Which Cable Do I Need For 144Hz?

For 1080p 144Hz you will need DisplayPort, Dual-Link DVI, or HDMI 1.3 (or higher), while 1440p 144Hz requires either HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.2.

Answer:

To output 1080p content at 144Hz, you will need either Dual-Link DVI, DisplayPort, or HDMI 1.4 (or better). However, note that some monitors with HDMI 1.4 are limited to 60Hz or 120Hz.

For 144Hz at 1440p, you will need at least HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.2 while for 4K 144Hz you are going to need HDMI 2.1 or alternatively, DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC 1.2.

VGA

best cable for 144hz

VGA (Video Graphics Array) or D-Sub is an old analog connector that maxes out at 1920×1200 and 75Hz. Most of the newer graphics cards and displays don’t feature this port.

It can still be found on some monitors, though, which can be useful if you want to connect it to an older GPU or use it for a multi-monitor setup.

DVI

Hdmi 144hz

DVI (Digital Visual Interface) is a more common and widespread connector, but bear in mind that not all DVI versions are the same.

Only the Dual-Link DVI-D port can do 1920×1080 at 144Hz or 2560×1440 at 75Hz, while other DVI ports max out at the same bandwidth as VGA.

HDMI

hdmi 144hz

Nowadays, most monitors, TVs and graphics cards feature at least an HDMI 1.4 port, which is enough for 144Hz at 1080p, 75Hz at 1440p and 30Hz at 4K.

However, keep in mind that some monitors have limited bandwidth over HDMI 1.4, making it max out at 120Hz or even at 60Hz in some cases (mostly G-SYNC and older monitors).

In fact, most 144Hz monitors are limited to 120Hz over HDMI 1.4, but some monitor manufacturers will utilize custom timing parameters and pixel rates to use the full potential of the HDMI 1.4 bandwidth, thus getting 144Hz at 1080p.

So, make sure the exact monitor you’re looking at supports 144Hz or at least 120Hz over its HDMI 1.4 port — or just look for a 144Hz display with HDMI 2.0.

HDMI 2.0 is also fairly standard and can be used for 240Hz at 1080p, 144Hz at 1440p and 60Hz at 4K.

The latest HDMI 2.1 adds native support for 144Hz at 4K UHD and 60Hz at 8K. However, to see just how much bandwidth an HDMI 2.1 port has on a monitor will depend on its implementation (FRL6 has 48Gbps, FRL5 has 40Gbps, etc.). Be sure to visit our article on misleading/confusing HDMI 2.1 specifications to learn more.

Note that there’s no such thing as an HDMI 1.4 or 2.0 cable. Instead, you should look for an HDMI cable with enough bandwidth to support your monitor’s maximum screen resolution and refresh rate over its HDMI port.

So, for a 1080p 144Hz monitor with HDMI 1.4, look for an HDMI cable that’s rated for at least 10.2 Gb/s, labeled as ‘High-Speed.’

For HDMI 2.0, you’ll need a cable rated for at least 18 Gb/s and labeled as ‘Premium Certified Cable‘ or ‘Premium High Speed.’

Lastly, for HDMI 2.1 devices, you’ll need a cable rated for 48 Gb/s with an ‘Ultra Certified Cable‘ or ‘Ultra High Speed‘ label.

The cables are backward-compatible. So, you can use a 48 Gbps cable with an HDMI 1.4 device with no issues. You can also use a 10.2 Gbps cable with an HDMI 2.1 device, but you’ll be limited to the 10.2 Gbps bandwidth. If you need a cable that’s longer than 50ft, you’ll need to look for an active optical cable.

DisplayPort

does displayport support 144hz

Apart from an HDMI port, most gaming monitors also come with a DisplayPort 1.2 port which offers native support for 240Hz at 1080p, up to 165Hz at 1440p and up to 75Hz at 4K.

DisplayPort 1.3 and DisplayPort 1.4 provide the extra bandwidth required for 240Hz at 1440p, 120Hz at 4K, 60Hz at 5K and 30Hz at 8K.

