Even the best graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD today don't support HDMI 2.1, but no worries: Ampere's release date is around the corner. It would come as a huge surprise if they Nvidia's next-gen GPUs, (which some assume will use the RTX 3080 moniker) don't include the new display connectivity standard. In the meantime, we already know the PS5 and Xbox Series X will include HDMI 2.1. In light of that, Asus just announced a trio of HDMI 2.1 enabled monitors, as shared by VideoCardz.
However, Asus isn't being very specific about the announcement. In the press release, it mentioned that it is building 27-inch, 32-inch and 43-inch models, but didn't name them yet or reveal much besides the HDMI 2.1 spec.
However, Asus did specify that the 43-incher will compete with the best 4K gaming monitors. With HDMI 2.1, however, it will have the advantage of 48 Gbps bandwidth. Asus also noted that monitor will use variable refresh rates (it didn't name Nvidia G-Sync or AMD FreeSync specifically) of up to 120 Hz.
"ROG is the first partner to provide a HDMI 2.1 gaming monitor for certification. As a leading test lab in the world, it's our mission to assure products or services before they are launched. We are thrilled to be part of the success of ROG and this groundbreaking gaming monitor," Brian Shih, Vice President of Logo & HW Validation Consulting at Allion Labs, said in a statement.
Asus expects its HDMI 2.1 monitors to be available for "the holiday season" but didn't share a specific release date. The two Eve Spectrum monitors with HDMI 2.1, which are crowdfunded, are supposed to start coming out in Q4.
Why Does HDMI 2.1 Matter?
The reason we want HDMI 2.1 is simple. It offers hugely increased bandwidth over HDMI 2.0 (18 Gbps), making it possible to run 4K games at a refresh rate of up to 144 Hz, instead of being limited to 60 Hz or having to resort to compression techniques, such as the Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ does with HDMI 2.0.
Of course, you'll need a serious amount of GPU horsepower to get 4K running at 144 Hz or even 120 Hz. So if that's what you want, you better start filling up the piggy bank.
The upcoming Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will also support HDMI 2.1 displays and 4K gaming. That means that on the off chance that Ampere somehow doesn't deliver on HDMI 2.1, there will be other options for Asus' new monitors.