DisplayPort is a great option for connecting your monitor and display adapter. But while often reliable and stable, DisplayPort connections can sometimes fail unexpectedly.
Fortunately, most DisplayPort problems are relatively easy to avoid or fix. Here are four common DisplayPort problems, along with tips for diagnosing and resolving them.
Display adapter link failure
The first clue to a DisplayPort link failure is probably your monitor switching to a low resolution. This primarily affects AMD GPUs and usually occurs after waking the computer and monitor from sleep mode.
Radeon Software should alert you to the problem with an error message, but it’s easy to miss when it appears. Open Radeon Software and take a look at the notifications. The message will be:
“The system has detected a link failure and cannot set the requested resolution and refresh rate. Your display may not support the requested resolution, or there may be a problem with the cable connecting the display to your computer “.
If the link failure occurred right after changing the screen resolution or refresh rate, this is likely the cause. It means that your monitor does not support the changes and reverting them should solve the problem. If the link failure occurs randomly, please try the following solutions.
turn off your monitor
Power off your monitor and unplug the DisplayPort cable. Remove the power cable and wait at least 30 seconds. Plug the power cable back in, followed by the DisplayPort cable. Make sure it clicks into place, and then turn the monitor back on. In most cases, a power cycle like this will fix the problem.
Disable DisplayPort 1.2
This issue appears to be primarily associated with DisplayPort version 1.2. Some screens allow you to disable 1.2 in the settings, reverting to an earlier version. Unless you have an 8K monitor, which will probably use a later version of DisplayPort anyway, doing this shouldn’t result in any loss of image quality.
Reinstall Radeon Drivers
If none of the above steps helped, try uninstalling and reinstalling the Radeon display drivers. Make sure you install the correct driver version for your operating system and graphics card. AMD’s support page provides software that can detect your GPU and automatically install the correct drivers.
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DisplayPort cable stuck in DisplayPort
Unlike HDMI cables, which use friction to hold them in place when connected, DisplayPort cables almost always use a locking connector. This holds the cable securely in the port, but if you’re new to using DP, it’s easy to assume the cable is stuck.
The locking connector release button is located on the body of the DisplayPort plug, but the button layout varies across cables. On some, it’s an obvious button, which may even have “Press” printed on it. On other cables, the casing is slightly raised where you need to press. The amount of pressure that must be applied to release the locking connector also varies between cables.
If you are having difficulty disconnecting a DisplayPort cable, never try to use brute force. First, make sure there is no tension on the cable. If the cable locking tab is pulled against the corresponding notch on the port, it can be very difficult to release. Push the cable plug gently into the port with one hand and use the other to press the button.
DisplayPort not detected
Seeing a “DisplayPort Not Detected” or “No Signal” message on your monitor usually occurs when new hardware has been connected. It could be a new monitor, a new DisplayPort cable, or maybe a DisplayPort hub. There are a few potential causes, but they can usually be narrowed down to this new hardware. Here are some of the most common causes of this error:
Check your monitor input settings
If you are using a new monitor or have switched from using HDMI to using DisplayPort on an existing monitor, check to make sure the input source has changed. Some screens will automatically detect input and change settings, but don’t assume this is the case. When checking the input settings on your monitor, be sure to select the correct DisplayPort input if more than one is available.
Reset cable connection
Turn off your computer and monitor, and unplug the DisplayPort cable. Wait 30 seconds and plug the cable back in, making sure you hear the locking connector click as you insert the cable into the ports. Turn your monitor back on and boot up your computer. If this doesn’t work and your monitor or graphics card has multiple DisplayPort ports, try repeating the process using different ports.
Install the necessary monitor display drivers
Some monitors require additional drivers to be installed before certain features are enabled. If you’ve never installed drivers for your monitor, check the manufacturer’s website to see if you need them.
Update or reinstall display adapter drivers
Incorrect, outdated, or corrupted graphics card drivers can also cause a “DisplayPort not detected” error. Check that you have the correct version of the driver for your display adapter installed and make sure they are up to date. If the error occurs after updating your display adapter drivers, you can try rolling back to the previous version.
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Screen flickering or tearing
A screen that suffers from random flickering or image tearing, especially when watching high-resolution video or gaming, may be a sign of DisplayPort cable failure. Or even just a low quality cable. As with HDMI cables, not all DisplayPort cables are created equal. Although not always the case, cheap cables will often be made from cheap components, and failure or degradation of any of these will result in display issues.
Try a different DisplayPort cable, or even an HDMI cable, to see if the problem persists. It’s also worth trying the suspect cable on a different DP port, if your monitor and graphics card have more than one.
If you are using a 120Hz or 144Hz monitor, you can also try lowering the screen refresh rate. If this solves the problem, it again points to a problem with a poor quality cable.
If the flickering persists even after changing the cable, it could be due to a problem with the driver. This is unlikely, as driver issues usually cause more consistent errors, like the total loss of signal we explored earlier.
Plan Ahead: Choosing a Good DisplayPort Cable
Many of the issues discussed here can be avoided simply by using a good quality DisplayPort cable. If you’re looking for a new cable, here are some things to consider when shopping.
- DisplayPort cables are backward compatible, so there’s no problem using one rated for DP 1.4 if your monitor only supports DP 1.2.
- When choosing a cable, it’s best to choose one that is at least rated for the DisplayPort version that your monitor and display adapter supports.
- It’s also worth taking note of the resolution the cable supports and the refresh rate at different resolutions.
- Look at how the cable is built. Braided and reinforced cable jacket, gold plated connectors and aluminum housings are signs of a good quality DP cable.
Recommended 8K DisplayPort Cable
You can also visit the official DisplayPort website to find a list of VESA certified and recommended cables.
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