t transfer the data properly that your PC is sending to monitor, you are not gonna get the best results right?

So, please check the quality of the cable before buying and make sure it can transfer and support the latest version display or HDMI ports.

This same thing apply with HDMI cables.

So, from this above conversation, the connecting cable is also very important to get the maximum performance from the ports no matter whether it is HDMI or DisplayPort.

Which one is perfect for gaming, HDMI vs display port?

After this long discussion, the question is which one is good gaming.

Since till now in 2020, a computer can give maximum 4K resolution and the maintenance 60 fps somehow. So, I think both HDMI and display port is good for gaming.

But, if you wanna be more future proof I prefer using DisplayPort. As play station 5 can run games up to 8k, and also new 3080 series GPUs are coming in this, next year, then I think the importance of display port increases.

So, if you wanna be more future proof, display port is gonna be the best option for you.

Specifically for gaming, I recommend using a display port now. I know HDMI ports are easy to use, available everywhere. But with the features like better bandwidth, lock feature, display port outperforms it.

Also, most of the GPUs use old versions of display ports. Since they can’t deliver 8K, so old display port can also do the work pretty well.

But, I hope the upcoming GPUs (3080 series) will have the latest display port i.e. 2.0 version. Because the old one can’t hold their performance then.

You may not realize the true performance of display port now, but after a few years, you do.

Overall, I highly recommend a display port for gaming. But, if you are using HDMI port, don’t worry, you can change it later after the release of new GPUs or consoles.

wrapping up:

I hope after reading this post, you can decide which one is perfect for you, whether it is HDMI or it is DisplayPort.

If you have any questions, make sure to contact me via email or comment down below.

That’s it for today, see you in the next post, tada:)

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