DisplayPort 1.4 vs. 1.2: What's the difference?

DisplayPort 1.4 vs. 1.2: What's the difference?

While living room gaming consoles, Blu-ray players, and HTPCs most often use the humble HDMI connection for their video and audio transmission needs, high-end desktop PCs have been using something different. DisplayPort is a much more capable cable type that has been the connection of choice for high-end monitors and graphics cards for years.

Even DisplayPort 1.2, originally released in 2010, offers more bandwidth than all but the latest of HDMI standards. DisplayPort 1.4 is a much more capable standard, with limited competition from even the latest and greatest.

That doesn't mean DisplayPort 1.2 is bad though. In fact, in the battle of DisplayPort 1.4 vs. 1.2, you might be surprised how competitive it is.

The raw data

At the heart of every high-end cable standards are some numbers that dictate just what it's capable of. DisplayPort cables have offered broad and impressive bandwidth for data transmission since their first iteration, and that's only improved in successive generations. When it comes to DisplayPort 1.4 vs. 1.2, the newer standard is more capable, but DisplayPort 1.2 is still impressive.

DisplayPort 1.2 offers a maximum total bandwidth of 21.6 Gbps over its four lanes, and a maximum total data rate of 17.28 Gbps. In comparison, DisplayPort 1.4 has the same four-lane structure, but expands the maximum total bandwidth to 32.40 Gbps, and maximum total data rate to 25.92 Gbps.

These figures are identical to those of DisplayPort 1.3, because DisplayPort 1.4 was more of a feature update than a physical change to the cable or design. However, it did integrate Display Stream Compression (DSC) 1.2, a lossless compression format that opens up a wider range of resolutions and refresh rates than its bandwidth might otherwise allow.

So, who comes out on top when we pit DisplayPort 1.4 vs. 1.2? DisplayPort 1.4, by a noticeable margin.

Resolutions, refresh rates, and more

As much as raw numbers can look impressive on a spec sheet, what they mean in the real world is access to higher refresh rates and resolutions. DisplayPort 1.4 vs. 1.2 is a battle of features, yes, but it's also a head-to-head competition of what videos and games the cables can actually support.

When it was introduced in 2010, DisplayPort 1.2 heralded in a new era of high-end data transmission, with support for features like adaptive synchronization and panel-self-refresh. But it also improved the standard’s resolution and refresh rate support, opening up the option of 5K resolution at up to 30Hz, 4K at up to 75Hz, and 1080p at up to 240Hz – previously impossible standards for the DisplayPort connection to reach.

DisplayPort 1.4 vs. 1.2: What's the difference?

DisplayPort 1.4, however, takes things a much greater step further. It supports 1440p resolution at up to 240Hz, and even 4K at up to 120Hz. Like DisplayPort 1.3, it also supports 5K resolution at up to 60Hz, and even 8K resolution at 30Hz.

And that's without even factoring in its support of DSC 1.2. DisplayPort 1.4 vs. 1.2 is a blowout without even considering compression technologies, but with DisplayPort 1.4's support of DSC 1.2 it is even more capable. With DSC enabled it can handle 4K at 60Hz with 30bit/px color and HDR, and even 8K at up to 60Hz.

DisplayPort 1.4 cables are entirely backward compatible with older DisplayPort devices too, whether you're using a full size or Mini DisplayPort connection. While there is some benefit to buying a device that supports the DisplayPort 1.4 standard over DisplayPort 1.2, if you're comparing DisplayPort 1.4 vs. 1.2 cables, there's little reason to consider the older alternative.

Which DisplayPort Cables to Buy?

With all the improvements in DisplayPort 1.4, it wins hands down. If you are in the market for a DisplayPort cable, you should choose a quality DisplayPort 1.4 cable from a company like Cable Matters. Even if your current equipment only supports DisplayPort 1.2, a quality DisplayPort 1.4 cable is still a great choice. It is backward compatible with your current equipment and may allow you to avoid replacing cables when you do decide to upgrade your hardware.

