What is a Display Port?

Anyone who has spent any amount of time near computers will have no doubt heard of display ports. But what are they, exactly? Knowing what they do and how they work can give you better insight into choosing the right option.

If you have owned a PC or laptop of any kind, you have no doubt come across a variety of display port cables. More than that, it helps get the most out of your monitor, graphics card, and PC. Check out even more about the display port below.

What is a Display Port?

So, what is a display port? It is a combination of two things. For one, it is an input port in the back of your computer or laptop that allows it to connect to some sort of display like an additional monitor or projection screen. It is also a cable that helps to maximize your PC, laptop, monitor, and graphics card.

A display port is a digital interface that is meant to deliver an audio and/or video signal over a single cable. It is similar to HDMI in many ways. It can connect to a video source on a monitor (think your output or even a graphics card) and deliver sound and video that gets output to the display screen.

How Does a Display Port Work?

What makes the display port so great is its versatility. It can be used in home settings but also in business presentations to share information, display slideshows and video, and so much more. When you really break things down, display ports work like any other kind of video and audio data connection. Plug one end into your device and the other into the display.

In many cases, the devices should detect one another and configure automatically. Worst case, you will need to change the source to detect the input. That’s basically all there is to it. You can then display whatever is on your laptop or computer screen, supporting better refresh rates and higher resolution for a clearer overall picture.

What Can Display Ports Be Used for?

For the most part, you will find display ports used in your average consumer technology. They work typically on high-end graphics cards, for certain laptops, and can work with just about any monitor that is capable of supporting better refresh rates and higher resolutions. Display port is more commonly found for higher-end devices rather than your run of the mill device.

You will most commonly find display ports used in the gaming world. Unless a gamer has a monitor or television that supports the latest HDMI standards, a display port is basically mandatory. That’s because it is the only technology that can support both high refresh rates and high resolutions at the same time (like 4k or 120Hz).

Why Use a Display Port?

There are plenty of reasons to go the display port route, especially compared to newer USB cables. Display port offers greater bandwidth, has great feature sets, and has better integration with newer ports and standards, including USB4 and Thunderbolt 3 and 4. For consumers, it is simple: it supports better refresh rates and higher resolutions.

Common HDMI connections support up to 5k resolution but at 30Hz. The display port, meanwhile, is capable of supporting 4k resolution up to 120Hz. That kind of improved quality at one time gives it a serious advantage over other connection types. That said, display ports tend to be a bit more expensive since they include signal processing chips, which are necessary for a multi-display setup with more than two monitors.

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