What's the best HDMI cable for gaming?

The best HDMI cable for gaming

If you’re a gamer, then you probably want the best experience possible. And, if you’ve invested in high-end gaming consoles or other equipment, then you don’t want to be let down by a cable that isn’t up to par. That, of course, begs the question – “what’s the best HDMI cable for gaming?”

As you might expect, however, the answer to that question largely depends on your setup and what you’re hoping to get out of your gaming experience. And, things have changed a little in recent times, to where it may actually matter what kind of HDMI cable you end up getting.

Here’s everything you need to know about getting the best HDMI cable for gaming.

The best HDMI cable for gaming

If you simply want the best HDMI cable for gaming and don’t want to replace your cables down the line, then the answer to this question is simple: get an Ultra High-Speed HDMI cable.  These HDMI 2.1 cables are the latest generation and support 48Gbps bandwidth, which is much higher than the older standards.  Even if you don’t necessarily need everything that an Ultra High-Speed HDMI 2.1 cable has to offer right now, you may eventually – and you probably won’t want to replace your cables again soon down the line.

There are a few reasons these cables are the way to go. Previously, it didn’t really matter what kind of an HDMI cable you got, as long as it was long enough and relatively modern.  Though it wasn’t utilized much until recently, HDMI 1.4 introduced enough bandwidth for 4K resolution and HDMI 2.0 allowed 4K 60 Hz in 2015. However, none of these upgrades required a new cable until HDMI 2.1, mentioned above, was released. 

These days, however, the type of HDMI cable may matter – and that’s especially true if you have a modern console. Both the PlayStation 4 Pro and the Xbox One X support 4K resolutions and HDR, and even higher resolution standards, like 8K, are likely on the way. If you want to take advantage of 4K and HDR, you’ll at least need what’s known as a Premium High-Speed Cable, or HDMI 2.0, which does support 4K and HDR, but isn’t quite as future-proof as the next level up in HDMI 2.1 – and considering the negligible price difference, it’s worth the upgrade.

Of course, if you don’t have a 4K-capable console and don’t plan on getting one any time soon, then you could probably get an older or cheaper cable and it’ll end up performing just fine. That said, as mentioned, Ultra High-Speed HDMI cables aren’t really that expensive, and buying the most modern cables will ensure that they’ll continue working for what you need them for well into the future.  As long as your cables are sourced from a reputable manufacturer, such as Cable Matters, the cable should last a long time.

The best long-distance HDMI cable for gaming

There is a situation in which you’ll need different HDMI cables than the Ultra High-Speed HDMI cables previously mentioned – when you need a much longer cable to connect your gaming console or computer to your TV or monitor. The quality of your signal can degrade over long distances unless you get what’s known as an active cable.

Active cables essentially have electronics built right into them to boost your signal over longer distances – ensuring that you’ll get a high-quality image and low latency, even at a distance. Unfortunately, active HDMI cables can be a little more expensive than standard, passive HDMI cables – but if you need your cable to reach distances of more than a few meters, they may well be the way to go. The Cable Matters active HDMI cable exists in distances of 33 feet, 66 feet, and a hefty 98 feet.

For most people who want to future-proof their setup, even with new consoles, TVs, and so on, it’s worth simply buying an HDMI 2.1 cable to have the best HDMI cable for gaming. 

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