DisplayPort is a high-performance digital interface for transmitting audio and video signals. It was developed to replace older technologies, such as VGA and DVI, and has become one of the most advanced display technologies.
It was developed by the VESA. DisplayPort takes advantage of packetized data transmission similar to the technology employed in USB and Ethernet connections. The interface is extensible, and supports high resolution with a reasonable number of connector pins.
The differences are only in physical size, the connectors are identical. When it comes to DisplayPort and HDMI cables and connectors, there are different types and sizes. Like HDMI, there is the full-size version but only one smaller alternative which is called Mini DisplayPort (made by Apple) and is the same physical port as Thunderbolt.
DisplayPort 1.2 represents an upgrade of the original DisplayPort standard (1.1a) with expanded capabilities. It’s important to note that not all products that meet DisplayPort 1.2 standards have the entire feature set.
Here are some highlights of the DisplayPort 1.2 standard:
DisplayPort 1.4 can transmit up to 32.4Gbs bandwidth, much more than HDMI’s 18Gbps limitation. This allows a higher resolution of 8K at 60Hz with 10-bit color HDR or 4K at 120Hz to be viewed.
DisplayPort also supports multi-stream transport technology, which allows multiple independent displays per port. By connecting compatible monitors through a daisy chain or using a Multi-Stream Transport hub, you can use a multiple monitor setup through a single display output. This format makes it an excellent choice for any type of user who works with multiple displays.
|DP 1.2||DP 1.4||HDMI 2.1|
|Max resolution||4K (4096x2160)@60Hz||4K(4096x2160)@120Hz|
|Audio Chanel||8 Channel 192KHz|
With DisplayPort Alt Mode, USB-C connectors and cables have the ability to transmit USB data, DisplayPort video and audio, as well as power signals in combination or individually. Adapters are available to connect DisplayPort over USB-C to VGA, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort monitors.
Thunderbolt and Displayport use the same DisplayPort connector in the latest MacBook system.But the new port is backward compatible, so you can still connect to the DisplayPort device;However, only this new port can be connected to a Thunderbolt device.This means that when you can connect Thunderbolt devices to Mac and DisplayPort, if you connect to the DisplayPort device to the Thunderbolt interface on the Mac.
DisplayPort chaining works without Thunderbolt. When you use a DisplayPort cable, it’s not Thunderbolt, just DisplayPort. Thunderbolt always requires a Thunderbolt cable
You may say Thunderbolt 1 & 2 is Mini DisplayPort, But Mini DisplayPort can not be say as Thunderbolt! There is a lot of confusion around Thunderbolt, Mini DisplayPort and connectivity. This is because both Thunderbolt and Mini DisplayPort use an identical connector, and the only difference is that the Thunderbolt connector can carry (in addition to the Mini DisplayPort), a Thunderbolt signal, which is a PCI-Express. Thunderbolt is fully compatible with Mini DisplayPort peripherals, and the new port is backward compatible, therefore it can still be used to connect to DisplayPort devices, But please remember, only the new port can be used to connect to Thunderbolt devices.
Thunderbolt 1 or 2 connector and a Mini DisplayPort connector use the same geometry, that doesn’t mean you can always plug one into the other and get results.
DisplayPort is a passive technology with its sole function to deliver audio/video signals from a source to a display. DisplayPort 1.2 technology is known for outstanding performance capabilities with support for uncompressed full-color 4K video at 60 Hz, multi-channel audio and 3D stereo. But that’s the limit of its awesomeness.
Thunderbolt is a specialized type of Mini DisplayPort connectivity. Although the shape and size of the connector is the same, it does more and does it faster. Thunderbolt can carry data, so it can be used to connect devices such as docking stations and hard drive enclosures. It was developed to support fast data transfer and high bandwidth on a single cable to bring desktop-like speeds to mobile devices. Thunderbolt can also deliver up to 10W of power-over-cable.
DisplayPort devices will work with a Thunderbolt-enabled computer, but Thunderbolt devices will not work with a DisplayPort computer. And while a Thunderbolt-enabled computer can connect to a DisplayPort monitor, the technology of the cable needs to match the technology of the display.
Please Notice: The information here applies only to Thunderbolt 1 and 2. The new Thunderbolt 3 technology uses a USB-C connector, with even faster speeds and up to 100W of power-over-cable. It is backward compatible with Thunderbolt 1 and 2 devices using an adapter.
While Mini DisplayPort only allows for connections from your computer to a display, Thunderbolt goes well beyond that, allowing you to connect other Thunderbolt enabled devices such as docking stations, hard drive enclosures and RAID enclosures. When it comes to transferring data from a computer to an external hard drive or RAID enclosure, Thunderbolt offers far greater performance than USB 2.0 & 3.0, and even FireWire 400 & 800 and ExpressCard/PCIe. This is because Thunderbolt operates with two dedicated channels (one upstream and one downstream) each capable of speeds of 10 Gb/s or 20 Gb/s with Thunderbolt 2.
The comparison chart below illustrates just how efficient Thunderbolt is with handling media files :
Please Note: Thunderbolt cables are required to connect two Thunderbolt devices together.
When you convert video from a source that uses DisplayPort or Mini DisplayPort to DVI or HDMI, such as a laptop, a computer to a monitor, you will need to consider the difference between passive and active adapters. what is the difference between them?If the source supports dual-mode DisplayPort (also known as DP++), then you can use a passive adapter because the source can perform the conversion. If the source does not support DP++, then you need to use an active converter, because the active converter includes additional chips to perform the conversion. The others,thunderbolt ports support DP++ natively.
Remember two ways below:
So,how to know which adapter is Passive adapters?Here is some tips. Normally passive adapters are few cheap because they do not need to include additional chips. The best way to check whether you can use a passive adapter or not is to see if the DisplayPort or Mini DisplayPort source has the DP++ symbol on it. Active adapters use additional chips to make the conversion inside the adapter, regardless of whether the source supports DP++. This means that active adapters are more expensive than passive adapters.