The main difference between DP 1.3 and DP 1.4 is that the latter supports DSC (Display Stream Compression), which allows it to deliver 144Hz at 4K, 120Hz at 5K and 60Hz at 8K — but with compression.

A mini-DisplayPort (or Thunderbolt) connector can output the same amount of bandwidth as the DisplayPort implementation it is based on. So, mini-DisplayPort 1.2 can do 75Hz at 4K, 240Hz at 1080p and so on.

Furthermore, mini-DisplayPort is now replacing the USB Type-C port on newer displays.

The USB-C port sends the DisplayPort signal for audio and video and can simultaneously charge (if the device supports power delivery) and transfer data to the connected device.

Just like with HDMI cables, there’s no such thing as a DisplayPort 1.2 or 1.4 cable. For DisplayPort 1.2 devices, you’ll need a DisplayPort cable that’s rated for 21.6 Gbps (17.28 Gbit/s max. data rate) and HBR2 bit rate class.

For DisplayPort 1.4, look for a cable rated for 32.4 Gbps (25.92 Gbit/s data rate) and HBR3 bit rate class. DisplayPort cables are backward-compatible as well. If you need a cable longer than 33ft (15 meters), you’ll need to look for an active cable.

DisplayPort 2.1 standard has three transmission bit rate modes:

  • UHBR 10 – 40 Gbit/s (38.63 Gbit/s max. data rate)
  • UHBR 13.5 – 54 Gbit/s (52.22 Gbit/s data rate)
  • UHBR 20 – 80 Gbit/s (77.37 Gbit/s data rate)
Cable
DisplayPort Cable (UHBR20)
DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort Cable (UHBR20)
HDMI Cable (18 Gbps)
HDMI Cable (48 Gbps)
Dual-Link DVI-D Cable
Thunderbolt 4 / USB4 Cable (40 Gbit/s, 240W PD)

Maximum Interface Bandwidth

In the table below, you can check the maximum interface bandwidth for popular resolution and refresh rate combinations.

NOTE

Note that 8-bit color depth and full 4:4:4 RGB signal are assumed for each interface except for the ones using DSC, in which case 10-bit color is assumed.

FRL6 (48Gbps) is assumed for HDMI 2.1, lower FRL might require DSC for some of the included resolution/refresh rates, though you can still get 4K 144Hz with FRL5 (40Gbps) and FRL4 (32Gbps, with 8-bit color); FRL3 (24 Gbps) and lower require DSC.

Most refresh rates listed could go a few Hz higher, but we’ve rounded them to common resolution/refresh rate combinations available on popular gaming monitors.

 1920x1080
(Full HD)
2560x1440
(Quad HD)
3440x1440
(UWQHD)
3840x1600
(UWQHD+)
3840x2160
(Ultra HD)
5120x2160
(5K2K)
HDMI 1.4144Hz75Hz60Hz30Hz30Hz24Hz
HDMI 2.0240Hz144Hz100Hz75Hz60Hz50Hz
HDMI 2.1540Hz+360Hz300Hz240Hz180Hz144Hz
HDMI 2.1 + DSC540Hz+480Hz+480Hz+480Hz+360Hz300Hz
DisplayPort 1.2 (HBR2)240Hz170Hz120Hz100Hz75Hz60Hz
DisplayPort 1.4 (HBR3)360Hz240Hz180Hz144Hz120Hz85Hz
DisplayPort 1.4 + DSC600Hz+480Hz360Hz300Hz240Hz200Hz
DisplayPort 2.1 (UHBR10)600Hz+360Hz300Hz200Hz165Hz120Hz
DisplayPort 2.1 (UHBR13.5)600Hz+540Hz360Hz300Hz240Hz180Hz
DisplayPort 2.1 (UHBR20)600Hz+600Hz+600Hz480Hz300Hz240Hz
DisplayPort 2.1 (UHBR20) + DSC600Hz+600Hz+600Hz+600Hz+600Hz+500Hz

Adapters For 144Hz

Does Hdmi Support 144hz

In case your 144Hz monitor and graphics card do not support 144Hz over the same port type, you may be able to use an adapter.

