The Best External & Internal Capture Cards for Your Money in 2018

Here’s the deal:

This guide is going to highlight the best capture card for PS4, Xbox One, streaming, PC gaming, and more.

We’re going to be taking a look at the best internal and external capture cards, giving you the best bang for your gaming buck! For more information regarding internal graphics cards, click here.

Best External Capture Cards

There are two different kinds of capture cards, interanl and external. We’re going to give you the best of both worlds, comparing both options. The following cards are strictly external, ideal for those looking to record console gameplay.

Among the many benefits of external capture cards, they are convenient and easy to use. Most simply require a USB connection to a computer and an HDMI input. Some don’t even require a computer, making recording on the go possible.

A Closer Look: 4 Best External Capture Cards

PIC Name Review Buy
Epiphan AV.io 4K Epiphan AV.io 4K 5/5 Compare Lowest Prices
Razer Ripsaw Razer Ripsaw 4/5 Compare Lowest Prices
AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 4.5/5 Compare Lowest Prices
Elgato Game Capture HD60S Elgato Game Capture HD60S 5/5 Compare Lowest Prices

Elgato Game Capture HD60S - $160

Elgato Game Capture HD60S

1. The HD60S is one of the best external capture cards offered by Elgato, a renowned German manufacturer. Featuring an attractive black box design, the card can be easily plugged into your PC and television set through a USB cable and an HDMI cable respectively.

Features:

  • Outstanding video quality - A full HD 1080p output, a maximum 40 Mbps bit rate, and a frame rate of up to 60 FPS. These are all responsible for the HD60S’s excellent price to performance.
  • Quick USB 3.0 connectivity - HD60S connects to your PC by employing the cutting edge USB 3.0 technology which is quite faster than the older USB versions. The high transfer speed of this capture card is crucial for live streaming as it helps to reduce latency. You can read more about USB 3.0 technology on Wikipedia.
  • Instant streaming, recording, and commentary - By completely automating the process with its built-in YouTube and Twitch streaming capabilities, HD60S makes sharing your game footage easier.

Razer Ripsaw - $170

Razer Ripsaw

2. The Razer Ripsaw is offered by Razer Inc, a leading gaming company founded in San Diego. The capture card was designed to be sleek, fulfilling the need of those who feel brightly colored gaming hardware unpleasant to look at.

It has a small, compact form factor that relieves the headache of bigger, bulkier hardware.

It has a light emitting diode which changes to red in order to indicate an error. It weighs just 6.6 ounces, perfect for those who may need a more portable device.

Features:

  • Supports HDMI and component AV inputs - The Razer Ripsaw supports both HDMI and component AV inputs and records at a smooth 60 FPS, even at 1080p resolution. This gives it an edge over other capture cards.
  • Capability to separate the microphone input from the auxiliary - The capture card lets you separate the microphone input from the auxiliary. This allows you to give a running commentary of what is happening on the screen and provide the perfect accompanying track.
  • Supports most commonly used streaming software - The Razer Ripsaw comes with the USB 3.0 cable which is used to power the device. The card also comes with HDMI, AV Multi, component AV and 3.5mm audio cables which get you going straight away. It is designed to work with some of the most commonly used and popular streaming softwares like OBS and XSplit.

Elgato is a great company; you can always count on them to create quality products.

Pyle PVRC43 - $50

Pyle PVRC43

3. The Pyle PVRC43 is a standalone capture card, so it need not be connected to a computer to make it function. It has dimensions of 3.3” x 1.7” x 0.5” and an output resolution of 640 x 480 Pixels. Its max video frame rate is 30 FPS.

Note: This capture card has a max resolution of 480p. It is NOT HD. If you’re looking for a device to upload content to YouTube or for streaming, we highly recommend looking at the other options on this list. This card is best for those on a budget simply looking to share clips with their friends, without much of a need for high quality.

