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Best Gaming Monitor For PS5 And Xbox Series X In 2021
If you're not interested in a new TV, the next best option for your PS5 or Xbox Series X is a 4K gaming monitor.
Gaming monitors are typically used in conjunction with PCs, but they can also be a great option for consoles. With the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, there's increased interest around not only 4K TVs but also monitors that take full advantage of the increased power. The PS5 and Xbox Series X will work well on almost any quality screen, but you'll need a monitor with HDMI 2.1 to take full advantage of the consoles' capabilities and play games in 4K at 120fps. At the moment, there are no monitors on the market that boast HDMI 2.1 ports, but if you're not looking to take advantage of 4K and 120Hz at the same time, you can save some money on a more affordable monitor. Before we get into our recommendations, here's what you need to know about picking the best monitor for PS5 or Xbox Series X right now.
What is HDMI 2.1?
HDMI 2.1 is the latest HDMI spec that can transmit 48Gbps of information, which allows for a 4K resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and HDR. HDMI 2.1 also provides two benefits to gaming specifically. Variable refresh rate (VRR) and auto low-latency mode (ALLM) offer a smooth, tearless image and virtually no lag between your inputs and the action. The PS5 and Xbox Series X both boast HDMI 2.1 and can display gameplay at 4K and 120Hz--the PS5, however, does not currently feature support for any adaptive sync, including VRR, FreeSync, and G-Sync.
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Can I use the PS5 and Xbox Series X on my HDMI 2.0 monitor?
HDMI 2.1 is backwards compatible with HDMI 2.0 cables and devices, so you're able to enjoy the PS5 and Xbox Series X on any HDMI-compatible screen you own. You won't be able to take advantage of the consoles' 4K and 120Hz capabilities or the other benefits HDMI 2.1 provides, but most games don't run at 4K and 120Hz anyway, so you won't be missing out on too much. And games that do support 4K and 120Hz (like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War) offer other modes that are enjoyable on their own.
What is 120Hz?
This isn't a new thing in the realm of PC gaming, but the PS5 and Xbox Series X mark the first time console gamers have been subjected to higher refresh rates. Most TVs and monitors feature 60Hz panels that can display up to 60fps. 120Hz panels can display up to 120fps and--when paired with adaptive sync tech like VRR, FreeSync, or G-Sync--provide an extremely smooth-looking image. This results in better-looking gameplay while also improving responsiveness and reaction time--a higher refresh rate can make it easier to react to enemies coming around corners or projectiles flying in your direction.
While no HDMI 2.1 monitors are currently on the market, that's about to change. Brands are already starting to announce HDMI 2.1-capable 4K monitors, like the Acer Nitro XV282K KV (expected to launch in May) and the Asus ROG Swift PG32UQ (set to release by the end of March). In the meantime, however, you can make use of 120Hz gaming on the new consoles by lowering your resolution to 1080p--that way, you'll have enough bandwidth to send through a 120Hz output. This story will be updated as monitors with HDMI 2.1 start to release, but in the meantime, check out some of the best Xbox Series X and PS5 monitor options currently available below. If you’re looking for a faster monitor for PC gaming see our guide to the best 240hz monitors.
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