In the table below, you will find all the currently available adapter combinations for 1080p 144Hz or higher. Keep in mind that when using an adapter, the output/input order is important.

For instance, with an HDMI (output/PC) to DP (input/display) adapter, you can connect a computer with an HDMI port to a monitor with a DisplayPort port — not vice versa as these adapters aren’t bi-directional.

In order to connect your computer with a DisplayPort output to a monitor with an HDMI port, you will need a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter.

When it comes to DVI adapters, the DVI-D adapter needs to be active, not passive which means it will usually use a USB connector for power. Moreover, for 144Hz, you will need a Dual-Link DVI-D adapter, Single-Link won’t work.

The available active adapter combinations are:

  • (Mini) DisplayPort to HDMI (and vice versa)
  • DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI-D
  • USB-C to DP
  • USB-C to HDMI

An active HDMI to Dual-Link DVI-D adapter doesn’t currently exist.

Note that these active adapters are fairly expensive and that some manufacturers will falsely advertise passive adapters as active and/or Single-Link DVI adapters as Dual-Link.

Also, double-check whether your monitor/GPU supports 144Hz over the port you’re trying to convert before buying an expensive active adapter.

Adapter (PC -> Display)
HDMI to DisplayPort Adapter
DisplayPort to HDMI 1.4 Cable/Adapter
DisplayPort to HDMI 2.0 Adapter
DisplayPort to HDMI 2.1 Adapter
Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter
DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI-D Adapter
DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI-D Adapter
Cheaper DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI-D Adapter
*Doesn't work with the BenQ XL2411Z and the Acer GN246HL
Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI-D Adapter
USB-C to DisplayPort 1.4 Cable/Adapter
USB-C to DisplayPort 2.1 Cable/Adapter
USB-C to HDMI 2.0 Cable/Adapter
USB-C to HDMI 2.1 Cable/Adapter

FAQ

What is “fake” HDMI 2.1?

You may have seen the term ‘fake HDMI 2.1’ around due to the misleading and confusing latest updates to the HDMI 2.1 specification.

Basically, the HDMI 2.0 specification has been replaced by HDMI 2.1. So, a monitor advertised to have an HDMI 2.1 port doesn’t necessarily have to support the full 48 Gbps bandwidth or have some of its features, such as HDMI-VRR. It’s up to the manufacturer to specify what features and bandwidth of HDMI are supported.

So, an HDMI 2.1 monitor with a 4K resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate might be limited to 60Hz over its “HDMI 2.1” port unless FRL4 (Fixed Rate Link) or higher is supported. Luckily, most manufacturers still stick to advertising such displays as ‘HDMI 2.0.’

In short, if you’re interested in a gaming monitor with HDMI 2.1, you’ll have to pay close attention to its HDMI capabilities specified by the manufacturer, or check reviews. Visit our article on misleading/confusing HDMI 2.1 specifications to learn more.

What is “fake” DisplayPort 2.1?

ASUS PG32UQXR

Unlike HDMI 2.1, all DisplayPort 2.1 inputs have a higher maximum data rate than the previous (DP 1.4) version. However, manufacturers can still use misleading marketing because of three different transmission modes (UHBR 10, UHBR 13.5 and UHBR 20).

Perhaps the main reason to get a monitor with DP 2.1 instead of DP 1.4 is to not rely on DSC to achieve maximum resolution.

Although DSC is a visually lossless compression, some users have reported certain issues when using it, though it’s difficult to pinpoint those issues solely on DSC, such as the display taking longer to wake up from sleep, longer black screens, etc.

On top of that, some (not all) monitors cannot use NVIDIA’s upscaling DLDSR/DSR (Deep Learning/Dynamic Super Resolution) technology and DSC at the same time.

For instance, the ASUS PG32UQXR is a 32″ 4K 160Hz monitor, which requires a total of 43.88 Gbit/s data rate to run at its maximum resolution and refresh rate with 10-bit color depth and no chroma subsampling.