Features:

  • Connectivity - Unlike most other capture cards, the PVRC43 utilizes an analogue AV/RCA cable as the means of connection. It can also connect to digital devices through an HDMI adapter.
  • Standalone recording - The capture card can record material without needing to connect it to a computer. It stores all the captured footage on a microSD memory card.
  • Plug-and-Play compatibility - The PVRC43 does not require any additional drivers for installing on a computer, and any content stored on the card can be played as soon as it is connected.

HDML-Cloner Box Evolve 2 - $122

HDML-Cloner Box Evolve 2

4. Cloner Alliance is a company that is relatively new. It was founded recently in 2014 and their inventory consists of several video-focused hardware and software solutions. Though being new to the scene, the company has established a great reputation.

The HDML-Cloner Box Evolve 2 is a sleek standalone capture card, having the capability of processing 4K video input and downscaling it to a 1080p resolution in 60 frames per second with maximum efficiency.

Features:

  • 4K processing - It can process videos in 4K resolution. This is a rare feature present among capture cards nowadays, as 4K resolution still isn’t mainstream like 1080p. Though the Evolve 2 may not be able to record videos at this high resolution, the downscaled 1080p version of the video is H.264-encoded which means that the video will still retain high quality.
  • Storage options - The Evolve 2 can store recorded footage in 3 different ways: a TF memory card (up to 32 GB), a USB flash drive ( up to 2TB) or directly on your computer.
  • Remote control - The capture card has its own remote control which resembles the regular remote control of a television set.
  • Editing software - With the capture card comes Cloner Alliance’s own editing software. It is a very basic program. If you are keen to do any serious editing apart from trimming or splitting videos, you will have to opt for something more powerful.
  • Scheduled recording - Especially useful when used with TVs, Evolve is able to record automatically. You just need to tell the capture card when it should do so.
  • Streaming capabilities and live commentary - The capture card has the capability to stream video and record your voice in real time which makes it an excellent choice for streamers.

Roxio Game Capture HD PRO - $110

Roxio Game Capture HD PRO

5. Roxio is a company based in California which came into existence in the year 2001. It produces a range of multimedia products including capture cards.

The Game Capture HD Pro offered by Roxio is a compact and convenient piece of technology. Though its design is rather bland, the capture card has got some pretty useful attributes.

Features:

  • Video quality - It records content in full high definition 1080p resolution, though only at 30 FPS. It lags behind some of the more powerful cards.
  • 264 encoding - H.264 undoubtedly represents the best compression technology currently available. The card enables you to capture high quality content and save space.
  • Analogue connectors - As the capture card was released towards the end of previous generation consoles, the Game Capture HD PRO contains a total of 10 RCA connectors in its design to facilitate this form of connection as well.
  • Live Streaming - It lets you stream console gameplay and commentary live directly to YouTube and TwitchTV. Also, you can auto test bandwidth for detecting live stream speed.
  • Editing and personalization facility - Users can edit H.264-encoded game videos and include one out of over 95 transitions, up to 6 picture-in-picture boxes, special effects, soundtracks, gamer-style text overlays and voice changed narration.
  • Share - The Game Capture HD PRO lets you share videos with one click to both YouTube and Facebook without leaving the capture software. You can post to Facebook or Tweet during live streaming of your gameplay.

StarTech.com HDMI Video Capture Device - $175

StarTech.com HDMI Video Capture Device

6. The StarTech.com capture card is far more versatile than some other capture cards in terms of compatibility. It features 4 different inputs in comparison to 2 inputs offered by most of its competitors. Better still, the card records at 60 FPS in 1080p resolution.

Features:

  • Accepts various inputs - HDMI, DVI, VGA and component all supported by the StarTech.com capture card. This enables you to connect anything from an NES to a PS4 provided you have the right adaptors.
  • Video recording capability at different resolutions - Video can be recorded in a wide range of resolutions from 480p to 1080p. Its H.264 encoding ensures the video gets stored without any loss of data. Recording at 60 FPS is also possible with this capture card.
  • Portability - Though the capture card has dimensions of 8.1” x 6.5” ×2”, it isn’t bulky. Weighing a little over a pound, it is not too heavy. It lets you record footage directly to an SD card which suits you when you are not near your PC. If you’re at a friend’s house but still want to record, it’s the perfect card for you. It would also prove useful at big events like E3 if you want to record new unreleased games.

