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Can Mini DisplayPort Do 144 Hz?


Alongside HDMI, DisplayPort helped with the relatively successful phasing of older audio-video interfaces, such as DVI and VGA. Though not as widespread as HDMI, the VESA interface undoubtedly has its legion of fans.

DisplayPort may not be as standard in televisions and other home entertainment devices as HDMI. But the fact that it has established itself in the computer and related hardware space is not open to dispute.

HDMI exists in the computing space too, but people who know the technical side of video playback would most likely pick DisplayPort over HDMI if given the option.

However, the rub with DisplayPort is that it has a bigger physical footprint. That prompted Apple to develop a smaller DisplayPort, called the Mini DisplayPort.  

But did the size shrinkage of Apple’s proprietary interface mean a fall in capabilities or performance?

In other words, can Mini DisplayPort do 144 Hz the way regular DisplayPort can? 

Let’s find that out and more.

Mini DisplayPort: A Short Overview

Cable Matters 4K Mini DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort Cable
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As mentioned above, the Mini DisplayPort is a less common, miniaturized variant of the DisplayPort interface. It is the regular DisplayPort lessened to incorporate a different connector shape and size.

Mini DP first showed up in Apple computers in 2008. By 2013, the port turned into a standard feature in all Macintosh computers.

Apple came up with the proprietary port to support the VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) protocol.

Apple was previously using VGA and DVI connectors on its computing devices.

But because those connectors were a bit too large for their ultrathin notebooks (the MacBook Air, for instance), the Cupertino firm had to invent the Mini DisplayPort.  

A year later, in 2009, VESA incorporated the mini connector into its DisplayPort 1.2 specification.

After that, other companies, such as Toshiba, HP, Dell, Microsoft, Lenovo, and MSI, featured the Mini DisplayPort in their devices — such as video cards, motherboards, and, of course, notebooks.

Can You Run 144 Hz on Mini DisplayPort?

You can undoubtedly run 144 Hz on Mini DisplayPort. However, the resolution would max out at 2K.

That’s because DisplayPort 2.0, which supports 4K at a 144 Hz refresh rate, hasn’t become mainstream or the common standard yet.

In other words, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Mini DP cable based on the DisplayPort 2.0 standard.

If you need 4K video resolution, the refresh rate must come down to 60 Hz — whether you use a Mini DP to Mini DP cable or Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cord.

By the way, here are a couple of our Mini DP to Mini DP cables for your shopping consideration:

  • UseBean Mini DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort 15ft Cable
  • iVanky Mini DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort Cable 6.6ft Cable
Mini Displayport to Mini Displayport Cable 15FT, (Not Thunderbolt 2) 4K 60Hz Mini Display Port to Mini DP Cord, for MacBook Pro/Air,iMac,Microsoft...
Mini DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort Cable, 4K 60Hz Mini DP Cable iVANKY Mini Display Port Cable 2M/6.6ft, Grey, Compatible with MacBook Pro/Air....
Mini Displayport to Mini Displayport Cable 15FT, (Not Thunderbolt 2) 4K 60Hz Mini Display Port to Mini DP Cord, for MacBook Pro/Air,iMac,Microsoft...
Mini DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort Cable, 4K 60Hz Mini DP Cable iVANKY Mini Display Port Cable 2M/6.6ft, Grey, Compatible with MacBook Pro/Air....
Mini Displayport to Mini Displayport Cable 15FT, (Not Thunderbolt 2) 4K 60Hz Mini Display Port to Mini DP Cord, for MacBook Pro/Air,iMac,Microsoft...
Mini Displayport to Mini Displayport Cable 15FT, (Not Thunderbolt 2) 4K 60Hz Mini Display Port to Mini DP Cord, for MacBook Pro/Air,iMac,Microsoft...
Mini DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort Cable, 4K 60Hz Mini DP Cable iVANKY Mini Display Port Cable 2M/6.6ft, Grey, Compatible with MacBook Pro/Air....
Mini DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort Cable, 4K 60Hz Mini DP Cable iVANKY Mini Display Port Cable 2M/6.6ft, Grey, Compatible with MacBook Pro/Air....

