Whether you are a budding Twitch streamer, or just looking to capture your gameplays for sharing to your friends or Youtube channel, a capture card is essential within your gaming setup. So make sure you pick the right one that suits your needs. The best capture card will give you the freedom of expanding beyond PC. It will also lighten the load on your gaming PC for the highest quality of streaming. Your capture card should give you more freedom, choice and flexibility.
The best capture card for you in particular, will be dependant on the kind of content you are trying to create. Will you be streaming directly to your viewers via Twitch or Mixer? Or will you be recording your gameplay for editing later on? Some game capture cature cards will be better for one of the two, some will be great at both.
Video resolution can vary greatly, especially for streaming output. We would recommend that most gamers would look for the 720–1080p mark. Of course these can be quite expensive. most people aren’t using capture cards to capture a ton of 4k video. Usually most capture cards will also come with their own software. However a lot of streamers tend to use OBS or Xsplit as a third party option to stream directly to their platform. Saying this, it doesn’t hurt to have some good software as a back up in case of any issues.
Our selection of the top 5 capture cards for PC gaming will cover a number of different scenarios, however every capture card is recommended as a good “all rounder” which will give you as many options as needed., as you never know what sort of content you may want to produce in the future.
The Elgato Game Capture HD60s is pretty much the perfect capture card for any gamers who want to get their gameplay online as easily and hassle free as possible, whether its streaming or recording. Elgato are the pinacle in their chosen field, and the HD60s is a great example of that. With its simplicity in use, and reasonable price. Its a great place to start if you are new to streaming and your gaming PC cannot handle it solo.
The HD60s provides beautiful recordings at 60FPS and 1080p, with USB 3.0 connectivity as a bonus. With the built in software at your disposal too, this is probably the deal breaker. The only limiting downside to the Elgato capture card is the lack of editing options. Saying this, it does have a “flashback recording” feature. This will help you out if you forget to hit the “record” button before you start playing. Which is a really handy tool. The Elgato HD60s would be a great addition to any PC streaming setup.
The AverMedia Live Gamer capture card, like the Elgato HD60s holds a nice 60FPS and 1080p recording, with 4K passthrough. This means you can still play in Ultra HD). This capture card is also Mac compatible, which is hard to find among capture cards these days. The design of the capture card looks great and would compliment any PC desk, with a nice red trim and black casing, not to mention the neon blue strip lighting. One of the great features of the AverMedia capture card is the software. With live editing and the ability to record directly to a Micro SD card, leaving your HDD or SSD clear of any usage. This capture card offers great flexibility, especially when recording on the fly.
If you want to take your recordings to the next level, Elgato’s internal HD60 Pro card is a good shout. Indeed, their website claims that this video capture card features “an advanced, onboard H.264 encoder that enables you to record unlimited footage in superb 1080p [60fps] quality, at a bitrate up to 60Mbps.” Not too shabby. It can also stream at 1080p when using Game Capture HD, OBS Studio and Xsplit. Petite, classy form-factor are in the HD60 Pro’s favor as well. At around $150/£150, it’s a sound option that gives great results for less.
Although it’s still limited to 1080p streaming and capture, the Ripsaw HD lets you experience your favorite games first-hand-while streaming or capturing-at 4K 60fps. Razer are a well known brand amognst the gaming community, and for good reason. Albeit, not necessarily for their game capture products. With the Razer Ripsaw HD, they do not have their own buult in software, so you are kinda forced into using OBS or Xsplit (not that this is a bad thing mind).
On the plus side, the Ripsaw HD has its own easy to use, built in audio mixing. Thats thanks to the hassle free mic and headphone jacks. Although its limited to 1080p streaming and capture, the Ripsaw HD allows you to enjoy your favourite video games in its natural form at 4K 60FPS. This should technically appeal to PC gamers who wish to share their gaming experiences online, but dont want to compromise on the quality of their gaming experience. Especially since most PC gamers have already spent a lot of money on their graphics cards. This ought to appeal to PC gamers who want to share their gameplay online, but don’t want to miss out on the top-notch visual fidelity ushered in by their expensive and powerful graphics cards.
For those PC gamers who will accept nothing but the best. The Elgato 4K60 Pro is the leader among the pack. The Usain Bolt. The Cristiano Ronaldo (or Messi for some of you). If you do want to add this to your gaming repertorie, you will already want to have what you would call a “high end” PC. This is an excellent, if not the best capture card on the market. With the intent of capturing gameplay at the highest resolution and frame rate.
Of course, it would be common sense to make sure you have enough room on your HHD/SSD for all of those recordings too, saying that, the 4K60 Pro has an encoder to reduce file size and save on having to buy any extra needed memory. If you are serious about your streaming or Youtube channel, you should not stutter when it comes to providing high quality content to your viewers, and this piece of kit does that and more.
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