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QN85A vs. QN90A: Which is the Better Neo QLED Gaming TV?

In 2021, Samsung released two Neo QLED television sets with the QN85A and QN90A. So, which of these 4K UHD TVs is better when it comes to playing games on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and other gaming systems?

You can find out in this comparison guide between the two Neo QLEDs.

Quick Summary

When compared to the Samsung QN85A Series Neo QLED 4K Smart TV, the Samsung QN90A Series Neo QLED 4K Smart TV features better contrast ratios, with or without local dimming, in addition to having better HDR brightness levels. The QN90A is also the only one of the two to support GSYNC.

So, if you are looking for the better gaming television and/or planning to use the TV to play PC games on a NVIDIA graphics card, then you should get the Samsung QN90A.

Although not as bright as the QN90A, the QN85A is still a great HDR television set. Not to mention that it has essentially the same extremely low input lag as the QN90A.

So, if you think the Samsung QN90A is a little too expensive, then the Samsung QN85A is still a great gaming TV at a more affordable price point as long as you don’t plan to use to use the GSYNC feature.

If you are interested, you can purchase either of the aforementioned televisions on Amazon with the following links:

If you want to mount either of these television sets on a wall, then you can take a look at this buyer’s guide.

QN85A vs. QN90A Comparison Chart

You can take a look at Seeking Tech’s comparison table for the two 2021 Neo QLEDs below.

 Samsung QN85A Series Neo QLED 4K Smart TVSamsung QN90A Series Neo QLED 4K Smart TV
Native Contrast Ratio1373:13510:1
Contrast with Local Dimming Enabled1956:126534:1
HDMI Ports1x HDMI 2.1 port

3x HDMI 2.0 ports
1x HDMI 2.1 port

3x HDMI 2.0 ports
Other Gaming InputsCable/antenna tunerCable/antenna tuner
HDR FeaturesHDR

HDR10

Wide Color Gamut
HDR

HDR10

Wide Color Gamut
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness1265 nits1862 nits
HDR Peak 2% Window488 nits709 nits
HDR Peak 10% Window1066 nits1614 nits
HDR Peak 25% Window1244 nits1655 nits
HDR Peak 50% Window1073 nits1110 nits
HDR Peak 100% Window677 nits757 nits
HDR Sustained 2% Window486 nits702 nits
HDR Sustained 10% Window1062 nits1597 nits
HDR Sustained 25% Window1239 nits1639 nits
HDR Sustained 50% Window1068 nits1106 nits
HDR Sustained 100% Window676 nits755 nits
HDR ABL0.0520.051
Adaptive Sync SupportFreeSync

Variable Refresh Rate
FreeSync

GSYNC

Variable Refresh Rate
Input Lag at 1080p/60Hz in Game Mode10.3 ms10.1 ms
Input Lag at 1080p/120Hz in Game Mode5.3 ms5.7 ms
Input Lag at 1440p/60Hz in Game Mode9.8 ms10.0 ms
Input Lag at 1440p/120Hz in Game Mode5.3 ms5.9 ms
Input Lag at 4K/60Hz in Game Mode9.7 ms9.8 ms
Input Lag at 4K/60Hz/HDR in Game Mode9.8 ms9.7 ms
Input Lag at 4K/120Hz in Game Mode5.3 ms5.3 ms
Input Lag at 4K/60Hz/4:4:49.7 ms9.8 ms
Input Lag at 4K/60Hz with Interpolation20.6 ms20.8 ms
Input Lag at 1080p/60Hz with Game Mode Disabled81.6 ms76.8 ms
Input Lag at 4K/60Hz with Game Mode Disabled68.6 ms76.6 ms
PricingCheck price on Amazon.Check price on Amazon.

Contrast Ratios

According to RTINGS.com, the QN90A has much better contrast ratios, with or without local dimming, when compared to the QN85A.

As a result, games will look better, especially when playing a dark scene from a videogame in a dark ambient setting.

You can find RTINGS’ contrast ratios findings, which can vary depending on individual displays, for the QN85A and QN90A below:

Native Contrast

  • QN85A: 1373:1
  • QN90A: 3510:1

Contrast with Local Dimming Enabled

  • QN85A: 1956:1
  • QN90A: 26534:1

HDMI Ports

Both the Samsung QN85A and QN90A Series Neo QLED 4K Smart TVs come with four HDMI ports, three of which is HDMI 2.0 while the last one is HDMI 2.1.

HDMI 2.1 provides enough bandwidth to play games at up to 120 frames per second in 4K on the PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

HDMI 2.0 is good enough to play games at up to 120 frames per second in 1440p on the Xbox Series S.

