HDMI 2.1 vs DisplayPort 1.4 Comparison

DisplayPort has offered better performance compared to the rest of the display interface standards since forever. This is all set to change with HDMI 2.1 though. The new HDMI standard offers a substantial improvement over its previous iteration.

In such a scenario, it is easy for consumers to get confused between these two display standards.

So this article will highlight the strengths and weaknesses of both the display standards and help you understand how these two are different and which one is right for you.

Before we get into the details, let us take a moment to have a look at the most commonly used display interfaces as of today.

    Common Display Interfaces

Here are some of the most commonly used Display Interfaces.


HDMI (High Definition Media Input) is a display interface first introduced in the early 2000s. HDMI is probably the most popular display interface today. It is a very versatile interface that can be used for a variety of purposes. 

It can be used to connect any sort of display. If you have purchased a display in the last few years, it most certainly has an HDMI port.

USB Type-C

USB Type-C has seen a lot of changes lately. The interface has evolved over the years. It is used in mobile electronics as an All-in-One solution for data transfer. 

Read more about USB Type-C from USB Type-C vs Thunderbolt Port.


Contrary to what a lot of you might believe, VGA (Video Graphics Array) still remains one of the popular display interfaces across the world. It is used in a lot of entry-level and office computers even in 2020. 

The reason why a lot of people don’t prefer using a VGA cable to connect their displays to the CPUs is that the interface uses analog communication which is quite inferior to digital communication standards that we use in most of the electronics appliances these days.

The interface is outdated as per the current standards but still holds good enough if all you need to do is connect your good old 768p or 1080p monitor to your PC.


DisplayPort is the standard that you should be looking for if you are into serious gaming. It supports the best transfer speeds for connecting high-resolution gaming monitors that support high refresh rates.

It was introduced back in 2008, and since then the product has been popular with the gaming community. There are some unique features of the interface that we are going to discuss in this article. 

Here is a video by Techquickie that explains all four standards quickly:

    HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4

In this section, we have listed some of the most apparent differences in terms of performance between the two display interfaces.

We are going to compare the latest standards of both the interfaces. The latest iteration of the HDMI is v2.1, and for the DisplayPort, it is v1.4.

These standards are released recently and have not made their way to the majority of the devices yet, but to keep this article more relevant, we will avoid discussing the older standards.

Transmission rates

The maximum data transfer rate of HDMI 2.1 is capped at around 48 Gbps (6GBps), and for the DisplayPort 1.4, it is around 32.4 Gbps (~4GBps).

Maximum supported resolution

The HDMI 1.4 standard supported 4K 30 FPS. And the HDMI 2.0 supported a resolution of 4K at 60 Hz or 8K at 30 Hz. The latest HDMI 2.1 standard supports 4K at 120 Hz and 8K at 60 Hz. The maximum resolution that the HDMI 2.1 interface can support can go up to 10K.

The DisplayPort 1.4 also supports 4K at 120 Hz and 8K at 60 Hz.

These numbers are a little overkill considering today’s requirements as even today, the most dominant resolution is 1080p, and 4K is yet to make its way to a lot of homes.

HDR Support 

Displays that support HDR (High Dynamic Range) offer the best contrast ratios. The pictures on HDR display look a lot punchier then than they do on the standard displays.

The dynamic HDR support recently got added to the HDMI interface with v2.1. DisplayPort 1.4 supports the static HDR, whereas HDMI 2.1 supports dynamic HDR.

Number of Displays supported

Before trying to figure out the maximum number of displays your PC can support, you need to know what display interfaces your GPU and Monitor supports.

The HDMI interface supports a single display whereas the DisplayPort supports up to 4 displays. If you want to connect more displays, you need to connect them to separate HDMI cables.

For almost everyone, being able to connect 2 or 3 displays is more than enough. No matter whether you buy a display that supports DisplayPort or the HDMI port, you can connect multiple displays only if both your GPU and monitors support a common communication standard.


Both devices support 32 channel audio. This is not a factor that can be used to differentiate the ports. The audio quality on both interfaces is on par with each other. 

The new HDMI standard supports a technology called eARC (Audio Return Channel) which lets users connect their TVs with their audio systems through the HDMI port which reduces the number of wires and clutter.


As we have already mentioned, the HDMI port is more widely used compared to the DisplayPort. HDMI port is present on millions of commonly available monitors and televisions in the market. The use of DisplayPort, on the other hand, is largely limited to gaming and workstation Monitors.

There are no huge advantages of using either of them and as the new versions of the standards continue to come out. But when talking about these two versions, the HDMI 2.1 is slightly better than the DisplayPort 1.4. But the difference isn’t of much concern to an average consumer.

Here is a table that summarises the key points of comparison between the HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4:

HDMI 2.1 DisplayPort 1.4
Maximum supported resolution and refresh rate corresponding to it 4K, 120 Hz; 8K, 60 Hz (up to 10K) 4K, 120 Hz; 8K, 60 Hz
HDR support Dynamic Standard
No. of Displays per cable 1 4
Audio 32 channel 32 channel
Typical usage Entertainment, Productivity, Gaming Hardcore Gaming, Professional Work

You can learn about the detailed specs of HDMI 2.1 from here.

    Which one is better?

The answer to this question should be pretty apparent by now. If you have a choice to pick between devices that support the DisplayPort 1.4 and the HDMI 2.1, you can choose either of them without giving it much thought.

If you have both the ports present in your system, you can pick either of them. If you play a lot of games and want to for a daisy chain connection, you can use the DisplayPort connector, but for almost everything else, you are better off with the HDMI port.

Both the HDMI 2.1 and the DisplayPort 1.4 supports 8K at 60 Hz, which is a lot more than what an average user needs in 2020.

Both the new HDMI and DisplayPort standards are impressive with what they have to offer.  For now, both the HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 standards are more than enough to get all your work done. Feel free to pick any one of them as per your requirements.

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