DisplayPort is the premium branch of the HDMI vs DisplayPort debate. It offers similar features to HDMI, but has typically been the more capable of them in terms of bandwidth, offering PC gamers the opportunity to enjoy higher resolutions at higher frame rates. HDMI 2.1 changed that by leapfrogging the long-capable DisplayPort 1.4 connector. DisplayPort 2.0 will take the crown back.
What is DisplayPort 2.0? It's the next-generation of cable for 8K resolution movies and games.
What is DisplayPort 2.0
DisplayPort 2.0 cables and connectors are the latest evolution in DisplayPort technology, enabling audio and video transmissions over a single cable with support for Display Stream Compression (DSC), HDR, and Forward Error Correction like past DisplayPort standards. But what makes the difference here is it also massively increases bandwidth by nearly 300%.
DisplayPort 2.0 cables feature 80Gbps bandwidth, making it possible to display ultra-high resolutions at previously impossible refresh rates. DisplayPort 2.0 can handle up to two 4K screens at 144Hz simultaneously, or an 8K display at up to 85Hz natively, without any form of image compression.
DSC has the potential to make DisplayPort 2.0 even more capable, with support for up to three 10K screens running at 60 Hz with HDR on a single DisplayPort 2.0 connection. It will also support twin 8K displays at up to 120Hz with HDR and 10 bits per pixel (bpc), or a single 16K display at 60Hz, with HDR and 30 bpc.
DisplayPort 2.0 vs HDMI 2.1
The debate of HDMI 2.0 vs. DisplayPort 1.4 was fierce, and the DisplayPort 2.0 vs. HDMI 2.1 one will be much the same, although in both cases the more capable connection was clear. While HDMI 2.0 and 2.1 offer ARC and eARC technology for simplifying home audio connections, they fall far behind their DisplayPort counterparts in overall bandwidth.
HDMI 2.1 was exciting for next-generation game consoles because it introduced a bandwidth more than three times that of HDMI 2.0 (48Gbps), enabling 4K at up to 120Hz. However, DisplayPort 2.0 offers nearly 80 percent additional bandwidth than that.
That means the DisplayPort 2.0 vs. HDMI 2.1 battle is over before it's even started. As far as intergenerational gains go, DisplayPort 2.0 vs. DisplayPort 1.4 is enormous, and should mean that DisplayPort 2.0 becomes the high-end cable for gaming PCs for years to come.
When will it be available?
The DisplayPort 2.0 release date has, in some senses, been and gone. It was officially ratified by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) in June 2019, where its specifications and capabilities were first detailed. Like other cable and port standards, though, this didn't immediately introduce a bevy of DisplayPort 2.0 monitors – and even Cable Matters didn't suddenly have huge stock of DisplayPort 2.0 cables.
DisplayPort 2.0 monitors were expected to become widely available in the latter months of 2020, but after a delay announced by VESA, they are now slated to arrive in the second half of 2021.
Are There Any DisplayPort 2.0 Graphics Cards?
There is always a chicken and egg problem with new cable standards, and DisplayPort 2.0 is no different. Along with a monitor that supports DisplayPort 2.0, anyone wanting to use it will also need a graphics card that supports it. There are currently no DisplayPort 2.0 Nvidia graphics cards, nor are there any DisplayPort 2.0 AMD graphics cards. Both companies' new generation GPUs, like the RTX 3080 and RX 6800 XT, support HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4a.
It's likely that we'll be waiting on a next-generation graphics card of some kind before we see any DisplayPort 2.0 Nvidia graphics cards, or DisplayPort 2.0 AMD GPUs. Those may debut at the end of 2021, but are more likely in early 2022.
DisplayPort 2.0, USB-C, and Thunderbolt
One of the biggest advantages of DisplayPort technology is how the protocol has been incorporated into other cable standards. USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports have leveraged DisplayPort 1.4 technology to enable high-bandwidth video and audio data streams over one cable, alongside power. That's made it possible to have single cable monitors, and even daisy chain them together.
DisplayPort 2.0 uses the Thunderbolt physical interface (PHY) layer to offer the same bandwidth advantages as its native cable over the next generation USB4 and Thunderbolt 4 connections, enabling support for much higher resolution and refresh rate displays over previous USB-C and Thunderbolt 3. Cable Matters has announced the world's first Thunderbolt 4 cables and USB-IF certified USB4 cable.
Passive Thunderbolt 4 Cable
Active Thunderbolt 4 Cable