Despite what certain stores may tell you, the best HDMI cables for gaming aren't necessarily the biggest, bling-iest, and most expensive products on the shelf. While gold plating and braided wires are all good and well, they don't offer an awful lot that cheaper alternatives can't match. What's more, most of us probably couldn't tell a difference between them in the first place. As a result, we've gathered a few examples to show you the quality gear you can get for the least amount of money. You'll find these (and a deal or two) below.
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That said, there is something to bear in mind when shopping for the best HDMI cables: Bandwidth. This dictates how much information is able to travel down the wire at any one time, so the more it can handle, the better—higher numbers mean superior pictures. Essentially, all you need to know is that a bandwidth of 1.4 is good for 1080p visuals. At the other end of the scale, 2.0 is required to get a quality 4K image. Be sure you keep an eye on transfer speeds, too. Greater speed means less artifacting on the screen, so get as much as you can. 18GB is the absolute minimum we'd advise considering; everything above is a bonus. Got a cable with a transfer speed of 48GB? You're golden, basically.
If you fancy completing your setup once you've found the perfect HDMI cable, don't miss our guide to the best computer speakers. Be sure to check out the best 4K TV for gaming as well if you grab a 4K-ready HDMI cable.
1. AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI
The best budget HDMI cable for gaming.
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.
2. Belkin HDMI 2.1 Ultra High Speed
The best high-end HDMI cable for gaming.
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.
3. Onyx HDMI
The best durable HDMI cable for gaming.
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.
4. Rhinocables Flat HDMI
The best space-saving HDMI cable for gaming.
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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