AGPtek HD Game Recorder - $68

AGPtek HD Game Recorder

7. The company AGPtek was founded in the year 2001 and specializes in video cards and other electronic products. The AGPtek HD Game Recorder is an excellent card for gamers and streamers who do not need 60 FPS in 1080p.

This card delivers 1080p video quality for a lower cost. Unfortunately you won’t be able to record at 60 FPS, but it’s a fair trade considering the low price of the capture card.

Features:

  • Remote control - The HD Game Recorder comes bundled with a remote control which allows you to effortlessly switch between settings and input modes. Its snapshot button lets you capture one still image with a simple tap.
  • Three input modes - It has got three input modes: HDMI, Component and Composite. The capture card will automatically recognize the input video source if you only connect to one source, and the remote can be used to select the source if more than one is connected.

AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 - $200

AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable 2

8. The AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 offers exceptional capture quality at an affordable price. It uses a USB interface to record games and functions without the need of a PC. It also has an H.264 encoder built-in.

RECentral 3 Software is also included which lets you stream while capturing simultaneously. The card also provides support for a microSD card which allows you to save all of your recordings on the move. It provides full 1080p resolution and 60 FPS so your videos always look phenomenal.

Features:

  • Compatibility - The capture card is compatible with popular broadcasting software like OBS and XSplit. It also has its own companion app which contains a whole bunch of features to render captured footage with ease. With just one tap, you can start recording or streaming.
  • Stream right away - It works right out of the box. No need for any installations of drivers.
  • Use without a PC - You can use the capture card without a PC. Its microSD card slot enables you to capture footage at any time and anywhere without requiring your computer.
  • Record on the go - You just need to tap on the hot button to initiate capture in 1080p resolution and 60 FPS.

Epiphan AV.io 4K - $500

Epiphan AV.io 4K

9. This capture card is offered by Epiphan Systems which is an elite AV equipment manufacturing company founded in Ottawa, Canada.

The Epiphan AV.io 4K provides support for both DVI-D and HDMI video and audio inputs. The card can seamlessly record UHD 4K at 30 FPS and FHD 1080p at 60 FPS. AV.io 4K is a complete plug-and-play device and can be used directly with macOS, Windows and Linux. Additionally, it employs USB 3.0 SuperSpeed for achieving uncompressed and high-quality video capture with optional scaling.

Features:

  • Easiest way to capture 4K video - The plug and play AV.io 4K capture card is auto-detected by Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems. To capture HDMI video sources, simply connect the included cables from your video source to the capture card and then connect it to your computer through USB.
  • Choose your resolution - The card captures resolutions up to 4096 x 2160 with 4K UHD video streaming at 30 FPS and 1080p resolution at 60 FPS. You are given the choice to use your video at its original resolution or let the card scale it for you to give you exactly what you need.
  • 4K streaming at any location - Due to its size, it can fit in your pocket. Being a USB video grabber, its HDMI capture works perfectly up to 4K on any computer.

Best Internal Capture Cards

Internal capture cards provide a multitude of advantages over external cards.

Although they’re not portable, they do provide the lowest latency and typically the highest overall video quality. They connect via your motherboard’s PCIe connector which is faster than a USB 3.0 connection.

A Closer Look: 4 Best Internal Capture Cards

PIC Name Review Buy
Elgato Game Capture 4K60 Pro Elgato Game Capture 4K60 Pro 5/5 Compare Lowest Prices
AVerMedia Live Gamer HD 2 AVerMedia Live Gamer HD 2 4/5 Compare Lowest Prices
elgato game capture hd60 pro Elgato Game Capture HD60 Pro 4.5/5 Compare Lowest Prices
Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro 4K Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro 4K 4/5 Compare Lowest Prices

Hauppauge Colossus 2 - $135

Hauppauge Colossus 2

1. Offered by Hauppauge, an established US-based hardware company, the Colossus 2 is a powerful internal capture card. The company usually deals in top quality television and multimedia products, but it has recently forayed into building capture cards.

