Games

The 7 Best 4K Capture Cards for Streaming

The best 4K capture cards allow you to play and record your gameplay in breathtaking quality without impacting your gaming performance. You can save the footage for later or stream it directly into multiple platforms such as Twitch or YouTube.

Whether playing games on PC or consoles like the PS5 or Xbox Series X, these 4K video capture cards will let you amaze your followers with high-quality live streams.

Here are the best 4K capture cards for streaming you can buy today.

The AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt is the best external 4K capture card for streaming you can buy today. It allows you to record gaming footage from a gaming PC or consoles like the PS5 or Xbox Series onto any desktop or laptop with a Thunderbolt 3 port. Play and stream everything in real-time while adding live commentary through the mic input with little to no latency thanks to the whopping 40Gbps bandwidth of Thunderbolt 3.

The Live Gamer Bolt supports high-quality gaming and recording up to 4K at 60FPS with HDR. In addition, you can enjoy high framerate gaming up to 240FPS in 1080p to gain a competitive advantage over your opponents. It supports advanced features such as 7.1 surround sound, and it has RGB lighting for added immersion.

Like most capture cards from AVerMedia, it comes bundled with RECentral software for video capture and CyberLink PowerDirector 15 to edit your recorded footage. It is also compatible with popular streaming software such as OBS and XSplit. Whether you’re a console or PC gamer, the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt might be the best 4K video capture card for you.

Key Features

  • Thunderbolt 3 Interface
  • Up to 4K at 60Hz with HDR passthrough and recording
  • RGB lighting
Specifications

  • Brand: AVerMedia
  • Max Passthrough Resolution: 4K 60Hz
  • Max Capture Resolution: 4K 60Hz
  • Interface: Thunderbolt 3
  • OBS Compatible: Yes
  • Mic In: Yes
  • Built-in Hardware Encoder: No
  • Bundled Software: RECentral, CyberLink PowerDirector 15
Pros

  • Up to 60FPS at 4K and 240FPS at 1080p
  • Ultra-low latency
  • Great aesthetics with RGB
Cons

  • No built-in hardware encoder

Buy This Product

AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt

The Elgato 4K60 Pro MK.2 is a no-frills PCIe internal card that records high-quality 4K HDR footage directly onto your hard drive. It’s a great 4K capture card for streaming if you use a desktop for streaming. It offers lag-free video passthrough and capture, which is excellent for real-time streaming and responsive gaming.

Besides the capture card, you also get the bundled feature-rich software, the 4K Capturing Utility (4KCU). The software unlocks additional capabilities such as Multi App Access, which lets you capture and stream your gameplay in multiple apps. It also works with the most popular streaming software and platforms.

Another unique feature in the 4K60 Pro MK.2 is Flashback Recording. In case you forgot to hit record while gaming, you can roll back in time and start recording afresh or only save the epic highlights. Such capabilities give you total control and flexibility, making the Elgato 4K60 Pro MK.2 one of the standout 4K capture cards on the market.

Key Features

  • 4K60 capture and passthrough with HDR10
  • Lag-free recording and gaming
  • Flashback recording
  • Multi-app support
Specifications

  • Brand: Elgato
  • Max Passthrough Resolution: 4K 60Hz
  • Max Capture Resolution: 4K 60Hz
  • Interface: PCIe x4
  • OBS Compatible: Yes
  • Mic In: No
  • Built-in Hardware Encoder: No
  • Bundled Software: 4KCU
Pros

  • High-quality video capture
  • Instant gameplay and recording with no latency
  • High refresh rate gaming
  • Can capture content to multiple apps at once
  • Heatsink for cooling
Cons

  • No built-in hardware encoder
  • Requires a desktop

Buy This Product

The ASUS TUF CU4K30 is an affordable way to capture and live stream 4K gameplay from your gaming PC or console. It can stream in 4K at 30FPS while allowing you to enjoy smooth and immersive HDR gaming at 60FPS. Like most 4K video capture cards, the TUF CU4K30 allows high framerate gaming in both 1440p and 1080p, which is great for PC gamers.

