If you are a professional gamer and also stream games on several social media platforms like YouTube, Twitch, you probably heard about capture cards. If you haven’t, no, they are not that complicated you are thinking.
Basically, capture cards are made for directly record or stream your monitor in amazing quality without impacting your PC’s performance. Now, you might be thinking, this same can be done for free by any capture/streaming software like OBS, then why to send money? Well, a capture card gives you awesome experience and flexibility which a recording software can’t.
So, in this post, I am gonna discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a capture card, and most importantly why you should also use a capture card. So, let’s start-
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Advantages (benefits) of a capture card:
Get rid of extra load from your PC:
See, I believe a person need a capture card for two reasons. One, if the computer is not very powerful so that it can’t take the entire load to record/stream gameplay and also run games smoothly at the same time.
While the second category is for those who don’t want to decrease in performance in games while having a powerful PC. Generally, high-end gamers, competitive gamers are counted in this category.
That’s why if you think you are of these two categories you should buy a capture card than using streaming software.
Now, how a capture card can help your PC to get rid of extra load. Basically, it works as an input receiver and when you connect a capture card with your monitor, it records the screen and captures/save it.
You can also stream your gameplay directly via this capture card and in good quality.
That’s why a capture card can minimise the load of your PC at an extreme level and you can enjoy gameplay better while recording.
So, obviously this is a very good feature of capture cards and can give awesome results especially for low-end PCs.
- Also Read: How to stream PUBG on youtube for free?
One more reason to get a capture card is quality. Because, with the free capture software, you can’t get the best quality. I mean, you get an average quality with those.
Which doesn’t make a good sense for professional streamers. Personally, I find that, when anyone streams with a capture software, video quality suddenly decreases tremendously and after some while it becomes normal. But, with a capture card, you haven’t face those difficulties.
Just imagine, if you have a huge fanbase and your viewers are not getting the maximum quality videos, no matter in youtube or in twitch, they are not gonna be happy. And the new viewers are also not goona stay in your channel if the quality is too poor.
So, to maintain, increase that video quality, you should purchase a good capture card. Note that, the video recording capacity varies cards to cards but with an average one you get 1080P ultra settings around 60fps (resolution) game recording options, which is sufficient.
But, if you want to go further to 4K, you can definitely go ahead.
With streaming softwares, you have to manage tons of things. For example, if you use OBS, you have to manage screens, set a couple of videos in the order and lots more. But, if you use a capture card, you can simplify this process.
Not only that, sometimes when I played games for two hours thinking that my gameplay was recording, but when I check in my storage, opps! the software actually didn’t start recording. How frustrating!
But, with a capture card, just connect it with your monitor and then with your GPU. And at any time you feel you have to record anything, just press the middle button of the card, the colour changes (mostly to red) and you easily get to know that it is recording. Its very simple.
If you are one of those who does streams in multiple platforms, this is for you. With a capture card, you can not only stream games at a high quality but also stream in different platforms like YouTube or twitch at the same time.
And managing streaming in two platforms in very easy compared to software with a card. So, you should try using a capture card if you wanna do the same and also record videos in lag-free good quality.
These are the main advantages of a capture card. But it also has some disadvantages, don’t worry, not very big.
Disadvantages of capture cards:
I have discussed that the capture cards are best for recording and streaming gameplays. But, here are some things you might not like about it:
You have to spend money:
As I have discussed above, you ha to buy capture cards. And they are not too cheap. You can find my personal favourite capture cards down below.
But, this is the main disadvantage of a capture card according to me. Since at the beginning of streaming journey, some can’t afford a capture card, so I recommend using free streaming software for them.
Otherwise, if you can afford, go and buy it.
Good if you have dual monitors:
If you don’t have dual monitors, then you can’t get that much flexibility with this card while streaming. But, it is completely okay if you have only one monitor while recording videos.
But, when you stream with a capture card, you can monitor activities in one monitor while play games in other. So, two or multiple monitors will be great with a capture card.
Without it, you can’t take advantage of all of its features.
Now, I hope you have understood the main advantages and disadvantages of a capture card, now let’s discuss which are the best capture cards that you can actually buy:
Here I am gonna discuss that capture cause in two categories the budget and Extreme performance one. Ya, the budget one can record or stream games in low resolution and fps but the one also performs way better than any capture software.
The Budget capture card:
AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus:
For buying any capture cards, I recommend to go with a card at least $150 plus, otherwise, there will be not a big difference between your card and software, so my favourite budget capture card i.e. AVerMedia live gamer portable 2 plus costs around $175.
As, I have used it, I know that AVerMedia cards comes with a minimalistic design but very solid and actually gives you what you need. Like, when you start recording by pressing the middle button, the colour of light changes to red.
These types of features are really very helpful and can save your hours of work.
This capture card from AVerMedia can record and stream games at up to 1080P 60 fps, sufficient enough for streamers. You just have to connect it with HDMI comes from your GPU and your monitor through it. It is really very simple.
It supports HDMI 2.0 and works fines on the computers with Intel Core i5 processor with 8GB RAM or above. I think this is the minimum system requirements anyone who want to stream games mostly have.
It has 4K 60fps USB passthrough and supports windows as well as Mac operating system. Moreover, it also supports play station 4, Xbox One. It has three operator mode i.e. PC mode, card reader mode and PC free mode.
Overall, this capture card from AVerMedia is one of the best budget card and capable of giving a good price to performance ratio.
The price of AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus is around $175, check its latest price below:
For Extreme performance:
Elgato Game Capture 4K60 pro:
If you want 4K recording, this is the best capture card for you. However, it is a bit expensive, but seeing its capabilities, it completely worth buying.
But, this is not external, you have to install it in your PCIe slot and after that, you can be able to record games up to 4K 60 fps. With the help of it, you can store 4K videos directly in your hard drive.
The price of this card is around $332, check it’s latest price below-
In this post, I have discussed the main advantages (benefits) and disadvantaged of capture cards and the best capture cards you should choose for your PC. I hope after reading this post, you can decide whether you have to buy a capture card or not?
If you have any troubles, make sure to comment down below.
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That’s it for today, see you in the next one, tada:)