Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the DisplayPort port on a Dell PC

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the DisplayPort port on a Dell PC

This article provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about the DPort (DisplayPort) port on a Dell PC

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Frequently Asked Questions


DPort Logo 1

DPort Logo 2

This article provides a reference on DPort (DisplayPort) ports on a Dell PC, by going over the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) by our end users and providing clear answers to each.

The questions vary from what the port looks like to how to troubleshoot them when something goes wrong.

I hope you find what you need below. If not, please contact your local support.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Note: Please click on the title of the section you want to open below, in order to see the contents.

What is an DPort port and What does it do?

A Port or Connector :

A Port or Connector on a Dell PC has either holes or a slot that matches the plug or device that you are connecting to the Port.

DPort (DisplayPort) :

Has been around for quite a while and is an industry standard that defines the cables, connectors and the communications protocols used as a digital display interface. DPort was designed to replace the VGA, DVI and FPD-Link connections, but was backwards compatible using various adapters.

Note: DPort is primarily used to connect a video source and a display device. It can also be used to carry audo, USB and other forms of data. This open industry standard was developed by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA).

How does it work?

Externally DisplayPort is a more robust connector and port that the old VGA, DVI connections. There are no thumbscrews to secure the plug and it's not as easy to bend pins in the end of the connector. DisplayPort is the first display interface to rely on packetised data transmission. This kind of communication is usually found in standards such as USB, Ethernet and PCI Express. The DisplayPort protocol is based on small micro packets, which by embedding the clock stream in the data stream - allows higher resolutions for fewer pins.

DisplayPort can be used to transmit video and audio at the same time, but you can transmit either on their own if you want. The video signal path can have six to sixteen bits per colour channel and the audio path can have up to eight channels of 24 bit uncompressed audio. This interface is capable of carrying bi-directional USB signals.

The DisplayPort connector can have one, two or four data pairs (lanes) in a Main link. The effective data transfer rates are 1.296, 2.16, 4.32 or 6.48 Gbit/s per lane (or 80% of the total).

What types of DPort port are in common use?

There are a number of types of DisplayPort port and connectors in use currently. Please select your version from the tabs below to see the available ports and plugs and what they can do :


DPort was developed to replace the old VGA and DVI standards and was widely adopted by all the manufacturers. The name simply means DisplayPort.

DisplayPort is backwards compatible with VGA and DVI through the use of the appropriate adapters.

The transfer rates depend on the version you are running as it has continued to be improved since it came out in May 2006.

Port DPort Port Plug DPort Plug

Mini DisplayPort

Mini DisplayPort came out in 2008 and was used primarily on Apple systems.

Mini DisplayPort took the standard connector and made it smaller. It is now being replaced with the new Thunderboly connector standard.

The transfer rates depend on the version you are running.

Port Mini DPort Plug Mini DPort Plug

Micro DisplayPort

Micro DisplayPort came out in 2014 and was used primarily on SmartPhone, Tablets and Ultrabook systems.

Micro DisplayPort took the mini connector and made it smaller again.

The transfer rates depend on the version you are running.

Type-C DisplayPort

Type-C DisplayPort came out in September 2014 and was based on the Type-C USB connector.

Type-C DisplayPort is the DisplayPort Alternate mode on USB Type-C connector standard

Type-C DisplayPort Proccess

The transfer rates are the same as USB 3.1 and includes power delivery (USB-PS 2.0) in the same port / connector.

Also Known As

There are a number of other companion standards to DisplayPort. There's DDM (Direct Drive Monitor), eDP (Embedded DisplayPort), iDP (Internal DisplayPort), PDMI (Portable Digital Media Interface), wDP (Wireless DisplayPort), SlimPort, MyDP (Mobility DisplayPort), DisplayID and DockPort. They are all variations of the DisplayPort connector for specialised uses.

What are the DisplayPort Versions?

The revisions chart the changes in the technology that made the port and speeds improve over time :

Version 1.0 to 1.1

Version 1.0 came out in May 2006, whilst Version 1.1 came out in April 2007.

DisplayPort 1.0 gives a maximum of 8.64 Gbit/s over a 2 meter cable, whilst DisplayPort 1.1 gives the same speed while adding the ability to allow devices to implement alternative link layer and allowing for much longer lengths between the source and display. It also included HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection.) in addition to DPCP (DisplayPort Content Protection).