This internal sound card connects directly to your motherboard via a PCle slot. It does not have an appealing look, but its functionality is outstanding. The card is extremely versatile in terms of connectivity. Also, it helps to make recording and streaming efficient and convenient.

Features:

  • Connectivity - The Colossus 2 capture card has got 1 HDMI input, 1 HDMI output, SP/DIF optical audio input, a component video input, a microphone input and an IR receiver input/output port. This makes the card compatible with not only the gaming consoles, but also with many other devices.
  • Full High Definition recording - The Colossus 2 can record high definition videos at up to 1080i resolution with a frame rate of 30 FPS. It uses an H.264 video encoder which compresses videos to save space without affecting the quality.
  • StreamEez - This capture card facilitates the use of various live streaming platforms like YouTube, Ustream and Twitch. Colossus 2 may not have many features or have exceptional looks, but it definitely gets the job done.

AVerMedia Live Gamer Extreme - $200

AVerMedia Live Gamer Extreme

2. AVerMedia Technologies is a leading Taiwan based company which came into existence in the early 1990s and gained prominence fairly quickly. Nowadays they produce various video and audio equipment.

The Live Gamer Extreme, is a powerful external capture card which streams quality content. It has a fast USB 3.0 port along with the capability to capture in 1080p resolution with a frame rate of 60 FPS.

Features:

  • Recording quality - The card captures video in an uncompressed full HD format at 60 FPS. This default resolution and frame rate is preferred by most gamers today, which makes Live Gamer Extreme an outstanding choice for users who want to deliver their gameplay footage with the best quality.
  • Connection speed - While USB 2.0 cards have a major drawback in terms of speed compared to the internal PCle capture cards, this disadvantage has been almost reduced to zero by the card’s fast USB 3.0 connector, which is 10 times faster than the preceding generation. This enables low-latency transfer for high-quality data which makes HD streaming possible.
  • Audio Mix-In - This capture card lets you add music to your stream on the fly. In addition to this, Live Gamer Extreme also supports live commentary because of the two 3.5mm microphone jacks placed on the front of it.
  • RECentral 2 - This streaming and editing software comes with the capture card. It is AVerMedia’s own software which enables you to customize your stream with overlays, webcam feed and more. The program’s TimeShift feature gives you the capability to edit the videos live.

Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro 4K - $200

Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro 4K

3. The capture card supports video at 1080p up to 60 FPS and 2160p at 30 FPS. It works with everything from PAL, NTSC, 720HD, 1080HD and Ultra HD (4K) which is the world’s newest high-end video standard. Your viewers will see crisp colors and an unrivaled level of detail.

Features:

  • Video capture application - The Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro 4K provides a video capture application called DaVinci Resolve Lite. It not only stores the footage, but also makes editing simple. You don’t need to download a whole host of additional software. If you have the right adapter, it will even enable you to back up old VHS tapes or DVDs.
  • HDMI cable, breakout cable and an SD card - With this capture card, you will also get an HDMI cable, a breakout cable and an SD card that contains the manual and recording software on it. The breakout cable is useful for capturing footage from the old consoles while the HDMI can be employed for the new ones. This card is quite versatile though it looks simple after installation.
  • Supports Windows, Mac and Linux Systems - Blackmagic not only supports Windows, but also works on Mac and Linux systems. Consequently, it has a much wider audience than other capture cards.

Elgato Game Capture HD60 Pro - $180

elgato game capture hd60 pro

4. The Game Capture HD60 Pro happens to be one of (if not the) the most powerful capture card on the market at this time

However, the HD60 Pro differs from HD60S covered before in this list. The most prominent difference is that it is an internal capture card which interfaces with a computer through a PCle slot. It has a sleek black and dark grey metal exterior. Though it shares some features with other HD60 capture cards, it also has got some unique characteristics.

