Which HDMI Port Is Best For Gaming? 2.1 Wins!

Jeffrey T. Jensen

Over time, the gaming industry has proliferated, and with that growth has come an increased demand for high-quality connectivity alternatives. High-Definition Multimedia Interface, or HDMI, has become the industry standard for connecting game consoles to televisions and displays in modern gaming. In addition to transmitting high-definition audio and video signals, HDMI connections offer a fluid gaming experience with less lag.

But picking the ideal HDMI port for gaming might be difficult. It's crucial to comprehend the variations and benefits of the various ports and HDMI versions accessible on gaming consoles. This article will help you make a well-informed choice for an engaging gaming experience by selecting the finest HDMI port for gaming.

Table Of Contents

HDMI Versions

Over time, HDMI technology has changed, and newer versions have been released to suit the requirements of higher resolutions and refresh rates. To select the HDMI version that best meets your gaming demands, it's critical to understand the various HDMI versions.

1) HDMI 1.4:

The earliest HDMI version that is still widely used today is 1.4. This device supports Full HD gaming up to a resolution of 1080p at 60 Hz. You can connect your gaming console to an audio processor or sound bar compatible with this version because it enables 3D gaming and an audio return channel (ARC).

2) HDMI 2.0:

HDMI 2.0 offers compatibility for greater resolutions and refresh rates than HDMI 1.4, which is a substantial improvement. It supports 4K HDR (High Dynamic Range) content, which provides better color and contrast and can handle 4K gaming at 60Hz. Additionally, this version supports a broader color gamut, enabling more vivid and realistic images.

3) HDMI 2.1:

The most recent HDMI version, HDMI 2.1, adds several new capabilities, especially for gamers. You can play 4K games at 120Hz with HDMI 2.1, which makes the gameplay more fluid and lowers input lag. For a tear-free gaming experience, it supports Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), which synchronizes the display with the console's output. HDMI 2.1 also enables Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) to reduce input lag, which automatically puts the TV in game mode.

Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC), another feature of HDMI 2.1, offers more bandwidth and enhanced sound quality for immersive gaming audio. You may enjoy lossless audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS: X with eARC, elevating your gaming experience.

It's vital to remember that HDMI versions are backward compatible, which enables you to use an HDMI cable with a newer version to connect to an HDMI port with an older version of the technology. However, the features and resolutions that can be supported will be constrained by the limitations of the older HDMI connector.

Parameter HDMI 2.1 HDMI 2.0 HDMI 1.4
Max Transfer Rate 48Gbps 18Gbps 10.2Gbps
Max Supported Resolution 10K @ 120Hz 4K @ 60Hz 4K @ 30Hz
Refresh Rate Up to 120Hz Up to 60Hz Up to 60Hz
Color Depth 10bit 48Ghz
12bit 42Ghz
8bit 8bit
Dynamic HDR Support Yes No No
eARC Support Yes No No
Max Audio Sample Rate 192KHz N/A N/A
Max Audio Channels 32 8 8
HDCP Version 2.3 2.2 1.4
Max Bandwidth 48Gbps 18Gbps 10.2Gbps

HDMI Ports on Gaming Consoles

Multiple HDMI ports are included on gaming consoles to make connecting them to televisions and monitors easier. Usually, these ports are identified as HDMI 1, HDMI 2, and so on. The maximum resolution and refresh rate that the game console can support is determined by the HDMI version to which each HDMI port on the console corresponds.

It's essential to consider your display device's specifications when choosing the HDMI port on your game console. An HDMI 1.4 port will be plenty if your TV is a 1080p model to provide the highest resolution and refresh rate possible. To fully benefit from the increased resolution, it is advised to utilize an HDMI 2.0 port if you currently possess a 4K TV or intend to upgrade to one.

The capabilities of the game console should also be taken into account. Connect your console to an HDMI 2.0 port or later if it supports 4K gaming. This will ensure that you can use all the advantages of 4K gaming, such as improved graphics and fluid gameplay.

