Elgato has long been a dominant force in the game capture/streaming card arena, but figuring out what the best Elgato game capture device for your needs can be a bit tricky, especially for novices. A lot of streamers and content creators aren't experienced engineers, or don't necessarily have a ton of experience building PCs, so the more technical side of the world of personal computing can be really intimidating. But worry not, we're here to guide you to the best capture card for you and your budget.
So how do you figure out what the best Elgato game capture card is for you? First, you need to figure out what kind of quality you want to stream at, be it FHD (1080p) or if you want the highest quality possible and to step up to 4K. For that kind of resolution, you'll need a pretty monstrous PC, so take a look at our best gaming PC roundup, and you'll want Elgato's high-end 4K60 Pro. On the other hand, if you're satisfied with slightly lower resolutions, a less expensive model will suit you, at which point a big differentiator will be features. If you like a picture-in-picture display of the content you're streaming on your own display, you need to get one of the cards with Gameview, either an HD60 S or HD60 Pro. You can always reinvest the money you save in one of the best graphics cards.
If you want some help deciphering some of the more complex terms that float around these kinds of discussions, take a look at our broad hardware glossary. And for some sexy new peripherals to show off while you're streaming, head over to our best gaming keyboard and best gaming mouse features.
Elgato Game Capture HD60 S – Best Prices
Ideal for anyone looking to start sharing gameplay online as quickly as possible, the HD60 S improves upon its predecessor by allowing for instant streaming. This means that in addition to basic recording and uploading, all you budding content creators out there can get up and running on Twitch or YouTube in no time. Thanks to the HD60 S’s solid USB 3.0 connection Elgato’s Instant Gameview feature can be fully utilised. Content is still captured in striking 1080p60, recording your moments while simultaneously letting you customise your stream to viewers on the fly.
Elgato Game Capture HD60 – Best Prices
The perfect entry-level capture card for budding Youtubers just starting out, the HD60 allows players to capture and record footage at 1080p 60fps – the bread and butter of game visuals. It’s extremely easy to set up, simply plugging in between your PS4/Xbox One/PC/Mac and the TV via a USB 2.0 connection. Following that, multi-track recording is a breeze. Gameplay, audio, webcam, and overlays are all captured separately, letting you tweak away using Elgato’s bespoke editing software. The HD60 looks great, is reliable, and features a H.264 encoder so your processor never needs to withstand a heavy load. With the HD60, recording gameplay is easier than ever before.
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Elgato Game Capture HD60 Pro – Best Prices
Serious about streaming? The Elgato HD60 Pro has been specifically designed with you in mind, allowing for the capture and broadcast of game details that would otherwise be missed like textures, tones, shadows, and lens flares. Despite this, HD60 Pro is still compatible with PS4 and Xbox One in addition to Mac and PC as expected. It provides all the functions of the HD60 S (including 1080p60), also depositing a master copy of the stream that’s resolution can be bumped up further for a future YouTube upload. Gameplay is captured at a higher bitrate of up to 60Mbps with the file size staying small.
Elgato Game Capture 4K60 Pro – Best Prices
Requiring a pretty high-end PC, the Elgato 4K60 Pro is all about capturing gameplay at the highest resolution and frame rates possible. As you can imagine, streaming games at 4K quality demands an elite PC setup running ultra-spec hardware so we’d recommend an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20 series and at least an 8th gen Intel Core i7 CPU or better to avoid any latency (check out our guides to the best graphics card and best CPU for PC gaming for more great, affordable choices). You’ll also need a fair amount of HDD space on your drive to capture every detail. However, when fully set up rest assured you’ll never skip a frame.
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