Best Game Capture Cards for Xbox One Windows Central 2021
While you can stream and capture in-game footage directly on the Xbox One, you won't get the best results possible. If you want the raw footage to stream or make videos with, you need a capture card that acts as an interface between the console and your PC. It's also an essential bit of kit if you want to make the most of your streams with webcams, fancy graphics overlays, and the like — something the AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K in particular excels at.
- Best for 4K: Avermedia Live Gamer 4K
- 4K passthough: Razer Ripsaw HD
- Lag free: Elgato HD60S+
- Console king: Elgato HD60 Pro
- Capture and stream: Elgato 4K60 Pro Mk.2
- Great for Laptops: AVerMedia Live Gamer Ultra
- Portable 4K: Elgato 4K60S+
- Budget choice: AVerMedia Live Gamer Mini
- Ultimate performance: AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt
On a hardware level, the Avermedia Live Gamer 4K is the top dog right now for consumer-grade capture cards. Not only will it capture 4K video at up to 60 frames per second (FPS), but it will also allow capture of HDR Passthrough, too. It's an internal capture card (with added RGB, which is terrific), and for folks using it to capture PC footage, the Live Gamer 4K can do 1440p at 120 FPS and 1080p at a whopping 240 FPS.
The latest Ripsaw HD from Razer is an external capture card with a big party piece for Xbox One X owners. It captures and streams at 1080p60, but it allows for passthrough at 4K60, meaning you can enjoy your games as intended while producing a great looking and more broadcast-friendly stream. It uses HDMI 2.0, has 3.5mm input for party chat mix, and comes at a lovely price, with literally everything you need to get going in the box.
As an all-rounder, you can't go far wrong with the Elgato HD60S+. The newest external capture card from Elgato has a fast USB-C 3.0 interface for low latency and an instant game view for 1080p60 or 4K30 footage for captures or streams. This latest model also allows for 4K60 passthrough and HDR passthrough and capture at some resolutions. Elgato's beginner-friendly software is also included, and it can access sources like your microphone and webcam to make your broadcast look its best.
Much of the HD60 Pro is similar to the new HD60S from Elgato, with one key difference: The HD60 Pro is not portable. Instead, it's installed via a PCIe slot inside a desktop PC. As such, you can expect "superior low latency" as well as a built-in hardware encoder for 1080p60 H.264 video. It also includes Elgato's beginner-friendly software, supports all popular streaming apps like OBS and XSplit, and is a great value capture card for console gamers.
Not only can the 4K60 Pro capture 4K video at up to 60 FPS, but thanks to nifty technology, you're able to do this as well as simultaneously streaming at 1080p thanks to Elgato Stream Link. You also get ultra-low latency and a dedicated application to capture high-res video, while supporting the same applications as the regular Elgato cards for streaming. The Mk.2 refresh also added HDR capture, and with up to a 140mbps bitrate, your footage will look incredible.
The Live Gamer Ultra is very close in features to AVerMedia's Live Gamer 4K in that it delivers 4K capture, but from an external card, you can use it with a laptop. At 4K, you're grabbing video at 30 FPS or higher if you step down to 1080p. It uses USB 3.1 for ultra-low latency and even allows HDR passthrough, so you'll always enjoy your games at their best.
Elgato's most impressive external capture card doesn't require a PC to use, making it perfect for traveling with or even just to use in your front room where you don't have space for a computer. It can capture at up to 4K resolution and uses a standard SD card if you're using it standalone. It does require external power, and it can get a bit warm, but it's hard to deny how useful it can be.
The Live Gamer Mini is a low-cost, extremely compact capture card that's great for beginners, those on a budget, or those who want something that can travel about with them. Despite its size and price, it still handles 1080p60 video with zero latency passthrough. It's also got a hardware H.264 encoder inside to help take the load off your CPU when capturing, making it also perfect for those with older or budget PCs.
What AVerMedia did with the Bolt is to cram all of the Live Gamer 4K performance into a box that can be used with either a desktop or a laptop. That means up to 4K60 videos, 240FPS at 1080p, insane bitrates and quality, and a straightforward plug and play operation. It even looks pretty neat with its RGB glow. The performance is down to Thunderbolt 3, providing the bandwidth, limiting who can use it, but this is one capture card ready for the next-generation Xbox.
If we had to choose...
There are a lot of great capture cards to choose from now to suit different needs and budgets, but all are better options than streaming directly from the Xbox, especially if capturing footage is a priority. If you're an Xbox One X or PC gamer, the AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K is absolutely the best of the bunch. It handles 4K, HDR, and high frame rates while being priced aggressively. And who doesn't like RGB?
Alternatively, AVerMedia has the Live Gamer Ultra if you're looking for 4K capture but don't have a desktop PC that handles an internal capture card. It's not quite as powerful, but it's very close and allows HDR passthrough so you can enjoy your games at their best.
For most people, though, the Razer Ripsaw HD is an excellent choice. 4K is still mostly in its infancy, and if you're a streamer, in particular, you aren't going to be wanting more than 1080p at 60FPS anyway. But the Ripsaw HD doesn't force you to downgrade your 4K games on Xbox One X, thanks to its 4K60 passthrough. And USB 3.0 means no lag, which means a crisp, in-sync stream.
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