Does HDMI Support 144Hz Refresh Rate?

The short and simple answer to question “does HDMI Support 144Hz?” is a yes. However, in reality though whether an HDMI port will support 144Hz or not depends upon its version as well on the resolution you wish to play on.

In addition to that, whether the HDMI will support 144Hz also depends upon the color bit depth of your monitor as well.

As such, it may be difficult for a certain older HDMI port version to support 144Hz on professional monitors as compared to on basic gaming monitors.

In the following text I will talk in detail about HDMI and whether it can support 144Hz or not. I will particularly look at the specs at which 144Hz would be supported by a certain HDMI interface version.

Different HDMI Version and Their Supported Refresh Rate

As mentioned earlier, there are different HDMI versions. Whether your PC supports a certain HDMI port version depends upon what motherboard or what graphics card you have.

Older PCs often conform to the HDMI 1.4 version. Newer PCs feature the HDMI 2.0 or newer versions.

The following table shows the different HDMI version and their supported resolution and refresh rates.

HDMI VersionMax ResolutionMax Refresh RateMax Bandwidth
(Gbit/s)
Effective Bandwidth
(Gbit/s)
HDR?Audio Technology
Supported
HDMI 1.01080p1080p @ 60 Hz4.953.96No- 8 Audio Channels
HDMI 1.1/1.21440p1440p @ 30 Hz4.953.96No- 8 Audio Channels
-Super Audio CDs
HDMI 1.3/1.44096 x 2160 (4K)120 Hz @ FHD Resolution
30 Hz @ 4k Resolution
24 Hz @ 4k Resolution
10.28.16No- 8 Audio Channels
- ARC
- Dolby TrueHD
- DTS-HD
HDMI 2.04096 x 2160 (4K)60 Hz @ 4K Resolution1814.40Yes- 32 audio channels,
- Dynamic Resolution Adaptation (DRA)
- High-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding (HE-AAC)
HDMI 2.1Upto 10240 x 4320 (10K)Upto 120Hz @ 10K4842.67Yes- 32 audio channels
- eARC

Another very important parameter you can see above is the Max and effective bandwidth that the HDMI version supports.

Essentially what this tells you is the amount of information the particular HDMI version can support. If the amount of information your monitor generates (data rate) exceeds the supported bandwidth of the HDMI port, then you may not get desired results.

How to Calculate Your Data Rate?

As mentioned earlier, the data rate is affected by three important numbers:

  1. The Resolution
  2. Refresh Rate
  3. Color Bit Depth

The higher the resolution, the more data is transferred over the HDMI. The same goes for refresh rate.

Similarly, the higher the Color Bit Depth of a monitor, the more data the video interface will generate.

Color Bit Depth of the monitor is another parameter that effects the data rate. The higher the color bit depth, the higher the amount of data generated.

Average monitors have a color bit depth of 8 which equates to 16.7 million colors. Professional monitors can have a bit depth of 10 which equates to 1 billion colors. Movie/Photo industry grade monitors can even have 12 bit depth.

color bit depth wikipedia
Difference in image with different color bit depths. Source: Wikipedia

Given this, the following is an equation you can use to determine the data rate of your monitor and then deduce whether your HDMI port version will support it or not.

(H + Hblank) × (V + Vblank) × (C x 3) × F

In this equation,

  • H is horizontal pixel count
  • V is vertical pixel count
  • C is the color depth
  • F is the refresh rate
  • Hblank is the Horizontal blanking interval
  • Vblack is the Vertical blanking Interval

Note on Blanking Intervals:

Blanking Interval is the time between the last line scanned of a frame and the first line scanned of a frame. You don’t need to know this in-depth for the purpose of this article. For CVT-RB Format,

  • Hblank = 80 pixels for FHD @ 60 Hz
  • Vblank = 77 Pixels for FHD @ 140 Hz
  • Vblank = 30 Pixels for FHD @ 60 Hz

If you do not wish to go through the manual work, you can also use online calculators that help you determine the data rate for your given parameters. The most popular of which is as below. This calculator takes many other variables into account:

Also Read: How to Check HDMI Port on Laptop?

So Does HDMI Support 144Hz?

does HDMI support 144Hz refresh rate

So with all things considered, lets see if HDMI can support 144Hz refresh rate or not.

For the purpose of the example I will use, 1920×1080 resolution, and color bit depth of 8.

Plugging in the variables in the above equation gives:

(H + Hblank) × (V + Vblank) × (C x 3) × F

(1920 + 80) × (1080 + 77) × (8 x 3) × 144

= 7,997,184,000 bits/second / 1,000,000,000 (to turn this to Gbit/s)

~8 Gbits/s

Since HDMI 1.4 has an effective bandwidth of 8.16 Gbit/s, it can thus support 144Hz at FHD resolution and on an 8 bit monitor.

What about higher resolution and at higher color bit depth?

The following table shows data rate generated on different resolutions, bit depth and the required HDMI port version at 144Hz refresh rate:

[table “hdmi144hz” not found /]

Hence you can see from the table above that the actual answer to the question Does HDMI support 144Hz is a bit more complex than a one-line answer.

Whether your HDMI port will support 144Hz depends upon various factors as explained above.

If you have an older HDMI 1.4 port, then the only way it could support 144Hz refresh rate effectively is if you have the resolution set to FHD and have a monitor with 8-bit color depth.

Also Read: Does it Matter Which HDMI Port I Use?

HDMI Ports are Backward and Forward Compatible but the Version Bottlenecks

Note that you can connect a monitor with an older HDMI port with a PC that has a newer HDMI port. Alternatively, you can also connect a monitor with a newer HDMI port to a PC with an older HDMI port.

In other words, you can connect an HDMI 1.4 monitor to a PC with HDMI 2.0 port. You can also connect an HDMI 2.0 monitor to a PC with HDMI 1.4 port.

However, the interface will work at the bandwidth of the weaker of the two components. Meaning if you connect a monitor with an HDMI 2.0 port to a PC with 1.4 port, the total effective bandwidth will be determined by the weaker 1.4 port i.e 8.16 Gbit/s and not by the monitor.

Hence, in this scenario if you have a robust monitor, you will be limited by the older HDMI port on the PC and thus not be able to experience the full potential of the monitor.

FAQ

Does HDMI 1.4 Support 144Hz?

Yes, HDMI 1.4 can support 144Hz refresh rate at 1080P resolution if the color bit depth of the monitor is 8.

10-bit or higher would not be supported at 144Hz @ 1080P.

Also Read: Does PS5 Support 144Hz Refresh Rate Monitor?

Does HDMI 2.0 Support 144Hz?

Yes, HDMI 2.0 can support 144Hz for 8-bit and 10-bit monitors at 1080P.

HDMI 2.0 can also support 144Hz for QHD (2560×1440) if the color depth of the monitor is 8-bit.

Does HDMI Support 144Hz 1440p?

HDMI 1.4 cannot support this. HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1 can support 144Hz at 1440P resolution.

Does HDMI Support 144Hz 4K?

HDMI 2.1 can support 144Hz 4K resolution.

The older HDMI 2.0 and 1.4 cannot support this.

Final Words

The simple answer to the question “does HDMI support 144Hz refresh rate” is a yes. The HDMI interface CAN support 144Hz.

However, how effectively it can support depends upon the resolution and color depth of the monitor as well as upon the HDMI version of the interface.

Also Read: 

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Author:

Atif Qazi
Atif Qazi is the founder of PCGuide101. He is a digital nomad who loves everything PC. He is a PC builder, tech enthusiast, engineer, and a lover of single player lore-rich RPG games.

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