Version 1.2

Version 1.2 came out in December 2009.

DisplayPort 1.2 doubled the rate to give a maximum of 17.28 Gbit/s for High Bit Rate 2 (HBR2) mode. There was improvements in resolution, referesh rates and colour depth. The new version also say multiple independant video streams (the ability to daisy-chain the connection to multiple screens), stereoscopic 3D, AUX channel synchronisation and this version was compatible with the mini DisplayPort connector and port.

Version 1.3

Version 1.3 came out September 2014.

DisplayPort 1.3 increased the rate to give a maximum of 32.4 Gbit/s for High Bit Rate 3 (HBR3) mode. This bandwidth allows for 5K displays (5120x2880 pixels) in RGB (Red, Green, Blue) mode and UHD (Ultra High Definition) 8K telivision displays (7680x4320, 16:9, 33.16 megapixels). The bandwidth also allows for two UHD monitors (3840x2160 pixels) in 24bit RGB, 4K stereo 3D display or combination thereof. The new standard deatils HDMI 2.0 compatibility mode with HDCP 2.2 content protection. It supports VESA display stream compression, which allows increased resolutions, colour depths and reduced power consumption.

DisplayPort versus HDMI?

A common question is which is better DisplayPort or HDMI, I'll go into their common categories and we'll see how they match up :

The connectors

The connectors between DisplayPort and HDMI are similar in range and reach. Mini DisplayPort is more prevalent on Apple devices, whilst the mini HDMI is seen more on SmartPhone and Tablet devices.

The cables

DisplayPort cables are pretty simple - there's one type of cable and it support all the current standards, but can't cover the same wide spread of capabilities like the HDMI cables. Length wise DisplayPort can have a regular 65 foot cable, for a fibre cable it can be hundreds of feet long. There are four (4) cable standards for HDMI, but they aren't often labelled correctly. Using a cable that isn't up to the job you want it to do, can be problematical. There is no maximum cable length defined for HDMI in it's standards, but depending on the cable type - they can carry out a wide variety of jobs. For simplicity DisplayPort wins, however for specialised multimedia jobs you'd go with the correct HDMI cable type.

Video and Audio Streams

DisplayPort interface can support from two screens (2560x1600 pixels) up to four (4) screens (1920x1200 pixels) with each screen receiving independent video and audio streams. With additional interfaces you can daisy-chain compatible monitors to have as many as Six (6) screens connected to one source. Whereas HDMI can handle a single video stream and a single audio stream, so it can only drive one display at a time. HDMI is fine for one screen, but if you want multiple screens - DisplayPort is the way to go.

The conclusion

DisplayPort was designed specifically for computers as the ultimate display interface to replace the older video standards - However it works more as a complement to HDMI that a replacement of it.

HDMI was designed for Home Entertainment - Home Theatres, projectors, Televisions, Blu-ray players and the like. For this environment HDMI is still the best.

HDMI has had the better uptake by manufacturers, so is the more ubiquitious standard commonly available.

The answer as to which is better - it depends on what you want to do with it. Home entertainment - stick to HDMI, Productivity/Business uses - consider what DisplayPort can do for you.

What Operating Systems support DPort ports?

So far there hasn't been a popular operating system that hasn't supported DisplayPort. Everything from Apple, Linux and Windows have support for these DisplayPort standards built into their operating systems from the base up.

How do I resolve an issue with a Device not detected or faulty on a DPort port?

Note: If you have Accidental Damage Cover, damage is specifically covered as part of the Accidental Damage package. We will need to know where the damage is and how it occurred when you contact your local Technical Support. If you DON'T have any cover or no Accidental Damage cover, then any repairs will be chargeable.

You can check your warranty status on the link below.

The first step is to check the ports, the connector and the cable for any wear and tear or damage that might be causing you problems :

  1. Checking for damage is very basic, it's looking at the DisplayPort port and visually checking if there are any:

    • Cracks in the plastics surrounding the port?
    • Any part of the port crimped or bent?
    • Any pins from inside the port bent or missing?
    • Any parts of the port missing or broken off?
    • Any damage to the devices male connector?
    • Any damage to the cable from the connector to the device?
  1. If you identify any of the above you will need to have in place a complete care warranty or be prepared for a chargeable repair call. (Your local Technical Support team will provide a quote for this repair.)

