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

While living room consoles, Blu-ray players, and HTPCs most often use the humble HDMI connection for their video and audio delivery needs, high-end desktop PCs have been using something different. DisplayPort is a more powerful cable type that has been the go-to connection 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 competition limited from even the latest and greatest.
If you are curious to know what are the major differences between DisplayPort 1.2 and DisplayPort 1.4, we will be discussing them in this article.

What is DisplayPort 1.2?

While most devices out there rely on HDMI ports for video and audio output transmission, when it comes to PCs, using a DisplayPort is preferred. Speaking of the DisplayPort 1.2, it uses 4 lanes to transfer a max bandwidth of 21.6Gbps while the total data rate offered is about 17.28 Gbps which is rather impressive for a decade-old technology.

With such good data rates, the DisplayPort 1.2 brings plenty of other advantages such as access to better refresh rates, and features like adaptive sync that helps resolve many issues like screen tearing, and more. However, there are a lot more features that were later on improved in the newer versions of DisplayPort.

What is DisplayPort 1.4?

DisplayPort 1.4 was released in 2016 and introduced a swath of major upgrades coming off of the disappointing lackluster DP 1.3 release. DisplayPort 1.4 supports both 4K and 8K monitor resolutions with the ability for refresh rates to hit 120 Hz and 60 Hz depending on the resolution chosen. The bandwidth for expanded to reach 25.92 Gbps into four data lanes. HBR3 (Bit Rate Class 3) was included in DP 1.4. Display Port 1.4 has Display Stream Compression (DSC) which allows for a 4K resolution to be displayed at 240 Hz.

Comparison of DisplayPort 1.2 vs DisplayPort 1.4

Obviously DisplayPort 1.4 is much better than DisplayPort 1.2 because it's a newer version.

DisplayPort 1.4 DisplayPort 1.2
Total Bandwidth 32.4 Gbps 21.6 Gbps
Max Data Rate 25.92 Gbps 17.28 Gbps
Max Sample Rate 1536 kHz 768 kHz
Audio Channels 32 8
Display Stream Compression 1.2 Supported Not Supported
HDCP 2.2 Yes No
8K (7680 x 4320) 60Hz with 10-bit color and HDR Not Supported
4K (3840 x 2160) 120Hz with 10-bit color and HDR 120Hz with 10-bit color

When you compare DisplayPort 1.2 and 1.4, you will find that DisplayPort 1.2 lacks technologies like DCS and HDCP, which are present on the latest versions of DisplayPort. The DCS technology is basically Display Stream Compression, which allows the connection to handle larger resolutions like 8K without any issues.

The DisplayPort 1.4 has a total bandwidth of 32.4 Gbps with a max data rate up to 25.92 Gbps and supports almost 32 audio channels as well. DisplayPort 1.2 has support for only 8 audio channels and delivers 21.6 Gbps bandwidth and 17.28 Gbps data rates.

DisplayPort 1.4 has HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) 2.2 support which allows you to watch digitally protected content offered by various OTT platforms such as Netflix, Prime Video, etc. With the DisplayPort 1.2 connection, you won’t be able to stream digitally protected content as it will show you nothing, but a black screen.

Which DisplayPort cables to buy?

With all the improvements in DisplayPort 1.4, it wins. If you're in the market for a DisplayPort cable, you should choose a high-quality 8K DisplayPort 1.4 cable. Even if your current device only supports DisplayPort 1.2, a good DisplayPort 1.4 cable is still a good choice. It's backward compatible with your current equipment and will allow you to avoid changing cables if you decide to upgrade your hardware.


As mentioned above, DisplayPort 1.4 is a better choice because it not only allows you to enjoy high-quality content up to 8K resolution but also offers up to 240Hz refresh rate and 1440p resolution quality. That said, DisplayPort 1.4 is for all users. The older version, DisplayPort 1.2, only works if you're using it with a gaming PC with a monitor maxed out at 1440p@144Hz. For all other needs, prefer to use DisplayPort 1.4 as it is clearly your better-performing option.