Cable Matters DisplayPort 1.4 Cable

Cable Matters Active DisplayPort 1.4 Extension Cable

Cable Matters Unidirectional Active DisplayPort 1.4 Cable

What's next?

DisplayPort 1.4 has been the best high-end cable for years, especially if you bought it from Cable Matters where we can guarantee a high quality of anti-noise shielding and anti-corrosion protection on the connectors. But DisplayPort and competing standards are always evolving.

HDMI 2.1 is a more capable cable and as more devices support it, it is likely to become the new standard for A/V and gaming connectivity over the next few years. Especially with the launch of new consoles from Microsoft and Sony at the end of 2020. But DisplayPort 2.0 was recently ratified as a standard, and it looks set to reclaim the top spot for high-performance connections and cabling.

Right now, the DisplayPort 1.4 vs. 1.2 question is an important one, but in the near future, it'll be DisplayPort 2.0 vs HDMI 2.1.

Comments (49) -

  • What about the cable itself? I recently bought a monitor with a DP 1.4 port, but they included the monitor with a DP 1.2 Cable (Dell S3220DGF)

    Would I lose the higher functions of DP 1.4 when I use this DP 1.2 Cable?
    • Hi Pierre,

      Technically the DisplayPort 1.2 cable should work since the inner workings of a DP 1.2 and DP 1.4 cable are the same.  However, since DisplayPort 1.4 requires much higher resolutions, it is more susceptible to issues. Therefore DisplayPort 1.4 cables are recommended because they are generally made to higher standards.  

      Another thing to consider is whether or not your source supports DisplayPort 1.4 since a DP 1.4 display is not necessary if your source only supports 1.2 bandwidth.
    • i am haveing problems whit it same monitor cant get hdr to work on dp hdmi works but at 144 8bit witch sucks useing 1.2 that came whit the dell 3220dgf
    • 12-29-2020 I just called Dell about the same problem and ask them why I purchase the S3220DGF Monitor with the DP1.4 port and they send a DP1.2 cable, so I can’t get the most efficiency out of this monitor? And I have a NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GTX 1070 with 8GB GDDR5 Graphics Memory that supports the Standard Display Connectors DP 1.42. After 3 different people, none could answer my question, one even said just go buy a DP1.4 cable.
  • I got a monitor with 1.2 port, But I have 1.4 cable. Can I still use it?
    • Hello Erron,

      Yes! A DisplayPort 1.4 cable is completely backwards compatible with DisplayPort 12.
  • Hola una pregunta, yo recientemente me compre un monitor 144hz con entrada displayport 1.2, pero compre un cable displayport 1.4 porque mi tarjeta grafica (GTX 1660) tiene entrada displayport 1.4, queria saber si me va a dar imagen o si tengo que comprar un cable displayport 1.2
    Muchas Gracias espero la respuestas
    • Me pasó exactamente lo mismo ! Averiguaste algo? Tengo la misma placa y todo
    • P
      Hola Sebastian,

      no necesitas otro cable. Puedes usar el tuyo.
      La versión 1.4 está compatible con versión 1.2.
      Sin embargo no puedes disfrutar las ventajas de la verión 1.4 a causa del monitor.
      • como puedo hacer para saber si mi pc esta en HBR2, se coloca de manera manual?. tengo una msi mag270 vc2. con DP 1.2 y una placa NVIDIA GFORCE RTX 2060. con HDMI lo reconoce, pero con DP no. se me queda la pantalla todo negra, ya probe, reiniciando la pc.
  • Hi,

    I purchased a 24" 1080p 8bit 144hz monitor. I then purchased a high quality HBR2 Display Port 1.2 cable to go with it.

