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Replay Your Greatest Moments with a Video Capture Card

With live streaming more popular than ever, many streamers and creators have invested in video capture cards, also known as game capture cards, for more powerful and flexible video recording and streaming. A capture card attaches to your PC, console, or another device and then automatically encodes your video signal for recording, effects, editing, and more.

Capture cards are a must for many different types of streamers and creators. Anyone who streams using multiple PCs, uses a DSLR as a webcam, or wants to stream console games with the best video quality and resolution will probably need a capture card. In addition, adding a capture card to your setup can give you more options for adding effects, music, and other layers to your stream. Basically, whether you are streaming video games or cooking or just about anything else, a capture card will give you more options for high quality recording and editing.

Choosing the Best Capture Card for You

What are the factors that determine which video capture device is your best option? Here are the most important ones to consider:

Internal vs. External: Internal cards are installed inside your Windows Desktop PC and connected to your motherboard PCIe slot. An external capture card, meanwhile, connects via a USB 3.0 port on your computer. Internal cards tend to offer the most robust performance, while external cards have a big advantage in flexibility and portability.

Capture Quality: If you want to create the best quality audio, video, and game recordings possible, make sure to check the maximum resolution and frame rate that the capture card supports. Most basic capture cards can do at least Full HD 1080p, while some of the most advanced models can capture in up to 4K. Make sure to consider if the capture card supports variable refresh rate as well.

Pass Through: A capture card pass through allows you to play and record at different resolutions. For example, if you’re recording at 1080p, a card with a 4K @60FPS pass through quality will still allow you to play in a beautiful low latency resolution.

Onboard Encoding: Most capture cards need an attached PC to handle encoding video, but some feature onboard encoding functionality that can convert the footage into your chosen format right on the card itself.

Ports: Check the capture card input and output ports to make sure they fit your needs. Most offer at least HDMI inputs and outputs, plus potentially a USB A or USB C port if it is an external capture card.

Compatibility: The majority of capture cards offer plug and play compatibility with either Windows or macOS, but it is worth checking to make sure your OS is supported. Equally important: verifying that your card supports any popular screen recording software, such as OBS, that you plan to use in real time.

Browse our selection of capture cards here and discover your ultimate screen recording solution for streaming. Getting started with streaming, or upgrading your setup? Our Creator Studio Builder will help you take it to the next level.

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