USB-C VS HDMI: Which Is Better?

Are you thinking about getting a new monitor and feeling a bit confused about whether to choose an HDMI port or a USB-C port? Well, no worries, we have got you covered. We’re here to break down everything you require to know about these connectors. With everyone talking about top-notch video quality, picking the right connector for your devices is crucial. 

USB-C and HDMI are two popular types of connectors that people love for delivering excellent video quality. In this article, we’ll walk you through a detailed differentiation of USB-C vs HDMI. We’ll explore their unique features, key differences, and awesome capabilities. 

By the end, you’ll have a clear picture of whether to go for the high-definition HDMI or the versatile USB-C. Stick around us as we take you on an exciting journey through the world of digital connectors!

What Is USB-C?

Launched in 2014, USB-C, also recognized as USB Type-C, stands out among various USB connectors. It’s a type of Universal Serial Bus (USB) that serves as a common connector for cables connecting different power sources and devices.

USB-C distinguishes itself with its small size and the convenience of being plugged in any direction, unlike its previous types, which needed particular orientations for insertion. As a relatively new connector, USB-C certainly has a lot of things to offer. 

It is widely used and found in gaming consoles, laptops, televisions, monitors, and smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S22+. One of its noteworthy features is its versatility, meaning it supports audio and video output, as well as charging. So, USB-C is an all-in-one connector. Also, it can handle 4K resolutions at 60Hz.

In the case of design, USB-C cables have a sleek, rectangular shape and houses 24 pins. Notably, multiple laptops, including the latest Apple MacBooks, have embraced USB-C ports, discarding other ports. This trend extends to several 4K monitors, which are also beginning to be equipped with USB-C ports.

What Is HDMI?

USB-C is quietly gaining prominence, but that does not indicate that HDMI is over yet. The classic High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is still a favored display port option for numerous manufacturers. Since its introduction in 2002, HDMI has been widely used in devices like game consoles, televisions, and laptops. 

HDMI facilitates the connection of various devices together, which allows the transmission of high-definition, high-quality audio and video. Most desktop computers and laptops provide both HDMI and USB-C ports, offering users flexibility. Opting for an HDMI connection doesn’t mean sacrificing quality. 

The video quality remains stellar and provides HDR support and fantastic frame rates. It’s particularly true if your device supports the new HDMI 2.1 version rather than the more traditional HDMI 2.0. The HDMI 2.1 supports impressive refresh rates and resolutions of 8K at 60Hz with a max bandwidth of 48Gbps

It’s a fantastic choice for those people who want an excellent gaming experience. In terms of design, HDMI comes with a rectangular shape and houses 19 pins. In the early stages, it presented a more discreet design compared to competitors like DVI and VGA. However, Fast forward to today, the HDMI looks clunky next to other smaller ports like the USB-C.

USB-C VS HDMI: Which One Has Better Data Transfer Speeds?


USB-C cables exhibit different data transfer speeds based on the supported USB standard. USB 3.1 Gen 2 can achieve speeds of around 10 Gbps, while the new USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 can reach an outstanding speed of up to 20 Gbps.


HDMI does not concentrate on data transfer like the way USB-C does. However, different HDMI versions come with different bandwidths. For instance, HDMI 1.4 can support around 10.2 Gbps, HDMI 2.0 can support up to 18 Gbps, and HDMI 2.1 increases it to a whopping 48 Gbps.

Comparing Compatibility of USB-C and HDMI


USB-C is a modern technology that is mainly used for charging and data transfer. Many devices use USB-C, replacing older types of USB because of its versatility and small size. It’s commonly found in mobile devices. 

You can also see it on monitors, laptops, and power banks. Fewer devices have USB-C ports compared to HDMI ports. So it’s crucial to see the product’s supported ports and specifications before purchasing a device that supports USB-C.


HDMI is considered the widely accepted port, backed by the majority of gaming consoles, monitors, and televisions. It is known as the standard for multimedia devices and most devices feature HDMI ports. 

These ports make the devices simpler to connect with. HDMI isn’t often seen on small gadgets such as smartphones, but the gap can be bridged with adapters or dongles.

Functionality Differences between USB-C and HDMI


USB-C cables and chargers bring versatility with a reversible design. They provide quicker charging and data transfer speeds and work seamlessly with a variety of devices. Its reversible design and multiple functions make it the standard choice for several devices like laptops, tablets, and smartphones.


Built specifically for transmitting audio and video, HDMI stands as the preferred standard for connecting various multimedia devices. These devices include home theater systems, TVs, and gaming consoles. It enables the transmission of uncompressed audio and video data over one single cable.

