HDMI 2.1 is the newest iteration of the now common HDMI standard. The new revision upgrades the capabilities of HDMI for more wow and viewing pleasure. HDMI 2.1 supports higher frame rates, resolutions, and even comes with more bandwidth.
As a result, people are excited about HDMI 2.1 and TV viewing. However, TV audiences are not the only ones enthusiastic about the new revision of HDMI. Instead, gamers across the world are also excited about HDMI 2.1 and the improvements in the gaming experience.
Why is HDMI 2.1 gaming growing popular every day?
Let’s find out!
HDMI 2.0 vs. HDMI 2.1: A Roundup of Improvements
The HDMI standard seems to be way ahead of time. Every new revision of the standard comes to the market when TV manufacturers or gaming console brands aren’t ready.
As a result, HDMI 2.0 took a few years to get popularized after being released in 2013. The standard became common only when 4K TVs were making an entry.
So, what improvements does HDMI 2.1 have over 2.0?
HDMI 2.0 supported a bandwidth of 48 Gbps and resolutions of 4K (3,840-by-2,160-pixel). Additionally, HDMI 2.0 offered a frame rate of a maximum of 60 fps to gamers.
When it comes to HDMI 2.1, the available bandwidth shoots up to 48 Gbps. Along with that, you can enjoy resolutions of 10K at 120 fps. The last two are the biggest improvements for gamers and open the door to new possibilities.
HDMI 2.1 came into the market a few years back but had no hardware that could support the format. Now, we are getting TVs and gaming consoles that can leverage the additional capabilities.
So, what exactly makes HDMI 2.1 a better choice for gamers?
Lag-Free, Fast-Paced Gaming
60 fps is considered to be the minimum to enjoy modern games. However, advanced gamers are not always satisfied with only 60 fps. They want more power to be able to blaze through their games.
HDMI 2.1 can come in handy to fulfill such desires of lightning-fast gaming. The new standard makes it possible to pay your games at 120 fps, even at 4K resolutions.
As a result, gamers don’t need to worry about skipping frames or experiencing poor performance.
Additionally, the current hardware can support the higher specification of HDMI 2.1. Nvidia and AMD both have graphics cards that can generate triple-digit frame rates for popular games.
Moreover, PC monitors are also getting better at handing quicker refresh rates. Therefore, gaming in HDMI 2.1 can generate a faster and smoother experience.
Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)
Many gamers have witnessed something called “tearing” when they play games. It happens when the refresh rate of your monitor and GPU’s frame rates are not in sync.
As a result, you see a part of one frame with a part of another frame on the same screen. Tearing can seem really irritating and even hamper your gaming performance.
HDMI 2.1 eliminates screen tearing with a variable refresh rate (VRR). The technology will force the source to deliver the next frame only when the previous one is completely rendered.
Therefore, there is no chance of frames mixing up of the screen tearing.
This technology is similar to FreeSync or G-SYNC, available with AMD and Nvidia graphics cards, respectively. You will need your monitor and PC or gaming console to support VRR to leverage the technology.
Auto Gaming Mode
Monitors generally come with a gaming mode so that you can enjoy low latency. This mode disables some of the unnecessary features to improve responsiveness.
However, HDMI 2.0 or earlier versions needed you to enable gaming mode manually. Now, the need is not even present with HDMI 2.1.
The new HDMI standard automatically senses your activities and initiates the gaming mode when you start a game. Additionally, your display will come out of gaming mode once you exit your game.
This feature adds a level of convenience for gamers and reduces manual effort.
Low Input Lag
Many of us have seen how a click on the mouse takes time to translate into an action on the screen in games. The delay is called input lag and spoils the gameplay and the continuity of the game.
HDMI 2.1 comes with quick frame transport or QFT technology. It allows sources to deliver active video signals over the HDMI cable. As a result, gamers can experience a reduction in input lag.
QFT is a new entrant and available only in limited HDMI 2.1 gadgets.
Go for Ultra-High-Speed HDMI Cables
HDMI cables are backward compatible. Therefore, you will be able to use an HDMI 2.1 cable with HDMI 2.0 without any problem.
However, the same is not true for older cables, and they don’t work with HDMI 2.1. Therefore, you should always search for an HDMI category 3 cable to enjoy the features of HDMI 2.1.
Additionally, ensure the cable is labeled “Ultra High Speed” for 48 Gbps speed and 4K at 120 fps. Otherwise, you will experience lags or delays in your gaming.
Therefore, check the label carefully before buying.
HDMI 2.1 brings a lot of improvements to the table. You get faster refresh rates of 120 fps even at high resolutions of 10K. In addition, you get more bandwidth for a smooth and seamless gaming experience. Also, VRR is a valuable feature that eliminates screen tearing for more enjoyment. These factors are behind the recent rise of HDMI 2.1 gaming.