The following are some excellent Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cables, also for your perusal:

  • Monoprice 115888 Mini DisplayPort 1.2 to DisplayPort 1.5ft Cable
  • Benfei Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort 6ft Cable
Monoprice 115888 Mini DisplayPort 1.2 to DisplayPort Cable - 1.5 Feet, 4K Capable, Supports 3D Video - Select Series Black
Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort Cable, BENFEI Mini DP(Thunderbolt Compatible) to DP 6 Feet Cable (Male to Male) Gold-Plated Cord, Supports Supports...
Monoprice 115888 Mini DisplayPort 1.2 to DisplayPort Cable - 1.5 Feet, 4K Capable, Supports 3D Video - Select Series Black
Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort Cable, BENFEI Mini DP(Thunderbolt Compatible) to DP 6 Feet Cable (Male to Male) Gold-Plated Cord, Supports Supports...
Monoprice 115888 Mini DisplayPort 1.2 to DisplayPort Cable - 1.5 Feet, 4K Capable, Supports 3D Video - Select Series Black
Monoprice 115888 Mini DisplayPort 1.2 to DisplayPort Cable - 1.5 Feet, 4K Capable, Supports 3D Video - Select Series Black
Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort Cable, BENFEI Mini DP(Thunderbolt Compatible) to DP 6 Feet Cable (Male to Male) Gold-Plated Cord, Supports Supports...
Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort Cable, BENFEI Mini DP(Thunderbolt Compatible) to DP 6 Feet Cable (Male to Male) Gold-Plated Cord, Supports Supports...
  • Moread Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort 6ft Cable
  • Upgrow Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort 6ft Cable
Moread Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort Cable, 6 Feet, Gold-Plated DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort (4K@60Hz, 2K@144Hz) Mini DP to DP Display Cable -...
UPGROW Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort Mini DP to DP Cable 6 ft 4K@60Hz Nylon Braid DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort(Thunderbolt Compatible) Cable
Moread Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort Cable, 6 Feet, Gold-Plated DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort (4K@60Hz, 2K@144Hz) Mini DP to DP Display Cable -...
UPGROW Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort Mini DP to DP Cable 6 ft 4K@60Hz Nylon Braid DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort(Thunderbolt Compatible) Cable
Moread Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort Cable, 6 Feet, Gold-Plated DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort (4K@60Hz, 2K@144Hz) Mini DP to DP Display Cable -...
Moread Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort Cable, 6 Feet, Gold-Plated DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort (4K@60Hz, 2K@144Hz) Mini DP to DP Display Cable -...
UPGROW Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort Mini DP to DP Cable 6 ft 4K@60Hz Nylon Braid DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort(Thunderbolt Compatible) Cable
UPGROW Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort Mini DP to DP Cable 6 ft 4K@60Hz Nylon Braid DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort(Thunderbolt Compatible) Cable

Ensure your display device supports those refresh rates before checking if the Mini DisplayPort cable can do 144 Hz output.

If your monitor is natively capable of only 60 or 120 refreshes per second, the Mini DP’s 144 Hz prowess would not be of much use.

Does Mini DisplayPort Support 165 Hz, 240 Hz?

Mini DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort Cable
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Since Mini DisplayPort is essentially DisplayPort in a smaller package, it can do 165 Hz and even 240 Hz video output.

Mini DP 1.2, for instance, does 1080p at 240 Hz. The video resolution increases with later DP versions, such as 1.3 and 1.4, keeping the 240 Hz refresh rate intact.

DisplayPort 2.0 can do 1080p at 360 Hz. Since Mini DP is the smaller but equally capable sibling of DisplayPort, the maximum refresh rate the mini digital interface can technically achieve is 360 Hz.  

Can DisplayPort Do 144 Hz?

Amazon Basics DisplayPort to DisplayPort 1.2 Cable
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DisplayPort can certainly do 144 Hz if you’re not talking about the interface’s very first version.

