Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
This type of computer components, such as video capture cards, cannot be called mainstream, and there is not such a wide range of models on the market when compared with the same motherboards or video cards. Nevertheless, for some important tasks such a device turns out to be a highly effective solution, and in some cases the only possible one. The editorial staff of the magazine offers you an extended review of the best video capture cards, according to our experts, in the first half of 2020.
- What is video capture card
- How to choose a video capture card
- Internal or external
- The quality and speed of the existing Internet connection
- Rating of the best video capture cards
- The best internal video capture cards for streaming
- Hauppauge Colossus 2
- AVerMedia Live Gamer HD Lite
- AVerMedia Live Gamer HD 2
- AVerMedia Technologies Live Gamer 4K GC573
- Elgato Game Capture HD60 PRO
- Elgato Game Capture 4K60 PRO
- Best external video capture cards for streaming
- AVerMedia Live Gamer Extreme 2
- AVerMedia Technologies Live Gamer Portable 2 PLUS
- Elgato Game Capture HD60 S
- AVerMedia Technologies Game Capture HD II
- Razer Ripsaw
What is video capture card
First, let's define the terminology and briefly orient the reader to the topic. Perhaps it is for you that the video capture card will be a simple, effective and inexpensive solution to urgent tasks, which you might not even know about.
So, the video capture card, according to the original concept, is an electronic device designed to convert an analog signal into a digital video stream. The device can be internal – connected directly to the motherboard via PCI or PCI-E interfaces, or external – with a connection, most often via USB. Gradually, with the development of technology and the total translation of everything that is possible into digital, manufacturers began to abandon analog interfaces in favor of exclusively digital ones. Therefore, even the concept of 'capture' in relation to the digital stream has remained just a formality, and means nothing more than just recording.
Actually, the function of video capture can be performed by a video card in a computer, and even by the central processor itself with an integrated video module. However, only a limited range of tasks can be solved this way, and certainly not the recording of terrestrial or satellite TV programs. If we are talking about game streaming, especially in high definition, or about a centralized video surveillance system with video recording of a stream from several cameras, you absolutely cannot do without a separate device.
The video capture card allows you to shoot a video stream bypassing the video card and even in some cases the computer as such. Such a device is able not only to radically unload the system and prevent unpleasant and often fatal lags, but also to solve the fundamental possibility of performing tasks that are beyond the power of even the most powerful video card.
Video capture cards are often also called video capture cards – these are synonyms and mean the same thing. In addition, it is useful to know that stand-alone TV tuners are essentially nothing more than video capture cards, only with a more pronounced specialization.
How to choose a video capture card
Now let's briefly analyze the main characteristics that will help you make a specific choice when buying a video capture card.
Internal or external
Contrary to popular belief, they say, the external is definitely better than the internal, this point is far from so obvious. In fact, there are pros and cons in both form factors.
The obvious advantage of an external video capture card is portability. It can be disabled at any time and moved to another computer. On the other hand, internal cards have significantly fewer “intermediaries” that affect the speed of data processing, and due to a direct connection to the motherboard, by definition, they provide the fastest possible data exchange. On the other hand, if the internal card hangs, you will have to reboot the computer completely, while in the case of an external card, it will be enough to turn it off and on itself.
The general recommendations of experts in this regard are as follows. If you plan to configure a stationary workstation for high definition streaming, or a centralized video surveillance system that will specialize only in this, it is preferable to choose an internal video capture card. If the computer is often used for other purposes, for which the presence of additional and temporarily unnecessary hardware in the system is meaningless or even undesirable, it is optimal to choose something worthy of external video capture cards.
It is highly recommended that if you are buying an external card, then choose models with an interface not lower than USB 3.0. This will minimize the difference in processing speed and data transfer.
The quality and speed of the existing Internet connection
How fast and stable your Internet connection is can directly affect the choice of video capture card. So, on a connection with insufficient bandwidth, you will not be able to stream in ultra-high definition. Another thing is that the board can be purchased and 'for growth', assuming the prospect of improving the quality of communication. But if such an upgrade is not foreseen, there is no point in buying a road fee.
The same goes for cards that support multiple sources. For a video recording system, such an acquisition is a necessity, but for a streaming station it is a pointless waste of money.
