Is HDR Worth it for Gaming in 2021? Here’s Everything You Need to Know about HDR!

Display technology has been growing at a tremendous pace. 

It started with the black and white display, then color, and now we have something called a high dynamic range or HDR display. 

The technology has been around for a few years now. 

Many people have been praising HDR displays, especially in 2021.

But you’re probably wondering:

Is HDR worth it for gaming?

Well, today we will talk just about that.

In our opinion, HDR is worth it for gaming. HDR displays will offer a more immersive gaming and realistic gaming experience.

In this post, we will talk about the HDR display technology more in-depth.

We will talk about:

  • Is HDR Mode Good for Gaming?
  • Does HDR Slows Gaming?
  • Is HDR10 Better than HDR400?
  • HDR Gaming vs. Non-HDR gaming.
  • And more

Keep on reading if you want to know more about HDR displays for gaming.

Is HDR Mode Good for Gaming?

More and more display monitor and TV now has this HDR feature.

You can get a 4K HDR gaming monitor for cheap in 2021. 

Many graphic cards manufacturers also now have HDR support as their standard feature.

You can find HDR in games quite easily now too.

Game developers have been releasing games with HDR mode in the last couple of years.

Even the latest generation of gaming console also supports HDR.

HDR or High Dynamic Range is a display technology to reproduce a greater and broader range of brightness and color.

The human eye can only see a certain range of colors and brightness. This is known as the dynamic range. 

Most displays cannot cover this entire range, which can be annoying if you have a display that cannot show the entire color range. 

HDR technology tries to solve this problem by increasing the brightness and color range to cover the entire dynamic range.

So if a display monitor can support HDR, it means the display can produce a more vivid and realistic color that human eyes can see.

Question is:

Is HDR mode good for gaming?

With more vibrant and realistic colors, the gaming experience should be great, right?

If this is not the case, we are sure developers won’twon’t bring HDR features into their games.

In many ways, HDR is good for gaming. The increased color and brightness allow for a more realistic gaming experience that is pleasing to our eyes.

In addition, HDR technology allows for better lighting and shadows that result in more immersive gameplay.

Take a look at this video of HDR gaming vs. Non-HDR gaming below.

You can see from that video, with HDR mode on, the color, shadows, and lighting looks more solid and natural to the eyes.

The only downside to HDR for gaming is that to display HDR content, you will need hardware that supports HDR as well. This can lead you to more expensive parts.

Does HDR Slows Gaming?

To answer this question, we have to look at the comparison between Non-HDR mode or SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) and HDR mode activated.

Let’s look at this video that compares FPS or Frame Per Second between Non-HDR and HDR.

After watching the video, we can see that there are differences in FPS between SDR and HDR in games.

Take Battlefield 1, for example. 

It has 95 average FPS on a 4k SDR monitor. 

While with 4K HDR monitors, it only gains 87 average FPS.

It is about a 10% average FPS difference between HDR and SDR.

So does HDR slows gaming?

From the test above, we can see that HDR does slow gaming for a bit. Playing on HDR mode will require more processing power that will put more load on your graphics card, resulting in a lower frame per second.

However, this is not a big issue for most gamers.

If you are playing competitive gaming, where do you need all the FPS you can get from your gaming computer? Then yes, you should avoid HDR.

The small FPS drop in HDR mode might be substantial in competitive gaming.

But if you play just for fun or a single-player game, you have to turn on the HDR.

It will grant you an incredibly realistic and immersive view.

Especially paired with a high-end graphics card, the FPS drop is minimum.

Is HDR10 better than HDR400?

This is not a simple question because HDR10 and HDR400 indicate two entirely different things.

10 in the HDR10 indicates that the monitor supports 10-bit colors, which means the monitor can now display a wider range of colors.

Meanwhile, 400 in HDR400 refers to the VESA certification given to a monitor based on how bright the monitor can be.

HDR400 means the monitor capable of displaying 400 nits luminance.

Essentially, all HDR400 monitors will have 10-bit color support.

So back to the question, is HDR10 better than HDR400?

In most cases, we would say that having an HDR400 monitor is better compared to a standard HDR10 monitor. With an HDR400 gaming monitor, you can now have the monitor brightness up to 400 nits.

The brighter your monitor can get, the more details you can see from the picture displayed.

Here’s the deal, with a brighter monitor, the bright part and dark part of your picture can be separated very well.

This will result in a more realistic and vivid, and immersive gaming experience.

If you want to take HDR to the maximum for gaming, you can look at HDR1000 gaming monitors.

These monitors are capable of reaching a brightness of 1,000 nits, resulting in a very contrasty picture.

However, please note that HDR400 and HDR1000 are more expensive compared to an ordinary HDR monitor.

This is because most of the monitors in the market today can only reach to 300 – 350 nits of brightness.

So if you want to get one of these monitors, prepare some budget beforehand.

Also read: Are Curved Monitors Good for Gaming?

Is HDR Worth it for PS4?

Well, HDR is very much for it if you are playing on a PlayStation 4. The PS4 games you play will have better pictures with more vivid colors, giving you a more immersive experience.

Unlike a typical gaming PC, people will play their PS4 on their TV.

TV monitors tend to have better HDR capability than a gaming monitor.

Because of this, playing on your big screen TV with HDR on your PS4 will result in a fantastic gaming experience.

Visually stunning games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Assassin Creeds series will transport you right in the midst of the game with HDR mode.


So, in conclusion, Is HDR worth it for gaming?

Yes, HDR is worth it for your gaming enjoyment. We recommend you to turn on HDR mode to get more vivid colors and stunning pictures. You can immerse yourself and enjoy the visual of the game more with HDR mode.

However, there are exceptional cases.

In competitive gaming, HDR might drop your FPS a little bit.

You might need powerful hardware to run HDR, so your FPS can drop a bit.

So if you are using a potato PC, we suggest turning off HDR because this might put more load into your CPU and GPU.

Other than this, we highly suggest you at least try for once playing in HDR mode.

After that, let us know what do you think about it using the comment box below.

About the Author
Hi, I'm Steve. I'm a proud gamer. I have been active within the gaming sphere for 30+ years. As gaming is something I enjoy very much, I want other people to enjoy it also. That is exactly why I started this blog.

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