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Can DisplayPort Cable Cause Stuttering?


Gaming and watching movies on projectors and other technologies are impressive.

But every new connected cable brings new possible problems. For example, some wires and display ports can cause stuttering when viewing your images.

But first, we must answer a few basic questions in case you’re wondering what a DisplayPort is and what stuttering is. We’ll also tackle how to solve stuttering when using a DisplayPort.

So, if you’re here because you want to know if DisplayPort causes stuttering, it appears that, yes, it can. However, to answer the issue correctly, we’ll have to go in-depth to give you a bigger picture of what’s happening.

Let’s continue unraveling this dilemma.

Can DisplayPort Cable Cause Stuttering?

A Close-up of displayport cable on blue background

A DisplayPort or DP is a cable that is significantly better than an HDMI cable. That’s because a DisplayPort 1.4 has a bandwidth that maxes out at 32.4 Gbps, which gives users impressive resolution at a faster frame rate potential. 

Suppose you compare a DisplayPort to an HDMI cable. In that case, you’ll notice that HDMI cables of the latest quality that use high-speed internet on a device with 4K resolution will give you a maximum of 18 Gbps.

That’s about half the bandwidth of a DisplayPort. That’s why users are switching to DPs these days.

Although DP technology is better than HDMI, it begs the question, does DisplayPort cable cause stuttering? In many cases, yes, it does.

However, some users suggest that it’s not the DP technology causing the stuttering. Users seem to indicate that a faulty DP is the root cause, while others say it’s a compatibility issue.

Let’s break it down to see the overall picture.

How Do You Know if You Have a Faulty DisplayPort?

