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Xbox Series X and PS5 support 4K resolution gaming at up to 120 fps. But you don’t just need a television or monitor that has a correspondingly high refresh rate and an HDMI 2.1 connection. You’ll also need an HDMI 2.1 cable that has the necessary bandwidth.
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Does the PS5 come with an HDMI 2.1 cable?
Yes, the PlayStation 5 comes with an HDMI 2.1 cable. Before the release in autumn 2020, rumors circulated that the PS5 only came with an HDMI 2.0 cable. The reason for this was that the consoles sent to journalists in advance usually included cables labeled “High Speed HDMI Cable”, although HDMI 2.1 cables should be labeled “Ultra High Speed”. But it was just a mislabel.
And what about the Xbox Series?
The Xbox Series X ships with an HDMI 2.1 cable, while the Xbox Series S does not. However, this is not necessary with the latter, since it is designed for a resolution of 1440p with its lower performance. You don’t need HDMI 2.1 for this, even if the Xbox Series S supports it in principle. You can find out more about this in our Article on the box contents and packaging of the Xbox Series X and S.
So when do I need to buy a cable?
Regardless of which of the new consoles you own or want to get, as things currently stand, you don’t need to buy a cable at all. All included cables are sufficient to deliver the promised gaming performance of the respective console. You only need a new cable if the one supplied is too short for you or if it breaks. The HDMI cable on the PS5 is 1.5 meters long and that on the Xbox Series X is 2 meters long.
How do I recognize an HDMI 2.1 cable?
A full HDMI 2.1 cable must have a bandwidth of at least 48 Gbps. However, since very few customers can do anything with this number and not everyone is familiar with HDMI 2.1, the cables are usually marked differently. The most common is the Marking 8K, which is intended to signal that the cable is suitable for 8K televisions. Such cables should be rated for 8K 60Hz and should easily handle 4K 120Hz if the labeling is correct.
Also due to the brevity, “8K” is often the only marking that can be found in large letters on the cable plugs. Additional information such as “HDMI 2.1”, “4K 120 Hz” or “48 Gbps” can then be found in the item description. Also important is the Labeling “Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable” (compared to “High Speed HDMI Cable” for HDMI 2.0), which should be printed on the cable itself for certified products.
However, only the enclosed certificate with the inscription “ULTRA Certified Cable” and “HDMI Ultra High Speed” and a QR code provides complete certainty that it is actually a cable certified by the HDMI Forum. The QR code can be scanned with a special app and thus checked for authenticity. You can find out more about this directly at the HDMI Forum.
How important is the certificate?
Certified HDMI 2.1 cables are not necessarily better than uncertified ones. Since the certification process only started very late, namely in the 3rd quarter of 2020, many manufacturers did not want to wait that long and had already launched their products on the market without a certificate. Some have made up for the certification later, others have not done so until now.
If in doubt, a certified cable is of course more trustworthy than a non-certified one. Nevertheless, we would recommend above all to pay attention to reviews before buying and to buy from trustworthy shops so that you can exchange the cable if you have any problems. That is ultimately more important than the certificate.
Which cable should I buy?
There are now a lot of HDMI 2.1 cables on the market. Here we have listed a few products from manufacturers that we believe offer fairly reliable quality. We have marked cables with a certificate.
Please note: Even if all of the cables mentioned support HDMI 2.1, there can still be significant differences in quality, for example in terms of sheathing, breakage resistance and processing. By the way, if your console is more than five meters away from the TV, you will probably end up with a significantly more expensive one fiber optic cable* have to grab. Copper cables usually lose too much speed over long distances to still deliver the full 48 Gbps. Here some examples:
Which TVs support HDMI 2.1?
4K TVs that support HDMI 2.1 are currently in the minority, but the number is growing fast. We have already put together an overview of the most important models in a separate purchase guide:
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* This buying guide is not commissioned by an advertising partner, but a list of recommendations. The offers listed here are provided with so-called affiliate links. With a purchase via one of these links, you support GamePro: We receive a small commission from the provider without affecting the price. Do you have any suggestions for articles we should include? Feel free to write them in the comments.