Don’t worry—despite what some may say, there’s no need to shell out a fortune on the best HDMI for gaming. Spending more than $30/£30 is unnecessary, and even ‘cheap’ cables will help you avoid issues like artifacting or low bandwidth that acts as a bottleneck on your system. It’s no good having a monstrous 4K monitor if your cable can’t keep up with it, but unless you’re positioning your monitor more than 3m away from your actual PC, you don’t need to spend much money on an HDMI.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop the humble HDMI being overlooked when building or upgrading a gaming PC. This is a mistake; the best HDMI for gaming can make a small yet recognizable difference to your setup, and you’ll notice if you get one with a low transfer speed. 18Gbps or more is the gold standard you should be looking for (this is doubly important if you’re using a longer cable). Another factor to look out for is the HDMI Licensing Forum’s Premium seal of approval. This shows that a product is the real deal and has been thoroughly ATC-tested. On with our recommendations—you’ll find our team’s top picks below.
Belkin HDMI 2.1 Ultra High Speed
The best HDMI for now and the future.
Transfer speed: 48Gbps | Length: 2m | Certification: HDMI 2.1
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 Ultra High Speed. As the name would suggest, it offers premium 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. Better still, Belkin is a brand we’d trust with… well, not quite our lives, but they’re pretty great all the same.
OMARS Premium HDMI
Transfer speed: 21Gbps | Length: 2m/3m | Certification: HDMI Premium Standard
Looking for a cheap but speedy HDMI cable? You could do a lot worse than this. The OMARS Premium manages 21Gpbs at an affordable price, and 24k gold plating doesn’t hurt either. It’s not the best HDMI on this list, but it does the job nicely nonetheless. While it comes in a variety of sizes, sleek form-factor means plugging this HDMI in isn’t going to be an issue if access to the rear of your tower is limited or it’s wedged against the wall.
AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI
The budget option.
Transfer speed: 18Gbps | Length: from 1.8m - 10.6m | Certification: CL3-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 a load of money that can probably be better spent elsewhere. 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 $10/£10.
‘Durable’ is an understatement.
Transfer speed: 18Gbps | Length: 2m/3m | Certification: HDMI Premium Standard
This is the cable to go for if you’re concerned about wear and tear or a pet that enjoys nibbling on electrical appliances. Durable and heavy-duty, a mesh sheath gives this HDMI all the protection it needs to withstand everything you throw at it. What’s more, metal outers protect the connectors. In terms of performance, Onyx’s HDMI also comes through; it manages 4K and a solid 18Gbps. There are cheaper options that’ll do much the same job, but none are as sturdy as this.
Rhinocables Flat HDMI
Transfer speed: 27Gbps | Length: 2m | Certification: N/A
Keen on saving space? Here’s the HDMI for you. With flat cabling that’s wrapped in sturdy nylon braid, it’s a good solution for those playing with limited real estate or anyone who needs to run a cable under their carpet. Stocky casing emphasises this sense of reliability, as does the fitting brand name. Rhinocables’ HDMI can apparently hit 27Gbps as well, so at least we know quality hasn’t been sacrificed for a more flexible build.
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