If you bought a new 4K monitor recently, it is very obvious that the number of ports on the back could leave you perplexed. HDMI, DisplayPort and USB-C are all common. But, which is the best, and why?
Here, we’ll compare every one of them , differences between them and which one to buy:
The high-definition multimedia interface is the complete form of HDMI. It is a common display interface today and widely used in TVs, game consoles and Blu-ray players. It provides a stable digital signal that can be exchanged, i.e. connected and disconnected without turning off the devices.
HDMI 2.1 is the latest version adopted by manufacturers. It supports a data throughput of 48 Gbps and has a 10K display unit at 60 frames per second in full 10-bit color. HDMI 2.1 is suitable for 4K displays.
With HDMI 2.1, you can daisy-chain from your computer to one monitor and then connect it to another. Monitors that support this are rare, and you can only daisy chain two displays at once.HDMI 2.1 require limited power delivery and the ability to act as an Ethernet adapter. They are cheap when it comes to costs, but remember to update them in a timely manner.
HDMI 2.1 can support the old HDMI 2.0 standard. This means that it is limited to the output of a 60 fps 4K signal in 8-bit color. You will have a pass-through audio limit of 44.1 kHz and 16 bits with only two uncompressed audio channels.
For gaming, HDMI 2.0 does not support the FreeSync standard. HDR content limits to static metadata compared to 2.1. The old HDMI 2.0 if useful in 4K monitors will save you money, but you won’t have access to all the features of HDMI 2.1.
If you are going to use a 4K monitor with HDMI 2.1, you are less likely to have problems. However, if your monitor supports HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort can provide a better experience in terms of overall functionality, especially when you want to daisy-chain more than two displays.
DisplayPort cables have been an ideal solution for PCs for decades. The next DisplayPort 2.0 standard can handle the throughput of 80 Gbps. We expect the new version to be released at the end of 2020.
Until then most people will use the DisplayPort 1.4 standard; is still favorable when we compare it to HDMI 2.0.
DisplayPort 1.4 can handle 8K resolution at 60 frames per second in 10-bit color using screen stream compression. Uncompressed performance is similar to 2.0 to 4K/60/8-bit HDMI. You can connect two displays through the daisy chain with 4K resolution and provide support to the monitor.
There are no limits to pass-through audio as in HDMI 2.0. DisplayPort 1.4 can handle 192kHz and 24-bit sounds with 7.1 channels of uncompressed audio. DisplayPort 1.4a supports dynamic metadata for HDR content, which means Dolby Vision and HDR20+ support wide brightness. Many times, the features of the monitor can be disadvantages.
HDMI can support Ethernet, while DisplayPort does not have Ethernet support. This is because DisplayPort is useful for computers to monitor connections. On the other hand, HDMI has extensive applications such as connecting AV receivers, TVs and other consumer devices.
DisplayPort has some advantages over HDMI 2.0, but they only apply if you chain multiple monitors. Once DisplayPort 2.1 is started, it can support 4K at 60 fps if the monitor supports it.
Good tip: DisplayPort cables come in many variants, so choose what you need, wisely.
USB Type-C has many variants. Use USB-C ALT mode to send signals over USB-C. In short, it’s just DisplayPort via USB-C plug. Performance supports resolutions based on the DisplayPort standard.
With the help of screen flow compression, you may be able to get a 60fps 4K signal with 8-bit color through 8K 10-bit resolutions. USB-C ports are on all laptops. Just make sure your laptop supports screen output via USB-C Alt mode. You can check this in the manufacturer’s technical specifications section.
We can understand that in this world focused on the evolution of technology, it can be difficult to decide what kind of cables you should use to get the optimal results. Therefore, make sure you understand the difference between each of them and then make an informed decision.