DisplayPort 1.3 supports 5K displays, 4K at 120Hz

Dell's upcoming 5K monitor reportedly requires dual DisplayPort inputs to drive its 5120x2880 panel at full resolution. Future displays should be able to support that resolution with a single cable, though. VESA has announced a new version of the DisplayPort standard with enough bandwidth to transmit uncompressed 5K video.

DisplayPort 1.3 boosts the standard to 32.4 Gbps, a 50% increase over DP 1.2. As with its predecessor, that bandwidth is split evenly between four lanes. Transport overhead takes a slice off the top, leaving 25.92 Gbps available for video—enough for a single 5K display at 60Hz, dual 4K monitors at 60Hz, or one 4K output at 120Hz. Pretty impressive for a single copper cable.

In addition to moar bandwidth, DisplayPort 1.3 supports HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0 with CEC. It also works with the 4:2:0 pixel format, which is meant to prime the standard for televisions and "future 8K x 4K displays." DisplayPort 1.3 should be able to pump out 7680x2160 images at 60Hz. There's enough bandwidth for 8K output, too, but not without lowering the refresh rate or color depth.

DisplayPort 1.3's additional bandwidth is good for more than just high-res video. The standard includes tweaked protocols for sharing display and data signals on a single cable. Combined with the faster pipe, those adjustments should a boon to DockPort, with combines DisplayPort and USB 3.0 on the same interface.

Like previous DisplayPort standards, version 1.3 is available free of licensing fees. There's no word on when the first compatible displays and graphics cards will be available, however. I'll take a 4K IPS monitor with adaptive refresh rates up to 120Hz and a GPU fast enough to keep up. Please.

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