With regards to the connection speed in the context of streaming, then for SD quality 480p, 3Mbps will be enough (if the channel is not loaded with something additionally), with 720p, all other things being equal, a 5Mbps channel will be handled, for FullHD 1080p you need at least 8Mbps , and for 4K – not less than 25Mbps.
The indicated speed figures are negligible for large cities of the Russian Federation, since in 2020 Internet providers provide access to the Internet at much higher speeds. But in regions, and even more so in special conditions where only mobile Internet without 4G is available, these indicators should be borne in mind. The speed must be compared with the capabilities of the video card. There is no point in buying expensive models capable of capturing a 4K stream at 60 frames per second, if the connection speed simply cannot physically support such data transfer.
And one more circumstance that can determine whether you need a video capture card at all, and if so, which one.
Owners of game consoles who plan to stream, especially in high quality, will need a video capture card with almost no alternative. The power of the consoles is most often optimized specifically for playing without sufficient reserves for other tasks. When choosing a board for the console, you should compare the capabilities of one and the other. So, for simplified slim-versions of consoles, it makes no sense to buy expensive video capture cards, since the console by itself simply cannot provide the quality that the board is capable of recording. Whereas more advanced modifications, the same PS4 Pro or Xbox One X, are already capable of much more.
Gemers with gaming desktop PCs already have a choice – with a sufficiently powerful processor and video card in combination with moderate requests for stream 'picture' quality, a separate video capture card may not be needed. It is easy to check this ability of a gaming station – just run the game and specialized streaming software, and analyze the load on the system (video card, processor, RAM).
Rating of the best video capture cards
|Nomination||a place||Name of product||price|
|The best internal video capture cards for streaming||1||Hauppauge Colossus 2||RUB 9 600|
|2||AVerMedia Live Gamer HD Lite||RUB 6 490|
|3||AVerMedia Live Gamer HD 2||12 420 RUB|
|4||AVerMedia Technologies Live Gamer 4K GC573||RUB 19,173|
|5||Elgato Game Capture HD60 PRO||RUB 16 899|
|6||Elgato Game Capture 4K60 PRO||RUB 24,290|
|Best external video capture cards for streaming||1||AVerMedia Live Gamer Extreme 2||RUB 13,400|
|2||AVerMedia Technologies Live Gamer Portable 2 PLUS||12 431 RUB|
|3||Elgato Game Capture HD60 S||RUB 13,990|
|4||AVerMedia Technologies Game Capture HD II||11 156 rub.|
|5||Razer Ripsaw||RUB 11 490|
The best internal video capture cards for streaming
In the first selection of the review, we will consider the best, according to our experts, video capture cards that connect directly to the expansion slot of the PC motherboard. These are optimal solutions for the long term – all other things being equal in comparison with external ones, they provide faster data transfer, do not depend on the bandwidth of the USB port, and are not limited in functionality.
Hauppauge Colossus 2
Hauppauge Digital, a prominent American manufacturer of television equipment and related electronics, announced the release of the Colossus 2 video capture card back in 2011. The model has proven itself with dignity and there is still a demand for it. True, it should be borne in mind that the board is not sold everywhere, but this applies to almost all products of this group in view of their narrow specialization.
The device connects to a PCI Express slot. The following interfaces are displayed on the expansion bar: HDMI-input, HDMI-output, digital SP / DIF interface for transmitting audio streams over an optical cable, microphone input, IR input-output interface (blaster-emitter and receiver), component video input.
The Colossus 2 card is capable of capturing and recording video up to FullHD 1080p at up to 30 frames per second. Working hardware video codec H.264 provides an optimal ratio of stream compression and 'picture' quality. The bitrate can be set in the range from 1 to 20Mb / s.
A noticeable advantage of this model is its versatility. Due to the presence of the specified set of interfaces and functionality, the Colossus 2 can be effectively used to record an unencrypted video stream through the HDMI port, create high-quality HD recordings for playback on Xbox and PlayStation consoles, record TV programs from a satellite dish or any other source (cable TV, set-top box terrestrial digital TV), recording of gameplay from consoles Xbox and PlayStation.
The additional features of the Colossus 2 are no less interesting than the basic ones. So, gameplay from consoles can be recorded by sending a video stream through a component connection, and audio through an optical interface. With the video capture card, you can record high quality optical DVDs on the fly in AVCHD format, which is compatible with Blu-Ray players. So in one session, you can record up to 2 hours of HD video. Of course, the DVD format is hopelessly outdated, but even in 2020 there are a lot of users who are in no hurry to abandon it.