It advertises DisplayPort 2.1, however, it’s using the lowest UHBR 10 spec (topping at 38.69 Gbit/s), therefore, you still have to use DSC – just like you’d have to use it if it had DisplayPort 1.4. So, DP 2.1 with UHBR 10 is not really useful here.

The Gigabyte Aorus FO32U2P 32″ 4K 240Hz is the first monitor announced with DP 2.1 UHBR 20, which allows it to achieve maximum resolution and refresh rate with 10-bit color depth without having to use DSC.

However, note that NVIDIA RTX 40-series GPUs only have DisplayPort 1.4, whereas AMD’s RX 7000 series have DisplayPort 2.1 with UHBR 13.5. So, you’ll need a newer GPU to use the full potential of UHBR 20.

Another monitor with DP 2.1 is the Samsung G95NC 7680×2160 240Hz ultrawide monitor. Even if it had the full UHBR 20 support, it would still need to use DSC due to its very high resolution and refresh rate. The monitor has UHBR 13.5, which is enough for the full resolution at 240Hz and 10-bit color depth thanks to DSC. This allows RX 7000 GPU users to take full advantage of the screen, whereas those with RTX 40-series and older graphics cards are limited to 120Hz.

Does HDMI 1.4 support 144Hz at 1080p?

benq zowie xl2411 review

Yes, HDMI 1.4 can support up to 144Hz at 1920×1080. However, not all monitors with HDMI 1.4 necessarily do.

Older 144Hz gaming monitors such as the Acer GN246HL, the BenQ XL2411, the BenQ XL2411Z, the BenQ XL2430T, the ASUS VG248QE, the AOC G2460PF, etc. are all limited to 60Hz over HDMI.

Many monitors with HDMI 1.4 are also limited to 120Hz at 1080p.

Moreover, many monitors with dedicated G-SYNC modules (mainly older models) are limited to 60Hz over HDMI.

What Cable/Adapter Do I Need?

My laptop/PC only has an HDMI port, but my monitor supports 144Hz over DisplayPort.

You will need an active HDMI to DP adapter. Note that this adapter allows for up to 120Hz at 1080p only.

My laptop/PC only has an HDMI port, but my monitor supports 144Hz over Dual-Link DVI-D.

You will need an active HDMI to DL-DVI-D adapter. Unfortunately, no such adapter currently exists. You will need a monitor that supports 144Hz over HDMI or at least over DisplayPort in which case you could use an HDMI to DP adapter.

My laptop/PC only has a Mini DisplayPort port, but my monitor supports 144Hz over DisplayPort.

You will need a standard Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable.

My laptop/PC only has a Mini DisplayPort port, but my monitor supports 144Hz over Dual-Link DVI-D.

You will need an active Mini DisplayPort to DL-DVI-D adapter. Remember that this adapter allows for up to 120Hz at 1080p only. Using a passive or Single-Link DVI-D adapter will limit you to 60Hz at 1080p.

My laptop/PC only has a Mini DisplayPort port, but my monitor supports 144Hz over HDMI.

You will need a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter. A passive adapter will be enough for 1080p 120Hz.

My laptop/PC only has a USB-C port, but my monitor supports 144Hz over DisplayPort.

Given that the USB-C port on your laptop supports Thunderbolt 3 / 4 or DisplayPort Alternate Mode, you will need a USB-C to DP adapter/cable.

My laptop/PC only has a USB-C port, but my monitor supports 144Hz over Dual-Link DVI-D.

You will need a USB-C to DL-DVI-D adapter. Unfortunately, no such adapter exists. There are USB-C to Single-Link DVI adapters, but these are limited to 1080p at 60Hz.

My laptop/PC only has a USB-C port, but my monitor supports 144Hz over HDMI.

Given that the USB-C port on your laptop supports Thunderbolt 3 / 4 or DisplayPort Alternate Mode, you will need a USB-C to HDMI adapter/cable.

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Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.