    In the Monitor settings, I can select DP 1.2 or DP 1.4, using both settings I couldn't really notice much difference? Should there be any difference? If the Monitor is a DP 1.4 (Could be only 1.2 but then why a 1.4 setting in the monitor OSD?) Would there be any advantage in getting a DP 1.4 cable? Or with my DP 1.2 I'm already getting the full capability of my monitor anyway so it doesn't matter and would make no difference?

    Thank you.
  • I guess to simplify, if it's fully backwards compatible, why does my monitor have a setting between DP 1.2 and DP 1.4? What's it changing?

    Thank you.
    • Good question! Typically, you can just set your monitor to the highest function (DP 1.4) and leave it.  However, in rare situations, the monitor may have trouble handshaking with a DP 1.2 source if connected. In that case then the monitor can be manually set to search for a DP 1.2 signal.  In sum, though usually not necessary, it can aide in a monitor's compatibility with widespread sources.
  • I have one question my graphic card is taking 1.4 Displayport and my monitor 1.2 are they comp. and if they are do i need to buy 1.4 displayport cable beacuse i got one cable 1.2 with my monitor and it doesnt want to connect im usim HDMI right now.
  • Looking at bit buying a asus tuf Vg27aql1a.
    Which has 1440p res & advertised oc at 170hz Also running on a dp1.2port.

    Will the dp1.2 throttle its performance?
    • Hello.  DP 1.2 is actually required to max out the specs of this monitor, as it has a bandwidth of 21.6 Gbit/s while HDMI 2.0 is only 18.
  • HDMI is already the standard, but only at home.
    DisplayPort remains a very useful technology at work thanks to its daisy chaining technology, which allows to connect 3 or 4 displays with a single connector. (most of the professional laptops have a DisplayPort connector, and professional monitor have 2 DisplayPort connectors : IN and OUT)
  • Hello Cable Matters! I bought a 4k monitor which has 1.2 dp connnecter. But in Nvidia settings i found out my Rtx 2060 supports 72hz. And my 1.2 dp cable can not transfer that many frames. Am i able to use 72hz setting if I use a dp 1.4 cable? Or is there any other way to use it 72hz? Thank you very much!
    • Hi Akaros,

      Yes, a DP 1.4 cable will certainly support 4K & 72Hz.
  • Hi Cable Matters

    What display port should i use 1.2 or 1.4? i want to get ASUS PG278QE with a rtx 3000 series card, but the graphics card is 1.4 and the monitor is 1.2. Will it be possible to plug the 1.4 port into the monitor without any issues?
    • Hi Aaron,

      DP 1.4 is completely backwards compatible with previous versions.  Therefore, a DP 1.4 cable would be your best bet for this application. That way, if you upgrade your monitor to a DP 1.4 version in the future, you do not need to change the cabling.
  • Hello  my RTX 2060 card has a DP 1.4 port and my monitor has a DP 1.2 which cable should i use and will i still get the good graphics from my DP 1.4 graphics card?
  • I purchase a DP to DVI cable - 10ft. from you (through Amazon) and it is not working.  I am getting the Check Signal Cable message can you help me?
    • Hi Gary, are you connecting a DP source to a DVI display? The cable will not work in the opposite direction. Please email support@cablematters.com for further assistance!
  • I have the same question to George's but nobody replied to him just yet. My RTX 2070 DP is 1.4 but the monitor I am getting is DP 1.2. I have a good DP 1.4 cable but I wonder what that means for how the GPU output.
    • Hi Mibo,

      Your question regards the resolution in a video link. The answer is the resolution is determined by the 'weakest link'. In your case, the 'weakest link' is your monitor, which can only handle DisplayPort 1.2 (up to 4k@60Hz in resolution). But your graphics card is DisplayPort 1.4, which can support 4k@120Hz without DSC or even 8k@60Hz with DSC. For the cable choose, I would suggest you go with DisplayPort 1.4 cable which would allow you to connect your RTX 2070 to a new monitor without buying a new cable.
  • Hi, I am getting a pc with an RTX 2060 using display port 1..4 and my monitor the Samsung LC27RG50FQEXXY 240hz has 1.2 DP so can I still get 240fps on a game with raytracing and high to epic graphics settings and with backward compatibility?