USB-C VS HDMI: Which Is Better for Gaming?


Both USB-C and HDMI are excellent choices for gaming purposes. Choosing one between them mainly depends on your gaming console and the monitor or TV where you want to see your game. While USB-C is a relatively newer connector, it has become more common nowadays. 

You will find it on the latest smartphones, laptops, and game consoles, such as the Nintendo Switch, as well as some televisions and monitors. USB-C not only supports video output but supports charging as well, eliminating the need for multiple cables. If you’re using a device like a Nintendo Switch, then the best option is a USB-C connector.


HDMI connectors are highly versatile and widely favored by manufacturers for sending audio and video info. It’s one of the most commonly used ports. You can see it on numerous gaming consoles like the PS5, as well as on TVs and monitors. In most cases, HDMI might be the optimal choice if both your TV and gaming console support this type of port.

Input Lag Differences between USB-C and HDMI


Input Lag indicates the time it takes for your actions on your keyboard or controller to show up on the screen. It’s a crucial thing to consider for gamers to play quick-paced games that need rapid reflexes. When you talk about input lag, HDMI is generally regarded as superior to USB-C.

USB-C is mainly designed for charging and data transfer. In direct comparison, it might not provide the same responsiveness that HDMI offers. 

In direct comparison, it might not provide the same responsiveness that HDMI offers. While USB-C does support top-quality video signals, from a gamer’s perspective, especially concerning input lag, it may not be the optimal choice.


Gamers favor HDMI over USB-C due to its lower input lag. What sets HDMI apart is that HDMI connectors are designed particularly for audiovisual devices to provide high-bandwidth connections for efficient and fast data transmission. 

These audiovisual devices include monitors and gaming consoles. HDMI connectors support higher resolutions and refresh rates, decreasing input lag and enhancing responsiveness. 

Differences in Power Delivery between USB-C and HDMI


USB-C can support power delivery around 100 watts, enabling fast charging of devices. In certain instances, it eliminates the requirement for individual power inputs on devices such as laptops and monitors.


While HDMI does offer some power for device control and discovery, it isn’t crafted for significant power transfer. Its main emphasis is on video and audio connections.

USB-C VS HDMI: Which One is More Versatile?


In terms of versatility, USB-C holds the upper hand compared to HDMI since it serves various purposes, such as charging, data transfer, and transmitting audio and video signals. 

One single USB-C cable allows connection to several devices such as monitors, hard drives, speakers, and more. The key strength of USB-C lies in its capability to support various protocols, such as USB 3.1, DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt.


On the other hand, HDMI is crafted for audiovisual devices, restricting its capabilities to audio and video output. HDMI doesn’t provide the same versatility as USB-C.

Comparing Audio and Video Quality of USB-C and HDMI


HDMI and USB-C both support top-quality video signals, which include HDR content and 4K resolution. USB-C can send high-quality video signals, such as HDR content because it supports a digital interface known as DisplayPort. It supports 4K resolution at 60 hertz and even higher refresh rates if you use the right adapters or direct USB-C display connections. 

It’s essential to note that not every USB-C port has DisplayPort support. So, before purchasing, make sure to see the specifications of the port. In addition, USB-C can support Thunderbolt 3, which offers higher video resolution of around 5K and quicker data transfer.


HDMI has been around for more than ten years and improving each year to meet the growing demands for higher resolutions and faster refresh rates. HDMI connectors can send video signals of various qualities, such as 720p and 1080p. They support 4K resolution at 60 hertz and can also support 8K resolution at 60 hertz when you use HDMI 2.1. 

HDMI can even support HDR content, enhancing picture contrast and color for an immersive user experience with the picture. In addition, HDMI supports advanced audio formats such as DTS:X and Dolby Atmos as well as quality surround sound.

Final Verdict

HDMI and USB-C are two different kinds of connectors, each having its own pros and cons. USB-C is the latest, more versatile option, capable of carrying video, power, and data signals. On the other hand, HDMI, an older connector, is mainly designed for carrying HD audio and video signals.

So, the decision between USB-C vs HDMI is not a showoff to declare one better than the other; instead, it is about finding the correct tool for your specific needs. 

Whether you want top-notch video performance or seamless functionality across devices, your choice can be the foundation of your digital world. So, make your decision wisely because the cables you pick can shape your journey in the technology realm.

David Huner
David Huner
I have completed my graduation from The University of Phoenix. Being a graduate, I’ve been writing on tech tips and products for several years. I love to write about all the latest trends in technology, as well as give my personal take on new products. If you’re looking for some inspiration or just want to read more articles like this one, check out our website!
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