For content creators and gamers, capture cards are an essential tool for recording and streaming high-quality video content. In 2021, there were several capture cards that stood out in terms of performance and features, making them the best options on the market.
From cards like the Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+ to the new NZXT Signal 4K30, the world of content creation is spoiled for choice. With so many capture card choices now on the market, CGMagazine has taken time to break down the best capture card for 2023 to ensure you only start the year with the best. Whether you were a gamer or a content creator, there was a capture card that could help you produce high-quality content with ease.
Here are the nominees for Best Capture Card 2023:
NZXT Signal 4K30
Writer: Brendan Frye
The NZXT Signal 4K30 Capture Card delivered in all the ways I could have hoped. With the rise of Twitch and YouTube, game streaming is something that everyone wants a piece of. While it is easy to just broadcast gameplay on the internet, to actually deliver high-quality content with commentary takes some hardware, and this is where NZXT comes into the picture. The company has just released two new capture cards, the Signal HD60 and the Signal 4K30. The NZXT Signal 4K30 is a capture card that delivers all the features you could hope for from a modern 4K device while being portable and incredibly easy to use.
With the Signal 4K30, NZXT has delivered a solid product at a fair price, bringing new and easy-to-use game capture in a shocking small form factor. The simplicity of setup combined with the minimal software overhead makes the Signal 4K30 an easy capture device to recommend. For new streamers and content creators, the NZXT Signal 4K30 is a breath of fresh air. A product that works is flexible and never gets in the way of creation. For creators looking for something new, the NZXT Signal 4K30 is the new 4K 30 external capture card to beat.
Delivering solid results in a tiny stylish package, the Signal 4K30 is a fantastic game capture card that just works when you need it, without the mess of cumbersome software of bulky devices.
AVerMedia Live Gamer ULTRA
Writer: Jordan Biordi
The AVerMedia Live Gamer ULTRA has an impressive amount of power crammed into a compact device. Clocking in at a 4.43” x 2.6” x 1.02” inch unit, the AVerMedia Live Gamer ULTRA is pretty convenient to bring around—especially considering it’s built to be compatible with laptops as well as desktops. What also struck me about the Live Gamer ULTRA is the built-in fan—although admittedly, when I first started using the unit, I thought I had broken it—which helps keep the unit well-ventilated and cool while it processes streaming and capture of higher resolution games.
This is not a point against the AVerMedia Live Gamer ULTRA, but more a cautionary point—considering part of the appeal of the device is its compatibility with laptops, next to devices like Elgato or Razer that really need a more dedicated recording PC. If you want the convenience of using this with a laptop, make sure it’s a high-spec gaming laptop!
It’s honestly a shame because I was really getting ready to love the AVerMedia Live Gamer ULTRA. Its ease of use and quick installation, coupled with its sleek design and serious power under the hood, made it an ideal addition to my recording arsenal. However, as I’ve been learning more and more lately, smaller mid-tier laptops just can’t cut it with much of today’s more demanding software/hardware. While I would honestly recommend the AVerMedia Live Gamer ULTRA, with its technical requirements, and $249.99 price tag, it’s not substantially better than anything you’d get from Razer or Elgato. At that point, it’s really just a matter of preference.
The AVerMedia Live Gamer ULTRA is a solid device, but not substantially better than other capture cards on the market.
NZXT Signal HD60
Writer: Joe Findlay
A major name in PCs and peripherals has decided to join the capture card game and, much like their other products, it looks good and performs well. NZXT has released their Signal series of capture cards, including the Signal HD60 and the Signal 4K30. NZXT was kind enough to send us the Signal HD60 and I had a chance to dig into it.
The NZXT Signal HD60 comes in at $139.99 USD, which was cheaper than any of the comparable cards from companies like Elgato and AVerMedia. The one thing that it is missing is access to any software that helps enhance the functionality of the product with additional recording or editing capabilities. That being said, for the price, I don’t think that that’s a dealbreaker for this sleek little card.
If you are looking for a card that packs a little more punch, I’d look to spend the extra $40 on the Signal 4K30, which may only capture 30 fps, but can pass through 4K/60 HDR, 1440/144Hz and 1080/240Hz.
With a big name and a small price behind the NZXT Signal HD60 capture card, it should be a go to choice for many streamers, just so long as their needs don’t go beyond a full HD stream. If you need more, though, they still have you covered.
Winner: Best Capture Card 2023 Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+
Writer: Brendan Frye
The Elgato 4K60 S+ is a game-changer for content creation. Elgato has always been one of the leaders in game capture and streaming, bringing some fantastic products that work and are dead simple to use. From streaming to audio to lighting, Elgato has made a business of being the streaming gear that delivers where it needs to. With the Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+, they have thrown the gauntlet, bringing a powerful capture solution that makes the process of creating premium content easier than ever.
The Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+ is a capture card ahead of its time, bringing features that few beyond the most dedicated creator’s need. For the people that need it, the Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+ is a capture solution unlike any other, especially if you don’t have the PCIe slot to spar for an internal capture card. It allows for stunning video, all without the need for a PC, and in the age of trade shows, events and tournaments, the ability to travel lite and bring only the device and a good SD card is very tempting indeed.
Offering unparalleled portability and versatility, the Elgato 4K60 S+ Capture Card is a capture card that is unlike any other.