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5 Signs & Symptoms of Bad DisplayPort Cables

5 Signs & Symptoms of Bad DisplayPort Cables

When it comes to audio and video connections, especially high-resolution media consumption and liquid-smooth gaming, DisplayPort Cables are easily the standard. 

Following the rise of HDMI, DisplayPort cables can carry high-quality video and audio data from a PC to a monitor, making it essential for fast-paced gaming and the like.

The recent iteration has a high bandwidth of 32.40Gbps, allowing  1080p resolution with a 240Hz refresh rate or 8K resolution with a 60Hz refresh rate. This means silky smooth gameplay with no stuttering or framerate drops for gamers. 

That said, cable quality still matters when choosing a DisplayPort cable for your setup, and there are cases when you may, unfortunately, have a bad one. 

Of course, this ultimately boils down to whether a DisplayPort cable has passed the VESA DisplayPort certification test, as this international nonprofit group owns and develops the specs for it.

Simply put, a non-VESA-certified DisplayPort cable comes with no guarantees that it will work the way you want it to be, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. However, there are still some signs and red flags you can look out for. 

So, what are the signs and symptoms of bad DisplayPort Cables? In this article, we’ll go over each one to help you make an informed decision. 

Let’s begin. 

1. Lock You Into a Low Refresh Rate

First and foremost, your refresh rate is affected. 

According to Digital Trends, DisplayPort 2.0 can reach a max supported refresh rate of 240Hz when using 1080p resolution. This is why the cable is preferred by gamers in today’s market. 

When it comes to fast-paced video games like competitive shooters, this refresh rate is incredibly important, as it directly affects how you can make split-second game decisions. 

Unfortunately, a bad DisplayPort cable will limit your ability to do so, as plenty of them often lock you at a lower refresh rate, therefore leading to slower gameplay. For example, you may only reach 60Hz, or even less, depending on how poor the quality of your cable is. 

Keep in mind that DisplayPort cable length matters too, with the maximum recommended length at only 6 feet (or around 1.8 meters). This means that using a lengthy poor quality cable can affect your monitor’s refresh rate, no matter how good it is. 

2. Cause DisplayPort Link Failures 

bad displayport

Another common problem from using a poor quality DisplayPort Cable is linking failures. 

Essentially, DisplayPort cables work by carrying electric audio and data signals from your GPU to your monitor, which is why they’re recommended for use with high-end GPUs. 

By contrast, a bad (or even damaged) DisplayPort cable might have problems doing this specific function, either because the monitor connection or GPU connection is bad. In some cases, your monitor or GPU might not even be able to recognize if there’s a cable connected in the first place. 

This type of issue is also experienced in other types of faulty cables. 

3. Cause Display Flashing and Flickering

flickering screen

Of course, a faulty or bad DisplayPort cable that’s giving you link failures will also show its shortcomings on your monitor. 

This can be in the form of display flashing or flickering, which is annoying at best and can hurt your eyes at its worst. In fact, it’s well known that overexposure to flickering monitors can lead to eye strain, macular degeneration, or even loss of vision. 

Furthermore, the inconsistent and disrupted video feed that causes the flickering can also potentially damage the monitor itself, which is something that no one wants to happen.

4. Cause Bad Colors or Image Distortion 

image distortion

Unfortunately, the visual effects of a bad DisplayPort cable aren’t limited to just flickering and flashing, it can also end up distorting the images on your screen or cause bad colors. 

When this happens, the image quality of your monitor will significantly decrease. This negatively affects the whole experience, especially if you’re in the middle of a game. 

In some cases, it may also show random text on the screen, a common issue that many think is a glitch in their monitors or GPUs when it’s just a faulty or poor-quality cable. 

Left alone, this can also potentially damage the pixels in your monitor in the long term.  

5. Limit Or Stop Your Ability to Overclock Your Scaler to a Higher Refresh Rate

limit to higher resolution

Last but not least, a poor DisplayPort cable may severely limit your monitor’s ability to reach higher resolutions.

You may find that while your GPU is perfectly capable of reaching 4K, for example, you’ll be stuck at only 1080p or even lower. 

You may also find that you can’t overclock your scaler to a higher and smoother refresh rate, causing glitchy and laggy gameplay with lower FPS to boot. 

How to Choose the Right DisplayPort Cable?

Luckily, the issues listed above can easily be avoided by simply opting for a good DisplayPort cable. You’ll find that a good cable makes all the difference in the world.

But, just in case you need some assistance, there are a few things to keep in mind to help you make an informed purchase. 

First, make sure you only buy from well-known and reputable brands. When online shopping, opt for brands with high-quality reviews as well. 

When choosing adapters, avoid the “one-piece” variants as well, as these often don’t hold correctly. Instead, go for adapters with at least 3” to 6 of cable. 

Note that passive (normal) cables will also decrease in bandwidth the longer it is, but this shouldn’t be an issue as long as you buy ones 10 feet in length or less. 

Lastly, make sure you buy cables that are VESA-certified, as this ensures that the cable passes the board’s standards. This doesn’t necessarily mean buying expensive ones, however. 

A good DisplayPort cable is the Capshi 8K DP Cable , which supports 8K, Dynamic HDR10+, and is VESA-certified. It’s also built well and is VESA-certified for your assurance.

Another great example is the Rankie DisplayPort 1.4 . While it doesn’t support 8K, it still uses double-shielding for durability, supports Hi-Fi sound, and keeps a stable 4K resolution. 

The last example is the IVANKY DisplayPort 1.4 cable , one of the highest-rated cables on the market. Not only does it support 4K, but it can also handle 165Hz at 2K resolution.

It’s also built well, looks great, and remains affordable. 

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