why it can become the new reference standard

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When it comes to gaming, HDMI 2.1 has become one of the most sought-after requirements in a monitor or television. But a powerful alternative is coming this year: DisplayPort 2.0. A new standard that was presented in 2019 and that, after several delays due to the pandemic, this 2022 will finally arrive.

Here we explain what advantages the DisplayPort 2.0 connection offers, what impact it can have and what hardware we will need to take advantage of it. A standard that will allow gaming monitors to take a step forward compared to what we had until now. If you were thinking of buying a new next-generation monitor, you might be interested in waiting to the second half of the year.

The switch to a 144Hz monitor, as told by someone who's had a 60Hz monitor all his life

Making 4K gaming at 120Hz+ a reality

At CES 2022 we met the Samsung Odyssey Neo G8, the first monitor that allows you to play in 4K resolution at 240 Hz, a step forward compared to most monitors that, although they can have a refresh rate of 360 Hz, remain in 1080p resolution. The opposite also happened, 4K monitors that allowed to play up to 120 Hz, but not go beyond.

Samsung’s monitor comes with HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4, so it’s theoretically limited to 120Hz and 4K. However, using VESA’s Display Stream Compression, it is possible to encode the compressed image, technically without “loss of color or quality”, according to VESA. This compression technique is what allows to date, despite not having a sufficient connection, to offer an image beyond 120 Hz together with 4K.

Being able to deliver an uncompressed image at this resolution and refresh rate is where DisplayPort 2.0 comes into play. The new standard that will reach the first devices and graphics, as explained by VESA to Tom’s Hardwareduring the second half of 2022.

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DisplayPort 2.0 will allow to reproduce and play in 4K at 240 Hz without compressing the image thanks to the fact that it offers up to 80 Gbps of bandwidth theoretical. Compared, HDMI 2.1 reaches up to 48 Gbps. This difference is considerable and necessary to be able to manage the enormous resources that a 4K image demands with such a high refresh rate.

To get an idea, if we look at the first version of HDMI 1.0, we remember that the maximum bandwidth was 4.95 Gbps, which meant that monitors or televisions could play 1080p at 60 Hz at most. The arrival of HDMI 2.0 was extended up to 18 Gbps, which made it possible to reach 1080p at 240 Hz, 4K at 60 Hz or even 8K, but at 30 Hz. We are talking about 2014 and the hardware needed to work was the Nvidia GTX 980 with Maxwell 2 architecture.

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With the arrival of DisplayPort 1.4 or HDMI 2.1, the most modern standards that we have available today, compatible monitors or televisions can offer images in 4K up to 240 Hz or 8K at 120 Hz, but with DSC compression. Without compression, the limit of HDMI 2.1 is at 4K at 144 Hz. More than enough for most players, but one point below what can be obtained in 2022.

With the rise in monitor size, 4K resolution is starting to become quite common. Equivalently, many gamers have also grown accustomed to high refresh rates on their FullHD laptops or monitors. The combination of these two worlds It will arrive later this year, with the expansion of DisplayPort 2.0.

In the previous table we can see a calculation on the bandwidth needed for different configurations. For example, gaming in 4K with 10-bit (HDR) at 144 Hz requires about 39.19 Gbps. That’s a huge amount, but short of the 48 Gbps that HDMI 2.1 offers. Therefore, the video can be played in that quality. This limit is theoretical, but it serves as a reference to understand how far each standard is capable of taking us.

If we want to reproduce 8K at 60 Hz in HDR, we will need about 62.06 Gbps, beyond the capacity of HDMI 2.1. This is where DisplayPort 2.0 comes in with its 80 Gbps. Something similar happens with the image in 4K at 240 Hz, which according to Kramer’s calculatorconsume a bandwidth of 71.66 Gbps, also above the limit of HDMI 2.1.

Therefore, if we want to reproduce images in high resolution (4K) and with a high refresh rate (240 Hz), we will need DisplayPort 2.0 unless DSC compression is used, in which case the bandwidth and the HDMI 2.1 port are reduced. It’s enough.

Displayport 2 cable 0

For the future we will leave the power to play in 8K at 120 Hz without compression, where with a necessary bandwidth of 127.75 Gbps it is even beyond what DisplayPort 2.0 promises us. The same does not happen when we apply the DSC, which then the 8K bandwidth at 120 Hz is reduced to about 42.58 Gbps, relatively manageable with current technology.

It is still far from 8K televisions becoming commonplace, much less that we can play games on them. So far that it has not even begun to hear about a possible HDMI 3.0.

AMD RDNA 3 and Nvidia RTX 4,000 to the rescue

If we want to play 2K at 144 Hz, we already have compatible monitors and PCs with the necessary hardware to enjoy this resolution and refresh rate. For now, there is no graphic card compatible with DisplayPort 2.0, but that will change this year.

The new graphics amd based on the RDNA 3 microarchitecture will add support for DisplayPort 2.0, as has been hinted at in the latest patches integrated into the open source drivers. Thanks to this, using these new generation GPUs it will be possible to play, without compression, in 8K at 60 Hz with HDR10 or in 4K at 240 Hz.

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Another company that has announced support is Intel, with its new Intel ARC GPUs. Intel explains that its DG2 GPUs will be compatible with DisplayPort 2.0 and will be able to support the UHBR (Ultra High Bit Rate) function.

With the RTX 3000 it was expected that support for DisplayPort 2.0 would arrive, but everything indicates that the new Nvidia RTX 4000 manufactured in 5 nanometers will be the ones that make that leap. It will not be until the end of 2022 when we would see the Ada Lovelace architecture and the ability to play games in 4K at 240 Hz in action.

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DisplayPort 2.0 promises to arrive this year to become a prominent component of future gaming monitors and new gaming hardware. A video and audio connection that will be compatible with all previous versions, but will allow access to more bandwidth. This new standard also works with Thunderbolt 3 and USB 4, so you can transmit via USB-C port.

The HDMI 2.1 standard is more than enough for most gamers and hardware today. However, starting in the second half of 2022, the first monitors compatible with DisplayPort 2.0 will begin to arrive. A technological advance focused on the future ‘next gen’ that will open the door to play in high resolution at the same time as with high refresh rates.

Image | Boicu Andrey
In Xataka | DisplayPort vs HDMI: what are the differences

When it comes to gaming, HDMI 2.1 has become one of the most sought-after requirements in a monitor or television.…

When it comes to gaming, HDMI 2.1 has become one of the most sought-after requirements in a monitor or television.…

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