Which is better? HDMI for 144Hz or DisplayPort (DP)? Regardless, HDMI won the standard wars due to its ubiquitous nature and use in HDTVs compared to the rarer standard of DP (used more in PC monitors).
Most monitors feature a range of different inputs available while HDTVs tend to stick with HDMI for good reason. Monitors can use High-Definition Media Interface (HDMI), DisplayPort (DP), VGA, USB-A, and Digital Video Interface (DVI) just fine.
However, HDTVs prefer HDMI alone as the successor to analog A/V standards. The reason for this? HDMI carries both audio and video in one cable. However, DP does the same thing, with DVI being more like VGA (it carries video alone and requires extra audio cables).
Is DisplayPort better than HDMI for 144Hz? Keep on reading to find out. Spoiler—Yes, but HDMI still wins out in the end by how ubiquitous it got on both PC monitor and HDTV multimedia connection fronts.
Displayport vs. HDMI 144Hz: Is DisplayPort better than HDMI for 144Hz?
Here’s the deal. While DisplayPort serves as the best connector for video and audio signals quality-wise such that it’s capable of transmitting 144Hz up to 4K, HDMI serves as the best for TV to PC connections and it gets updated more.
The current HDMI specification of HDMI 2.1 for HDTVs and monitors is also capable of transmitting 144Hz up to 4K and beyond it. The HDMI standard keeps on evolving through time even though DisplayPort came later in 2006 and has more advanced specs from the start.
In other words, standards-wise, you’re likelier to find an HDMI HDTV than a DP HDTV anyway (with DVI being even more rarer than the two), plus HDMI keeps updating its specs to accommodate even 8K or perhaps 10K in the future.
Which Cable Do I Need For 144Hz?
To get an output of 1080p at 144Hz, avail of HDMI 1.4 cable (or later), DisplayPort, or Dual-Link DVI. In this case, DisplayPort offers superior streaming content to HDMI 1.4 at 144Hz since it could go all the way to 4K at that. With HDMI 2.0 and 2.1, it’s a different story.
HDMI 2.0 and beyond could keep up with DP’s current cap while also being more ubiquitous. For 144Hz at 1440p, you need at least DisplayPort 1.2 or HDMI 2.0 to achieve that. Meanwhile, 144Hz at 4K requires DisplayPort 1.4 (with DSC 1.2.20) or HDMI 2.1.
Can You Use Just Any HDMI or DP Cable?
Under most circumstances, you can get away with using any cable available and whatever works. However, you should go into specifics if you wish to accomplish certain goals, such as a premium HDMI cable for an HDMI 2.0 jack instead of a downscaled HDMI 1.4 cable instead.
You need a proper cable specification in order to acquire a higher refresh rate (144Hz, for example), better resolution, no artifacts, and no downscaling since by default the lowest connection ends up the resolution for dual monitors (720p instead of 1080p or 4K).
What is HDMI?
HDMI can carry both uncompressed audio and video. This made it superior to DVI (released in 1999) when it was released in 2002. This allowed it to become the one-cable connection standard of choice for HDTVs and other multimedia devices.
Other HDMI benefits include functions such as HDMI Consumer Electronics Control (HDMI-CEC) that enable you to control numerous devices connected by HDMI using one remote. You can connect your soundbar to the TV through an HDMI-CEC compatible port.
From there, you can use one remote to turn on and off the soundbar along with the HDTV with ease. It links the soundbar’s volume control with your TV volume control so you won’t need two separate remotes when push comes to shove.
What is DisplayPort?
DisplayPort or DP (circa 2006) had the older HDMI (circa 2002) beat in terms of high resolutions at a smooth refresh rate when it first came out and then later released newer versions of itself like DisplayPort 1.4 and beyond. DP 1.2 carried 3840 x 2160 video at 60FPS before HDMI did.
HDMI only really caught up with DP when it released HDMI 2.0. The main reason why HDMI has DP beat is that DP mostly deals with consumer devices and monitors with its 17.28Gbits/sec of bandwidth streaming. HDMI is the more ubiquitous standard.
Both DP 1.3 and 1.4 offer 25.92 Gbits/sec as their maximum data rate. They’ve also become more widely available as of late but mostly as computer monitor solutions. Due to their increased bandwidth, the floodgates for True 8K resolution (7680 x 4320) have opened up to the public.
Which is Better? DisplayPort or HDMI?
Long story short, DP has all the advantages as the later released standard such that even at HDMI 2.0, the HDMI specification is still playing catch-up to it. DP could potentially handle 8K, for instance. It had long ago dealt with 144Hz refresh rates from the start.
DP also offers advantages in terms of faster screen refresh rates care of Nvidia G-Sync and AMD Adaptive-Sync/FreesSync. So in short, DP is better for 144Hz (and beyond) than HDMI. However, since HDMI 2.0, HDMI has offered an excellent and more-than-serviceable counterpoint.
HDMI is for Everyday Consumers and DP is for Gamers
HDMI tends to win out against a more mainstream audience by being the de facto standard for TV multimedia connections or PC to TV connections. Gamers appreciate DP more but DP is still rarer to come by than HDMI or even the ever-persistent VGA standard (capable of Full HD at this point).
Most HDTV, PC, and laptop monitors use the HDMI standard. Even DP connections have the option to go HDMI with the proper adapter or converter on hand. Like with how VHS won out against Betamax, HDMI won out against DP not because of quality but because it’s the more widespread standard.
Last Points to Ponder
PC monitors hold a range of different outputs because PC desktops traditionally have piecemeal hardware added to it. The audio speakers run separate with the monitor and the main desktop PC, allowing PC users to pick and combine different components together.
In contrast, most TVs and HDTVs have the audio and video components together in one device, so it makes more sense to use HDMI and DP as their standards of choice. Also, HDMI came around in 2002 while DP came around in 2006, so HDMI won the HD format wars by being the de facto HDTV choice.
- Christopher Minasians, “HDMI vs DisplayPort vs DVI vs VGA vs USB-C: Every connection explained plus how to get 144Hz“, ExpertReviews.co.uk, Retrieved August 22, 2021