Here is a table listing out the various DisplayPort versions and the bandwidth and video output they’re capable of:

VersionMax. BandwidthMax. Resolution
1.0 to 1.110.8 Gbps4K/ 30 Hz; 2K/ 60 Hz
1.217.28 Gbps4K/ 60 Hz; 2K/ 144 Hz;

1080p/ 240 Hz

1.332.4 Gbps5K/ 60 Hz; 8K/ 30 Hz
1.432.4 Gbps8K/ 60 Hz (10-bit color);

4K/ 120 Hz; 2K & 1080p/ 240 Hz

2.080 Gbps16K/ 60 Hz; 8K/ 120 Hz;

4K/ 144 Hz;

Notes:

  • DisplayPort 1.4 and 1.3 have the same maximum total bandwidth based on an identical four-lane structure.
  • 10-bit color plays a key role in generating HDR (high dynamic range) content.

Why Does a Mini DisplayPort Exist?

 

Cable Matters 4K Mini DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort Cable
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How is a Mini DisplayPort different from a standard DisplayPort?

Is there any inherent advantage to a Mini DP?

Does it do anything that a regular DisplayPort cannot accomplish?

The word “mini” doesn’t imply the signal Mini DP passes through is weaker than traditional DisplayPort.

In other words, a Mini DP to Mini DP cable or a Mini DP to DisplayPort cable accomplishes the same thing.

More than the cable or connector types themselves, the devices they’re connected to ascertain the actual performance or final output.

Are Mini DisplayPort and Thunderbolt the Same?

In 2011, in collaboration with Intel, Apple announced Thunderbolt, a Mini DisplayPort successor. It debuted in 2011’s family of MacBook Pro laptops.

You can use the interface with displays that use a Mini DisplayPort cable for a connection. Thunderbolt has the same shape as Mini DisplayPort, but it uses different signs on the port and cable.

However, one cannot deny that Mini DP laid the base for Thunderbolt’s interface.

VESA licensed Mini DP from Apple, which resulted in the mini digital interface showing up on Windows laptops and tablets made by Dell, HP, Lenovo, Asus, and other manufacturers.

Mini DisplayPort or DisplayPort: Which One Should You Choose?

DisplayPort cables

As mentioned earlier, DP and Mini DP are identical in their technical capabilities.

Therefore, it’s up to you which one you go for. If you’re not able to pick one, do a toss-up, maybe.

Having said that, since DisplayPort is a lot more common interface than Mini DP, preferring regular DisplayPort over the smaller version may seem fitting.

But then, since you’ve got adapters making the conversions or letting you plug in a Mini DP connector into a regular DisplayPort, things are even-stevens again.  

By the way, here are a couple of such adapters for your consideration:

StarTech.com 6in (15cm) DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort Cable - 4K x 2K UHD Video - DisplayPort Male to Mini DisplayPort Female Adapter Cable - DP to...
Rankie Mini DisplayPort (Mini DP) (Thunderbolt) to HDMI Adapter (Black)
StarTech.com 6in (15cm) DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort Cable - 4K x 2K UHD Video - DisplayPort Male to Mini DisplayPort Female Adapter Cable - DP to...
Rankie Mini DisplayPort (Mini DP) (Thunderbolt) to HDMI Adapter (Black)
StarTech.com 6in (15cm) DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort Cable - 4K x 2K UHD Video - DisplayPort Male to Mini DisplayPort Female Adapter Cable - DP to...
StarTech.com 6in (15cm) DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort Cable - 4K x 2K UHD Video - DisplayPort Male to Mini DisplayPort Female Adapter Cable - DP to...
Rankie Mini DisplayPort (Mini DP) (Thunderbolt) to HDMI Adapter (Black)
Rankie Mini DisplayPort (Mini DP) (Thunderbolt) to HDMI Adapter (Black)
  • StarTech DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort Cable
  • Rankie Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort Adapter

Conclusion

The Mini DP might seem like a dumbed-down or sub-par version of the more powerful interface to someone unfamiliar with DisplayPort and its smaller sibling.

If you had similar thoughts, too, you know now there are pretty much no technical differences between the two.

If the smaller interface seems to limit specific applications or is not up to snuff, you can always use Mini DP to DP cables or adapters to good effect.

Last update on 2022-08-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.


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