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Over the years, developers have created different computer technologies to fill various roles. In some cases, they work on a single technology to fulfill two different criteria at once. Some of the most important things that computers do today is show us visual data or media, and they combine that with audio signals.
In most cases, we want to get these things from a single source. DisplayPort is one such source, and it exists as a special interface to transmit video data. Oftentimes, it can handle audio as well. However, DisplayPort is more than just a connection type that you’ll find somewhere on your computer. It is also a particular set of data transmission standards.
While all of this may fit the basic definition of just what DisplayPort is, some users wonder if its intended purpose goes deeper. We will cover this question below. Additionally, we will figure out why not every computer you come across has the standard by default, what you can do if yours does not, and talk about whether you can add DisplayPort to a system that doesn’t have it.
You may have heard of HDMI connectors, particularly if you own or have used a higher end television display. HDMI is more common to displays of this type than to computers, but you can still find HDMI connections for computers, too. It is a way for various devices to hook up to a larger TV screen while displaying the same content.
DisplayPort works similarly, but it is a different form factor. It is a larger form factor than most of the other ones you will find on the modern market today.
In fact, it tends to look less uniform than HDMI cables or other similar cables you will see. Its usual form factor has 20 pins that fit into a connector with an L shape. There are also prongs to help secure the cable in place once you plug it in.
At its most basic, DisplayPort works just like you would expect any such connection to, and you will plug one end of it into your device. After that, just secure the other end to the monitor peripheral of your choice. Once done, the two devices should talk to each other automatically. However, you may have to set up some things manually, too.
In particular, it might be necessary to set the resolution and refresh rates so that they are equal between the two devices. Once done, you should have a clear picture and audio on the second monitor.
DisplayPort can be a necessary set of standards due to how it works. When it transmits data, it does so in very small packets. Inside each of these packets, the standard can embed a clock signal along with the data. When combined, the size of the packets and their embedded clock signals can make for more efficient transfers of data overall.
In short, this means that DisplayPort can help users with higher end graphics and visual displays. One of the main reasons for DisplayPort sticking around is that it is easy to expand upon it with different iterations and upgrades.
While some other standards might get some changes over the years, it seems to be easier to make sweeping changes to how DisplayPort works. This adaptability is one of the most important features one can hope for in display technologies.
No, not every computer will come with a DisplayPort. This is particularly true in older PC models. DisplayPort is a more modern standard to produce better graphics or resolutions, and older computers simply don’t have the native ports for this.
Additionally, users would not have expected them to display graphics that were anywhere near the quality and clarity of the ones we have today. Therefore, much of the older technology would not be able to utilize the standard to its full potential.
However, you might find some newer computers don’t have it, either. If so, it is probably because they might have a smaller form factor instead. This could be a mini-DisplayPort, which is designed for smaller computers but meant to produce similar results.
You are more likely to find something like this on laptops.Ultimately, the reasons for not including this standard on computers can vary according to the wishes of the manufacturer, although we will try to dig into some of these below. In most cases, it has to do with the intended purpose of the computer model.
As we touched on, it is up to the manufacturer to add this standard to your computer. However, there could be a few reasons you don’t find it on yours. Here are just some general possibilities as to why there is no DisplayPort on your PC:
1. Some computers have more universal standards that are designed to do the same thing. Many companies want to make their computers as compatible or versatile with other things as possible.
Standards like HDMI can facilitate this, thanks to the huge number of other devices that use HDMI by default. This is just one example of a standard that a developer might use in lieu of DisplayPort.
2. The inputs for this kind of standard have hooks on them, and this can present a possible safety hazard for some computers. Other cables will slide in and out of ports with relative ease. The ones for DisplayPort have small hooks on them to secure them further.
Pulling these out haphazardly could result in damage to the machine, cable, port, or all of the above. Some manufacturers prefer to avoid this by using different display standards.
3. If the form factor for your PC is too small, DP might not be the best option for you. While this is more of a concern in laptops, you might be using a computer tower that is a smaller form factor than the standard size. In such cases, it may be better to go with a visual standard that is not DP.
The easiest thing to do if your PC doesn’t have a DP port is to use whatever alternative it has. Depending on the age of the system, it should have at least one other kind of standard for transmitting video and audio signals to another screen.
If possible, it may be easiest for most users to stick with that standard. It is not uncommon for many gaming consoles to use HDMI to connect themselves to televisions for display purposes, and it is a standard that allows you to have some assurance that the device will work on most TVs.
Furthermore, both the television and the system should still be able to render graphics in very good quality, including high resolutions, good colors, and high framerates that create smooth gameplay.
If your computer is made for gaming and quite recent, it should have a DP connector or port available to it. Having said that, some computers that people optimize for gaming still do not have this standard. If yours doesn’t, you can test other methods to see if you can get the same audio and visual quality you might expect from DisplayPort.
Many gamers like DisplayPort due to its high bandwidth capabilities and the ability to connect multiple screens at once. For some games, you may wish to connect your optimized PC to more than one monitor at a time. DisplayPort offers this flexibility, and you may be able to get it through a single cable.
This cuts down on how much extra stuff you might need to use to get the immersive experience you want. On the flip side, we should note that splitting the display between multiple screens can split the bandwidth in such a way that smoothness might take a bit of a dive.
Typically, you cannot add DisplayPort to a PC. However, there are some workarounds that you might be able to use. When we say you can’t add it, it just means that there is no way to install it natively the way it should look on a computer that comes with it.
If you want to try using DP as a standard with a PC that doesn’t include it originally, you might be able to attach an external graphics processor that comes with its own DP port. You may need a particular computer interface that works with your model in order to set this up, though.
Alternatively, you might find an adapter that can do the same thing. It isn’t uncommon to get a USB-C hub that has ports on it for DP interfacing that you can use.
DisplayPort may be less common than HDMI, but it has some great capabilities for transmitting video and audio streams to HD monitors. It may be singularly useful for custom PCs that focus mostly on gaming, but any modern computer of sufficient size could have a DP port.
If your computer doesn’t have one, there are some things you can do to mirror this standard. Thanks to the flexibility of DisplayPort, we should see more upgrades or changes for it in the future.