    Thanks
    • Hello Nitin,

      Your bottleneck will be at the DP 1.2 monitor so you can do 1080p @ 240Hz but you won't be able to access higher resolutions.
  • My monitor port is 1.2a, and i have 1.4 cable, can i use it?
    • Yes. You may use the DisplayPort 1.4 cable with your DP 1.2 monitor or graphic cards. All DisplayPort cables are backward compatible with the previous versions.
  • Hi

    I just want to confirm my understanding.

    I have a 2080s with
    - 2 x 1.4 DP
    - 2 x 2.0b HDMI
    - 1 x USB C

    I intend to run a triple monitor setup with a Samsung LC27JG54QQEXXY, which has
    - DP 1.2
    - HDMI 1.4
    - HDMI 2.0

    The monitor is 1440p @ 144hz.

    So if I use 2 x DP and USB C (rated 60hz @ 4K) will I still be able to achieve 144hz with DP1.2 (bottleneck being the monitor?)

    Thanks
  • Hi there! Recently my monitor stopped supporting 144hz and only 100hz or 60hz. I tried reinstalling drivers, rolling back to an earlier version, switching the cable around, switching the monitor on/ off / reseting to factory etc etc. It is the same cable that would run my 144hz monitor for over 2 years now. Another thing i noticed was that my colour bit fell down to 6bpc from 8 at 100hz? It would only go to 8bpc but run at 60hz. I have an Element Gaming 2k monitor Free sync 144hz. Thank you in advance!!!
  • Hey Cable Matters

    I'm about to buy a monitor that has 1.2 display port and 1.2 cable but my GPU has a 1.4 port, will it still work with the 1.2 monitor and cable? basically is the port on the GPU Backwards compatible? I know i will max at 144 hz 1080p I just want to know if it will actually work though.
    • Hi Chris,

      You are correct- the GPU 1.4 port is backwards compatible to DP 1.2 displays and cables.  If you ever upgrade to a DP 1.4 monitor, then you may want to upgrade your cable as well.
  • I just upgraded my pc and i have rtx 3070 gpu..and also i bought new monitor which supports 144hz refresh rate but for some reason its locked only at 60 hz i checked all advanced display settings and nvidia setting everywhere its 60 hz only IS IT BECAUSE I NEED DISPLAY PORT 1.2 OR 1.4 TO support those high refresh rates and if i plug in dp 1.2 will it be compatible with gpu dp 1.4 ..plz provide any sort of info..thanks
  • Hi CableMatters!
    I'm considering buying an ASUS TUF Gaming VG279QL1A monitor.
    I see the DP port is 1.2 version.
    Since it's quite expensive I won't buy another monitor before long and after reading this topic I feel like I'm really missing something by not buying a monitor with DP 1.4 version...
    If so, would you recommend any gaming monitor rather than the VG279QL1A to go along with my Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU?
    Thanks for your kind answer
    • Hi Giilga,

      The DisplayPort 1.2 port on that monitor is capable of handling a 1080p@165Hz video resolution and refresh rate. You’re not missing anything if you are interested in a 1080p monitor. However, if you are considering a higher resolution monitor, you may want one that uses a DisplayPort 1.4 connector and cable.
  • Hello.I really need your help. I got Alienware AW2521HF 240hz monitor. And with that monitor i get 1.2 dp cable and i have graphics card 16368MB ATI AMD Radeon RX 6800 (ASRock).Problem is when u turn on game on ULTRA resolution i can play like 10 minutes, after that i get notification dp signal lost.My graphics card need dp 1.4 cable, but i have 1.2 dp monitor cable. Can be problem in the cable??? Thanks ! please answer me Smile 
    • Hi Femuci,

