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DVI vs HDMI for Gaming | Which Computer Monitor Cable Should I Get for Smooth Gameplay?

DVI vs HDMI port; which one should you use for your gaming needs?

There are different connection types such as VGA, DVI and DisplayPort found at the back of computer GPU and display devices.  It can be confusing at times even for techies to understand their dynamics and standards.

If you want to understand their differences, read the entire article.

What is HDMI?

It stands for (high definition multimedia interface). It is the most frequently used in both homes and the commercial sector. It transmits digital audio and video signals between devices.

Key Takeaways

  • HDMI is now considered the better option, as the cable simply supports more advanced technology
  • HDMI is backwards compatible with DVI, so there is no loss of video quality when using an HDMI-to-DVI adapter or cable. 
  • HDMI can transfer audio signals, something DVI is unable to do 
  • HDMI transfers audio and video signal and is best for TV to PC connections
  • DVI transfers video only and is perfect for older systems or for 144Hz at 1080p

At present, you will find HDMI in most modern displays, TV, monitor, and computer graphics cards with an integrated HDMI output port. Even the cheaper gaming PC monitors under 200 dollars, or under 300 bucks have them.

what is hdmi

Types of HDMI Connectors

There are various types of HDMI connections used to carry both audio and video game signals. Although they look like USB connections, they are of different sizes.

  • Type –A (full)  for TV’s and gaming computer
  • Type – C(mini HDMI) for tablets and cameras
  • Type – D (micro HDMI) for cell phones
check out if u can get 144 hz with hdmi

HDMI Versions

Did you know that there are several versions of HDMI? So, which one works best for your gaming equipment?

HDMI 1, 1.4, 2.0, and 2.1 have a different set of capabilities. I use 2.1 as it does not only support 4K and 2K resolution but also higher refresh rates which are crucial for my gameplay.

HDMI 1 4

1 4 is the most popular version. It can deliver full HD resolution and a 144 Hz refresh rate which makes it popular among gamers. It also supports 4k but only at 30 hertz.

Some of the benefits of the HDMI 1 4 versions include;

  • Multichannel audio support
  • The ability to carry Ethernet data
  • Supports AMD freesync
  • Impressive refresh rate of up to 144hz
good monitor for hdmi

HDMI 2.0

It’s a new standard that can transfer more data compared to the 1.4 version. It is also good for PC gaming and can be found on a console gaming monitor - a gaming monitor for PS4, for example.

  • it supports 4k which is great for a gaming monitor
  • it can handle over 8 bit and 12bit color
  • It is compliant with the rec. 2020 color space
  • supports up to 32 channels of audio

What is 4k? It’s also known as (ultra-HD). 4k is the new standardized resolution for monitors. It gets its name from the number of pixels arranged horizontally and vertically on the resolution. 4k is roughly 4000 pixels wide by 2000 pixels vertically.

4k is four times the resolution of full HD or 1080p. With all these extra pixels, color depth, and refresh rate, more bandwidth is required. Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data the signal and the monitor cable can send. Higher resolutions and frame rate requires more data rate.

If you’re interested in 4k resolution gaming, the HDMI 2.1 is the right option for you.

HDMI 2.1 Specifications And Features

Refresh Rate

120 Hz


4 - 8 K

Extra Features

AMD freesync

  • 3D stereoscopic format
  • color gamma 2020 bt
  • auto low latency mode
  • built-in VRR (variable refresh rate)
laptop port

HDMI 2.1 48 Gbps

It’s the latest version. It can transmit an impressive bandwidth of up to 48 gigabits per second. This is a huge improvement from the HDMI 2 0 cables which can carry 18 gigabits per second.

The new consoles will still give you the benefits of dynamic HBR as well as improved color and subsampling. The Ps5 and Xbox series use HDMI 2 1 to enable 4k at 120 frames per second. You may need a top-notch gaming monitor, or the best 120Hz monitor for one of these.

different ports

Here are a Few Next-gen Games that Support 120 fps;

Since 4k resolution is quite new in the gaming world, most games don’t support 4k resolution. They opt instead for a 144hz refresh rate at 1080p.