It's important to note that several gaming consoles, such as the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, feature HDMI 2.1 connections. Additional gaming features these ports offer include compatibility for 4K gaming at 120Hz and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) technology. The full potential of these cutting-edge features can be accessed by connecting one of these consoles to an HDMI 2.1 connection if you have a suitable display device and one of these consoles.

If you need clarification about your gaming console's HDMI port version, check the user manual or the manufacturer's website for further information. Additionally, it's usually a good idea to utilize premium HDMI cables that can transmit the necessary bandwidth for your chosen HDMI version.

You can ensure that your gaming experience is flawless and that the resolution and refresh rates are at their best by familiarizing yourself with the HDMI ports on your gaming console and choosing the correct port for your display device.

Best HDMI Port for Different Gaming Consoles

The optimal HDMI port for your game console depends on several things, including the features that your display device can handle and the console's capabilities. The top HDMI ports for various game consoles are listed below as follows:

1. PlayStation 5 (PS5):

The most cutting-edge gaming features are offered by HDMI 2.1, which the PlayStation 5 supports. To enjoy 4K gameplay at 120Hz, VRR, and ALLM on your display device, connect your PS5 to an HDMI 2.1 connector. These enhancements will make the gameplay and immersion in the game smoother and more responsive.

2. Xbox Series X:

The Xbox Series X is built with HDMI 2.1 connectivity, just like the PS5. Connect the console to an HDMI 2.1 connection on your display device to make the most of its features. You may experience seamless and immersive 4K gaming at 120Hz, VRR, and ALLM.

3. Nintendo Switch:

The Nintendo Switch uses HDMI 1.4 rather than HDMI 2.1. To play games at a maximum resolution of 1080p, connect your Nintendo Switch to an HDMI 1.4 port on your television or computer monitor. To allow gameplay at 1080p in handheld mode and up to 4K when docked with a compatible display device, the Nintendo Switch dock must be HDMI 2.0 compliant if you plan to use it.

4. PlayStation 4 (PS4) and Xbox One:

Because HDMI 1.4 is supported by the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, you can connect these consoles to any HDMI port on your display device. Full HD gaming on HDMI 1.4 is supported up to a maximum resolution of 1080p, offering a vivid and detailed gaming experience.

5. Older Gaming Consoles:

If you have older gaming consoles that aren't equipped with modern capabilities like VRR or greater resolutions, HDMI 1.4 ports on your display device should be adequate. These consoles, like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, often output video signals at resolutions of 720p or 1080p, which HDMI 1.4 can readily accommodate.

To ensure the best performance and compatibility, make sure that you verify the HDMI version compatibility between your gaming console and display device. It's important to note that while newer consoles supporting HDMI 2.1 can be connected to HDMI 2.0 or HDMI 1.4 ports, some cutting-edge capabilities might not be accessible.

You can ensure you're getting the most out of your gaming by choosing the correct HDMI port for your system experience. The appropriate HDMI port will improve the looks and performance of your games, whether you use the newest HDMI 2.1 features or HDMI 1.4 for older consoles.


The HDMI ports that gaming PCs and consoles use are listed below:

So What Is The Best HDMI Port For Gaming?

As you can see from the explanation above, HDMI 2.1 is the finest HDMI port for the most recent generation of gaming consoles and graphics cards.

To put it another way, you need an HDMI 2.1 port on your input or display devices to take advantage of the newest gaming hardware.

The maximum resolution and frame rates modern gaming devices offer can be supported by HDMI 2.1.

Not All HDMI Ports on a Monitor or a TV Are the Same

Please ensure your monitor or TV's HDMI port supports the exact version of the gaming device.

For instance, you cannot enjoy 4K at 120 frames per second when you connect a PS5 to a monitor or TV with an HDMI 2.0 connector.

HDMI 2.0 has a 4K and 60 FPS maximum. To enjoy the highest quality and refresh rate enabled by more recent gaming consoles, you must have at least an HDMI 2.1.

Not every HDMI port on a particular device must also adhere to the same version.