The same software is used to burn discs and upload video gameplay to YouTube – Arcsoft ShowBiz, which comes with the Colossus 2. For recording TV programs from a cable or satellite, the proprietary software WinTV Hauppauge v7 is recommended. There is even a set of StreamEez software for streaming on Twitch, YouTube and other platforms. Its usability raises questions in comparison with other products, but this software is fully functional and free.
- capture and record video in FullHD;
- many interfaces;
- burn 'on the fly' DVD compatible with Blu-ray;
- recording of television programs from satellite channels;
- the best option for old PCs with Windows 7 and below.
- outdated model;
- not the most flawless proprietary software.
AVerMedia Live Gamer HD Lite
The review will be continued by a kind of opposite of the previous model – a much less functional, but also much more affordable video capture card of the AverMedia trademark, well known for its TV tuners and related types of electronics. In fact, this is a simplified and maximally cheaper version of the main model without the Lite prefix, the second generation of which we will consider in the next paragraph.
The phrase Live Gamer in the title clearly hints at the main purpose of the device. Indeed, it is a simple, extremely easy-to-learn and easy-to-use device for recording gameplay with interesting and useful additional features.
The number of interfaces in this model is reduced to a minimum: two HDMI ports (input and output), two standard jacks (3.5mm mini-jack) for audio. The board itself connects to the PCI-Express slot of the motherboard and takes up one seat on the back of the PC.
Like the previous model, this card is capable of efficiently recording video in various resolutions – from 640×480 all the way up to FullHD 1920×1080. The principle of application is the same – the video card is connected to the HDMI input of the video capture card, which, in turn, feeds the image to the monitor via the HDMI output. The system recognizes the device as a 'monitor' with the name AVerMedia HD. The sound is connected in the same way. Also, no one forbids recording not gameplay, but simply a video stream from any receiver using only an HDMI cable.
The proprietary software for setting and managing modes AverMedia Live Gamer HD Lite deserves special mention and praise. Firstly, the software interface is extremely competently translated into Russian. Secondly, the interface itself is intuitive, logical and clear, visually well presented. Mode management provides a simplified approach for beginners and more granular settings for advanced users.
The package contents of this Lite model are extremely ascetic – the board itself, a short HDMI cable and documentation. But this 'cost of living' is another factor of the affordable price. In a more expensive older configuration, which we will consider later, the complete set is more interesting.
- simplicity and functionality;
- ultimate availability in development, management and customization;
- reliability and smooth operation;
- records in FullHD quality;
- fully Russified software interface;
- affordable price.
- discontinued, on sale a limited number.
AVerMedia Live Gamer HD 2
Following the previous model, we will consider its own expanded, if not a full-fledged version. This is the second generation of AVerMedia Live Gamer HD video capture card. It was released relatively recently – in 2017. It is also not sold everywhere, but it is much easier to find it on online trading platforms than the same Hauppauge Colossus 2.
Externally, the card is almost one-to-one similar to the previous one, but here the manufacturer does not skimp on 'premium accessories', so the board is equipped with a protective metal casing with designer perforations and illuminated AVerMedia proprietary attributes. In an open case, the PC looks very impressive.
The external similarity with the previous model is manifested in the interfaces. Here we see exactly the same set of HDMI pass-through on the expansion bar (two interfaces – input and output) and the same pass-through audio interface – two 3.5mm mini-jacks. It would seem that the difference between these models is small, but in fact it is very significant, and consists in functionality and capabilities. And this model is much more expensive.
The main advantage of this card is the ability to efficiently capture and record an uncompressed video stream in high quality FullHD 1920 × 1080 with a comfortable frame rate of 60fps. And exactly this is its important drawback – the device is not designed above the FullHD 'ceiling', and at a very impressive price, 4K content cannot be obtained with its help. However, at the time of the release of the model, affordable capture cards simply did not exist, so this circumstance cannot even be written down as direct shortcomings of this model.
The software that AVerMedia provides for working with this card is significantly different from the software of the simplified version described above. The interface is quite clear and logical, convenient and unobtrusive, but already without clear curtsies towards newcomers – everything is by function. The main program is RECentral 3. It captures the gameplay and provides a high-quality 'picture' of the stream for a variety of platforms – YouTube, Facebook, Twitch and others. A useful addition to RECentral 3 is the Stream Engine plugin, which efficiently optimizes the use of system resources when running critical streaming software like XSplit or OBS.
