Simple Answer

An HDMI is a better choice for gaming, it is the standard display option that comes on most HDTV’s and monitors, it is digital and can give out as much as 18Gbps/s with the newer model promising as much as 48Gbps/s at which capacity nothing on your game will be hidden from you. 

When connecting your monitor or any display unit you own for the purpose of viewing your games or extending the display of your game to another or multiple screens, you will probably have a wide array of display options like DVI, VGA, HDMI and Display Port before you. Each one of these performs the same function, albeit with clearly distinct technical capabilities. This then leaves us with the question of which is the best one for gaming amongst DVI vs HDMI vs Display Port vs VGA.

To answer this, we are going to look at these various display ports, peruse their various display capabilities while bearing in mind the high visual input of your games; for which reason you should make a pick for the port that will give you the best display quality for a pleasant gaming experience. That being said, here are the basics you should have in mind about the various display ports you might find available on the back or side of your game and display unit.

  • Most monitors, modern televisions and even projectors come with more than one display port available on them, mostly VGA and one or more HDMI ports.
  • Apart from VGA, all the other display ports are digital with noticeable variations in their pixel resolutions. Nevertheless, the quality of any image shown should remain the same across all display units provided the settings are all constant.

Having known these, let’s get to know what these various display connectors are starting with the earliest to the most recent of them all.

VGA

In this list, VGA which stands for Video Graphics Array is the oldest of all. It is an RGB (red, green, and blue) connection which was introduced as far back as 1987 with IBM x86 machines but later found diverse adaptation to many universal analogue display interfaces with its maximum resolution being 1,920×1,200.

DVI vs HDMI vs Display Port vs VGA

VGA’s are most common with 720p monitors on which it gives a fairly high-resolution image with moderate frame rates. With most game graphics of today being pixel perfect, or perhaps you would like to view your game on a bigger screen, you are probably going to miss out on a lot of things that make for a more enriching game view should you stick with a VGA port. So in the duel of DVI vs HDMI vs Display Port vs VGA, VGA won’t make it past the first round. Let’s move to something better after you have seen its up and downsides.

Upside

  • Only one VGA standard exists, so no need for converters. A VGA In will readily connect to a VGA Out.
  • Thumb screws are on the ports for fastened connections.
  • It is very easy to establish a connection between devices, no switching delays are encountered.

Downside

  • It is entirely analogue.
  • Can’t transmit audio.
  • Lower quality images when compared to the rest.

DVI

Following the perceived and apparent ineptitudes of a VGA port/connector, the Digital Visual Interface (DVI) was introduced in 1999 as an upgrade in the display port technology. DVI’s came as both analogue and digital and has as its connector variants; DVI-A (analogue), DVI-D (Digital), DVI-I (Analog/Digital), single and dual link versions. Its maximum resolution is up to 2560×1600 at 60Hz and 1920×1080 at 144Hz for gaming. The port is almost ubiquitous in many computers and some game consoles.

DVI vs HDMI vs Display Port vs VGA

So if among DVI vs HDMI vs Display Port vs VGA, you just have to pick between a VGA connector and DVI connector, you are probably better off with a DVI port as your game graphics will be better transmitted and shown on a monitor via a DVI port. However, where 4k resolution games are involved, you obviously won’t fancy the DVI anymore and this is where you move up to where the trend in display port technology is.

Upside

  • Has both analog and digital display capabilities.
  • It basically shows high-quality images as good as an HDMI.
  • Can be converted to both VGA and HDMI with the right adapters.

Downside

  • Can’t transmit audio on its own.
  • Still can’t transmit audio even if converted to an HDMI.
  • There will be a problem of conversion if you have a different display port version on your game unit from the one on your monitor or television. This difference might account for a need to use/purchase a converter.

HDMI

As it is with many electronic products, newer models or newer variants of the same gadget are often better than their predecessors. It is in this regard that an HDMI port knocks off the two earlier display ports discussed above.

HDMI which stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface was introduced in the year 2003. It is the most common display connector in the electronics market and can be found in almost all modern display units; gaming consoles, TV’s, etc. Where the DVI and VGA port scored low in not being able to transmit audio, the HDMI has it as one of its primary capabilities which makes it a single connection cable with all desired capabilities on it.

DVI vs HDMI vs Display Port vs VGA

Since its introduction, HDMI has been constantly improved turning out better versions of the same technology with every new model introduced. The more common HDMI 2.0 accommodates up to 18Gbps/s of bandwidth being almost twice the earlier HDMI 1.4 with 10.2 Gbps/s. HDMI 2.0 Allows up to 10-bit and 12-bit output colour depth to which 4k HDR gaming consoles like PS4 Pro and Xbox One X all rely on to display the deepest of blacks and purest of whites. The newer HDMI 2.1 delivers up to 48Gb/s which means much higher resolutions and refresh rates.

The HDMI connectors come in three main sizes with all having 19 pins, the sizes are Standard (Type A), Mini (Type C), and Micro (Type D). The Standard is mostly found on many display units and even gaming consoles, while the Mini is readily found on many high-end smartphones and tablets. A fourth category called Type E was introduced for use in automotive applications.

Upside

  • It transmits audio.
  • Supports 4k HDR display units.
  • No compression of images as it is purely digital.
  • There is no loss of image quality using an HDMI cable.
  • Wireless display technologies like Miracast or ChromeCast all rely on it.
  • Very versatile as many display units come with the port.

Downside

  • More expensive compared to DVI and VGA.
  • Due to its authentication and encryption protocols in ensuring that devices are authorized to receive content sent by the HDMI cable, you might notice some switching delays that might occur for few seconds when establishing a connection between your game console and your display unit.

Display Port

While the HDMI display reigns supreme, the world is not going to stick with it forever, electronics manufacturers have for long been involved in the research and development of more efficient display options. It is in this quest that the Display Port was invented and later introduced in the year 2007.

DVI vs HDMI vs Display Port vs VGA

The newest Display Port versions being version 1.3 and 1.4 have maximum display output of 25.92Gbits/sec. One of the biggest advantages the Display Port has over the HDMI port is its faster refresh rate because of its adaptive link which allows it to adapt and refresh at the framerate of any gaming computer it is being used on. The Display Port comes with 20 pins and is available as either DisplayPort or Mini DisplayPort.

Upside

  • It can carry audio.
  • It has a multi-screen capability.
  • An average Display Port shows better images than an HDMI cable talk less of a DVI or VGA.

Downside

  • Very few televisions have it.
  • It can only be seen on modern monitors.
  • It is quite expensive.

See Also: Optical vs Laser Mouse: Which Is Better For Gaming? [Simple Answer] 

DVI vs HDMI vs Display Port vs VGA, Which One is Better for Gaming?

There is no questioning in comparing and contrasting among DVI vs HDMI vs Display Port vs VGA that you might have probably come across more HDMI connectors or Ports than you might have seen for DVI’s, VGA’s or the fewer common Display Ports. Let’s just say that the consumer electronics industry cum market is content with what the technology offers at the moment with HDMI displays and will probably still be with newer models of the same technology.

That being said, cutting out all tech jargons, an HDMI port is better for gaming for the following reasons;

  • It is easily found on most modern gaming consoles which means you only need to plug a cable on it to your monitor or TV to start viewing your games.
  • It carries both video and digital output in one cable thereby reducing the number of wires you have to run.
  • An HDMI cable offers much higher image quality with clarity, native support for High Definition Television, Blue-ray Video, and Digital signal processing.
  • It still supports 4k images which is what the Display Port is highly priced for.