• Top 10 Best Gaming Capture Cards in 2021 (Elgato, AVerMedia, and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Gaming Capture Cards in 2021 (Elgato, AVerMedia, and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Gaming Capture Cards in 2021 (Elgato, AVerMedia, and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Gaming Capture Cards in 2021 (Elgato, AVerMedia, and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Gaming Capture Cards in 2021 (Elgato, AVerMedia, and More) 5

Top 10 Best Gaming Capture Cards in 2021 (Elgato, AVerMedia, and More)

With more people recording and streaming their video games, you may want to share your gaming experiences with others! While you could point a camera at the TV screen, you will get better recordings with a gaming capture card. Since you have plenty of capture cards to look through online, we decided to make our top 10 list for the best gaming capture cards available.


We put the Elgato's HD60 S+ at number one since it has flashback recording, Mac support, and minimal input lag. We chose nine more excellent options for PC and console gaming, too. If you want to figure out which capture card will be best for the games you want to record, you should check the buying guide for essential points to keep in mind!

  • Last updated: 09-27-2021
Table of Contents

Top 10 Best Gaming Capture Cards

Since there are tons of capture cards available online, we wanted to share our 10 favorite ones! We found these options by considering the points in the buying guide and reading the reviews for each capture card.

1
Connection typeHDMI
Internal or externalExternal
Supported resolutions and FPS1080p60, 4Kp60
Supported OSWindows, Mac
Built-in splitterNo
2

AVerMediaPCI-Express Gen 2 x4

GC573

$212.99

Connection typeHDMI
Internal or externalInternal
Supported resolutions and FPS1080p240, 1440p144, 4Kp60
Supported OSWindows
Built-in splitterYes
3
Connection typeHDMI
Internal or externalInternal
Supported resolutions and FPS480p, 576i, 576p, 720p30, 720p60, 1080p30, 1080p60, 1080i
Supported OSWindows
Built-in splitterYes
4

AVerMediaLive Gamer Portable 2 Plus

GC513

$124.86

Connection typeHDMI
Internal or externalExternal
Supported resolutions and FPS1080p60, 4Kp60
Supported OSWindows, Mac, Linux
Built-in splitterNo
5

ElgatoVideo Capture

$87.99

Connection typeComposite
Internal or externalExternal
Supported resolutions and FPS4:3, 16:9, 30 FPS
Supported OSWindows, Mac
Built-in splitterNo
6
Connection typeComposite
Internal or externalExternal
Supported resolutions and FPS4:3, 30 FPS
Supported OSWindows
Built-in splitterNo
7

KkfHDMI Game Video Capture Card

$109.99

Connection typeHDMI
Internal or externalExternal
Supported resolutions and FPS1080p60
Supported OSPC, Mac, Linux, Android
Built-in splitterYes
8

Tkhin4K HDMI Game Video Capture Card

$35.99

Connection typeHDMI
Internal or externalExternal
Supported resolutions and FPS1080p60, 4Kp30
Supported OSWindows, Mac, Linux
Built-in splitterYes
9

Extenuating ThreadsVideo Capture Card

$18.97

Connection typeHDMI
Internal or externalExternal
Support resolutions and FPS1080p60, 4Kp
Supported OSWindows, Mac, Linux
Built-in splitterNo
10

DigitnowUSB 2.0 Audio/Video Converter

$12.68

Connection typeComposite
Internal or externalExternal
Supported resolutions and FPS4:3, 30 FPS
Supported OSWindows
Built-in splitterNo

Compare the Best Gaming Capture Cards

Image
1
Elgato HD60 S+ 1

Elgato

2
AVerMedia PCI-Express Gen 2 x4 1

AVerMedia

3
Elgato HD60 Pro 1

Elgato

4
AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus 1

AVerMedia

5
Elgato Video Capture 1

Elgato

6
IO Data GV-USB2 1

IO Data

7
Kkf HDMI Game Video Capture Card 1

Kkf

8
Tkhin 4K HDMI Game Video Capture Card 1

Tkhin

9
Extenuating Threads Video Capture Card 1

Extenuating Threads

10
Digitnow USB 2.0 Audio/Video Converter 1

Digitnow

Name

HD60 S+

PCI-Express Gen 2 x4

HD60 Pro

Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus

Video Capture

GV-USB2

HDMI Game Video Capture Card

4K HDMI Game Video Capture Card

Video Capture Card

USB 2.0 Audio/Video Converter

Features

Minimal Input Lag, Flashback Recording, and Mac Support

4K and HD Resolution Capture Card That's Easy to Use

An Internal Graphics Card With Excellent Recording Quality

Record With or Without a Computer

Records Older Games and Simplifies YouTube Uploading

A Great Option for Retro Game Recording and Streaming

An Android-Compatible Card With USB-A and C Options

A Small Capture Card With Excellent 4K Recording

A Plug-and-Play Capture Card With HD Support

Composite Capture Card for Retro Gaming

Price$183.69$212.99$172.09$124.86$87.99$54.00$109.99$35.99$18.97$12.68
Connection typeHDMIHDMIHDMIHDMICompositeCompositeHDMIHDMIHDMIComposite
Internal or externalExternalInternalInternalExternalExternalExternalExternalExternalExternalExternal
Supported resolutions and FPS1080p60, 4Kp601080p240, 1440p144, 4Kp60480p, 576i, 576p, 720p30, 720p60, 1080p30, 1080p60, 1080i1080p60, 4Kp604:3, 16:9, 30 FPS4:3, 30 FPS1080p601080p60, 4Kp301080p60, 4Kp4:3, 30 FPS
Supported OSWindows, MacWindowsWindowsWindows, Mac, LinuxWindows, MacWindowsPC, Mac, Linux, AndroidWindows, Mac, LinuxWindows, Mac, LinuxWindows
Built-in splitterNoYesYesNoNoNoYesYesNoNo
Link

How to Choose a Gaming Capture Card - Buying Guide

Gaming capture cards have various connection types, specs, and external features, so we want to go over each apsect to help you find the best option for you!