      Sounds like it could be one of several things. Have you updated your GPU device drivers from AMD? Something in your game may be causing your GPU drivers to crash. The cable itself could also indeed be the problem - You could try replacing it with a new DisplayPort cable.
  • Hi Cablematters,

    I want to connect my msi laptop (dp 1.2) to a dp 1.4 monitor. Will this work or not? If yes, which cable will be the best choice?
    • Hi Jesper,

      Yes, DisplayPort 1.4 is backward compatible with DisplayPort 1.2 so it should work. If your DP1.4 monitor runs at a very high resolution or refresh rate though you may have to dial those settings back, but it will still work. We recommend a DisplayPort 1.4 cable, like our Cable Matters cable here: www.cablematters.com/...4-cable-8k-60hz-ready.aspx
  • good day! suppose, I have monitor with displayport v1.4, and my videocard Nvidia GTX 1070 has displayport  v1.2
    They will be compatible or not? And which cable should I buy - 1.2 or 1.4? ( thank You and sorry for my poor english, I'm Ukrainian Smile )
    • Hi Vsevolod,

      Your monitor should work with that video card. You may need to lower your settings to stay within DP1.2's maximum resolution and frame rate however. We recommend DisplayPort 1.4 cables. They are backward compatible with DisplayPort 1.2, and you may not need to buy a new cable when you do upgrade.
  • Hi, I have a displayport 1.2 monitor, ASUS 248QE, and I'd like to buy a displayport switch to use it with two different computer. Has the displayport switch to be necessarily 1.2, or could it be also 1.4?
    Thanks in advance.
    • Hi Alessandro,

      A DisplayPort switch can be either DisplayPort 1.4 or 1.2, as the standards are backward compatible.
  • Hello everyone!

    Based off of my understanding,  so far from reading,  if my monitor is DP1.2 n my gfx card is DP1.4... getting a DP 1.4 cable is the best upgrade/ convenience (backwards compatibility) BUT.... i won't benefit from the 1.4 side of things. .. only the weakest link (from the DP 1.2 port) but having the DP 1.4 cable will connect the gfx card & monitor without issues and helps avoid buying a upgraded cable (1.2 -> 1 4) ?

    If so, with that being said.... what about a HDMI alternative? Do GPU n gaming monitor features only work if connected with a DP cable?

    I had my monitor for over 30days and can't return it . We would like to purchase more of your product but need to know whats best for me.

    I have a
    Ryzen 9 3900x
    AMD Radeon rx 5700 xt
    GIGABYTE x570 aorus master
    And my monitor is Aorus FI27Q 165hz 1440p dp 1.2 usb 2.0/3.0
  • Rocket League on an RX 6900 XT and PG248Q:
    1080p@60hz= 400-500 fps.
    1080p@85-180hz= 200-250 fps
    The monitor is DP1.2, I bought one of your  DP1.4 cables and did notice a little FPS bump.

    is DP1.2 lacking the bandwidth to output more frames at higher resolutions?

  • When I run GPU-Z it reports my Monitor 1 DisplayPort link rate is 5.4 Gbps (current - max same) while Monitor 2 connected to Monitor 2 via a DP Daisy-chain cable is 2.7 Gbps (current) and 5.4 Gbps (max). Do these reported Gbps rates reflect my video cards, NVidia GTX Titan X (Maxwell) DP 1.2, transmission rate? The monitors are Dell U2715U with DP 1.2 but oddly the Mini DP does not have a standard listed. The Mini DP is how I connect one monitor to the other for pass-through. I am currently using DP 1.2 cables and wondering if I should upgrade to DP 1.4 cables? Thanks
  • Dan
    This was incredibly helpful, especially finding out about the resolution differences in 1.2 and 1.4. Do the differences in cables also effect refresh rate or is it only primarily resolution? thanks!

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