This is my typical review format, but for this review, I am going to make a caveat in that I am not going to rank these cards against each other because of how different their use cases are.
- Overall Rank (rank each product against one another)
- Product Description
- Pros & Cons
- Product Specifications
Previously I spoke about what a video capture card is and I recommended a few, in this article I want to compare my three recommendations and give you an idea, of which is the best for you. If you want to capture high end media content from a camera or from your screen and take the load off the system you are playing on, you want one of these. If you aren’t using another device such as a console, a secondary PC or a camera, Video capture cards will be little benefit to you.
The budget option: EVGA XR1 lite
The portable High-quality option: Elgato HD60S+
The internal high-quality option: Elgato 4k60 Pro MK.2
Let us start with the review of these three high-end consumer video capture cards.
The EVGA XR1 lite is the least expensive video capture card I would recommend. It’s a small black box, that delivers what it promises 4k 60fps passthrough 1080p 60fps capture. It’s compact and could fit just about anywhere you want. Its not ready for the future of 4k, but would be a great starter capture card. It’s Rated 4.5/5 stars on Amazon.
- High-resolution passthrough to a lower resolution
- Very Portable
- Compatible with Obs
- USB Type C
- Low latency
- Uncompressed 1080p 60fps capture
- Can be used at low resolutions for retro gaming
- Certified for OBS
- Supports Camera for high-quality webcam
- Lacks HDR
- Lacks High-resolution capture
- Framerates are capped at 60fps
- Not officially supported for 1440p passthrough, but rumors are people have got it to work.
Doesn’t list system requirements.
For this price anything it lacks is being made up for, going for just $59.99 You can’t beat this barebones capture card. It does have a big brother for higher resolutions that are around double the price.
This product comes with a 2-year limited warranty with registration within 30 days of purchase.
Interface: USB 3.0 Type C
I/O interface: HDMI
Video input resolution: 480p/576p/720p/1080p/2160p@60fps
Video passthroughh resolution: 480p/576p/720p/1080p/2160p@60fps
Max. Capture Resolution: 1080p@60fps
Video format: Raw
The Elgato HD60s+
The Elgato HD60s+ is the best portable and most affordable external video capture card. Low profile and slick sits out of the way as a high-quality passthrough. Input at 4k60 and output 1080p@60fps or 1440p@30fps. Has HDR for dynamic color ranges that are quite the jump from our previous model. Everything about this model is smoother and has a bit more polish, it shows everywhere including in the price. It has 4.6/5 stars on Amazon
- Compatible with all streaming and video software including OBS
- Versatile capture resolutions
- 2160p HDR passthrough
- 4k30fps capture, great for use with high-end camera
- Easy to use
- Easily moved around
- Beautiful captures when within its limits
- Compatible with stream deck
- Heavy system requirements
- 4k hdr capture is very limited
- HDR capture only works on windows
- Needs internet connection
Elgato products have a two-year warranty.
At $179.54 it is a robust capture card with good software features and represents 75% of the colors the human eye can see. You can save an additional $38 with Capital One Shopping.
Input HDMI (unencrypted)
Output HDMI (latency-free passthrough)
Passthrough resolutions up to 2160p60 HDR
Capture Resolutions: 2160p30, 1080p60 HDR, 1080p30, 1080i, 720p60, 576p, 480p
HDR 10 bit for passthrough and capture. (HDR Capture currently only available on windows.
Dimensions 112x75x19mm / 4.4x3x.75 in
Weight 115g / 4.06 oz
OS Windows 10
CPU 6th gen i5 or comparable
GPU NVIDIA 10xx or better.
Needs internet connection
Elgato 4k60pro MK.2
This video capture card is smaller and runs cooler than its predecessor. It’s internal, which makes it lack portablility, but for many people, this is the most sensible option. It can output video to two software video sources, which could be the deciding factor for many in the market for a video capture card. Having it on the PCI-E lanes rather than the USB lanes will ensure you are not saturating your USB bandwidth. It is Rated 4.6/5 stars on Amazon.
- Won’t use up the USB lane bandwidth because its x4 PCI-E
- Plug and play
- Can be multi slotted into one PC
- Compatible with stream deck
- Compatible with OBS
- 4k HDR tone mapping
- 4k HDR capture, allegedly
- Struggles recording hdr (mostly mitigated by HDR tone mapping)
- Sometimes gets audio desync
- No analog audio i/o
Elgato Cards have a 2-year warranty.
For $233.93 this is a high-end video capture card for an affordable price. Yes, it’s the most expensive in this review, but there are far more expensive options. Considering you are getting 4k capture, which is going to be the industry standard within the next few years, it’s probably worth that bit of future insulation.
PCIe 2.0 x4
HDMI 2.0 Input (Unencrypted)
HDMI 2.0 Output (Lag-free passthrough)
Upto 2160p60 (4k) HDR
- Xbox series S/X
- Xbox One X/S
- Nintendo Switch
- And other unencrypted HDMI sources (without HDCP)
1440p144hz, but may have problems
Max bandwidth: Supports HDMI 2.0 up to 600Mhz with 18gbps
4K Capture Utility
Up to 140Mbps at 2160p (4K) 60fps in AVC/H.264
Up to 105Mbps at 2160p (4K) 60fps in HEVC/H.265 (HDR Recording)
- 12v at 500mA (6 Watts)
- Windows 10 (64-bit)
- 6th generation Intel Core i7 CPU (i7-6xxx) or AMD Ryzen 7 (or better)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10xx
- PCIe 2.0 (or higher) x4/x8/x16 slot
In Conclusion, these three Video Graphics cards are the top of their niche, though there are many valid contenders, these are my personal picks. I trust the brands I picked because of my own personal experience, reviews and specification. There are also higher-end models that aren’t comparable because of the vast difference in price. For most, the capture cards I picked will fit your needs.