Consider the Capture Card’s Connection Type

Capture cards use HDMI or composite cords. Here, we will cover what situations are best suited for each type.

HDMI for Modern Gaming

HDMI for Modern Gaming

A high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) is the most common video and audio cable used today. If you plan to record gameplay for modern consoles like the PS3 and Xbox 360 onwards, you will need an HDMI capture card. HDMI is a good choice since it supports HD video, so the gameplay will look smooth and clean when you record it.


It also has the video and audio in one cord, making it easier to into the TV. Since HDMI cords are universal, you can replace them if the cords you purchase for your capture card break.

Composite to Record the Classics

Composite to Record the Classics

Older consoles use composite cables that are yellow, white, and red. The yellow, white, and red cables control video, right audio, and left audio, respectively. While the composite cords are universal, the other end will be device-dependent, so you can’t replace them as easily.


You could use a composite-to-HDMI converter to record gameplay on an HDMI capture card, but it may lower the video’s quality. Because these games don't support HD, they will look blurry on a higher resolution. You may want to stick with a composite capture card if you plan to record older games.

See the Supported Specs and System Types

When you use a capture card, you need to make sure you get the right resolution, frames per second (FPS), and supported computer type.

HD, 4K, and Standard Resolutions Based on the Game

HD, 4K, and Standard Resolutions Based on the Game

Capture cards support different recording resolutions, such as HD, 4K, and standard. HD recordings support 720p and 1080p, and the "p" refers to the number of pixels across the vertical side of the screen. 


4K means there are 4,000 pixels along the horizontal part of the screen to make the image sharp and clear. However, higher resolutions take up more file space on your computer. 

HD, 4K, and Standard Resolutions Based on the Game

If you want to record or stream modern gameplay, you should go with HD resolution. On the other hand, standard resolution might work well for older consoles on the PS1, Nintendo 64, or earlier. You should reserve 4K recordings for modern games on the PS5 or Xbox Series X that support 4K. Standard definition is any resolution under 720 pixels.


You may also see numbers followed by an "i," like 576i. The "i" stands for "interlaced," which is a type of resolution that is smoother and takes up less bandwidth


TV pixels let you know how many dots make up the image, so more pixels will create a clearer image. Some standard definitions will let you know the horizontal and vertical ratios. This means 4:3 has more of a square shape for the screen, while 16:9 is a widescreen. Both of those ratios support 480 pixels or less.

Higher FPS for Smoother Gameplay

Higher FPS for Smoother Gameplay

Many console games run at 60 frames per second, but some run at 30 frames. A few modern ones are 120 frames per second, such as games for the PS5, Xbox Series X, and computer games. Even if a console supports higher framerates, some games may not run at those rates. In short, the higher the FPS, the smoother the recording looks


If you want to record modern and retro consoles, you should get a capture card that supports multiple FPS settings. The product pages will let you know which FPS and resolutions the capture card supports.


You may see cards include both the resolution and frame rates in the same number. For example, "4Kp60" means the card supports 4,000 pixels at 60 frames per second.

OS Types Based on Your Preferences

OS Types Based on Your Preferences

Capture cards support Windows, Mac, or multiple operating systems (OS). Most computers use a Windows OS. However, Apple products use a Mac OS, and a few others use Linux. You may come across one or two capture cards that let you record to Android or iPhone devices.


Some computers may run on different versions of the systems. For example, you have Windows 8, 10, and other Windows OSs your computer may use. You can look at the product descriptions to ensure your OS is compatible with the capture card.

Review the Capture Card’s External Features and Details

You should think about if you want to buy an internal or external card and if it has built-in splitters. Here's why these points matter! 

Internal Cards for Modern PC Games, External Cards for Consoles

Internal Cards for Modern PC Games, External Cards for Consoles

Internal capture cards go inside your computer to record gameplay. You can transmit the gameplay from one computer to the other. You can stream or record on one computer while running high-graphic games from another.  However, if you plan to play and record on one computer, you may not need an internal card.


If you plan to record gameplay on a console, you will want an external card. External cards allow you to hook the console into your capture card and output it to your computer. 


This makes it easy to switch your consoles as needed and plug the capture card into different computers. On the other hand, you will need to set up the capture card each time you want to use it.

Built-in Splitters to Simplify the Recording Process

Built-in Splitters to Simplify the Recording Process

Capture cards without splitters require you to buy separate splitters if you want to record and play on two screens. Splitters are devices that add another output to the capture card. 


Some capture cards include built-in splitters with one input and two outputs. The input plugs in your console's HDMI, while the outputs are used for your TV and computer. The TV output will use an HDMI cable, and the computer output will have a USB or HDMI cable.


This means a splitter will let you plug into your TV and computer, so you can record games while playing them on your TV. Otherwise, you can only plug it into your computer, which may have some input lag and a small screen. Built-in splitters are available for some HDMI capture cards, but composite ones will require a separate splitter.

Looking for Games to Record?

Looking for Games to Record?

Now that you have a capture card, you need to find some games to record or stream. Look through some of our favorite games below!

Amazon's Best Selling Game Capture Devices

Summary

To choose the best capture card for your needs, you should consider the connection types, compatibility specifications, and external features. Try using the list of our 10 favorite capture cards along with the buying guide to find the best option for you. Buy a capture card, plug it into your computer, and start recording!


Author: Garrett Garcia


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