Best HDMI 2.1 cables for the AMD RX 6800 graphics card

 Best HDMI 2.1 cables for the AMD RX 6800 graphics card

AMD's RX 6800, 6800 XT, and 6900 XT are AMD's vanguard of an assault on the top-tier graphics card market; the first it's made in three years. They offer near-unparalleled gaming performance, hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and a host of image-enhancing features. Another exciting addition to this new range of RDNA2 graphics cards is its port selection, which includes not only USB-C and DisplayPort 1.4 with display stream compression (DSC) support but HDMI 2.1 as well.

For maximum frame rates at 4K resolution, you'll need to take advantage of those new connectors too - HDMI 2.1 especially. An HDMI 2.1 cable provides the most bandwidth of any connection type available today and can help drive a 4K 120Hz display like nothing else.

Whether you plan to use HDMI 2.1 or DisplayPort 1.4, though, Cable Matters has high-quality cables for both.

AMD graphics push HDMI 2.1 like nothing else

Although Nvidia has released its HDMI 2.1-supporting RTX 3000 series graphics cards first, AMD will arguably give the new HDMI standard a bigger push in 2020. Not only do its new RX 6000 graphics cards all come equipped with an HDMI 2.1 port, but the next-generation Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles do too. They are all based on AMD's RDNA2 graphics architecture, which has full support for HDMI 2.1 and all the enhanced bandwidth the connector brings to the table.

Whatever platform you most like to game on, you'll need an HDMI 2.1 equipped TV or monitor, which are slowly becoming more commonplace. That's likely to continue apace now there are more HDMI 2.1 sources for them to connect to, and as newer, high-tier display standards like 8K resolution or 144 Hz refresh rate become more sought after.

Do you need an HDMI 2.1 cable for the AMD RX 6800?

The AMD RX 6800 is the baby of the RDNA2 generation (so far) but it is still exceedingly powerful. With 60 Compute Units, a clock speed that can reach over 2GHz when boosting, and support for hardware-accelerated ray tracing, it is a monstrously capable graphics card. If AMD's first-party benchmark numbers are anything to go by, it will be faster than anything that has come before it from both Nvidia and AMD (save for Nvidia's new RTX 3000 series, and its own RX 6000 siblings).

In 2020, that means that the RX 6800 is a 4K gaming graphics card, and for high-speed 4K gaming, you need a high-speed connector. In the 6800 you have a couple of options, but the HDMI 2.1 connector is an important one. It offers the most powerful, compression-free port available, with enough bandwidth to support 4K resolution at up 144Hz – and even 240Hz with DSC enabled – as well as both 5K and 8K resolution, if you so desire.

Unlike Nvidia's RTX 3090, the RX 6800 is not powerful enough for smooth 8K gaming outside of lightweight indie games and older AAA titles, but the support is there, as long as you have a quality HDMI 2.1 cable to carry the signal.

Its more powerful cousin, the RX 6900 XT though, may well be able to do it. Especially if you consider using DSC.

DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC – the HDMI 2.1 alternative

If your monitor doesn't support HDMI 2.1, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy high resolution and refresh rate gaming. Each RX 6800, RX 6800 XT, and 6900XT, each comes equipped with two DisplayPort 1.4 connectors too. With full support for DSC, they are each just as capable of managing high-end gaming connections. If your graphics card is able to output high enough frame rates to make it playable, DisplayPort 1.4 cables can handle up to 8K at 60Hz with DSC enabled, or 4K at up to 120Hz with 30 bit/px RGB color and HDR.

You'll also need to take advantage of the RX 6800/6800 XT/6900 DisplayPort 1.4 connectors if you want to run multiple monitors, as there simply aren't enough HDMI 2.1 ports to handle more than one display. There are also a great number of high-end gaming displays that don't yet support HDMI 2.1. The new, 360Hz Asus ROG Swift display supports HDMI 2.0, but also DisplayPort 1.4.

These kinds of high-speed displays can lower your input lag considerably, making you a more competitive gamer where it counts. Combine that with the new and enhanced AMD Anti-Lag feature that is supported by all of AMD's new RX 6000-series graphics cards, and you can become a more capable gamer just be utilizing the latest hardware. That means a high-speed monitor, high-powered graphics card, and high-bandwidth DisplayPort 1.4 (or HDMI 2.1) connection.

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