Best 4K Capture Cards for Xbox One X Windows Central 2021
The Xbox One X is a remarkable console capable of playing games at 4K resolution up to 60 frames per second (FPS). But what if you want to share your high-resolution gaming exploits with the world? The console can capture footage internally, but for the best quality and control, you'll want an AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K.
- Best Overall: AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K
- Runner-up: Elgato 4K60 Pro MK2
- Best External: AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt
- Best for Laptops: AVerMedia Live Gamer Ultra
- Best for streaming: Razer Ripsaw HD
Best Overall: AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K
AVerMedia's flagship internal capture card, a PCIe one as opposed to a USB connection, is the company's first foray into a consumer 4K60 capable unit.
You get not only 4K capture at 60 FPS but 1440p capture at 120 FPS and 1080p capture at a mindboggling 240 FPS if you want to use it with a PC. The Live Gamer 4K is also capable of capturing HDR content, which is a pretty big deal.
The connection is PCIe x4 Gen 2, and you get virtually no latency between what's happening on your console and in the RECentral companion app, or your favorite streaming software. You can capture in the efficient h.265 format, and the icing on the cake is an RGB light strip to really set it off inside your rig.
- 4K capture at 60 FPS.
- Captures HDR.
- 4K HDR passthrough.
- Easy to use.
- Requires a desktop PC.
Runner-up: Elgato 4K60 Pro MK2
Elgato's previous version of this capture card was a little too expensive and feature-lacking compared to the competition. The improved MK2 version offers not only HDR10 support for capture but passthrough up to 240 FPS at 1080p if you like to play on PC. The price is now also much more reasonable, which for some, might be enough to make it the one to get.
It doesn't have a hardware h.264 encoder like its smaller brother, the HD60 Pro, but it can still render footage at up to a 140Mbps bitrate to make sure it always looks its best. The very best Xbox One X games won't have a problem with the 4K60 Pro.
It's also worth pointing out for the more advanced creators out there; you can stack multiple 4K60 Pro MK2 cards into your PC, as long as your system can handle it. You can also now capture your feed in multiple apps at once, allowing both streaming and high-quality captures from a single card.
- 4K capture at 60 FPS.
- Captures HDR.
- Use multiple cards at once.
- Requires a desktop PC.
Best External: AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt
This isn't your average external capture card. What the Live Gamer Bolt is, in fact, is essentially a carbon copy of the Live Gamer 4K, but one that doesn't need to be inside a PC, which makes it perfect to use with small-form machines and gaming laptops.
Thanks to the bandwidth allowed by Thunderbolt 3, the Bolt can deliver 4K60 video, HDR, and up to 240 FPS capture and pass through if you step down to 1080p. The video is uncompressed, so when you're capturing with one of these, you can guarantee it looks its best.
It's also a thoughtfully designed product, easy to integrate into your setup, has its own internal cooling, and best of all, adds virtually no additional load to your system resources. It is expensive, though.
- 4K60 HDR capture
- 1080p at up to 240 FPS
- Stunning quality footage
- Virtually no impact on system resources
- Requires Thunderbolt 3
- Very expensive
Best for Laptops: AVerMedia Live Gamer Ultra
You may not be able to get 60 FPS at 4K, but this USB 3.1 card can grab 30 FPS at this resolution, which is still impressive. The Live Gamer Ultra can also pass through 4K60 video and HDR, though it can't capture the latter.
But at least your output doesn't suffer because you're using a USB capture card. And that's a pretty remarkable thing in itself given the bandwidth required for high resolution, high bitrate video.
Capture at 1080p can go up to 120 FPS, so it's also good to use it with a PC. But, if you're using a gaming laptop, so long as you meet the requirements of an Intel Core i7-7700HQ, 8GB of RAM, and a GTX 1050 Ti for 4K, you're going to get some great looking video.
- 4K capture at 30 FPS.
- 4k60 HDR pass through.
- Uses USB
- Simple to use.
- Requires a fairly high-spec laptop.
- No HDR capture.
Best for Streaming: Razer Ripsaw HD
Enjoying your games in 4K while streaming to somewhere like Twitch at a lower resolution doesn't have to be expensive or require some kind of mammoth PC.
The Ripsaw HD uses USB-C 3.0 for almost zero latency, which makes it perfect for streaming with, albeit the video, it can capture is limited to 1080p60. Still, it's uncompressed, at least, so the results are excellent.
It's also only $160, which makes it the cheapest here by some margin. Streaming doesn't go above 1080p60 anyway, yet for virtually all of us. The Ripsaw HD lets you enjoy your games at their best while producing a great stream at a great price.
- 4K pass-through.
- Uncompressed video.
- Low latency
- Great price.
- No 4K capture.
- No HDR.
The AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K is the best capture card on the market right now. It handles everything you could possibly throw at it, and a bunch more you hadn't even thought you might want to do. From the perspective of an Xbox One X owner, it is the one to beat.
It gets the edge through its ease of use, its now lower price and the fact it produces some really stunning looking video. When it launched, it was ahead of the curve, and while others have caught up, AVerMedia still has the one to beat for now.
Whichever of these you choose, though, your games will look incredible. Modern capture cards are impressive technology, and whether you want to make videos or stream, you'll be in good hands.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Richard Devine Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming.
Jez Corden is a full-time writer for Windows Central, focusing on Xbox, Surface, and Windows PC. He spends the vast majority of his time gaming or writing about gaming, with a mission to provide gamers in the Microsoft ecosystem the best and most up-to-date info possible.
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