The first DisplayPort 2.0 monitors and GPUs to hit the market in late 2021
Competitive gaming has created the need for smooth frame rates on high refresh rate displays with 4K resolutions and beyond, and we are now seeing a large array of high refresh rate screens ranging from 120 Hz to 300 Hz. Most gaming monitors have been stuck with the DisplayPort 1.4a standard that offers 32.40 Gbps bandwidth and can display video signals up to 4K @ 120 Hz with HDR color depth only using Display Stream Compression (DSC). The newer HDMI 2.1 standard, which is mostly used by select TV panels these days, is considerably faster, as it offers a 48 Gbps bandwidth and can display video signals up to 4K @ 120 Hz + HDR color depth without the use of DSC. HDMI 2.1 is now supported on the latest Nvidia and AMD GPUs, but PC monitor makers are still not offering much support for this standard, as in mid-2019, VESA announced final specs for the superior DisplayPort 2.0, anticipating it’s consumer availability in mid-2020. This, unfortunately, did not happen, due to the delays caused by the global pandemic, but the situation should change towards the end of this year.
The superiority of the DisplayPort 2.0 standard lies in its 80 Gbps bandwidth that allows for uncompressed signals up to 4K @240 Hz or 8K @60 Hz with HDR color depth. If DSC is used, the support gets expanded up to 16K resolutions @60 Hz with HDR color depth. Alternatively, one DisplayPort 2.0 cable can feed video signals to two 4K monitors @144 Hz, or even one 4K + 2x 1440p monitors @144 Hz without compression.
According to VESA representative Craig Wiley reporting for Tom’s Hardware, the DP 2.0 hardware is now being tested in labs, and the first PC monitors to feature DP 2.0 connections should hit the market in the second half of 2021. However, we would still need video cards that integrate DP 2.0 connectors. Wiley is suggesting that the first Nvidia and AMD GPU models to support the DP 2.0 standard should also launch in late 2021, so most likely the upcoming Nvidia Lovelace and AMD RDNA3 architectures. Now, achieving synced frame rates and refresh rates up to 240 Hz in 4K games at maximum details is probably not going to happen too soon, even with technologies like DLSS. A more reasonable target for next gen GPUs would be synced 144 Hz in 4K games.