Difference Between DisplayPort Cable and HDMI Cable

Over time, multiple standards have been created for audio and video cables, with DisplayPort and HDMI cables being among the most widely used. Although they perform identical functions, there are variations in their speed, flexibility, reliability, and ability to handle multiple tasks. Over the years, there have been many standards for audio video cables, but two of the most popular ones are DisplayPort cables and HDMI cables. While both of them do the same thing essentially, there are some differences between them in terms of their capacity for speed, versatility, stability, and multitasking. 

DisplayPort and HDMI: An Overview

What is DisplayPort?

DisplayPort is a high-definition digital standard interface for connecting a computer to a monitor or a television. This technology enables Video and audio signals to run through one cable, making connecting your devices hassle-free. 

DisplayPort can deliver high-resolution quality on-screen with clear pictures and high working refresh rates. 

They are mostly found in gaming consoles, professional graphics work, and home entertainment systems. 

The connector resembles HDMI but is cut at an angle at a specific side to prevent its insertion in the wrong orientation.

What is HDMI?

HDMI is a type of cable and connection that can be used to transfer high quality videos and audio between devices. 

HDMI is abbreviated as High Definition Multimedia Interface, and it is used to link a television with a Blu-ray player, game console, or computer system. 

They provide assurance that the screen's picture and sound quality are clear. 

They are very convenient because they transmit audio and video signals, meaning fewer cords would be needed. They also make installing the home entertainment system easier and more orderly.

Let’s see the difference between DisplayPort and HDMI

Physical difference

The first and most obvious difference is that they are structured differently. Standard HDMI cables have 19 pins that are vertically symmetrical, but they also come in smaller footprints with a different layout. On the other hand, the DisplayPort connector has 20 pins and is rectangular in shape, with one rounded corner. It also has hooks to secure a connection and can be released by pressing that button.

DisplayPort also comes in smaller sizes, built into the physical form of a USB Type C connector. This particular connector is less popular industry-wide, with Apple as a major advocate of it. Most manufacturers simply prefer USB C to do the same task. 


Most televisions, soundbars, and set-top boxes are more likely to have HDMI port(s) to pass audio-visual data. On the other hand, computers, and laptops have DisplayPort ports. If your use case is gaming – something an audio-visual cable is crucial for — then what you use depends on where you are gaming and with what. If you are gaming a console and television, you will be using an HDMI cable, and if you are gaming with a PC and monitor, you will be using a DisplayPort cable. This pretty much settles at least the DisplayPort v/s HDMI gaming debate — the cable depends on the equipment! 

Technical Specifications

DisplayPort 2: VESA has announced this new version of the DisplayPort connector and it will be more widely available this year. 

DisplayPort 2 supports 8K, 10K, and 16K video resolutions with a 60 Hz refresh rate (twice the resolution and bandwidth of current DisplayPort standards). It transfers data at 77.37 Gbps and will support HDR10. It transfers data at a rate of 77.37 Gbps, and it will have HDR10 support.


HDMI 2.1a: HDMI® Specification HDMI 2.1a is the most recent update of the HDMI® specification and supports a range of higher video resolutions and refresh rates, including 8K60 and 4K120, and resolutions up to 10K. Dynamic HDR formats are also supported, and bandwidth capability is increased up to 48Gbps.

Hardware adoption

Any new connectivity standard is a more expensive chip to add to hardware. Manufacturers are wary of increasing their product cost if their product is a medium-range device, or if they have a range of devices in one category – like a TV. 

High-range TVs tend to have updated ports, so you'll want to use the latest HDMI port on those. 

Similarly, high-end monitors are likely to adopt the latest DisplayPort port so you can plug a compatible device into it and get the benefits. 

Gaming consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s Playstation also ensure the latest ports when they update their hardware. 

Mid-range devices like laptops and computer monitors will not adopt the latest version of the port because it is generally too expensive to be included at their lower price point. 


The compatibility of DisplayPort and HDMI cables primarily concerns the character and the type of devices connected by those cables. 