Consider the ASUS TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A gaming monitor's specifications:

(Image: ASUS Tuf Gaming VG28UqL1A Specs)

There are 4 HDMI ports on this display. While the other two adhere to the HDMI 2.1 standard, only two do.

The display has a 144Hz refresh rate and supports up to UHD resolution. In other words, to experience the best that the PS5, Xbox X, or more recent gaming PC has to offer, you must connect your gaming device to one of the HDMI 2.1 ports to enjoy 4K resolution at 120Hz refresh rate (120 FPS maximum) on this monitor.

(Image: ASUS Tuf Gaming VG28UQL1A monitor with 4 HDMI ports. To get the best experience from newer gen devices, use the HDMI 2.1 ports.)


It's important to remember that NOT ONLY the ports' version matters but also the quality of the cable itself.

Different HDMI cable quality standards exist. Some, like HDMI 1.4, are made for interfaces with less bandwidth. Others are built to accommodate HDMI 2.0 and 2.1's increased bandwidth.

Every type of HDMI cable has a certification for the speed at which it was created. HDMI.org offers the certificate. These consist of.

Therefore, if your video interface needs to be operating at the proper resolution or refresh rate, the cable may be the problem.

I advise using Ultra-High-Speed connections for connecting the latest generation gaming consoles or specialized graphics cards to the HDMI 2.1 ports on monitors or TVs for gaming.

The higher-quality cables cost less money overall. So long as they possess the proper qualifications, they are qualified. Even for just $10, you can acquire a suitable Ultra-High-Speed HDMI cable.

Image: HDMI 2.1 cable

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can You Use HDMI 2.0 with PS5 or Xbox X?

Can you connect a PS5, Xbox X, or other modern game console to a display using an HDMI 2.0?

You can, indeed.

However, the bottleneck will be the port on the display device. HDMI 2.0 can support a maximum of 4K at 60 Hz. This is different from what the most recent gaming console generations can provide. For example, current console generations may support 4K @ 120Hz. These can only be used with an HDMI 2.0 port at 4K @ 60Hz.

Q. Can I use any HDMI port on my graphics card or motherboard for gaming, or are there specific requirements?

There are particular specifications that you should consider, even though most contemporary graphics cards and motherboards have HDMI connections that are appropriate for gaming. A graphics card or motherboard with an HDMI 2.1 connector will support the most recent standards and offer the maximum bandwidth, ensuring the finest gaming experience.

Q. Can I use an HDMI splitter to connect multiple gaming devices to one HDMI port, and if so, will it affect performance?

Yes, you can connect numerous gaming devices to one HDMI port using an HDMI splitter, but it's crucial to know that this could reduce gaming performance.

By dividing the signal, less bandwidth will be accessible to each device, which could lead to a decrease in input lag, refresh rate, or quality.

Choose a high-quality HDMI splitter that supports HDMI 2.0 or HDMI 2.1 and has enough bandwidth to accommodate your gaming devices if you intend to utilize one.

Q. Can using a longer HDMI cable affect gaming performance, and if so, how can I prevent this?

Yes, longer HDMI cables may cause signal loss or degradation, impairing gaming performance.

Select a high-quality HDMI cable that is made for gaming and has the correct length for your setup to avoid this.

You can move the gaming device closer to the monitor to shorten the cord or increase the signal strength.

Q. Are there other factors affecting gaming performance when using an HDMI connection, such as resolution or refresh rate?

Additional elements like resolution and frame rate can impact how well a game runs over an HDMI connection. More bandwidth is needed for higher resolutions or refresh rates, which could reduce game performance.

Ensure your HDMI connection has enough bandwidth to handle it and that your monitor can display the resolution and refresh rate you want to use to maximize gaming performance.

Final Thoughts

Therefore, we have decided that, in terms of version, HDMI 2.1 is the most excellent HDMI port for gaming.

However, it all relies on the resolution and refresh rate you choose. Additionally, it would be best if you had a gaming setup that can push highly high refresh rates.

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