In recent times, the whole tech industry is mad about the 4k hype and offering their 4k products to the consumers. Tv or Monitor – 4k displays enhance your gaming or watching experience and surely worth buying.

But these displays need compatible cables to get the full potential out of it. That’s why we have researched and decided to write this article for you to inform what cable to use for 4k monitor? Without further ado, let’s get the answer in detail.

The Cable Options: (VGA vs. Display Port vs. HDMI vs. USB Type C)

First thing first, before connecting any specific cables to your 4k monitor, let’s know what are the available cable options out there.

VGA Cable:

These are the oldest ones in this list and only carries only video signal. Besides, these cables provide noticeably lower video quality.

VGA cables work by converting analog to digital signals. As newer display devices work by digital signals, the process becomes a two-step conversion. There is some missing information when you connect the VGA cable to your 4k monitors. As a result, you will get lower video quality and some input lags. Besides, you will not get any audio output with a VGA cable.

In a word, These cables are not for high fps and high-resolution displays. If your device has got VGA ports, you are limited to 1080p outputs.

Display Cable:

Display ports have been very popular amongst PC enthusiasts for years. Rather than commonly used in TV or other electronic appliances, the ports are mostly found in modern graphic cards and high-configuration laptops.

The DisplayPort 1.4 is capable of handling up to 8K resolution at 60fps in 10-bit color with display stream compression (DSC). They can also pass audio signals. Besides, these cables support AMD freesync or Nvidia’s G-sync, which helps you get a better gaming experience on PCs.

Display cables support metadata for showing HDR content on your monitor. However, the Display port doesn’t get any kind of Ethernet support that makes HDMI superior to this one. This is the reason why the use of display cables is limited to computers to monitor connections.

Check out our top recommended best DisplayPort cable.

HDMI Cable:

These ports are almost similar to the display ports but have a few more features. First of all, HDMI ports and cables are capable of correct bandwidth and for high-speed data connections. If you are a streamer or used to play high fps games or games where a fraction of latency is an issue, these cables are for you.

However, these cables have limitations too. If your display has HDMI 1.4 connection, you will get the max resolution of 3820 x 2160P at 30 fps. So, if you have an older HDMI cable and got a new 4k monitor, you will be limited to 30 fps.

All modern monitors and TVs have an HDMI port. Besides, HDMI cables are cheap and is easy to use. If you have a display port in your device, however, you can connect to 4k monitor through DisplayPort to HDMI connector.

USB Type C:

Most USB-C ports are made on the second-generation USB 3.1. Theoretically, this cable transfers data up to 10Gbps. These cables are ideal for Laptop owners who want to use a 4k monitor as an extended display. As most of the modern laptops have USB Type C ports, a USB type c cable is one of the main reasons to choose. However, the monitor you’ve purchased need to have this port as well.

What Cable To Use For 4k Monitor?

In the beginning, people generally use a VGA port to connect their personal computer to a tv or monitor. But technology gets advanced, and now we have HDMI and USB C ports on most of the devices. So, it’s a little bit confusing that which is the best cable for 4k monitor! Let’s now clear out all the confusion regarding the fact below.

In terms of 4k gaming, the cable depends on the hardware you’ve already own or opt to purchase. If you own Nvidia GPU, DP 1.4 would be the best for you. Or, if you are planning to buy the new GeForce RTX 3080 Graphics Card, HDMI 2.1 will be the best option for you.

In summary, Display Port 1.4 is better than HDMI 2.0, whereas HDMI 2.1 beats Display Port 1.4. However, in our study, DisplayPort 2.0 should outdo HDMI 2.1.

If you’ve own AMD GPU and already have an HDMI cable, there is good news for you as there are lots of cheap Freesync monitors with HDMI available in the market right now. With the high-quality HDMI cable, you can get very good bandwidth (up to 18Gbps) and a higher frame per second at 4k or 8k.

Whereas if you have a DP port, you can also use a 4k monitor and get the full potential of it. But you won’t get full potential comparing to HDMI if you have an AMD card. However, in general, both of the cables are perfectly compatible with 4k monitors. Period.

Learn more: How to know if your monitor is 4k?

Faqurently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which cable is best for 4k monitor?

Both the DP 1.4 or higher version and HDMI cable are best for 4k monitor.

What cable is needed to connect a laptop to a monitor?

In general, an HDMI cable is needed to connect a laptop to a monitor. If you have other port in your device, you can use a VGA to HDMI or DisplayPort to HDMI cable.

Will a 4k HDMI cable improve picture quality?

Definitely yes. A 4k HDMI cable is recommended for 4k displays.

Does Mini DP support 4k?

No, it does not. Mini DisplayPort supports resolution up to (WQXGA)

Is USB Type C better than HDMI?

USB-C cables can carry more power, but in terms of display output, HDMI is the better option till now.


By far, we hope you have your answer to the question – what cable to use for 4k monitor. No matter what cable you choose, you should ensure that you go into your monitor’s settings (OSD) to set the DP (Display) version to 1.2 (or higher) or HDMI 2.0 (or higher), and finally, check if the graphics card settings are configured the higher refresh rate.

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Team Everything4K is a bunch of tech enthusiasts and researchers. The team is very interested in the relevant hardware and explain in such a way that reader can get the best experience of playing games in a 4K setup. You know that 4K is the future of display technology. And the credit of explaining rough and tough tech terms easily goes to Team Everything4K.

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