“PC Master Race” may be a tongue-in-cheek joke about how PC gaming is superior to console gaming but that gap is closing as TV manufacturers start to adopt features of the HDMI 2.1 spec which will bring benefits to console gamers that only a small portion of PC gamers have access to. Without further ado, here are the three highlights of HDMI 2.1 that will benefit gamers the most besides the support for 4k/120 and 8k/60:

Example of screen tearing. Source: Wikipedia Commons

Auto Low-Latency Mode (ALLM)


You know how your TV (most likely) has a gaming mode which reduces latency? What ALLM does is it allows a source device (such as your TV or AV receiver) to automatically enter its gaming or low-latency mode. This means you won't have to fumble around with menus every time you want to game. Of course, there’s a tradeoff when enabling low-latency mode, and that is you lose the post-processing capabilities of your TV set. 


Quick Frame Transport (QFT)


Similar to ALLM, QFT reduces display latency and increases responsiveness. In other words, the time between a button press and a response on screen decreases. How ALLM and QFT actually work their magic though is completely different. The actual mechanism of how it works isn’t easy to understand but if you’re interested in the details, this post on Blur Busters goes into depth into the topic.


The Future of Console Gaming


ALLM and VRR can already be used on the Xbox One S and Xbox One X but lack the rest of the benefits of HDMI 2.1, such as support for 4K at 120 fps / 8K at 60 fps or Dynamic HDR. With such early commitments from Microsoft, it’s likely that future consoles from Microsoft and Sony (and maybe Nintendo) will take full advantage of the bandwidth and features that HDMI 2.1 has to offer. See what Sony and Microsoft have said so far regarding their support for gaming in ultra high resolutions. 

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