The best HDMI cable for PC gaming

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090, which comes with the promise of 8K gaming when wired up correctly.

The best monitor

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The best gaming monitor
Want your games looking their best? Try one of these amazing bits of kit.

If you're unsure which cable rating you need for your setup, our handy FAQ at the bottom of the page should clear up the confusion.

The latest standard specifications are HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 2.0. DisplayPort will continue to be the superior connection for PC gamers, offering higher bandwidth for high-res, high-refresh-rate displays. But, HDMI is the next best thing if you're connecting to a TV (or older monitor) or if you've only one Display port to work and you're trying to set up multiple monitors. And having the wrong sort of HDMI cable will only do you a disservice.

Best HDMI cable for gaming

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AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI cable

(Image credit: Amazon)
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AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI cable

(Image credit: Amazon)
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AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI cable

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI

The best budget HDMI cable for gaming

Transfer speed: 18Gbps | Max resolution: 4K 60Hz | Length: 6–35ft (1.8–10.6m) | Certification: CL3-certified

Great value for money
Lots of length options
Not HDMI Premium certified

Don’t be put off by the own-brand label and a lower cost; this is still a fantastic cable. It’s the perfect example of not needing anything too showy or expensive to get the job done, and you’ll save some money. As well as providing the coveted 18Gbps, this comes in an extensive range of lengths and is built to handle higher voltages. The only downside is that it’s not HDMI Premium certified. However, you can’t complain too much when you’re getting excellent 4K visuals at under ten bucks.

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Belkin HDMI 2.1 Ua High Speed cable

(Image credit: Belkin)
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Belkin HDMI 2.1 Ua High Speed cable

(Image credit: Belkin)

2. Belkin HDMI 2.1 Ua High Speed

The best high-end HDMI cable for 8K or [email protected]

Transfer speed: 48Gbps | Max resolution: 10K 120Hz | Length: 6.5ft (2m) | Certification: HDMI 2.1

High-specs
Reliable brand
Supports 10K
Only pay more if you actually need it

If you want a high-quality HDMI cable that’ll last you a good few years, look no further than Belkin’s HDMI 2.1 Ua High Speed. As the name would suggest, it offers superior performance at an affordable price. That’s not the end of it, though. An excellent refresh rate and ludicrous transfer speeds of 48Gbps make this a big deal. 

Unsure why that’s worth the cash? In short, it’s ready to serve up 10K resolution when the time comes. Even now, it's your best bet for 8K or high-refresh 4K gaming.

Belkin is a brand we’d trust with… well, not quite our lives, but definitely the connection between our graphics card and monitor. So, if you're looking for a future-proof cable, here ya go. 

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Snowkids HDMI 2.0 flat cable

(Image credit: Snowkids)
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Snowkids HDMI 2.0 flat cable

(Image credit: Snowkids)
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Snowkids HDMI 2.0 flat cable

(Image credit: Snowkids)

3. Snowkids 4K Flat HDMI 2.0

The best flat HDMI cable for gaming

Transfer speed: 18Gbps | Length: 6.6ft (2m) | Certification: HDMI 2.0

Flat cabling
Sturdy
Good price
Nothing special beyond being flat

If you're looking to discretely route some cables around corners and over the edges of cabinets then a flat capable can make for a neater option than your traditional round cable. These Snowkids HDMI 2.0 cables are good for 4K @60Hz and have a sturdy nylon braided jacket and an aluminum alloy shell on the main connector to help protect them. Beyond that, they're affordable and available in lengths up to 15ft, which should cover most setups. 

Vivify Arquus HDMI cables lit with blue RGB on a gray background.

(Image credit: Vivify)

4. Vivify Arquus W73

The best RGB HDMI Cable

Transfer speed: 18Gbps | Length: 9–15ft (2.7–4.5m) | Certification: 4K 18G Deep Color certification

Frickin' RGB
Frickin' laser beams
Frickin' expensive

You don't need this cable. No one needs this cable. It's an HDMI lead that costs as much as some graphics cards, and that's mostly down to the fact that it comes with an RGB strip down one side of its length. I mean, that's cool? It's also an HDMI 2.0b fiber optic cable, so it should allow significantly less signal loss over distance and avoid any potential electrical or RF interference if that's an issue for you.

But, let's be honest, you'd try talking up the benefits of fiber optics, but really you'd only want this Arquus W73 cable because of the RGB lighting, which you can change at the press of a button or via Razer's Chroma app. As if you care, you're just looking at the pretty lights, aren't you?

Best HDMI cable FAQ

What HDMI cable do I need for 8K gaming?

best graphics cards around, as well as a 4K monitor or 4K TV (or both), or it won’t matter how fancy your cable is.

Should I use HDMI or DisplayPort for gaming?

This decision comes down to the type of device and monitor you’re trying to game on. For most going from PC to PC monitor, though, DisplayPort is the simplest and best way to connect.

That’s because even older DisplayPort connections support 4K at 60Hz, and the newer ones, DisplayPort 1.4 and 2.0, deliver 8K and beyond at high refresh rates.

HDMI, on the other hand, is a bit more restricted on older connections. HDMI 1.4 only supports 4K up to 30Hz, and you’ll need HDMI 2.0 or HDMI 2.1 to game at higher fidelity and speed than that. That said, if you have a newer HDMI port and compatible cable handy, it will work wonderfully.

Are HDMI cables backwards compatible?

Yes. The latest HDMI cable will operate just as well plugged into a device with an older HDMI version.

What’s the maximum length of an HDMI cable?

Most passive cables (meaning they have no active parts within repeating the signal) will work without signal degradation up to 20 metres. That said, some may only manage around 5 metres.

There are ways to extend the distance a HDMI cable will work at, though. Active cables can increase distances much further, even doubling passive cables in some cases. While fibre optic cables can, in theory, go for miles. Generally, though, manufacturers make them up to 60 metres, and even at that length they’re incredibly pricey.

What are CL2 and CL3 ratings in HDMI cables?

You’ll see reference to CL2 and CL3 ratings for HDMI cables, and this is to do with how the copper cables are coated and define their abilities to handle high voltages for in-wall installations. CL2 HDMI cables can handle up to 150 volts and are designed for residential use, while the CL3 cables are intended for commercial installations and can handle up to 300 volts.

Frederick Catcher

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