The Difference Between HDMI and DisplayPort Cables

The Difference Between HDMI and DisplayPort Cables

If you need a reliable connection to transmit audio and visual data such as video, you’ve probably encountered two primary options: HDMI and DisplayPort. Despite the similarities between the two cables, there are some distinct differences as well. Continue reading to learn the difference between HDMI and DisplayPort cables.

The Connector

The first difference you might notice between HDMI and DisplayPort cables is their connector. Most HDMI cables have 19 pins and they’re available in a few different shapes. The common types are the standard HDMI, mini HDMI, and micro HDMI. Alternatively, the connectors on DisplayPort cables have 20 pins and come in two sizes: the standard and Mini DisplayPort (which is the same as Thunderbolt).

Resolution and Bandwidth

Arguably the most common HDMI cable today is the high-speed HDMI with Ethernet which supports 4K visual quality at 30 or 60Hz. On the other hand, DisplayPort cables also come in a variety of versions. DisplayPort 1.2 is comparable to high-speed HDMI with Ethernet in that it supports 4K quality at 75Hz. Additionally, you could get a DisplayPort 1.4 which supports 4K quality at 120Hz or 8K quality at 60Hz.


One of the defining factors between HDMI and DisplayPort cables is the audio features. HDMI has a feature known as an audio return channel (ARC), which simply means the audio signal can travel in both directions. With the exception of an ARC, the latest versions of HDMI and DisplayPort cables are comparable in terms of audio channels, quality, and capabilities.

As you can see, both cables are very similar, but the difference between HDMI and DisplayPort cables is found in their applications. In general, HDMI cables are common in entertainment centers while DisplayPort cables are common in workstations where you use high-end displays. Some avid gamers also prefer DisplayPort cables because of their graphic cards.

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