If you want to play games at high refresh rates, you can use an HDMI connection, but unless you're using one of the latest HDMI standards, DisplayPort is likely a better choice. It supports a far wider and deeper range of resolutions and refresh rates. Outside of its eventual successor (and HDMI 2.1) DisplayPort 1.4 remains the most capable cable for high refresh rate gaming.
But does DisplayPort 1.4 support 240Hz? Oh yes. At multiple resolutions.
Want a general break down of DisplayPort and what it does? Check out our quick guide.
144Hz and beyond
DisplayPort has been at the forefront of high refresh rate gaming for years, with even DisplayPort 1.2 cables offering up to 240Hz at 1080p resolution and 144Hz at 1440p. DisplayPort 1.3 and 1.4 are a major uplift in raw bandwidth over previous generations of DisplayPort, however, meaning they can do much more.
DisplayPort 1.4 has a maximum total bandwidth of 32.4 Gbps and a maximum total data rate of 25.92 Gbps. That gives it support for the High Bit Rate 3 (HBR3) mode, which opens up a wide range of resolutions and refresh rates. Along with support for 5K resolutions at up to 60Hz, and 4K resolution at up to 120Hz, DisplayPort 1.4 can handle 240Hz on both 1080p and 1440p resolutions. That offers high-speed gaming at high detail like almost no other connection type out there.
So, does DisplayPort support 240Hz? Absolutely.
To take advantage of this you need both a monitor that supports DisplayPort 1.3 or 1.4 (unless you're using DSC, in which case you need DisplayPort 1.4) and a compatible graphics card. Alternatively, you can use an adapter. Cable Matters sells some fantastic options which you can find here.
What are the benefits of 240Hz on DisplayPort?
High refresh monitors hold a number of advantages over more traditional refresh rates, whether you're working on the desktop or gaming in high-speed, competitive esports titles. Even 120Hz can feel like a game-changing experience compared to a typical 60Hz refresh rate. A 120Hz refresh rate provides smoother movements, reduced input lag, and reduced screen tearing with frame syncing technologies like V-Sync, Freesync, and G-Sync.
But what about 240Hz? That is an even bigger leap from 60Hz, though it is less pronounced when moving from 120Hz or 144Hz to 240Hz. The input lag reduction is there, but it's lessened. Difference in smoothness is less obvious, and few modern games can be played at such high frame rates consistently, even with a high-powered graphics card and processor.
But the benefit is there. A number of independent studies have shown that a higher refresh rate can make a big difference in competitive gameplay. While the improvement with 240Hz is less obvious than it is with 120 or 144Hz, it's still there. Nvidia's 2019 study showed that quite conclusively.
But it's important to note that there's nothing intrinsic about DisplayPort 1.4 cables which makes these kinds of benefits possible. If you want to play a game at 240Hz at 1080p resolution, you would be just as well off using the HDMI 2.0 connection, as that can handle that particular resolution and refresh rate just fine.
However, if you want to play at a higher resolution and especially without any form of visual compression – and if you're gaming, avoiding any kind of compression is a good idea – then you'll want to use a DisplayPort 1.4 cable. Although HDMI 2.1 and ultimately, DisplayPort 2.0 far eclipse what DisplayPort 1.4 can offer in terms of resolution and refresh rate support, they're far from common on modern displays and graphics cards.
DisplayPort is probably best
So, when asking the question, does DisplayPort support 240Hz, the answer is emphatically yes. And at multiple resolutions too. It's not the most capable cable standard out there anymore, but for most existing displays and graphics cards, it's going to be your best bet for high refresh rate gaming. A 7.5m active DisplayPort 1.4 cable is recommended for ultimate flexibility without sacrificing performance.
If you're only looking to game at 1080p, at least for now, then an HDMI 2.0 connection will suffice too. But if you have the DisplayPort option, it will give you much more future-proofing capabilities, especially as we start to see DisplayPort 2.0 adoption increase in the future. It's likely to be the high-end display cable standard in the 2020s, much like its older brethren were in the 2010s.
Cable Matters offers many 240Hz-compatible DisplayPort 1.4 cables suitable for a variety of connection needs.
Cable Matters DisplayPort 1.4 Cable
Cable Matters Active DisplayPort 1.4 Extension Cable
Cable Matters Unidirectional Active DisplayPort 1.4 Cable