This card uses a USB-C interface, meaning you can use it with both desktops and laptops. It is compatible with all major streaming platforms and apps and supports recording from PC, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and Switch. Since it uses the UVC driver, it is plug and play and shows up as a webcam on Windows, allowing you to also use it for video calling apps.

The CU4K30 comes with two audio inputs, which makes it easy to record audio from your headset and capture game sounds from a game controller, ideal for console gamers. You can tweak the audio settings and RGB lighting using the included ASUS Video Capture Console software. The rest of the card is well built and durable and doesn’t take up a whole lot of space on your desk.

Key Features

  • Supports 4K 60Hz video passthrough with HDR
  • 144Hz passthrough and 60Hz capture in 1440p resolution
  • Certified for OBS Studio
Specifications

  • Brand: ASUS
  • Max Passthrough Resolution: 4K 60Hz
  • Max Capture Resolution: 4K 30Hz
  • Interface: USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-C
  • OBS Compatible: Yes
  • Mic In: Yes
  • Built-in Hardware Encoder: No
  • Bundled Software: No
Pros

  • Plug and play
  • 4K resolution streaming
  • Solid metal construction
Cons

  • Does not support HDR recording

Buy This Product

The AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K is the best internal 4K capture card for streaming if you’re into RGB. It adds a little flair to your streaming PC with RGB lighting and offers up to 4K at 60FPS passthrough and capture with HDR.

Another advantage of the Live Gamer 4K is the built-in H.264 hardware encoder. All the processing takes place on the card, so capturing or recording won’t impact your gaming performance. You also don’t need a powerful desktop to use it.

You’re getting many extras, including the bundled RECentral software and CyberLink PowerDirector 15 to edit 4K videos easily. However, the Live Gamer 4K can be expensive. If you don’t need HDR or have a powerful gaming PC, this might be an unnecessary investment.

Key Features

  • Customizable RGB lighting
  • PCIe capture card means no added latency or lag.
  • Supports ultrawide resolutions
Specifications

  • Brand: AVerMedia
  • Max Passthrough Resolution: 4K 60Hz
  • Max Capture Resolution: 4K 60Hz
  • Interface: PCIe x4
  • OBS Compatible: Yes
  • Mic In: No
  • Built-in Hardware Encoder: Yes
  • Bundled Software: RECentral, CyberLink PowerDirector 15
Pros

  • High quality 4K HDR video recording
  • Built-in hardware encoder
  • Supports high FPS passthrough and capture

Buy This Product

The Elgato 4K60 S+ is the best 4K video capture card for the PS5 and Xbox Series X. It can record high-quality 4K gaming footage at 60FPS with HDR directly onto an SD card without needing a computer. That means you can bring this capture card to LAN parties and tournaments and record your gameplay to an SD card and later upload it to YouTube or any platform of your choice.

What makes the 4K60 S+ standout is that you can also use it like any other capture card to stream your gameplay in real-time. It has a USB 3.0 interface that lets you connect it to your streaming PC and use apps like OBS to live stream your gameplay to your followers, making it the most versatile 4K capture card you can buy today. It works with gaming PCs too, not limited to consoles.

The Elgato 4K60 S+ comes bundled with the 4KCU software, but it also works with popular broadcasting apps. Additionally, you get capabilities such as Flashback Recording and Live Commentary. It might be one of the most pricey 4K capture cards, but it is worth every penny.

Key Features

  • Does not require a PC to record gameplay
  • 4K at 60FPS with HDR capture and passthrough
  • Built-in hardware encoder
Specifications

  • Brand: Elgato
  • Max Passthrough Resolution: 4K 60Hz
  • Max Capture Resolution: 4K 60Hz
  • Interface: USB 3.0, SD Card
  • OBS Compatible: Yes
  • Mic In: Yes
  • Built-in Hardware Encoder: Yes
  • Bundled Software: 4KCU
Pros

  • Portable
  • Two recording options; standalone or PC
  • High quality passthrough and recording
  • Does not impact gameplay at all
Cons

  • USB 3.0 adds a bit of latency

Buy This Product

The AVerMedia Live Gamer ULTRA is another affordable 4K video capture card that allows you to record and stream your gameplay in 4K, albeit at 30Hz. You can broadcast the footage while playing your game in crystal clear 4K resolution at 60Hz with HDR.

