With more than six types of video ports available in the market today, picking one can be confusing. So, if you are one of those confused gamers, read on till the end to find the best-suited video cable for your device. We have compared HDMI vs DisplayPort vs DVI vs VGA in this article.

When connecting your PC to a computer, you have to check what ports are on your device. Your PC can have multiple ports but the most used are HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, DVI. Thereon, here’s a quick summary of these connection types:-

HDMI vs DisplayPort vs DVI vs VGA

  • HDMI:- Image and Audio-driven application. Mainly used for TVs, Projectors, monitors, etc. 
  • DisplayPort(DP):- High speed and resolution connector transmitting 144Hz up to 4K. Primarily seen in computer displays and IT equipment. 
  • DVI:- Classic extension of VGA port. Max Resolution is 2560×1660 pixels, best used for providing 144Hz at 1080p.
  • VGA:- Old format analog-type video connector. Beneficial to connect old systems, projectors, etc. 

VGA (Video Graphics Array):-

VGA is the grandfather of all the connecting ports, which was introduced in the year 1987. It can also be referred to as RGB connection or D-sub. It is a 15 pin connector and connected to the GPU with the help of some screws. VGA is capable of displaying 16 colors at a time for mid-range resolution and 256 colors for lowered resolution display screens. 

The drawback of VGA is that VGA is the analog signal transmitter. This means that it exhibits image degradation if we push the screen for a higher resolution. However, it can technically support the output to 192×01080, which is 1080p at 60Hz. The other difficulty with VGA is it is prone to signal distortion. Thus, it isn’t a better choice for modern monitors to computers, TVs, etc. 

DVI (Digital Visual Interface):- 

The modified version of VGA is DVI, came into usage in the year 1999. It is a valid cable to connect your PC with LED or monitor. Plus, it is not much different from HDMI cable except for its inability to support audio signal. Thus, connecting the DVI cable to the HDMI adapter is the only way to get audio with the DVI. A single link of DVI supports a 1920X1200 resolution at a refresh rate of 60Hz. While dual-link can support 2560X1600 resolution. Hence, a dual-link is prefer to a single-link DVI.

It has three types of connectors:- DVI-A, DVI-D, DVI-I, and these are further classified based on single-link or dual-link cables. 

DVI-A is an analog format cable. That is it can be use only for analog signal transmission. These are incapable of having a dual-link option. Thus, used with a single-link option. DVI-A has a total of 17 pins and is compatible with VGA. But these cables are rarely prefere due to their analog signal transmission. 

DVI-D is a digital format cable, thus capable of transmitting only digital signals. A single-link DVI-D has (24+1) pins and a dual-link DVI-D has (18+1)pins. Here, the additional pin is the ground pin. They can work with both DVI-D and DVI-I connectors. Besides, it can also provide audio by connecting with an HDMI adapter. 

DVI-I is the integrated cable supporting the transmission of both analog and digital signal transmission. It has 23 and 29 pins in single-link and dual-link connectors respectively. It can work with all three types of DVI cables. Thus, DVI-I is the most applicable cable than the other two. 

Note:- DVI cables are best suitable for 144Hz at 1080p.

HDMI (High-definition Multimedia Interface):-

HDMI was released into the market around 4 years after the DVI was introduced. It is capable of providing high-resolution images and a theatre-quality audio experience to the gamer. Plus, it is primarily used to connect devices to the TV, home theatre. It is designed to be compatible with DVI. Thus, you can use HDMI to DVI cable. It also provides functions such as HDMI-CEC(HDMI Consumer Electronics Control), which allows you to operate several devices with a single remote. 

From the first edition to date, HDMI has undergone various improvements in serving the devices. Hence, developed two versions like HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0, and the most recent version is HDMI 2.1.

HDMI 1.4 supports multi-channel audio applications. It has a maximum bandwidth of 10.2 Gbps. Plus, some extra options like superior color data, wide video format support, etc. However, the HDI in HDMI was limited to 8-bit color depth. And the main drawback is its ability to support only 30fps for a 4K resolution display. 

HDMI 2.0 has an improved bandwidth of 18Gbps. Due to extra bandwidth, it can support 60fps at 4K resolution. This helps us to view 144Hz at 1080p. Again, it has a better color depth than HDMI1.4, thus supporting10 to 12-bit colors. 

The modern version of HDMI is HDMI2.1 with upgraded audio options. HDMI also has a speed that is more than 2.5 times of HDMI 2.0. It is a high-bandwidth edition of HDMI with 48Gbps. It can operate for variable refresh rates providing eARC(Enhanced Audio Return Channel) capability. 

Another thing to check with HDMI is its connection sizes. It has many different sizes and is named as per that. 

Type A:- Full-sized HDMI, popularly used than all other types. It is mostly seen in TVs, monitors, projectors, etc. 

Type C:- 19 pin connector, known as Mini HDMI. It is widely used for DSLR cameras, compact laptops, etc.

Type D:- It is also known as Micro HDMI and specially used in small tablets, smartphones, etc. The other two types are Type B and Type E, which are rarely used by today’s market. Type B is a 29 pin connector and it supports dual-link applications. While Type E provides you the locking mechanism preventing the image to slip away with heavy vibration.

With its variety of versions available and cost-effective, it is preferred over all the other types of cables. Hence, you can use HDMI for DVDs, video projectors, PC monitors, Game consoles, laptops, etc. 

Note:- HDMI is best preferred as a connector to TVs, projectors.

DisplayPort:-

DisplayPort is the connection of choice for high-end monitors and graphics cards. Its versions are DisplayPort 1.2, DisplayPort 1.3, and DisplayPort 1.4, each with high bandwidth availability. It even offers security latches, which can’t be found in HDMI. Plus, it also helps to connect multiple computers at the same time. 

DisplayPort 1.2 supports up to 4K resolution at 60Hz. It has 17.28Gbps of bandwidth. A newer version of DisplayPort 1.3 was introduced four years ago. It can a maximum data of 25.92Gbps and can give an output to 120Hz at 4K resolution. Also, you can view two different displays at 60Hz at 4K resolution through a single DisplayPort cable.

The upgraded version of DisplayPort is Displayport1.4. You can operate 4K resolution at 120Hz and 8K at 60Hz refresh rate. Like HDMI, DisplayPort also provides an audio facility. But you have to check before the purchase since it can also provide no audio cables. 

In general, DisplayPort also has the advantage of protecting the monitor from screen tearing. Thus, both AMD and Nvidia are using it for their graphics implementation. It even has two types based on connector sizes known as Full-size DisplayPort (the standard one)and Mini-size DisplayPort. However, Mini-size DisplayPort isn’t widely used as it is being replaced by USB-C. 

Conclusion for HDMI vs DisplayPort vs DVI vs VGA:

Thus, there is no point in using VGA or DVI connectors for today’s gaming PCs unless you have no access to modern computers. DisplayPort, on the other hand, is providing you with better fps and bandwidth. So, the best choice will be DisplayPort with versions from 1.2 providing 1440p at 144Hz. The second best will be HDMI 2.0 if you don’t have access to displayPort1. 4. 

Nonetheless, HDMI 2.1 is an exception. It has come up with extraordinary features compared to the other types but isn’t cost-effective. Thus, go for HDMI2.1 if budget isn’t your concern, or else, the above-mentioned are the best choices you can pick from.