DisplayPort 1.4 vs. HDMI 2.1: A Detailed Comparison

In the ever-evolving world of display technology, choosing the right connection standard can significantly impact your viewing experience. DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.1 are two of the most advanced and widely used interfaces today. While both offer impressive capabilities, each has its own set of features, advantages, and limitations. This detailed comparison aims to help you understand the key differences and decide which standard is best suited for your needs.

1. Bandwidth and Data Transfer Rates

DisplayPort 1.4:

  • Bandwidth: 32.4 Gbps
  • Effective Data Rate: 25.92 Gbps
  • Supports up to 8K resolution at 60Hz with DSC (Display Stream Compression)
  • Supports 4K resolution at 120Hz without compression

HDMI 2.1:

  • Bandwidth: 48 Gbps
  • Effective Data Rate: 42.6 Gbps
  • Supports up to 10K resolution at 120Hz with DSC
  • Supports 8K resolution at 60Hz and 4K resolution at 120Hz without compression

Verdict: HDMI 2.1 has a higher bandwidth and data rate, making it better suited for higher resolutions and refresh rates without compression.

2. Resolution and Refresh Rates

DisplayPort 1.4:

  • 8K (7680×4320) at 60Hz with DSC
  • 4K (3840×2160) at 120Hz without compression
  • 5K (5120×2880) at 60Hz without compression

HDMI 2.1:

  • 10K (10240×4320) at 120Hz with DSC
  • 8K (7680×4320) at 60Hz without compression
  • 4K (3840×2160) at 120Hz without compression

Verdict: HDMI 2.1 supports higher resolutions and refresh rates, making it more future-proof for next-generation displays.

3. Color Depth and HDR Support

DisplayPort 1.4:

  • Supports up to 10-bit color depth per channel
  • HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision support
  • Supports Dynamic HDR

HDMI 2.1:

  • Supports up to 12-bit color depth per channel
  • HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma), and Dynamic HDR support

Verdict: HDMI 2.1 has a slight edge with support for 12-bit color depth and a broader range of HDR formats.

4. Audio Capabilities

DisplayPort 1.4:

  • Supports up to 32 audio channels
  • Supports 1536kHz audio sample rate
  • Supports HD audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio

HDMI 2.1:

  • Supports up to 32 audio channels
  • Supports 1536kHz audio sample rate
  • Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) for higher quality audio and support for advanced audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS
     

Verdict: Both standards offer robust audio capabilities, but HDMI 2.1’s eARC feature provides improved audio quality and compatibility with advanced audio formats.

5. Gaming Features

DisplayPort 1.4:

  • Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)
  • AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync support
  • Reduced latency for smoother gameplay

HDMI 2.1:

  • Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)
  • AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync support
  • Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
  • Quick Frame Transport (QFT) for reduced latency
  • Quick Media Switching (QMS) to eliminate screen blackout during content changes

Verdict: HDMI 2.1 offers additional gaming features such as ALLM, QFT, and QMS, providing a superior gaming experience.

6. Compatibility and Use Cases

DisplayPort 1.4:

  • Commonly used with monitors, especially high-end gaming and professional displays
  • Widely supported in PCs, laptops, and some gaming consoles

HDMI 2.1:

  • Standard interface for TVs, AV receivers, and most consumer electronics
  • Essential for high-end gaming consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X
  • Increasingly supported in PC monitors and laptops

Verdict: HDMI 2.1 is more versatile and widely supported across a broader range of consumer electronics, making it a more universal choice.

Conclusion

Both DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.1 are powerful interfaces that cater to high-resolution, high-refresh-rate displays. DisplayPort 1.4 is particularly well-suited for PC monitors and professional use, offering excellent performance and compatibility with high-end graphics cards. On the other hand, HDMI 2.1 is a more versatile and future-proof standard, ideal for TVs, gaming consoles, and a growing number of monitors and laptops, thanks to its higher bandwidth, broader feature set, and extensive compatibility.

When choosing between DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.1, consider your specific use case, device compatibility, and the features that are most important to you. Whether you prioritize gaming, professional work, or home entertainment, both standards offer robust capabilities to enhance your viewing experience.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

× How can I help you?