How a bad HDMI / DP cable can ruin your 4k Hackintosh with flickering

If a poor quality HDMI or DisplayPort cable is plugged in your display can flicker, cut in and out or even display no signal sign or a nice black screen. This is much more likely to happen if you are using a monitor or TV that can output 4k 60Hz  or have a multi display setup.

HDMI Flickering in macOS High Sierra

Take for example this video I recorded using different HDMI cables on my High Sierra hackintosh the first cable used is this 25ft SecurOMax HDMI Cable which is suppose to be able to handle 4k60, but for some reason can’t display more than 30Hz without flickering while this second cable Cable Matters Premium HDMI Cable could handle 4k60 on a hackintosh just fine.

So what I think the problem here is that the SecurOMax HDMI can’t actually handle the bandwidth demands of 4k60 despite being improperly labeled saying that it can while the second Cable Matters Certified HDMI cable has no problems whatsoever. I also think that macOS is just finicky when it comes to certain things working fine and others not.

I’ve tested a couple HDMI high speed cables and I’ll add to the list as I test more whether suitable to handle 4k60. Avoid brands like SecurOMax as that what was cable I got screen flickering/no display with. Remember if you want 4k60 with HDMI you a graphics card with an HDMI 2.0 port and disable CSM in BIOS or a motherboard that can support HDMI 2.0 over the iGPU.

Hackintosh HDMI Cable Recommendations:
  1. Cable Matters [Certified] Premium HDMI Cable with 4K HDR Support

Also here’s a high quality but pricey HDMI cable that is compliant and recommended be used with Apple TV & 4k display.

Apple TV Recommendation:

Hackintosh Blacklisted HDMI Cables:

  1. SecurOMax HDMI Cable (Flickering, no signal,)
  2. AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable (Caused glitching + flashing in a multi monitor setup)

With DisplayPort there isn’t a bandwidth problem, but some cables can still cause problems. I got screen flickering using a Rankie Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort Cable to which I promptly threw in the garbage out of frustration.

Hackintosh DisplayPort Cable Recommendations:

  1. Cable Matters Gold Plated DisplayPort Cable

Related:

Best Hackintosh 4k HDMI to Display Port (DP) adapter

Want HDMI 4k 60hz to work with integrated graphics? Buy one of these motherboards

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2 Comments on "How a bad HDMI / DP cable can ruin your 4k Hackintosh with flickering"

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Dmitry
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Dmitry

What if my cables been working for months and suddenly I get flickering at 4K, which almost goes away after reboot and then grows?

Benjamin Nyström
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Benjamin Nyström

Hey there,

I just purchased a 3440×1440 100 Hz display. I’ve tried it on a 2015 13 inch macbook pro with my cable, and it’s fine at 60 Hz (no option to choose 100).

When using my Hackintosh, I get major flickering which ends with no signal. If I unplug and then replug the cable all works well again. This is really frustrating. Could it be the cable or something with my mobo / hackintosh setup that I should investigate further?

The only option to investigate further would be to install windows (ugh) and test it there. Not too hyped about that….

What do you think?