Since the early part of 2018 I have been seeing advertisements for the strange new device called the mCable by Marseille. This magic gadget claims to enhance your image quality while gaming and leaving many wondering if it can live up to this bold statement. For those of you looking for a short answer… yes, this cable does work. For those of you looking for a second short answer… yes, there are some caveats. Can this replace your current RTX 2080Ti and your 4K 144hz set up? Well, if you are that rich then you are most likely above my lifestyle. Getting back to the subject at hand here: what exactly does this cable do and is it even necessary?
Let me explain…
How mCable Works
Inside the HDMI cable itself is a post-processing chip that does all work frame-by-frame for the gameplay at hand. Simply plug one end into your console and the other into your TV/monitor; you will also notice that there is a USB cable attached, which is how the enhancement is powered as to provide the image on your screen (check the images below for reference). The best way to achieve visual improvement is by having your resolution settings set to 480p through 1080p. Unfortunately, there is no support for anything higher than 1080p; if you are looking for an uptick in quality from the 2K to 4K space, you are out of luck.
The mCable provides an anti-aliasing technique that smooths out edges and creates full textured lines to provide an image that is much more realistic looking as opposed to using a plain old HDMI cable. When first connected to my monitor, there seemed to be a slight increase in contrast, making colors pop out on my monitor a little more than I was used too. The spec notes claim that there is such a feature but I am not sure exactly how powerful or color correct the image output may be. However, I feel like my eyes were looking for more than what this cable is capable of. I am an optimist—what can I say!
Another interesting point I would like to address was the increase of VRAM usage on my PC when this cable was in use. When running Black Ops 4 at 1080p at 144hz (mCable only supports up to 120fps – these were PC settings), my VRAM level sits comfortably at around 6500 – 7000. But when the mCable is attached, there was a slight bump up to around 8600-9000. I am not exactly sure why this took place, perhaps it is due to the SMAA technique at hand, even though you would think that the chip would handle the brunt of the work. While this is not a make it or break it feature for myself, I believe that it is worth noting if you are close to maxing out your VRAM settings using a lower-tier graphics card.
The stills provided were taken from Black Ops 4 Zombies’ map, Blood of the Dead. These screenshots were taken using an Elgato 4K60 Pro PCIe Capture Device and zoomed in to the max using the basic photo program on Windows 10. Notice how the first image does not have nearly the amount of anti-aliasing (or smoothing) of the lines making up the image. The light pole is the most noticeable but there is much more in the photo that emphasize the differences between the two cables. How many can you spot?
Is mCable Worth It?
This cable is definitely more impressive than I thought it would be initially, but it is worth the $119.00 price point? If you have a PC with a high-level GTX or RTX graphics card and a great display with it, I would say this cable is NOT for you. If you are using a mid-tier graphics card, console, or a 720p or 1080p monitor alongside of it, this cable is a must-have. I have been using it on my PS4 slim for about 2 weeks now and the mCable is truly impressive. I am going to continue using the cable for the next few months and switch it around to test it on different monitors and consoles. Hopefully, the image boosting does not limit to current generation titles only and further secrets come to the surface through more experimentation. Check back in the future to see any updates about this product!
Make sure to check out the mCable here and use promo code “TECHRAPTOR” to get up to $30 off your purchase!
What do you think of the mCable by Merseille? Is it worth it, or do you not believe it can help you? Will we ever get a IRL version of Rocko’s Modern Life? (I am looking at you Nickelodeon…)