Against the background of the overall positive impression of the proprietary software, one cannot but mention the drawback. Native software has some strange limitations in the choice of codecs and containers. Alternative software compatible with this video capture card does not have such problems.
- efficient and reliable recording of uncompressed video without delays;
- you can combine audio streams and system sounds;
- recording in FullHD at 60 frames / sec;
- high-quality hardware compression;
- appearance, lighting.
- limitations of native software.
AVerMedia Technologies Live Gamer 4K GC573
Finally, the third, and the most powerful in the selection of the best internal video capture cards is a model manufactured by AverMedia Technologies. This is a Live Gamer 4K GC573, and, as the name suggests, the card is capable of recording a 4K video stream. And this is far from the only bright and expressive quality of this very expensive flagship model.
The board connects to the motherboard PCI-E connector. Its dimensions are not too different from the previous two, that is, very compact, even taking into account the protective casing. Therefore, it will easily fit even in a small miniITX case. The appearance is almost the same as that of the Live Gamer HD 2 – a designer casing, backlighting. Moreover, there are already several zones with RGB-backlit, which can be adjusted separately.
The rear panel contains interfaces – two HDMI2.0 sockets. Pass-through connection allows you to maintain the original quality of the broadcast video stream without delays.
As mentioned at the beginning, the device is capable of capturing and recording video in ultra-high resolution 4K, and even at a comfortable rate of 60 frames per second. There is even built-in HDR support. As for the FullHD resolution, the board is capable of an incredible frame rate of 240fps. H.264 or H.265 + AAC codecs are used to compress video with the highest possible quality. 5.1 and 7.1 multichannel audio pass-through is supported. HDCP protected recording is not supported.
The highly impressive hardware specs of the Live Gamer 4K GC573 blend harmoniously with proprietary software. The main tool for work is the 4th version of the Recentral multifunctional software complex. In the program environment, you can capture and record a stream, view the result, conduct online broadcasts, change all kinds of settings, switch modes.
The functionality of Recentral 4 is a separate big topic, and after purchasing a video capture card, it is recommended to study in detail the capabilities of the program in order not to miss anything important and useful. So, for example, not everyone knows that the standard software provides effective tools for editing, multi-streaming, creating different scenes with individual design, broadcasting websites, displaying panels for chatting and collecting donations, and much more.
For the sake of fairness, we note that with all the richness of the functionality of the standard software, some points still require improvement.
- flagship model;
- 4K recording;
- high and ultra-high frame rate;
- HDR support;
- powerful multifunctional software;
- end-to-end transmission of multichannel audio;
- appearance, customizable RGB lighting.
- individual software imperfections.
Elgato Game Capture HD60 PRO
Now let's look at two popular and well-proven video capture cards of the Elgato trademark among game streamers. Let's start with the simpler Game Capture HD60 PRO model. It serves as a kind of intermediate link between Game Capture HD60 S and the top Game Capture 4K60 Pro, which we will discuss below.
Game Capture HD60 PRO is a compact device for internal connection directly to the motherboard via PCI-Express interface. Dimensions – 122x56x14mm, weight – 102g. The electronics of the PCB are protected by a solid black cover. Its key difference from the younger models is the presence of the hardware H.264 codec. Experts qualify such a solution as extraordinary, since configurations of such a plan are typical for stand-alone devices with the ability to write directly to a memory card. Here we are talking about a conventional stationary capture card, and this hardware part adds serious advantages to the model. Another thing is that the codec itself for 2020 and for a card of this level is clearly outdated.
The capture card of this model supports different resolutions and ways of displaying the 'picture'. The minimum resolution is 480p, the maximum is 1080p at 60 frames per second. It also supports 30 frames, including interlaced (1080i, 576i). The maximum bitrate is 60Mbps.
The manufacturer already in the very technical characteristics of the device positions its full compatibility with the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch game consoles. The interface configuration here is exactly the same as that of the above-described capture card from AverMedia – two HDMI pass-through ports. In this case, the expansion bar is painted black with the same coating as the protective casing, and the ports are labeled with large white letters: 'IN' and 'OUT'. This seemingly trifle gives this model a big plus in terms of ergonomics, although, it would seem, what kind of ergonomics the internal device can have. The fact is that most often such signatures are made by stamping on the metal surface of the uncoated strip, and in conditions of insufficient lighting they are not corny.
