When Do I Really Need HDMI 2.1 or Is HDMI 2.0 Enough?

BenQ
2022/05/30
do I need hdmi 2.1

Everyone seems to have an opinion about what tech you absolutely have to have these days. It’s true that innovation drives us forward and today’s bleeding edge is tomorrow’s standard feature. But adopting new technology isn’t a race to the finish line; it’s about getting what you need for the performance you want. HDMI 2.1 capability is a perfect example. Let’s look at when this connectivity is worth reaching for your wallet and when your existing HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort is all you need. If you’re a PC gamer all you need is DisplayPort. Console gamers, however, have to consider HDMI. Read on for details, but short answer is HDMI 2.1 is becoming increasingly relevant if you’re pushing 4K @120Hz or 2K faster than 165Hz. For lower refresh rates at lower resolutions, you can still get by just fine with HDMI 2.0 connections. 

 

Contents

What is HDMI 2.1?

Officially released in 2017, HDMI 2.1 took a very long time to become mainstream. The release of PS5 and Xbox Series consoles plus new graphics cards from NVIDIA and AMD made HDMI 2.1 mainstream because of the need to deliver 4K 120Hz with HDR and VRR. HDMI 2.1 represents a huge leap over HDMI 2.0, with 48Gbps in bandwidth compared to 18Gbps. Also, HDMI 2.1 introduced standardized variable refresh rate (VRR) support, auto low latency mode (ALLM) to ensure the lowest possible input lag in gaming, and eARC (enhanced audio return channel). Additionally, HDMI 2.1 has dynamic HDR as opposed to static HDR, which means reactive brightness, color, and contrast based on displayed content.

Consider your Consoles

While there was no need for HDMI 2.1 with any console until November 2020, PS5 and Xbox Series X/S were designed with it in mind. They’ll work with HDMI 2.0, but you won’t get the full feature set. So, if you have a current generation console, you should ideally connect it to a true, full bandwidth HDMI 2.1 display. 

 

PS5 and Xbox Series games that run at 4K 120Hz are rare, and most settle for 4K 30Hz/60Hz, but future proofing counts. Several titles, like Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War and Destiny 2, run at upscaled 4K in 120Hz mode. So, if you’re buying a new display, you should opt for HDMI 2.1 rather than try to save a little. In the long run, true 4K 120Hz will be more common on consoles, especially if we consider the possibility of PS5 Pro or updated Xbox Series models. 

 

Furthermore, without HDMI 2.1 you can’t get VRR on PS5unlike Xbox consoles which support it through HDMI 2.0.  And that’s a big factor if you want the smoothest, most tear-free gaming experience.

 

The PC Possibilities

Simply put, DisplayPort is the dominant video connection format for PC. DisplayPort 1.4 supports 4K 120Hz and even 8K 60Hz. Currently 4K 60Hz remains a very reliable and respectable target on PC even with the best hardware, particularly if you want to have ray tracing on. However, if you choose to use HDMI, version 2.0 is enough. Honestly, even version 1.4b is still enough for 1080p 165Hz.

 

HDMI 2.0 carries combinations like 1440p 165Hz with no issue, and for 1080p, frame rates of 240Hz are no problem. On PC, HDMI is secondary to DisplayPort, which offers significantly more bandwidth, with DP 1.4 not that far from HDMI 2.1 and capable of 4K 120Hz. However, it’s clear HDMI 2.1 is becoming dominant and from a pure common sense and futureproofing standpoint, obviously going with HDMI 2.1 makes a lot more sense. 

So, What Should I Do?

HDMI 2.1 is only needed if you want to use HDMI with 4K over 60Hz. This applies to consoles, as on PC you can get the same performance with DisplayPort 1.4, which is readily available.

 

So, it’s likely adding HDMI 2.1 cables and expense to your setup is not something you need to worry about now. If you have questions, please refer to this table to help you make the right choice based on your current device situation.  

 

For example: when you use the 2K 165Hz EX2710Q with Xbox Series S, which can only support 2K 120Hz, the HDMI version you need is 2.0 instead of 2.1.

