Does HDMI Support 165Hz Refresh Rate?

Simply put, the answer to the question “does HDMI support 165hz refresh rate?” is YES. HDMI can support 165Hz refresh rate displays, but it all depends upon the version of your HDMI interface and the resolution you wish to run on your display.

165Hz refresh rate is reasonably rare, mostly found on premium gaming-grade monitors. This isn’t a standard refresh rate for devices like TVs, projectors, or phone displays.

So, why even have-165Hz refresh rate when you already have 120Hz, 144Hz, and 240Hz monitors? This is because going from 144Hz to 165Hz generally does not cost the manufacturer a dime. 144Hz monitors can easily be overclocked to 165Hz, so why not release the monitors with 165Hz refresh rate in the first place?

Returning to the question, does the HDMI interface support this unique 165Hz refresh rate? It does, however, in the following text, I will explore which version particularly supports this refresh rate and at what resolution AND color depth.

ASUS Tuf 31.5 monitor
165Hz refresh rate is often found on premium gaming monitors such as this ASUS Tuf 32″ Gaming Monitor.

Also Read: What is the Best HDMI Port for Gaming?

There are Different HDMI Versions

Before we delve into whether HDMI can support a specific refresh rate, you must familiarize yourself with the different versions of the HDMI interface.

The version of the HDMI interface defines how much bandwidth it can carry. Three core aspects determine the amount of DATA your display interface generates. This includes:

  1. Resolution of the Screen
  2. Refresh Rate of the Screen
  3. Color Bit Depth

The higher the monitor’s resolution and the higher the refresh, the more data it generates per second. For instance, 1920×1080 at 60Hz means the monitor generates 60 FHD frames in a second.

3840×2160 at 165Hz means the monitor generates 165 UHD frames in a second. Hence the latter scenario generates far more data.

Color bit depth defines the number of colors your monitor can display. Most monitors are 8-bit, and hence they can display 16.7 million colors. Professional monitors have ten or a higher bit color depth. 10-bit color depth equals 1 billion colors!

If you consider the HDMI connection as a pipeline, then the version of the HDMI interface defines the size of the pipe connection. The newer the performance, the more data it can carry.

The following table defines how much data the different HDMI versions can carry. While you can peek into the Max Resolution and Refresh Rate, the most important metric here is each version’s maximum adequate bandwidth.

HDMI VersionMax ResolutionMax Refresh RateMax Bandwidth
Effective Bandwidth
HDR?Audio Technology
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
– Dolby TrueHD
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

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

Calculating Your Data Rate

Since we know the adequate bandwidth of each HDMI version, we can check to see if your desired refresh rate, resolution, and color bit depth would suit your HDMI interface’s version.

The following is the equation you can use to calculate your data rate.

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

In this equation,

  • H is the horizontal pixel count
  • V is the 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 inspected of a frame. You don’t need to know this in-depth for this article. For CVT-RB Format,

  • Hblank = 80 pixels for FHD @ 165 Hz
  • Vblank = 88 Pixels for FHD @ 165 Hz

You can also use online calculators if you do not wish to calculate all this yourself.

So, for instance, if I have a Full HD monitor with 165Hz refresh and an 8-bit color – which most tournament-grade gaming monitors do. I get the following data rate:

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

(1920 + 80) × (1080 + 88) × (8 x 3) × 165

= 9,250,560,000 bit / second

= 9.26 Gigabits/second

Hence, we can deduce that even an HDMI 1.4 interface would suffice since HDMI 1.4 has an adequate bandwidth of 10.2 Gigabits/second, and our data rate of 9.26 Gbits/s is lower.

This is IF you have an 8-bit monitor. If you have a monitor with 10-bit color depth, you would need at least an HDMI 2.0 to run a 165Hz refresh rate.

The following table explains further:

ResolutionColor Bit
Data Rate
Minimum HDMI
165Hz1920×1080 (FHD)89.26HDMI 1.4
165Hz2560×1080812.22HDMI 2.0
165Hz2560×1440 (QHD)816.30HDMI 2.1
165Hz3840×2160 (UHD/4K)836.29HDMI 2.1
165Hz1920×1080 (FHD)1011.57HDMI 2.0
165Hz2560×10801015.28HDMI 2.1
165Hz2560×1440 (QHD)1020.37HDM 2.1
165Hz3840×2160 (UHD/4K)1045.37HDM 2.1 with DCS

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

So, Does HDMI Support a 165Hz Refresh Rate?

The discussion above shows that the HDMI interface most certainly supports a 165Hz refresh rate. However, depending on your resolution and the color bit depth of your monitor, you may need HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0, or a newer version.

On basic full HD resolution gaming monitors, 165Hz can be supported by even the HDMI 1.4 interface, which can be found on PCs even a decade old.

For higher resolution and color bit depth, you must ensure the HDMI port on your PC and monitor conforms to the newer version.

Also Read: How to Check HDMI Port Version?

Final Words

So, the short and simple answer to the question “does HDMI support 165Hz” is a yes. The decade-old HDMI 1.4 interface can even support a typical FHD monitor with 165Hz.

It would be best to have a newer HDMI interface on your source device (PC) and the display device (monitor/TV) for higher-resolution monitors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does HDMI 1.4 support 165Hz?

Yes, HDMI 1.4 can support a 165Hz refresh rate (165 frames per second) if your gaming monitor has an 8-bit color depth.

Does HDMI 1.4 support a 165Hz refresh rate?

No, HDMI 1.4 does not support a 165Hz refresh rate. The maximum refresh rate supported by HDMI 1.4 is 120Hz at 1080p resolution.

Does HDMI 2.0 support 165Hz?

Yes, HDMI 2.0 can support 165Hz refresh rate for 8-bit and 10-bit full HD 1080P monitors. For QHD or UHD displays, you will need at least HDMI 2.1.

Can HDMI 2.0 support 165Hz 1440P?

It is not supported UNLESS you wish to downgrade the settings.

To support 165Hz at 1440P resolution, you would need to lower the color depth of your monitor to 8 bits and set Chroma subsampling to 4:2:0 or 4:2:2.

Can HDMI 2.1 support 165Hz 1440P?

Yes, it can work for 8-bit and 10-bit color bit depth monitors.

Do you need a display port for 165Hz?

You will only need a display port to run a 165Hz refresh rate monitor IF the HDMI port version on your monitor or your PC does not support the max resolution of your monitor at 165Hz.

It should be noted that the display port itself has limitations regarding the max bandwidth it can carry. Hence, 4K @ 165Hz would also not be possible for DP 1.2 or even for DP 1.4.

1. What is the maximum refresh rate that HDMI can support?

HDMI 2.0 and higher versions support up to 240Hz refresh rate at 1080p and up to 60Hz at 4K resolution.

2. Does HDMI 1.4 support 165Hz refresh rate?

No, HDMI 1.4 does not support a 165Hz refresh rate. The maximum refresh rate supported by HDMI 1.4 is 120Hz at 1080p resolution.

3. How can I check if my HDMI cable supports 165Hz refresh rate?

To check if your HDMI cable supports a 165Hz refresh rate, please ensure it is at least HDMI 2.0 compliant. You can also check the product specifications or consult the manufacturer’s website.

4. Can I use HDMI 2.0 or HDMI 2.1 to get a 165Hz refresh rate?

Yes, both HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1 support up to 240Hz refresh rate at 1080p resolution, which means they can also support a 165Hz refresh rate. However, you must ensure that your graphics card and monitor are compatible with HDMI 2.0 or 2.1 to get a 165Hz refresh rate.

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