The manufacturer's meticulous attention to detail is evident even in the package. Although it is modest, the presence of a shortened bracket-bracket for compact bodies says a lot about the responsible approach of the engineers of E LG ATO Communications.
- reputable and respected brand;
- high technical level;
- capture and record in quality up to FullHD 1080p 60fps.
- support for interlaced mode;
- manufacturer's attention to detail;
- built-in hardware codec.
- outdated codec for a relatively new card.
Elgato Game Capture 4K60 PRO
And the first part of the review of the best video capture cards according to the version of the top-end flagship E LG ATO Communications will complete – the version of Game Capture 4K60 PRO, capable of recording video content in ultra-high resolution 4K. In the gaming segment, as of the first half of 2020, we can more or less confidently say that this is objectively the best stationary solution on the market in this price and target segment.
At the time of the release of this model, its capabilities significantly exceeded existing game consoles, and the card's ability to efficiently capture and record a stream at 4K resolution at 60 frames per second was considered a prospect.
From the outward appearance of the board it is clear that we are dealing with a high-level device. A flawless build, a protective casing with a patterned exterior, all the same important 'little things' as the previous model. The interface configuration is the same – two HDMI pass-through ports. Just in case, we remind you that with regard to video capture cards the concept of 'through' for ports does not imply direct wiring – the signal will appear at the output only if the incoming signal meets the established standards. Dimensions of the device – 88 × 20 × 167mm, weight – 273g.
The above mentioned gripping capabilities are already written on the product packaging with a large margin – without effort (sans effort) and without failure (flawlessly). And in this case, this is not a marketing gimmick, but a real technological level. Powerful electronics are at the heart of this efficient operation: ITE Tech's IT6802E I / O controller; Sil9777CLUC processor by Silicon Image for signal processing; four working processors SmartDVO P11100 manufactured by Yuan (Taiwan).
The technical capabilities of Elgato Game Capture 4K60 PRO allow you to capture a video stream in 4K resolution with high frame rates from any external source. It can be really anything – a video camera, a player, a receiver, any equipment up to industrial or medical, which has a video output with a 4K stream. As for game consoles, here the market is just beginning to 'catch up' to the sky-high level of Game Capture 4K60 PRO. This means that this video capture card will not become outdated for a long time, since it was significantly ahead of its time.
- top flagship;
- recording video content in 4K;
- HDR support;
- stylish appearance;
- high-level electronics;
- significant backlog for the future.
- not fundamental, are lost against the background of indisputable merits.
Best external video capture cards for streaming
The second collection of the magazine's review of the best video capture cards is more extensive. Devices of external form factor will be presented here. Their main advantage is portability. Otherwise, the characteristics, as well as the cost, differ in the same wide range as for the internal boards.
AVerMedia Live Gamer Extreme 2
Let's start with a model produced by the well-known company AverMedia, the best products of which have already been presented in the previous selection. Here we take a look at the popular and relatively inexpensive Live Gamer Extreme 2 model, which, as you can easily understand, is aimed at game streamers.
Let's clarify right away that we are talking about the second generation of Live Gamer Extreme. This version is fundamentally different, since it does not have an analog input, but only a digital one. And this is not a drawback, but just a clear correspondence with progress – analog technologies in the mass have already become history.
Externally, the device is almost no different from the first version of Live Gamer Extreme, which was released a few years earlier. The same small plastic case with the same color scheme. Only here there are already only two functional interfaces – HDMI pass-through for input and output. Dimensions of the device – 45 × 97 × 29mm, weight – 182g.
The board is connected via a high-speed USB3.1 Type C port. The kit includes a connection cable from Type C to classic Type A. The maximum supported quality for capture corresponds to FullHD 1920 × 1080 resolution at 60p.
It's worth noting that the HDMI ports are pass-through here, and the device can pass video up to 4K at 60p unchanged. That is, during normal viewing of video content or playing at maximum speed, the 'picture' on the monitor will be as if it was directly connected, and the restriction in FullHD concerns only capture and recording.
With the software, AverMedia Live Gamer Extreme 2 has the same problem as other similar products of this brand – RECentral 4 has strange limitations in the codec selection parameters that are not available in third-party software. Fortunately, the manufacturer has prudently provided the DirectShow interface, due to which you can use any software for working with video streams to operate the board.