HDMI is commonly used with TVs and supports a higher resolution, making it better for playing video games and other high-quality displays. 

HDMI, in contrast, is present in TVs, gaming consoles, Blu-ray players, etc., and can effectively manage audio and video simultaneously. 

Though both are used to connect computers to monitors or TVs, HDMI is widely used in home entertainment systems.

 A device may contain only a certain type of port; therefore, if you want to connect to a different type, you will first need to use an adapter. 

In short, the utilization of DisplayPort or HDMI will greatly depend on the devices you have available and the quality of the display required.


Adapters can be described as components that assist in linking various forms of cables and ports together. 

DisplayPort and HDMI are both types of video and audio cables that connect computers, monitors, and TVs. 

DisplayPort normally offers higher resolutions and refresh rates, which makes it widely used in computer monitors. 

HDMI is commonly used in TVs and home theater systems since it supports audio and video. 

An adapter will allow you to connect a DisplayPort to an HDMI or vice versa, thus using devices that would normally be incompatible. 

This is particularly useful if one’s computer has a DisplayPort connection, but the monitor or the television only has an HDMI port.

DisplayPort Cable or HDMI Cable, Which Works Better for My Use Case?

For most people, HDMI cables will be their primary choice because they are easily available and compatible with TVs and most monitors. 

As for the advantages, HDMI connects video and audio in one cable, resulting in better setup. 

On the other hand, HDMI cables are typically replaced on high-definition monitors, especially in gaming or professional use, while DisplayPort cables are preferred. 

They can support higher resolution and refresh rates than HDMI ports. Use DisplayPort if you own a top-quality monitor and require maximum performance. But for most practical uses, such as playing video, watching a movie, or general typing on the computer, HDMI is adequate and less of a headache. 

Ultimately, it solely depends on whether you’d require that and the equipment you have at your disposal. 


At the end of the day, it depends on your use case, the compatibility of the device you want to use these cables for, and future-proofing the entire setup. You don’t want to buy an older but cheaper cable for a TV you are going to change in the coming year. That way, you won’t be able to take advantage of what the TV is capable of. So figure out your entire setup, think of the future, and get the right cables! 

SF Cable stocks all kinds of audio-visual cables and will be happy to help you plan your setup. 


1. What are the main differences between DisplayPort and HDMI cables?

The purpose of both DisplayPort and HDMI is to serve as a connection between the device and the display. However, they are not equivalent technologies. More commonly used in CEs, HDMI has ARC (Audio Return Channel) and CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) support, while DisplayPort typically tends to be faster and supports additional features such as daisy-chaining multiple monitors through one cable along with higher screen resolutions and frame rates. 

2. Which cable should I use for gaming: DisplayPort or HDMI?

The primary usage of DisplayPort is for gaming due to its high bandwidth, which leads to increased refresh rates and greater resolution. Achieving a more fluid gameplay is thus likely; this positive result is largely reliant on the use of DisplayPort. Nonetheless, HDMI can be considered an alternative choice depending on whether your gaming monitor or TV supports HDMI 2.1 compatibility. Almost equally effective as DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.1 is reportedly nearing parity performance-wise with the former version. 

3. Can I use a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter, and will it affect the quality?

Indeed, it is entirely feasible to connect a computer with DisplayPort to HDMI devices using an adapter. Yet the success of this connection hinges on the specific adapter type and the adapted ports' versions. Adapters typically fall short when compared to native connections in terms of supported resolution and refresh rate capabilities; consequently, users are advised to closely scrutinize the specifications of adapters before use.  

4. What are the advantages of HDMI over DisplayPort for home entertainment setups?

HDMI is favorably employed for home entertainment systems because of its compatibility with most TVs, sound systems, and other consumer electronics. Some components include a feature known as ARC (Audio Return Channel), which facilitates the return of audio signals from the TV to the sound system, and CEC (Consumer Electronics Control), whereby several gadgets can be managed by a single remote. Also, HDMI cables are generally much easier to find and typically come bundled with hardware products.