Elgato Hd60s Game Capture Card Review
Do you love shooting videos of your console gaming? If the answer is «yes», then you probably know a lot about Elgato products. The HD60 version is one of the best solutions if you want to capture gameplay at 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second.
Unfortunately, that game capture card had some disadvantages, as a result of which, the modified version HD60S was created.
The big advantage of this game capture card is that it is user-friendly, so not only professionals but also the beginners can capture the gameplay using this card.
You won’t get too many accessories or attachments in the package but here is what you will find there:
- The Elgato HD60S capture card
- 1 USB cable for charging and transporting data
- HDMI cable
Here are the system requirements to be sure that this game capture card is compatible with your device.
- Intel Core i5 (generation 4)
- RAM: 64 GB
- PC: Windows 10 (64-bit)
- Mac: OSX 10.11.4
- 1 built-in USB 3.x port
- Access to the Internet
- Graphics Card: Intel HD / Nvidia GeForce GTX 600 series (or better)
Innovations in hardware in comparison with the HD60 version.
The HD60S is really similar to the previous version of the Elgato game capture card. The basic form factor is completely the same, and it looks like the only visual difference is this “S” in the name of the card, so it is almost impossible to distinguish where is HD60 and where is HD60S if you just look at them.
What really changed a lot is that the new version uses USB-C. It can be considered as a step forward; besides, behind the USB-C connector, we can find USB 3.0, while HD60 had USB 2.0.
If you are wondering what it means and how it will improve your life, then the answer is that USB 3.0 will help the data to be transported faster, so the latency between events on the display and events on the capture window will be lower. Besides, the Elgato company states this latency will be about 0.
Check the side-by-sides above if you are really interested in comparing these 2 card versions. Both of them are not big so it is easy to take them from one place to another. Besides, if you want you can purchase an Elgato travel case to transport your card safely. You may also use the analog audio-in port with the Elgato Chat Link cable.
Elgato Game Capture 3.2 Software.
It is possible to use software produced by other companies, for example, XSplit or OBS, with HD60S, but if you want to capture the gameplay successfully it is necessary to use software created by Elgato. The software of this company can be used by beginners as everything is really understandable, but if you are a professional user, then you will find some useful features as well.
You won’t see the software in the package with the card, but you can simply open the website of Elgato and download everything that you need.
Here are 3 things you will be able to do: capture gameplay, edit it, and stream. Editing is extremely easy with Elgato software, so you can create impressive footage and share it anywhere. The only thing that should be mentioned is that this video editing has a limited number of possibilities. You will be able to trim the video clips, but you won’t be able to create a professional video working with color correction, 3D text, and so on. However, even trimming functions are very useful if you just want to improve your video before publishing.
But if we talk about capture, then it is possible to say that the software has many useful features. You can use different options to improve the quality of the footage, however, if you are not planning to stream your video but you want it to look perfect, then just leave the video on 1080p60.
Also if the size of the video is huge but you want it to weigh less, you can decrease the quality a little bit without changing the resolution and frame rate. Elgato Software will offer you such options. Besides, you may find several audio tools to improve the original game and commentary audios by adjusting their levels independently.
Just look at the clip «Forza Motorsport 6» below. It was captured from the Xbox One with the help of HD60S.
One more important advantage is that you can use some image tools to improve the way your footage looks. For example, you can increase or decrease the brightness or contrast levels. You can also check the screenshot tool which is so impressive! You will receive beautiful images snapped right from the incoming feed, so you won’t need to take them on the console and share them off it after that.
Now it is time to talk about streaming.
Streaming features with the use of Elgato Game Capture 3.2 and the HD60S.
I can say that I am not a professional streamer, and for me, impressive useful software such as OBS or XSplit is not that understandable, while Game Capture 3.2 created by Elgato is really user-friendly.
It is great that any person can use this Elgato software and stream the video online on Twitch, Dailymotion, or Youtube. If you decide to do this, don’t worry about getting a special stream key, as all you need to do is to sign in and start streaming. You can simply press the green button and your streaming will be started; if you click on the blue button it will turn on / turn off your commentary.
You can check several tools that may help to improve the streaming process and that are very easy to use. But you need to be careful, as you may face some hardware bottlenecks that will make your situation more difficult. For example, if you use Stream Command which is a set of tools that Elgato includes to help users to improve the overlays and webcam feeds (for example, chroma key for green screens), it will need special requirements, for example, Intel Core i7 and at least 4GB of RAM.
For this analysis, I was using HD60S with my PC that has such characteristics: Intel Core i5, 16GB of RAM, GTX 960 GPU graphics card. Honestly, using Stream Command wasn’t an easy thing, because every time when I was trying to use it I failed, as Twitch was showing that I’m always offline, even when I got the required bandwidth by dialing down the quality of the outgoing feed.
GPU didn’t help to encode the video as well; well, actually it helped but with many errors. So the output to Twitch was made but the video colors were damaged and the image wasn’t looking good. It was a real loss, as several overlays were really great. This was the only real disadvantage of the Game Capture HD 3.0.
Streaming functions are quite impressive to be honest, for example, you may use a helpful slider to get the necessary bandwidth that you will apply to your stream, as a result the output quality will be dialed down automatically. It is possible to get 1080p and 60fps, but there is a chance that Twitch won’t like such a situation as this service doesn’t want its users to watch something without buffering. But you can choose if you want to go high or to limit.
Just like during the capture process, you are able to control the game and the commentary audios turning them on and off by clicking on a blue button. You may also get the necessary levels of audio volume.
Streaming features with the use of OBS and the HD60S
I chose OBS to check its compatibility with the HD60S but I could also use XSplit as the results would be the same. This software is free and has impressive plugin support, although the interface is not so well-developed.
No matter which software you choose, as both of them work well with the HD60S. If you decide to use OBS, you will see that when you select the “video capture device” option, the capture card will be selected. After that, you may add some features and start streaming.
Low latency results.
The HD60S game capture card can be used while you are playing games inside the capture window. Maybe it won’t work perfectly for the modern fast-paced games, but still, it is useful for many other games. Watch the video above to see the delay, but honestly, it can be seen only if the video is slowed down; in other situations, you won’t even notice this delay.
The great innovation in this card is an Instant Gameview feature. It became possible because USB 3.0 is used instead of USB 2.0 and it helps the data to be transferred better, so you can play a game and control a stream from the same display. Not all people will be impressed by this feature but for me, it was incredibly useful when I was playing games like Forza 6.
Using USB-C is a real step further, and it is obvious then future cards will also support USB 3.1 and probably even Thunderbolt 3.
The HD60S capture card created by Elgato is really necessary for those people who want to create videos of console gaming. It’s a rare situation when a product doesn’t have any disadvantages, but that’s what can be said about the HD60S: it has some difficulties with Stream Command, but experience in other areas is extraordinary.
As a result, you will get an amazing footage, hardware, and software that are both great for beginners and professionals. Besides, the HD60S is compatible with other software. Of course, the connectivity is not as great as the one that the Razer Ripsaw has, but still, it is impressive.
Is the Elgato HD60S recommended for purchase? Of course!
If you are usually playing on PS4 or on Xbox One, then the HD60S is the perfect option for you. It’s not very cheap, but the data will be definitely transferred better.
Elgato capture card has a really user-friendly software allowing to capture and stream videos, while Razer Ripsaw is more complicated. Such a situation makes the HD60S great for all users.