Mainstream combination

Aspect ratio

HDMI ver. requirement

Supported devices

Mainstream combination

1920x1080@120Hz

Aspect ratio

16:9

HDMI ver. requirement

HDMI 1.4

Supported devices

PC, PS5, Xbox Series X|S

Mainstream combination

1920x1080@144Hz/165Hz

Aspect ratio

16:9

HDMI ver. requirement

HDMI 1.4

Supported devices

PC

Mainstream combination

1920x1080@240Hz

Aspect ratio

16:9

HDMI ver. requirement

HDMI 2.0

Supported devices

PC

Mainstream combination

2560x1440@120Hz

Aspect ratio

16:9

HDMI ver. requirement

HDMI 2.0

Supported devices

PC, PS5, Xbox Series X|S

Mainstream combination

2560x1440@144Hz

Aspect ratio

16:9

HDMI ver. requirement

HDMI 2.0

Supported devices

PC

Mainstream combination

2560x1440@165Hz

Aspect ratio

16:9

HDMI ver. requirement

HDMI 2.1

Supported devices

PC

Mainstream combination

2560x1440@240Hz

Aspect ratio

16:9

HDMI ver. requirement

HDMI 2.1

Supported devices

PC

Mainstream combination

3440x1440@144Hz/165Hz

Aspect ratio

21:9

HDMI ver. requirement

HDMI 2.1

Supported devices

PC

Mainstream combination

5120x1440@144Hz/165Hz

Aspect ratio

32:9

HDMI ver. requirement

HDMI 2.1

Supported devices

PC

Mainstream combination

5120x1440@240Hz

Aspect ratio

32:9

HDMI ver. requirement

HDMI 2.1

Supported devices

PC

Mainstream combination

3840x2160@120Hz

Aspect ratio

16:9

HDMI ver. requirement

HDMI 2.1

Supported devices

PC, PS5, Xbox Series X

Mainstream combination

3840x2160@144Hz/165Hz

Aspect ratio

16:9

HDMI ver. requirement

HDMI 2.1

Supported devices

PC

MOBIUZ EX2710U and EX3210U with True HDMI 2.1

We believe this 4K 144Hz model showcases the new standard for gamers that want to have PC and consoles on the same monitor. You get DisplayPort 1.4 for your PC and then two full 48Gbps HDMI 2.1 ports. That means you can have your PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X connected to the same display without compromising on features or limiting your access to future improvements in game performance.

 

The monitor features a DisplayHDR 600-certified panel, which is a very good brightness level for sweet spot HDR. As we mentioned, HDR works a lot better via HDMI 2.1, and HDR600 (600 nits peak brightness) is just right. The EX2710U and EX3210U further boasts BenQ HDRi and Light Tuner technologies to make sure the image you get is always the best it can be. They balance brightness, contrast, and color temperature, while preventing detail crush or washout in dark and bright areas of the screen.

 

Unlike other gaming monitors that either don’t have speakers or use generic parts, MOBIUZ monitors incorporate dual speakers and a powerful subwoofer for great 2.1-channel audio. That way you can enjoy game sound even without headphones, which is useful if you have several people in front of the monitor. And you certainly won’t need to invest in external desktop speakers, as those won’t sound any better than the built-in sound, especially in the bass department.

 

We said you don’t need headphones, and that means the EX2710U and EX3210U have an AI (smart) noise canceling mic built into them You get the complete package.

 

And because gaming on monitors that good is really compelling, there’s Eye-Care technology to keep your eyes more comfortable even during extended gaming sessions. Eye-Care encompasses strict flicker prevention, low blue light reduction, and smart brightness control, adding up to greatly reduced eye fatigue. 

{{title}}

We will notify you when the product becomes available

* Required. Invalid email format.

{{notifyMeNote}}

Required.

We will send you an email once the product become available . Your email will not be shared with anyone else

Sorry, our store is currently down for maintenance.We should be back shortly. Thank you for your patience!

close-button

{{title}}

We will notify you when the product becomes available

* Required. Invalid email format.

{{notifyMeNote}}

Required.

We will send you an email once the product become available . Your email will not be shared with anyone else

Sorry, our store is currently down for maintenance.We should be back shortly. Thank you for your patience!

close-button

Was this article helpful?

Yes No

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Stay tuned for our product launches, upcoming news and exclusive benefits.

Subscribe
TOP