Both the HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1 ports are also compatible with older HDMI versions. As a result, you can play games at up to 60 frames per second in 1080p on the PS4, Xbox One S, Nintendo Switch and other older consoles that use the HDMI input.

Other Gaming Inputs

When it comes to other inputs, the QN85A and QN90A both come with a cable/antenna tuner that you can use to connect retro gaming systems like the NES, Super NES, Sega Genesis and more.

HDR Features

The two Neo QLED television sets in this comparison guide are compatible with HDR10, HDR10+ and wide color gamut.

The PC, PS4, PS4 Pro, PS5, Xbox One S, Xbox One X, Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X use HDR10 as well as wide color gamut.

Neither of these Neo QLEDs support Dolby Vision, which will be added to the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X systems in the future.

HDR Brightness in Game Mode

As for the HDR brightness levels, both the of these television sets can get very bright.

With that said, the QN90A is easily brighter than the QN85A in all scenes that were tested by RTINGS.com, including the peak brightness level.

For HDR to be effective, we recommend a TV that is able to reach at least 500 nits of brightness level. The QN90A easily surpassed that minimum in all scenes tested. The QN85A is also to reach this threshold quiet easily in most scenes with the exception of falling slightly below at HDR Peak 2% Window and HDR Sustained 2% Window.

You can check out the RTINGS HDR brightness test results for the QN85A and QN90A below:

HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness

  • QN85A: 1265 nits
  • QN90A: 1862 nits

HDR Peak 2% Window

  • QN85A: 488 nits
  • QN90A: 709 nits

HDR Peak 10% Window

  • QN85A: 1066 nits
  • QN90A: 1614 nits

HDR Peak 25% Window

  • QN85A: 1244 nits
  • QN90A: 1655 nits

HDR Peak 50% Window

  • QN85A: 1073 nits
  • QN90A: 1110 nits

HDR Peak 100% Window

  • QN85A: 677 nits
  • QN90A: 757 nits

HDR Sustained 2% Window

  • QN85A: 486 nits
  • QN90A: 702 nits

HDR Sustained 10% Window

  • QN85A: 1062 nits
  • QN90A: 1597 nits

HDR Sustained 25% Window

  • QN85A: 1239 nits
  • QN90A: 1639 nits

HDR Sustained 50% Window

  • QN85A: 1068 nits
  • QN90A: 1106 nits

HDR Sustained 100% Window

  • QN85A: 676 nits
  • QN90A: 755 nits

HDR ABL

  • QN85A: 0.052
  • QN90A: 0.051

Adaptive Sync Support

Adaptive Sync is designed to help with inconsistent frame rates as it will remove stutters and screen tearing.

The Samsung QN85A is compatible with gaming hardware that use FreeSync and Variable Refresh Rate while the Samsung QN90A is compatible with hardware that use FreeSync, GSYNC and Variable Refresh Rate.

FreeSync is supported by AMD graphics cards while GSYNC is supported by NVIDIA graphics cards.

Variable Refresh Rate is currently supported by the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X. VRR is also expected to be added to the PlayStation 5 via a future firmware update for the console.

Input Lag

When it comes to input lag reduction, the QN85A and QN90A are both excellent when game mode is activated as both are easily below our recommended upper latency limit of 30 ms if you want a responsive gaming experience.

When compared against each other, the two Neo QLED 4K Smart TVs are pretty much identical as the difference is often less than 1 ms when game mode is used.

You can check out RTINGS’ input lag test results for the QN85A and QN90A below:

1080p resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Enabled)

  • QN85A: 10.3 ms
  • QN90A: 10.1 ms

1080p resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Enabled)

  • QN85A: 5.3 ms
  • QN90A: 5.7 ms

1440p resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Enabled)

  • QN85A: 9.8 ms
  • QN90A: 10.0 ms

1440p resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Enabled)

  • QN85A: 5.3 ms
  • QN90A: 5.9 ms

4K resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Enabled)

  • QN85A: 9.7 ms
  • QN90A: 9.8 ms

4K resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate + 10 bit HDR (Game Mode Enabled)

  • QN85A: 9.8 ms
  • QN90A: 9.7 ms

4K resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Enabled)

  • QN85A: 5.3 ms
  • QN90A: 5.3 ms

4K resolution and 60 Hz at 4:4:4

  • QN85A: 9.7 ms
  • QN90A: 9.8 ms

4K resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate with Interpolation

  • QN85A: 20.6 ms
  • QN90A: 20.8 ms

1080p resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Disabled)

  • QN85A: 81.6 ms
  • QN90A: 76.8 ms

4K resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Disabled)

  • QN85A: 68.6 ms
  • QN90A: 76.6 ms