Features:

  • Recording quality - The HD60 Pro records in full high definition 1080p resolution at 60 FPS. Also, it has the highest maximum bit rate out of all the cards, sitting at 60 Mbps.
  • H.264 Encoding - The capture card consists of an integrated H.264 chip which gives the card the ability to optimally compress the recorded material without any loss in the video quality.
  • Streaming control and customization facility - This card enables you to add overlays, live commentary and webcam feeds to your stream at any point. You have the discretion to change almost anything you want on the go.

AVerMedia Live Gamer HD 2 - $170

AVerMedia Live Gamer HD 2

5. The Live Gamer HD 2 is the sequel to AVerMedia’s extremely popular Live Gamer HD capture card. This new iteration brings with it a number of changes.

This exceptional quality internal capture card has got a unique design, featuring a metal exterior with a pattern of triangular holes as well as a blue LED light shining underneath. Undoubtedly it has got an appealing look, but it also excels in terms of performance.

Features:

  • Top video quality - Like all other expensive capture cards, the Live Gamer HD2 possesses the capability of recording videos in a full high definition 1080p resolution and at 60 FPS.
  • Plug and play - While using this capture card, you will not encounter the hassle of installing drivers or headaches associated with driver conflicts. This is because it is ready to use as soon as you install it on your computer.
  • RECentral 3 - The editing and streaming software in the Live Gamer HD 2 is a direct successor to the RECentral 2 existing in the AVerMedia’s older capture cards. The capture card can be integrated with ease with programs like XSplit or OBS. It lets users edit their videos and customize their streams while on the fly.

Elgato Game Capture 4K60 Pro - $400

Elgato Game Capture 4K60 Pro

6. Elgato is once again offering one of the best capture cards to date.

The Elgato Game Capture 4K60 Pro is an internal capture card which has its own heatsink and a patterned external design. This makes it fit in well with the most high-end gaming equipments.

Its performance is far more impressive than its design, able to record with unmatched quality. It can record in true 4K with 60 FPS.

Features:

  • Unparalleled video quality - The Elgato Game Capture 4K60 Pro is the first real 4K capture card which has the capability to seamlessly record 2160p video in 60 FPS with a bit rate of up to 140 Mbps. This not only puts it a notch above the competition, but also renders it future-proof.
  • Connectivity - This capture card is quite simple in terms of connection options. It features a single HDMI in and a single HDMI out. This is because it is marketed towards both PC and console users, and the latter rely entirely on HDMI for connecting.
  • Design - This capture card has got a sleek and modern exterior which fully justifies the inclusion of the word “Pro” in its name. This should be appreciated from both an aesthetic and practical point of view.

AVerMedia C985 Live Gamer HD Capture Card - $207

AVerMedia C985 Live Gamer HD Capture Card

7. Yet another offering from AVerMedia, the AVerMedia C985 Live Gamer HD Capture Card really packs a punch. It is the internal version of the C875 which is installed into the PCle slot of your computer. The card has a snazzy external button which provides an easy-record one tap functionality. It lets you capture from a PC or a game console with the use of RECentral.

The card doesn’t stress your CPU which is great for those looking to stream and record at the same time. It also includes pass-thru HDMI and DVI cables and adapters. It features HDMI and AUX inputs and outputs only, meaning if you want to have a component or composite inputs, you need to buy an adapter.

Features:

  • Captures full HD videos - The capture card records full high definition videos at 1080p resolution with a frame rate of 60 FPS with an H.264 hardware encoder.
  • Compatibility - The capture card is compatible with popular streaming softwares. It lets you share directly to YouTube, Twitch and more with its built-in commentary and RECentral software.

Do You Need a Capture Card?

A capture card is a useful tool used for capturing exciting gameplay on PC and consoles.

Small in size, capture cards enable you to record your videos effortlessly.

With them, you can share your gameplays, set up a stream, craft a YouTube Channel, build a library of video clips and more. Some of the capture cards even come with additional software which will enable you to add voiceovers and edit your recordings.

There are a wide variety of capture cards available in the market which vary in terms of features, functionality and budget. You may find it difficult to choose the right capture for your particular needs. To make it easy for you to choose the ideal card, we have compiled the list of best capture cards of 2018.