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McIntosh MX123 A/V Processor upgraded with HDMI 2.1 gaming and 8K

McIntosh MX123 A/V Processor with 8K upgrade
(Image credit: McIntosh)

McIntosh has brought the next-generation of gaming and 8K resolution fun to its premium McIntosh MX123 A/V Processor. As of September, all new McIntosh MX123 A/V Processors shipped will come with three HDMI 2.1-certified ports including all the en vogue gaming standards plus one or two which are even ahead of the curve.

That means VRR, ALLM, QMS (quick media switching) and 4K gaming at 120fps as well as the inclusion of HDMI QFT to truly minimise input lag. As well as gaming, HDMI 2.1 also brings support for 8K too and the ability for this unit to upscale content to 8K levels.

The only bad news is for those who have already bought the original version of the McIntosh MX123 A/V Processor because it won't be possible to upgrade to the 8K and HDMI 2.1 abilities through an OTA update to the firmware. Sad times.

Of the 10 HDMI ports in the new model, there's only one input which is HDMI 2.1-rated. The two other HDMI 2.1 sockets are outputs. While that might not be a problem at present the introduction of an 8K optical disc standard or an 8K media streamer could lead to a fair bit of hot-swapping.

McIntosh MX123 A/V Processor rear view with ports

(Image credit: McIntosh)

The original 4K McIntosh MX123 A/V Processor was released in February 2020. The 8K model will still support 13.2 discrete channels, as well as features such as eARC, Dolby Atmos (including Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizer), DTS:X, Auro-3D, Sony's 360 Reality Audio, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10 and HLG.

There’s AirPlay 2, Bluetooth, Spotify ConnectIMAX Enhanced and DSD128 and ALAC 192kHz support in addition to Audyssey MultEQ XT32 calibration too.

All of the HDMI sockets support HDCP 2.3, Rec. 2020, 4:4:4 colour spacing, Dynamic Lip-sync and 3D Video pass-through.

Naturally, all of this extra goodness comes at a slight uptick in price point. The 8K and HDMI 2.1-rated McIntosh MX123 A/V Processor now costs £10,495 ($8000). That's £500 ($500) more than before.

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Dan Sung

Dan is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and his job is with product reviews as well as news, feature and advice articles too. He works across both the hi-fi and AV parts of the site and magazine and has a particular interest in home cinema. Dan joined What Hi-Fi? in 2019 and has worked in tech journalism for over a decade, writing for Tech Digest, Pocket-lint, MSN Tech and Wareable as well as freelancing for T3, Metro and the Independent. Dan has a keen interest in playing and watching football. He has also written about it for the Observer and FourFourTwo and ghost authored John Toshack's autobiography, Toshack's Way.