There are a lot of reasons why a DisplayPort connector could get hot. First, you must understand why it would get hot.
The DisplayPort on your computer is on the graphics processing unit. The GPU accelerates image rendering or other tasks that require intense processing, such as video editing, machine learning, and playing video games.
The GPU gets hot when it is processing a heavy load. But there are solutions in place that can help lighten the load, such as a heatsink, thermal paste, fan, and ventilation that prevent it from overheating. In most cases, your DisplayPort plug gets hot because the GPU it is connected to has also increased temperature.
Another reason is when the vents are located at the back of the GPU, where the display ports are. When the fan blows the hot air out to cool the GPU, the hot air gets directed to the DisplayPort plug, which makes the plug feel hot.
In extreme cases, the DisplayPort cable is defective. It is common in really cheap cables. Although these off-brand cables are appealing because of their very low prices, they may not be manufactured up to code. This will result in the DisplayPort plug overheating even if the GPU operates at normal levels.
If the cable is too hot, you may notice some bulging on the DisplayPort plug. It would be wise to no longer use it because this can damage your GPU or monitor.
Can a DisplayPort Cable Go Bad?
DisplayPort cables are built to endure digital load as well as some external stresses. So with normal use, a DisplayPort cable will rarely go bad.
But we need to remember that not all DisplayPort cables are created equal. On the one hand we have the high-quality cables certified by the Video Electronics Standards Association, or VESA and on the other hand, we have the low-cost, off-brand cables.
As you might expect, although you can get them at much better deals, these off-brand cables are much more likely to go bad.
One of the biggest issues on cheaper off-brand DisplayPort cables is that they overlook one very important feature on the connection pins.
VESA certified DisplayPort cables have 20 connection pins but only 19 of those are live. The 20th pin isn’t connected and doesn’t have electricity running through it when the cable is in use.
Low-cost manufacturers overlook this, thus creating a cable with a live 20th pin. This is what causes problems like overheating, or worse, damaging a computer’s GPU.
How Do I Know If My Displayport is Bad?
As we’ve mentioned, if your DisplayPort cable is VESA-certified, there is a slim chance that it will go bad with normal use. So if you’re experiencing display issues while using a certified product, make sure to check if your other components are working before assuming your DisplayPort is bad.
VESA has a database for all of its certified products here. Click on the Cables & Adapters sections to see the extensive list of cables that are VESA-certified.
If you’re using a non-VESA-certified cable, however, there are a few tell-tale signs that your DisplayPort cable is bad and should be replaced:
- DisplayPort link failure
- Flickering display
- Low refresh rate
- Cable heats up when in use
If you’re experiencing any of these, you should immediately stop using the cable and replace it with a VESA-certified one. If you insist on using your faulty cable, it can cause some serious damage to your other components.
How Do I Fix a Hot DisplayPort Cable?
If you have an off-brand DisplayPort Cable that is heating up without an outside heat source, unfortunately, the only solution we have for you is to replace the cable.
Attempting to salvage your faulty cable will only put a lot of risk on your more expensive components such as your GPU or monitor.
Is DisplayPort Hot-Pluggable?
Hot plugging is when you connect a device or peripheral to your computer without turning it off. Some examples of devices that can be hot-plugged include computer peripherals like the mouse and keyboard, USB or thumb drives, hard disk drives (HDD), and solid-state drives (SDD).
DisplayPort monitors are hot-pluggable. That means it is safe to plug your monitor into the PC even when devices are powered on.
The DisplayPort interface comes with the following features:
- Hot Plug Detection (HPD)
- Display Data Channel (DDC)
- Extended Display Identification Data (EDID)
These features ensure that the monitor will work when you hot-plug it.
In Hot Plug Detection or HPD, there is a single pin in the DisplayPort connector. If that makes contact with the port, it will begin the connection process.
For the Display Data Channel or DDC, the DisplayPort connector has an AUX Channel that serves as a medium for user data as well as transmits EDID and other information.
Meanwhile, the Extended Display Identification Data or EDID is the information transmitted from the display unit to the host unit or PC. The EDID contains the following information: manufacturer, maximum resolution, refresh rate, color spaces, and the serial number of the product.
Prevent Hotplug Detection Problems
In some cases, you may encounter a problem when you hotplug your DisplayPort monitor on your PC. You may not have any signal at all, or it won’t display anything. This usually happens when your monitor sleeps during the process, and with your monitor sleeping, it may be interpreted as being turned off.
To prevent this, you can either disable the Hot Plug Detection on your monitor or disable it HPD from your PC display settings.
To prevent your DisplayPort from getting hot, be sure to use VESA-certified cables. These cables will ensure that the twentieth pin on the DisplayPort is not wired, and this will prevent it from overheating and damaging the device that you will connect to it.
Purchasing the right kind of DisplayPort will save you money in the future as the risk of damaging your GPU or monitor will be reduced.
Vance is a dad, former software engineer, and tech lover. Knowing how a computer works becomes handy when he builds Pointer Clicker. His quest is to make tech more accessible for non-techie users. When not working with his team, you can find him caring for his son and gaming.