While HDMI 2.1 is making a splash across TVs, monitors, and graphics cards (such as the RTX 3090) with increasingly more capable bandwidth, DisplayPort has been stuck in the process of rolling out the new and improved DisplayPort 2.0 specification for a while. And it looks like that's been further delayed until later this year.
“Monitors supporting DisplayPort 2.0 are currently in development, but none have been released to market yet,” a VESA spokesperson tells The Verge. “DisplayPort 2.0 is working now in new system chips that should appear in products later in 2021.”
VESA is in charge of the DisplayPort standard, who you might recognise from those standardised VESA mounts on the back of your monitor/mini PC or the DisplayHDR standard. They're essentially a group tasked with the standardization of techie things of all kinds, and they're in a bit of a face-off with the likes of the HDMI Forum when it comes to display connectors.
HDMI rules the TV space, that's for sure. But you can pry my DisplayPort cable from my cold, dead PC gamer hands.
Anyways, DisplayPort 2.0, the latest specification that was finalised back in 2019, offers up to 80Gbps (~77.37Gbps). Take that HDMI 2.1, with your 48Gbps bandwidth.
DisplayPort 1.4 runs at just 32.4Gb/s. It uses Display Stream Compression (DSC), a form of nearly lossless encoding to manage up to 8K 60Hz capabilities, or 4K at 120Hz.
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With DisplayPort 2.0, you needn't bother with all that. It comes with the bandwidth to run high resolution, high refresh rate monitors without compression, and with decent colour depth throughout. That includes 8K and 4K at high refresh rates, which is good timing too now that 4K 144Hz panels are starting to arrive in decent numbers and somewhat affordable prices.
DisplayPort 2.0 could even run a single 16K display at 60Hz, it's said, but I think we'll focus on 4K gaming for the time being. It's good to have aspirations, at least. You can read more about the specification on the VESA website.
Sadly, we'll have to wait a little longer to get hold of these DisplayPort 2.0 ready panels. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has hit the usual test events that would have supported a sooner release window, but sadly none could occur and everything has been pushed back.