The model unleashes its full potential with an efficient and efficient hardware encoder. Even at a very modest 10Mbps bitrate, the device, in tandem with a powerful GPU, retains fine graphic details in the game. Considering the frame rate of 60 frames per second, the visual difference with orders of magnitude higher bitrate will be insignificant.
The most noticeable drawback of this model is that there is no possibility of offline recording to a memory card, bypassing a PC.
- Capture and record as FullHD 1920 × 1080 at 60p;
- maximum quality with an efficient hardware encoder;
- high-speed connection via USB3.1 Type C;
- support for interlaced mode;
- DirectShow – Compatible with third party capture or streaming software.
- offline recording to a memory card is impossible;
- limitations of standard software.
AVerMedia Technologies Live Gamer Portable 2 PLUS
Now let's look at another external AVerMedia video capture card that is already portable 'for real'. It means that it provides the ability to record the captured video stream to a memory card, thereby eliminating the offensive drawback of the previous model.
Let us warn the reader right away not to overestimate the proud '4K' marking on the packaging, as the 'pass-through' designation clarifies it. This means exactly the same ability as the model described above – end-to-end broadcasting of a video stream with a 4K frame size, but not capturing it. And such a deliberate emphasis on 4K end-to-end broadcasting is by no means only and not so much a marketing ploy. The fact is that the previous version of the model, without the PLUS prefix, is almost identical to this one in everything, except for this specified feature.
The dimensions of the device case are 147 × 57 × 47mm, weight – 185g. The design is distinctly gamer – angular lines, a combination of black and orange. On the upper edge there is a large triangular start button with multicolor LED backlighting. Other controls are the volume rocker button and the mode switch slider.
This model uses the more advanced HDMI 2.6 interface, which is an undeniable plus. There are also two standard 'minijack' 3.5mm jacks: one for headphones or a headset in headphone + microphone format; the second is also a four-pin for RCA stereo L / R that supports mixing mode. The card itself connects to a PC or console via USB 2.0 UVC, which, of course, cannot be called anything good, when, given the declared bandwidth, the card should be equipped with a third generation port.
The maximum working resolution for capture is FullHD 1920 × 1080 at 60p, including 720p, 1080i (interlaced) and 1080p. In offline mode, the maximum bitrate is 20Mbps. When working through a PC, the bitrate is formally unlimited, only by the capabilities of the computer itself and the corresponding software. Flash memory card format – SD / SDHC, recommended class 10 or higher.
- Capture and record video FullHD 1920 × 1080 at 60p;
- end-to-end transmission of 4K video signal;
- the ability to work offline with recording to a flash card;
- expressive design;
- HDMI version 2.6.
- outdated USB 2.0 interface.
Elgato Game Capture HD60 S
And again, in the review of the best video capture cards according to the magazine, E LG ATO Communications appears. This time, we'll take a look at the popular Game Capture HD60 S external model.
Externally, the model is a miniature device measuring 112 × 19 × 75mm and weighing 106g in a plastic case with fully rounded edges. The body color is black and the general style is made in the same spirit as the above-described internal models. Computer connection for installation and power supply – via USB 3.0.
It uses exactly the same scheme for connecting video interfaces as in the two previous models. HDMI ports are located on the narrow ends of the device on opposite sides from each other. The connection is end-to-end, and transmission through the board to the screen occurs without delays. The throughput for live streaming matches the board's recording capabilities – the 'picture' resolution is up to FullHD 1920 × 1080 at 60p.
The video capture card is equipped with proprietary software with a simple name Game Capture HD. In his environment, the video stream is encoded in MPEG4 format using the H.264 + AAC codec with a bitrate of up to 40 Mbps. Here, as in the stock AVerMedia software, there is a strange bitrate limitation. Its oddity is that the manufacturer does not prohibit the use of third-party software with the Elgato Game Capture HD60 S in any way, and it may not have any restrictions, and most often there are not.
The peculiarity of this model, which is not to the liking of users, is the lack of autonomous operation and recording to an external flash memory card – there is simply no slot, and all the work on capturing and recording can be done only in tandem with a PC.
- reputable brand;
- reliability and smooth operation;
- high-quality Russified interface;
- functional and well-designed software (except for bit rate restrictions);
- high-speed USB 3.0 connection;
- Capture and record video FullHD 1920 × 1080 at 60p;
- you can use third-party software without bitrate restrictions.