The few games that have taken advantage of the 4k advancements are;

  • Devil may cry 5
  • Dirt 5
  • Call of duty black ops cold war
  • Halo infinite
  • Orion the will of the wisps
two players

Requirements for 2.1 PC Gaming

The big selling point for the HDMI 2 1 is the improved color and 4k resolution at 120 fps. Many Pc Gamers enjoy smoother gameplay while using these types of ports.

Here is what you need to update your gameplay with HDMI 2 1;

  • You need a 2.1 cable
  • Buy a computer, TV, or monitor that supports 2.1 and 4k at 120fps

What’s the maximum length of an HDMI cable?

Most passive cables will work without signal degradation up to 20 metres. That said, some may only manage around 5 metres. There are ways to extend the distance a HDMI cable will work at, though.

Active cables can increase distances much further, even doubling passive cables in some cases. While fibre optic cables can, in theory, go for miles. Generally, manufacturers make them up to 60 metres, but at that length they're incredibly pricey.

Display Port 1.2 Specs And Features

Refresh Rate

75 Hz


4 K

Extra Features

wide color gamut

Display Port 1.3 Specs And Features

Refresh Rate

30 - 120 Hz


4 - 8 K

Extra Features

advanced MST capability

Display Port 1.4 Specs And Features

Refresh Rate

60 - 120 Hz


4 - 8 K

Extra Features

  • REC 2020 color gamut
  • adaptive sync
connect via dvi

DVI (Digital Visual Interface)

Other popular ports include DVI. You’ll find them on most monitors, projectors, and graphics cards. Digital Visual Interface was created by the Digital Display Working Group but not Vexus group and leading digital company as many people believe.

They handle digital data transmission with maximum bandwidth for data transfer being 165 megahertz.  They are still widely used in home and commercial settings.

 Just like VGA (video graphics array) connectors, DisplayPort DVI are also versatile. With compatible adapters, you can convert them to VGA and HDMI easily.


When it comes to HDMI and DVI, one thing you will notice about them is that they look different. HDMIs are smaller than DVI cable. They support up to 32 channels of audio, are high speed (see also Thunderbolt for Apple), and are compatible with many monitor/s, laptops, computers, TVs, game consoles since they are more common than DVI and VGA.

gaming setup

What is Better - DVI or HDMI?

HDMI is better than DVI. HDMI is able to support 32 channel audio while DVI can only handle video. HDMI is more modern technology and typically what more devices have as well so not only is HDMI better, but it's more widely available and better as you buy and more and more electronics and appliances such as monitors, TVs, and more.

DVI is outdated and we suggest avoiding it unless you absolutely have to. Even if you only have a DVI port it's worth getting an HDMI converter because of how many more things you can do with HDMI port.

Different Types of DVI cable Connectors

There’re three types of DVI, DVI-I (single link), DVI –A (analog signals), and DVI- D (dual link dvi cable). You can differentiate between them through the pin layouts inside.

Single link DVI vs Dual-link DVI

A DVI-I cable is limited to 1920 by 1200 at 60 Hz. On the other hand, the dual-link DVI supports resolutions of up to 2560 by 1600 at 60 Hz. Dual-link DVI is important for your gameplays because it supports 1080p at 144Hz.

warzone game on tv

HDMI vs DVI for Gaming

HDMI vs DVI; all have their differences which I will explain in this section so you can choose the best for your needs.  Although both can be used for gaming, HDMI outweighs DVI in many different aspects like;

  • When it comes to DVI and HDMI, HDMI cables offer better performance, superior color depth, high speed, and higher refresh rate
  • HDMIs are best for TV and monitor connections since they transmit both audio and video signals
  • HDMI vs DVI: The DVI connector is physically larger and bulky
  • DVI doesn’t support the same variety of color spaces
  • Most DVI connectors can’t transfer audio along with a video to a monitor or other display device. They are perfect for older systems, according to Mega international media group plus Vexus Media group, and the leading Company.
  • HDMI cable does not have a locking mechanism.

