The quest to find the best HDMI cable for gaming on PC can be a perilous one. There are a lot of companies out there trying to scam people with high-end HDMI cables that don’t actually make a whole lot of difference. A lot of people get around this simply by avoiding the conversation and just buying cheap cables, but if you buy the best graphics card you can afford, and one of the best 4K monitors, you don’t want to muddy up your perfect picture with a sub-par cable, do you!?
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With HDMI cables, bandwidth is the key. High-speed HDMI cables—18GB per second or higher—can transfer more data from your computer to the screen, making your games run smoother and cleaner, especially at high resolution. The good news is, getting that baseline high-speed cable is incredibly cheap. We also tested some higher-than-high-speed cables that are more expensive. Unlike most of the $40 and $50 HDMI cables out there, though, these are worth the extra dough. You also want to make sure the cables are certified HDMI 2.0 or higher, as early HDMI cables cannot generate a 4K image. Luckily, all of our picks fit both criteria, so these will all show the best picture your PC can put out.
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.