If you’ve got a monitor that can do a maximum refresh rate of 60 Hz, but the GPU powering it does frames at the 90 or 120 Hz rate, you’d experience “screen tearing”. Screen tearing is a GPU or the content pushing a frame before a monitor is done refreshing the previous frame. If the monitor refreshes more frequently than the GPU could handle, that shall lead to “screen stuttering”. AMD’s FreeSync helps address them both. It’s adaptive technology that syncs the GPU’s rendering abilities to the screen’s refresh rate, negating tears and stuttering. FreeSync is a hardware-software implementation. It may require specific displays and video cards to work. Does that mean FreeSync has specific digital interface requirements too? Does it work only over DisplayPort and not HDMI? Or is it the opposite? Continue to read to know the answers and more. Does FreeSync Work with DisplayPort? Introduced in 2014, FreeSync works with DisplayPort—and that includes all the three tiers of the AMD refresh rate tech: FreeSync, FreeSync Premium, and FreeSync Premium Pro. The DisplayPort 1.2a specification added variable refresh rate (VRR) support in 2014, which FreeSync uses for its operation. (More on AMD FreeSync implementation later) FreeSync was first exhibited on a Toshiba laptop at CES 2014 using the PSR (panel self-refresh) feature on the embedded DisplayPort. Do You Need DisplayPort for FreeSync? Unlike NVIDIA’s comparable offering, G-SYNC, which supports only DisplayPort, FreeSync works with DisplayPort and HDMI. Therefore, you don’t “need” DisplayPort for FreeSync to work. As mentioned above, FreeSync is a technology built over DisplayPort 1.2a’s Adaptive-Sync (DPAS) specification. DPAS was not designed to be used over other digital interfaces. However, unlike NVIDIA, AMD made efforts to bring the variable refresh tech to HDMI. AMD Embracing HDMI With FreeSync At Computex 2015, AMD exhibited a prototype monitor that ran FreeSync over HDMI. The Radeon R9 290X graphics card powered the monitor. The monitor also had a Realtek TCON non-custom controller. The setup needed custom AMD drivers and Realtek firmware since FreeSync was not built into HDMI yet. The initiative to bake variable refresh rates into HDMI resulted in the technology appearing in inexpensive displays. Several FreeSync-certified monitors and TVs supporting VRR technologies over HDMI have been released over the years since then. Long story short, AMD democratized FreeSync tech, or it made Adaptive Sync-based FreeSync accessible to a lot more users or gamers who rocked or continue to use cheaper monitors. Besides that, AMD doesn’t charge licensing fees to monitor or TV manufacturers. There aren’t proprietary or expensive hardware modules needed for the technology to work either. Does FreeSync Work Better with HDMI or DisplayPort? Both DisplayPort and HDMI support FreeSync. But if you could choose between DisplayPort and HDMI for gaming, always opt for the latter since it’s usually a step ahead of HDMI. DisplayPort 1.4 is better on paper than HDMI 2.0, its competing standard. It can do 8K videos at a rate of up to 120 Hz. DP 1.4, on the other hand, can manage 8K content at a maximum of 30 Hz refresh rate. The increased bandwidth, refresh rate, and resolution make FreeSync a better experience over the VESA interface than HDMI. Not to mention, FreeSync started its journey with DisplayPort. The latest HDMI 2.1 surpasses DP 1.4, but it isn’t as widely available on compatible devices yet. Most (as of January 2022) still come with HDMI 2.0 ports. And by the time HDMI 2.1 becomes a lot more widespread, DisplayPort 2.0 (which was announced in June 2019) would have spread its wings too, trumping HDMI at its game once again. FreeSync’s Other Hardware Requirements As mentioned before, FreeSync doesn’t work with all GPUs and monitors. It requires more than just a compatible digital interface to do its work. The following are its specific hardware needs: AMD Radeon GPUs If your GPU is not AMD, the option to enable FreeSync its settings will not be there. You’ll need a video card that supports the feature, such as the MSI Gaming AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT Graphics Card. All AMD Radeon video cards support the feature, beginning with the Radeon RX 200 Series. Moreover, any laptop with RX 500-series graphics would support FreeSync-certified external monitors. If not for a compatible AMD GPU, your build must at least have an APU (accelerated processing unit), which is AMD’s interpretation of a CPU/GPU amalgam that can do both CPU and GPU tasks while being cost- and power-efficient. All AMD Ryzen APUs are FreeSync-compatible. According to AMD, video cards supporting DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync, such as the GeForce Series 10 and above, should also work with FreeSync. NVIDIA graphics cards support FreeSync using the G-Sync compatible tag. FreeSync-Certified Monitors/TVs You’d also need a compatible TV or monitor supporting VESA’s Adaptive Sync. As mentioned earlier, FreeSync is VESA’s version of adaptive synchronization. NVIDIA’s G-Sync too uses VESA’s Adaptive Sync communications protocol. The AMD tech enables dialogue between the scaler board fitted in an Adaptive-Sync display and the Radeon GPU. The off-the-shelf board handles all the processing, backlight control, rendering, etc. What does it take for a display to be FreeSync-certified? The monitor/television must clear all AMD testing processes. The devices are checked for the support range for Adaptive Sync, color range, brightness, and more. All brands – Samsung, LG, Asus, Acer, AOC, etc. – make FreeSync-certified monitors. Here are some we recommend for your shopping convenience: LG 27GN800-B Ultragear 27” QHD Gaming Monitor Sceptre Curved 27” Gaming Monitor GIGABYTE M27Q 27” Gaming Monitor Samsung Odyssey G7 Series 27” WQHD Gaming Monitor Some FreeSync displays may work only within a specific frame rate range. Therefore, based on the game, the frame rate may be limited to remain within that threshold. The pre-defined range will be mentioned in the FreeSync plate so that you can check to confirm things. Televisions that are FreeSync-certified can pair with the latest Xboxes (Xbox One X/S support FreeSync) to offer the function. Activate your TV’s FreeSync feature by turning on the Game Mode option in the Settings menu. The following are some FreeSync-certified TVs to pair with your Xbox One X/S: Samsung Q900RBFXZA 75” 8K Smart TV LG OLED77B1PUA 77” 4K Smart TV Samsung Q90 Series 65” Smart TV Kindly note, there aren’t many FreeSync-supported televisions. You’ll be hard-pressed to find options better than the above. Besides the hardware mentioned above, you’ll also require compatible DisplayPort or HDMI cables, which should typically come bundled in with your FreeSync-compatible monitors or televisions. Conclusion To conclude, FreeSync can significantly boost your gaming experience. However, it comes in handy only when you need it. The AMD tech will not make its presence felt with titles that do not require significant graphics power. If you’re playing a graphically intensive title instead, even a robust gaming computer may only render 40 to 50 fps on average, below your monitor’s native refresh rate. By throwing FreeSync into the mix, you enable the monitor to scale down or up to match the frame rates. Just stay reminded that a FreeSync-certified monitor is only one piece of the puzzle. You need compatible video cards, APUs, and cables to work in unison to offer a gaming experience without any stutter and tearing.