HDMI Vs DVI for 1440P and 4K Gaming

The fact is that not many people across the globe play games at more than 4K. And for this, all three of these interfaces will work. However, you’ll need a dual-link DVI as stated above to support this resolution.

You should know that only very high resolution demands the right kind of display interface. Otherwise, for average or low-level usage, you can rely on any of these display units. Now, let’s focus on some specific scenarios.

hdmi cable
laptop ports

DisplayPort vs HDMI: Which Is Better For Gaming?

Both connections  have the same function of transferring video and audio data. They both have many versions.  A point to note is that you will get little difference between these 2 ports or connections depending on their versions.

  • Both deliver good gameplay; however, use Displayport 1.4 as it will deliver the best experience compared to HDMI 2 0.
  • When it comes to speed comparison of DisplayPort vs HDMI, DisplayPort 2.0 is capable of expanding up to 16k at 60Hz while HDMI 2.1 is stuck at 60Hz at 8k.
  • Displayport vs HDMI: HDMI has CEC (consumer electronics control) which allows you to use one remote to control all your devices connected via HDMI.
  • Displayport vs HDMI: In terms of locking mechanism, DisplayPort cables Connections have a locking mechanism that holds the cable in place while HDMI cables don’t have a locking mechanism.
boy playing games


1. Is DisplayPort Better than DVI for Gaming?

Yes, the DisplayPort is better than DVI and VGA for gaming. DVI ports do not have extensive support for ultra-high-definition resolutions like other connectors such as HDMI and Displayport.  Also, previous DVI versions do not support audio data.

Display Port is the leading digital publisher future hence it is way more superior when compared to DVI ports in terms of high speed, color quality, and refresh rates.VGA and DVI could possibly fade in the coming future.

2. Is DVI to HDMI better than HDMI to HDMI?

Yes, DVI to HDMI is typically better than HDMI to HDMI. This is because DVI is a pure digital signal, while HDMI is a digital-to-analog-to-digital signal. This can sometimes lead to degraded image quality.

3. Does HDMI DVI support 144Hz?

Yes, HDMI DVI supports 144Hz. This is a great feature for gamers who want to get the most out of their games.

4. What is the highest resolution for DVI?

The highest resolution for DVI is 1920 × 1200. This effectively allows for a maximum 16:10 screen resolution of 1920 x 1200 at 60 Hz. The DVI port specification includes a provision for dual link to accommodate higher-resolution display devices. Dual-link DVI effectively doubles the video bandwidth by doubling the number of TMDS pairs.

5. Does DVI to HDMI work?

Yes and No.
DVI (Digital Visual Interface) is a digital signal that uses the same format as HDMI's video portion. The distinction is that DVI port does not carry audio signals in the same way that HDMI port does. This means that if you are only using the video signal, a simple DVI to HDMI adapter can be used to change the physical connections.

About Dusan Stanar

I'm the founder of VSS Monitoring. I have been both writing and working in technology in a number of roles for dozens of years and wanted to bring my experience online to make it publicly available. Visit https://www.vssmonitoring.com/about-us/ to read more about myself and the rest of the team.

1 thought on “DVI vs HDMI for Gaming | Which Computer Monitor Cable Should I Get for Smooth Gameplay?”

  1. Whether using a CRT display or an HDTV, as long as they are DVI-equipped, nothing can go wrong with the Amazon Basics DVI to DVI Monitor Adapter Cable. Featuring male adapters on both ends, this cable allows you to connect your LCD monitors and projectors to computers with DVI connections. You only have to plug them into their respective ports, and your games are ready.


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