- limitations of standard software;
- autonomous operation is not provided.
AVerMedia Technologies Game Capture HD II
And again, let's turn to the assortment of the prominent manufacturer AVerMedia Technologies. Let us now consider a multifunctional external video capture card, which has striking advantages over the previous examples, and at the same time costs quite moderately.
The first and most important thing in this model is complete autonomy and maximum ease of use, up to the remote control of the remote control. By autonomy in this case, we mean the ability of the card to record a stream without any involvement of a PC or laptop. As for the power autonomy, everything is not so smooth here, since the device still needs to be powered via a 12V 1.5A adapter from the mains to work, and there is no built-in battery. This is a problem, but not a critical one, since there are plenty of portable batteries on the market. The only strange thing is that the manufacturer does not include a standard adapter in the package.
Externally, the device is made in the form of a compact box with rounded vertical corners with a pleasant design in a gaming style. The main controls are located on the front panel: a USB port for connecting an external hard drive, two standard 3.5mm mini-jacks separately for a microphone and headphones, a power button, a record button, a sensor for the remote control, in the center there are two indicator lights signaling the operation of one or another signal source.
Now about these very sources. AVerMedia Technologies Game Capture HD II is capable of recording a video stream from two sources – an HDMI port or a component interface of five 'tulips' displayed on the rear panel. Also on the rear panel are HDMI pass-through ports, an RJ45 network interface, and a power connector.
This model records video in FullHD quality with different frame rates – up to 60 frames per second. There are also 30 fps modes, including interlaced ones. Moreover, it is this mode that is set by default, which is very strange and inconvenient. But this is almost the only tangible engineering miscalculation, which, again, is not critical.
This unit has a separate 2.5 “SATA hard drive bay. Rubber stoppers allow you to securely mount drives of different thicknesses. It also supports external 2.5” hard drives that do not require a separate power supply.
- full autonomy for capturing, recording, and even partly editing;
- remote control;
- compartment for your own hard drive;
- support for external hard drives;
- nice game design;
- the widest and most flexible functionality;
- mobile app;
- one of the best combinations of functionality and value.
- interlaced by default (must be changed manually);
- no power adapter included.
We will conclude this part of the review with something very special. The renowned Razer – the most 'ideological' manufacturer of equipment for gamers has followed in this segment, offering its own solution. The Razer Ripsaw gameplay capture card is, of course, inferior in functionality to the previous model at a comparable cost, but for tasks typical of Razer, more is not needed.
Externally, the capture board is made in the traditional Razer style – black main color, ominously poisonous light green indicator backlighting, and branding. Dimensions – 130x17x86mm. The surface of the top panel is matte, the sides are glossy. The bottom edge is fully rubberized – prevents slipping on any surfaces.
This model is somewhat related to the previous one by the presence of a composite input. There is also a component input, a pair of HDMI pass-through interfaces, USB 3.0 Type-C form factor. There are separate standard 3.5 mm jacks for microphone and external sound source. Signals can be mixed. The mentioned light indicator informs the user about the operating modes by changing the flicker frequency. The video stream is recorded in FullHD 1920 × 1080 quality at 60p.
The standard operating software for this model is Razer Synapse 2.0. The device also supports the most popular streamer software OBS and XSplit. In addition, all Razer Ripsaw buyers get access to an additional service – Razer GameCenter.
When you turn it on for the first time, the application will scan your computer for installed games and their compatibility with the video capture card. The recorded gameplay can be immediately saved in the cloud with convenient tools. The software integrates into the games themselves, and through the pull-out widget, you can quickly take screenshots and perform other manipulations.
In conclusion, let us note some of the nuances that are not particularly emphasized by the manufacturer, but for users it may turn out to be an unpleasant surprise. So, the connection interface here is not USB3.0 gen2, which makes it not so universal in terms of compatibility, and on a number of PCs and laptops the connection may not work at all or work unstable. In addition, this model is only compatible with drivers Windows, starting from 'seven', and it cannot be used on computers Apple.
- renowned gaming brand;
- impeccable quality and reliability;
- many interfaces, including component input;
- you can mix signals;
- elegant and stylish appearance;
- useful and functional additional software.
- USB3.0 gen2;
- only compatible with Windows.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.