Let me start by answering the question. No, you DO NOT need to have a 4K HDMI cable for PS5 to work. That is the short version of the answer.
The longer version of the answer would need you to understand the different HDMI ports and cable versions.
You see, while all HDMI ports and cables may look the same, they are different when it comes to the resolution and refresh rate that they can carry.
In the following text, I will give a detailed overview of the question “Do I need a 4K HDMI cable for PS5?”
Understanding HDMI Version and Cable Version
You cannot deduce what version a certain HDMI port or cable belongs to by just looking at it physically. Unless there is a clear cable identifying what version the cable or the port belongs to, they ALL LOOK THE SAME.
However, depending on what version they belong to, they can vary drastically in terms of the bandwidth they can carry.
The bandwidth is essentially the amount of information a certain HDMI port or cable version is able to carry.
This is dependent upon three factors:
- Refresh Rate
- Color Bit Depth
The higher the resolution, the higher would be the bandwidth requirement. The same is the case with refresh rate and color bit depth. The higher they are, the more information needs to be carried and thus the more bandwidth the interface should be able to handle.
The most common HDMI interface often found on many TV and monitors is HDMI 1.4. The latest is HDMI 2.1 and this is the interface that PS5 offers.
HDMI Port Versions
The following table explains the different HDMI interface versions and the resolution and refresh rate they can carry.
|HDMI Version||Max Resolution||Refresh Rate||HDR|
|1.2||1440P||1080P = 60Hz|
1440P = 30Hz
|1.3-1.4||4K (4096 x 2160)||1080P = 120Hz|
1440P = 60Hz
4K = 30Hz
|2.0||4K (4096 x 2160)||1080P = 240Hz|
1440P = 144Hz
4K = 60Hz
|2.1||8K (7680 x 4320)||1440P = 240Hz|
4K = 144Hz
4K = 240Hz (DSC)
8K = 120Hz (DSC)
You can see that essentially all HDMI ports after 1.4 can support 4K resolution, the difference lies in the refresh rate they’d be able to support 4K at such that:
- HDMI 1.4 support 4K at 30Hz for 30 FPS max gaming
- HDMI 2.0 supports 4K at 60Hz for 60 FPS max gaming
- HDMI 2.1 supports 4K at 120Hz or beyond for 120 FPS gaming (PS5’s cap is 120 FPS)
HDMI Cable Versions
Now in order to support the higher bandwidths of the newer HDMI interface, you need to have a suitable HDMI cable as well.
Similar to the HDMI ports version, the HDMI cables are different in terms of the resolution and refresh rate they can carry.
The following table explains this:
|HDMI Cable Certification||Supported Specs||Intended HDMI
|Standard||1080P @ 60Hz||1.0-1.3|
|High Speed||FHD @ 144Hz|
QHD @ 60Hz
4K @ 30hz
|Premium High Speed||FHD @ 240Hz|
QHD @ 144Hz
4K @ 60Hz
|Ultra High Speed||FHD @ > 240Hz|
1440P @ > 240Hz
4K @ 144Hz (240Hz with DSC)
8K @ 120Hz (DSC)
10K @ 120Hz (DSC)
So Do I Need a 4K HDMI Cable for PS5?
So this brings us to the question at hand. Do you need a 4K HDMI cable for PS5?
If you read what I said above, you will understand that the entire premise of the question is wrong since almost all HDMI cables being used today (High speed and beyond) CAN support 4K resolution.
The difference lies in WHAT REFRESH RATE the cable can support 4K resolution at.
- High-Speed HDMI cable, aka 1.4, supports 4K @ 30Hz (30 FPS)
- Premium High-Speed HDMI cable, aka 2.0, supports 4K @ 60Hz (60 FPS)
- Ultra High-Speed HDMI cable, aka 2.1, supports 4K @ up to 144Hz
It is important that you pair the right cable with the right HDMI port version.
For instance, if you were to hook up your PS5 (which features an HDMI 2.1) to a monitor with an HDMI 2.1 input port with a mere High-Speed HDMI cable, then your display mode will be limited to 4K @ 30Hz despite both the console and the monitor having the newer HDMI 2.1 interface.
PS5 comes with an HDMI 2.1 Ultra High Speed cable measuring 1.5m
PS5 Can Work With Any HDMI Cable
If by the question you mean whether you’d need an Ultra or Premium High-Speed HDMI cable (HDMI 2.0 or 2.1 cable) for PS5 to work, then the answer is a no.
No Need for Ultra or Premium Cables for FHD Monitor
Another point to note here is that your choice of HDMI cable depends upon what monitor you have.
If you have a mere FHD monitor, then you do not need to need premium or ultra high-speed HDMI cables. Even the average High-Speed HDMI cable is capable of running FHD at the rated 120 FPS gaming mode on PS5.
Make Sure the Cables are Certified
It is important to make sure that the Premium or Ultra High-Speed cables are certified.
To do this you will need to check the QR Code + Holographic certifications labeled on the package.
Often times cheaper brands label their HDMI listing as HDMI 2.1 only for you to find out later that you got swindled.