  2. If there is no damage to the port, the cabling or the external device then carry on with the next step.

  3. Does the external DisplayPort device and cabling work ok in another system?

    1. Yes, then proceed with the next step.

    2. No, then you will need to replace the external device or cable as appropriate.

  4. Plug the external device to the port using the cabling. If you move the connector whilst it's plugged into the DisplayPort port, does it affect whether the device is picked up or not?

    1. Yes, then contact your local Technical Support team to take the connection issue further.

    2. No, then proceed to the next step.

  5. Have you ruled out a software issue in any way? There are three basic ways to accomplish this.

    1. You can two way swap your HDD (Hard Disk Drive) with one from a similar working system and see if the fault follows the HDD to a new machine or if the issue stays with your system? Please follow your User Guide for instructions on removing any hardware parts as the steps change from system type to the system type or you can search on our support site using terms such as "your PCs model type", "CRU" and "removal" to find a guide specific to your machine.

    2. You can boot from an Ubuntu Live CD (Regardless of the the operating system currently in use on the PC.) and check to see if you experience the same issue in another OS. Ubuntu live CD's allow you to boot the OS off the CD without installing it on your Hard Drive. You can download an ISO of the CD on the Download link below. Tap rapidly at the F12 key when the system boots to the Dell Splash screen and choose the CD/DVD drive option from the boot once menu that appears.

    3. You can run a factory restore or reinstall your Operating system.

Caution: Carrying out option iii. would be done as a last resort and only done if one of the other two steps couldn't be done. You MUST back up all data before carrying out this procedure - if you do not data WILL be lost. Any operating system reinstall or factory restore involves formatting your Hard Disk Drive (HDD). Please refer to the guides on the Windows portal for further information on these procedures.
  1. Was the issue seen once the OS and Software was ruled out?

    1. No, then the issue is resolved.

    2. Yes, then contact your support to take this further, they will take you through some hardware diagnostics. These are built in to your PC and you can also access more on the Dell Support Site by entering your service tag.

Please see the additional information section at the bottom of this article for contact us instructions.

Why does the audio output change when I dock my Dell notebook PC?

When in use and undocked, the default audio output for a Dell notebook PC is the internal speakers.

If the system is docked in a docking station with an DisplayPort or HDMI connected display with a headphone output, the default audio output will change automatically to the DisplayPort or HDMI connected device. This is regardless of any speaker configuration on the display device.

If the external display has no internal or external speakers or has no speaker bar attached, then a no audio condition (loss of sound) may be encountered until the default output is changed back to the internal speakers of the system.

The audio device drivers will always check for DisplayPort/HDMI audio devices installed in Windows and if detected, Windows will automatically make the switch to the DisplayPort/HDMI audio device.

If the displays have no speakers but have a headphone output, then the switch will result in a no sound until the default audio device is manually changed back to the internal speakers.

This is the system working as it should. to switch back to internal speakers, follow these steps :

  1. Right Click the Start button, click Control Panel from the menu.

  2. Click hardware and sound , then Manage Audio devices in the Sound section, the sound window will open.

  3. Click Speakers, then click Set Default, then OK and close the control panel window

Note: This is a normal function of a Windows operating system and the audio driver, and is working as designed.

What is the future of the DPort port?

There doesn't appear to any doubt that the DisplayPort standard has a very clear cut advantage in the Business computer market.

However the truth is that not many consumers are aware of the benefits of this hardware and without customer demand to keep them in use - these types of port can end up replaced with a more generic port such as HDMI.

It's native support for higher resolutions and multiple displays are an obvious positive factor. The innovations and new connectors coming out only make this standard more versatile still.

The current trend has seen most DisplayPort ports being replaced with HDMI on the majority of new Consumer devices, however they continue to show a strong presence on Business devices.

With the constant improvement seen, DisplayPort can only go from strength to strength, as long as it can make sure it's benefits are known to the typical end user, so they request it's benefits on their hardware from the manufacturers.

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Additional Information :

If you issue with another port on a PC, please try the article below :

If you require further assistance, please contact technical Support.
Contact Us

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Data ostatniej modyfikacji: 09/21/2019 03:39 AM

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