Nowadays different port options are available in 4K monitor. It may be a bit confusing to choose the most suitable port, as there are different types of ports in the back like HDMI, Display port, USB-C. Purpose of different ports is different. So, you should choose a port according to your demand. Some tips are here for guidance.


HDMI port connector
HDMI Connector

High definition multimedia interface or HDMI is quite common and popular display interface. Generally, it is used on television to connect high configuration games, Blu-Ray players. It is highly capable to send high quality video and audio signal through one cable.

 Versions of HDMI:

  1. HDMI 1.4: It supports 4K resolution monitor at 24 Hz.
  2. HDMI 2.0:
    • It supports 4K resolution monitor at 60 Hz.
    • It also supports High-dynamic range or HDR display.
    • It does not support FreeSync standard feature which prevents screen tearing with frequent refresh rate.
  3. HDMI 2.1:
    • It supports 10K resolution monitor at 120Hz. As we are discussing about 4K monitor it is clear that HDMI 2.1 is high configuration for 4K monitor.
    • HDMI 2.1 supports an amazing feature called Daisy-Chaining. It means it has the ability to connect multiple computers with each other using a single connection (also monitor has to be Daisy-chaining compatibility).
    • Sometimes HDMI 2.1 act as an Ethernet adapter with right cable. Ethernet adapter helps to connect a computer to computer network.
    • It supports FreeSync technology, which is very helpful for gaming purposes.


DisplayPort Connector

DisplayPort or DP is created by Video Electronic Standard Association. It is digital audio visual interface. DP comes with two variety- Standard and Mini. Both are transmitting identical signals.

DisplayPort connects computer to monitor, projector and tv cable. It is very similar to HDMI in terms of Bandwidth but make difference in terms of Refresh rate.(measures in Hz).

Available Versions of DisplayPort:

  1. DisplayPort 1.2:  It supports 4K monitor at 60Hz. Some 1.2a port supports FreeSync technology. New v1.2 supports Daisy-Chaining  display monitor with both input and output facility. DisplayPort output connects to next downstream display and helps to connect multiple computer in simple way.
  2. DisplayPort 1.3  : It supports 4K monitor at 120Hz and 8K at 30Hz.
  3. DisplayPort 1.4 : It supports upto 8K monitor at 60Hz. This version also supports  High-dynamic range or HDR display monitor.

USB-C Port

usb type c
USB Type C Connector

USB type C port is a 24 pin connector. It is almost two fold connector. USB-C is mostly available on Laptop, Speaker, wireless mice, keyboards, smart home devices etc. It is a connector to transmit data and power on a single cable. ALT mode or Alternate mode is a add-on to USB-C to transmit non-USB signals. ALT mode has the unique capability that allow technologies like DisplayPort, Thunderbolt to be transmitted.

USB ALT mode also provide Power Delivery support. If your laptop has USB-PD facility you can charge your laptop and can output data to a monitor with a single cable. You need to know the capability of power output of the monitor. If your charger is USB-PD compatible it will be great advantage for you as you need not carry charger to charge your device. You can also avail all the benefits of DisplayPort 1.4.


Thunderbolt Connector

Thunderbolt is a brand name of a hardware interface by Intel deployed to transfer high speed data and high definition video through a single cable.

To use Thunderbolt, laptop making companies need to get certificate from Intel. Thunderbolt 3 version is incredibly fast, like speed of  latest version of USB is 10 Gigabits per second but the speed of Thunderbolt 3 is 40 Gigabits per second.

Thunderbolt 3 port can be used as USB port but USB port can not be used as Thunderbolt 3 port.

Thunderbolt 3 supports 4K resolution display at 60Hz over DisplayPort. It also supports Daisy-Chaining up to six additional devices to source machine. In that case every devices should have Thunderbolt 3 supported port. If any device at the chain has USB port Daisy chain stops at that point. Your computer must have the proper computing resources to maintain all devices connected in Daisy-Chain through Thunderbolt 3. Generally Daisy Chaining is used to connect multiple displays but it also can connect multiple monitor and external hard drive through a single port.

Thunderbolt 3 supports external graphics card while latest version of USB port does not. It makes your laptop extremely capable for gaming. Keep in mind that Computer makers have to provide this facility in the laptop as the graphics card support system is not automatic.

The best choice to get  Thunderbolt 3 supported port is Mac . Apple provides this facility in almost every version of their laptop.

The monitor with Thunderbolt 3 facility is more costly than HDMI or DisplayPort. The cables required to drive the monitor are not cheap.


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