You can bump the resolution down to 1080p to capture a smoother 120FPS footage. That’s a win for a 4K capture card at this price. But what makes the Live Gamer ULTRA unique from the other cheap 4K capture cards is the USB 3.1 Gen1 interface, which minimizes latency for lag-free passthrough and streaming.

The only downside is the lack of a mic input, but otherwise, it’s a powerful capture card that works with both consoles and PCs and supports high frame rate gaming up to 240FPS in 1080p. ​​​​​​​You also get bundled software for capturing, streaming, and editing the recorded 4K footage. It’s an external capture card, so you can easily stuff it in a backpack when going to tournaments and stream the gameplay to your followers.

Key Features

  • 4K at 60Hz with HDR passthrough
  • 4K video capture at 30Hz
  • Supports ultrawide resolutions
Specifications

  • Brand: AVerMedia
  • Max Passthrough Resolution: 4K 60Hz
  • Max Capture Resolution: 4K 30Hz
  • Interface: USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
  • OBS Compatible: Yes
  • Mic In: No
  • Built-in Hardware Encoder: Yes
  • Bundled Software: RECentral, CyberLink PowerDirector 15
Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Built-in H.264 hardware encoder
  • High quality video capture
  • Low latency recording

Buy This Product

AVerMedia Live Gamer ULTRA

The Elgato HD60 S+ is the cheapest video capture card for 4K streaming. It restricts recording to 30FPS in 4K, but you can play games at a smooth 60FPS with HDR. You can also record at 60FPS with HDR if you dial down the capture resolution to 1080p, which is not bad for a capture card this cheap.

The bundled 4KCU software unlocks advanced features such as live commentary and flashback recording. You can stream your games in real-time using OBS Studio, Streamlabs OBS, XSplit, and other streaming apps. Overall, the HD60 S+ can save you a lot of money if you’re willing to bump the capture resolution down or record at a lower framerate.

Key Features

  • Flashback recording
  • Live commentary
  • 4K at 30Hz capture or up to 60Hz at 1080p with HDR
Specifications

  • Brand: Elgato
  • Max Passthrough Resolution: 4K 60Hz
  • Max Capture Resolution: 4K 30Hz
  • Interface: USB 3.0 Type-C
  • OBS Compatible: Yes
  • Mic In: No
  • Built-in Hardware Encoder: No
  • Bundled Software: 4KCU
Pros

  • Supports 4K at 60FPS gaming with HDR
  • Cheap and affordable
  • High quality capture
  • Feature packed
Cons

  • No built-in hardware encoder
  • USB 3.0 adds bit of latency

Buy This Product

FAQ

Q: Do Streamers Use Capture Cards?

If you want to start a streaming channel, Twitch career, or share your gaming footage with friends, you’ll need to invest in a good capture card. A capture card allows you to record the gaming footage while you play without impacting your performance. You can still achieve those high frame rates while streaming the gameplay live.

Q: How Do I Record High Quality Video on PS4?

To record high-quality video on the PlayStation 4, you need a 4K capture card that supports 4K 60Hz recordings. The best 4K capture cards also support 4K recording in HDR for the best picture quality and immersive graphics.

Q: Are Capture Cards Better Than OBS?

Capture cards are not better than OBS as the two are very different technologies. Capture cards allow you to record the gaming footage as you play, while OBS is a streaming software that enables you to stream the recorded footage to Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms. To stream your gameplay, you need a capture card and streaming software such as OBS.

Q: Is a Capture Card Better for Streaming?

A capture card is better for streaming if your game stream lasts longer than 15 minutes. The PlayStation 4 restricts game capture up to 15 minutes, and there’s a 10-minute limit on the Xbox One.With a capture card, you can stream your gameplay in real-time, add voice commentary, and even edit the gaming footage on the fly on supported capture cards.

Q: Do I Need a Video Capture Card to Live Stream?

If you want to start live streaming your gameplay, you’ll need a capture card. The best 4K capture cards for streaming allow you to stream and share high-quality 4K footage to your followers without impacting your gaming performance.

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