There are many red flags you’ll catch if a DisplayPort is faulty. For starters, the quality of the cable matters as well. Therefore, if you purchased a bargain brand from Amazon, the likelihood that it’s good quality is not high.

In the following paragraphs, we’ll walk you through some quality specifications you should look out for and those red flags that tell you if your DP is faulty.

If you’ve purchased a cable, and you’ve started having issues, it’s most likely the cable you bought that’s causing the problem.

A bad-quality DP cable often displays images at a lower refresh rate.

Considering you’ve purchased this technology to improve your refresh rate, this is the opposite of what you want. It might also limit your ability to increase the refresh rate manually.

Another sign that the cable is bad is stuttering or flickering. Although stuttering is a common issue, rest assured that it’s not your computer or projector. It’s most likely the cable. 

If you’re experiencing link failures, realize that your cable is the root cause of this.

Unfortunately, many people don’t realize it’s the cable itself causing the problems. If that happens, try connecting an HDMI cable as a test. Usually, this stops the stuttering once and for all.

So, if the cable is causing the problem, how do we fix it?

In the following paragraphs, we’ll walk you through a few things you can do to avoid stuttering.

How to Solve Stuttering When Using DisplayPort?

A close-up of black display port cable on a white table

Now, you’ve realized the cable you purchased is the culprit of your stutter. Is there anything you can do to avoid this?

Yes. Here is a small yet straightforward guide to getting the best quality DisplayPort cable to ensure it doesn’t cause stuttering.

When purchasing a DisplayPort, the first thing to consider is to ensure your cable is VESA certified. This gives it the seal of quality. If you’re interested in learning about products and devices that are VESA certified, check out this website for more information.

Next, remember to purchase a short cable. That’s because a long cable doesn’t sustain the signal throughout the cable, resulting in worse quality than expected.

Ideally, your cable should be under three feet (three meters) long, and closer to 3 feet (one meter).

Some computer monitors and other electronics come with DP cables. However, they’re often cheaply made, and most of the time, they’re not certified. It’s better to purchase your own.

If you’re interested in purchasing one, many users recommend the Accell VESA-Certified DisplayPort 1.2 . Or, if you’re connecting to mDP-to-DP, the Accell MDP to DP 1.2  VESA-Certified Mini DisplayPort is best.

Therefore, solving stuttering issues involving a DP cable is to avoid a low-quality cable altogether.

Can a Bad DP Cable Affect FPS?

To answer the question above, we first must ensure we don’t confuse refresh rate and FPS ( frames per second). 

Many people believe they’re the same thing, and we want to make sure to give you the best answer that’s clear to understand.

What is “frames per second”?

frames per second on a computer

A “frame” refers to the number of times a still image is shown consecutively. Each still image is called a frame. This applies to film, animation, video games, TV shows, and computer devices.

Therefore, “frame rate” refers to the number of times new frames are shown. Usually referred to how many times a frame is shown per second on your device.

In other words, the more frames per second, the better and smoother your viewing experience is.

Although we should remember that the monitor alone does not determine FPS, it’s determined by your software, media, CPU, and graphics card.

Now that we know what FPS is, how is refresh rate different? Continue reading to find out.

What is refresh rate?

A full monitor set up

The refresh rate is different than FPS. Refresh rate has more to do with the monitor and display hardware you’re using.

Therefore, you can directly conclude that refresh rate is the number of times your monitor (or display hardware) is refreshed. Another thing to keep in mind is that refresh rate is expressed as hertz (Hz).

Purchasing a monitor with a high refresh rate is always better.

Now that we have that out of the way, we can answer the question at hand: can a bad DP cable affect the FPS?

As we saw in the above paragraphs, a bad DP cable will affect the refresh rate. However, because a DP cable functions as a link between your graphics card and your monitor only, it will not affect the frames per second.

No More Stuttering

A man using a 4K monitor

We hope you learned that a DisplayPort cable stutter depends on the quality of the purchase.

Therefore, a cheap and inexpensive cable will cause stuttering. However, a higher-quality cable that is VESA certified will give you that new image you’re looking for.

However, we also hope you learned a few things about avoiding stuttering and how to purchase a good cable.

Now let’s make sure we take into account all the things we learned and plug our machines in so that we can have some fun.

Last update on 2022-08-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.


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