- Official Store: https://www.elgato.com/en/game-capture-4k60-pro
It's a new console generation, and 4K is one of the highlight features of this era. So if you want to record your latest and greatest games, you're going to want something that can handle it, right?
Even though the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X remain elusive and hard to get, a new console generation is upon us, bringing with it improvements, most of which are focused on load times and real-deal 4K graphics. PC users are lucky enough to have dedicated software for recording and streaming their games, but what's a console gamer supposed to do when they want to capture and display their gaming footage? Enter the Elgato 4K60 Pro, designed to be the cream of the crop when it comes to flagship capture cards.
The 4K60 Pro is the new and improved successor to the Elgato HD60 Pro, and boasts quite a few new features over its predecessor. Most importantly, it offers 2160/60 capture, meaning you're going to be able to record the highest available quality on any console games released in the current generation. HDR10 support is also present, as well as the ability to take in lower resolutions at high framerates, such as 1080/240, or 1440/144, which is a great addition; there's not much out there, even on PC that you'd be left wanting for, in terms of quality. That quality can cost you precious storage space though--at 4K/60 and at the highest bitrate, you're looking at 60GB/hr for recordings.
However, there is a single downgrade in regards to the 4K60 Pro: it lacks an onboard hardware encoder for recordings. It's a weird thing to not include, especially when the older Elgato cards did, so your PC will need a little oomph to smoothly record footage at higher framerates and resolutions, especially at 2160/60, however, so long as you've got a graphics card equal to or around the same power of Nvidia's 10xx series, you should be perfectly fine. GPU usage definitely was stressed during those recordings, but a 2080 Super was hardly phased by it. It's a detail worth keeping in mind, though.
Beyond that one aspect, the 4K60 Pro is incredible at whatever you throw at it. At its MSRP of $249.99, it very well should be, though. A price like that can be staggering, especially considering it's half the cost of one of the gaming consoles you'd be recording footage from, but at the same time, it's clearly designed to be top tier and the most feature-filled capture card in Elgato's lineup, so while the cost is hard to swallow, it also seems justifiable.
Thanks to the required 4K Capture Utility Software, you'll also be able to play your games through the software, without the need of another monitor. Where the external capture cards Elgato has made have required you to have a second screen, as the added input lag made things too difficult to play, this internal PCIe one is just about near-instant. It's not lagless, of course, but it's darn close. If you'd rather output the signal to another screen, you can do that as well, as the card has both input and output ports on it. In my case, I was able to plug my PlayStation 5 into the input, and have it display on the capture software, while also outputting to my 4K TV, letting me make the most of a high-resolution screen while still also capturing the footage and being able to keep an eye on the preview at the same time.
Video capture was near-flawless, and there was never any issues with the recording software itself. Amusingly, it could also be picked up through Discord's webcam function, letting you directly stream to your friends over a call. Elgato also lets you edit your recordings in real-time, giving you options like adjusting contrast, brightness, and other slight visual tweaks. Flashback Recording is another neat feature, which works similarly to ShadowPlay, in the way that if something really cool happens while you're not recording, the software has the ability to go back in time up to ten minutes and retroactively hit record to grab that super-cool bit of footage to share. Having that is an awesome inclusion, and it's really handy for moments to prove that you REALLY did get a 360 noscope, honest.
Elgato has knocked it out of the park with the 4K60 Pro. Everything about it is top-tier, which it should be for the price, but even with that kind of price tag, you're going to feel justified in paying that amount for the quality you get.
What We Liked ...
- Incredibly small and easy to fit in nearly any PC build
- Can output to a second screen
- 4K Capture Utility is incredibly low lag
- Runs cool despite being mounted under the GPU
What We Didn't Like ...
- No onboard encoding, which can be resource-heavy on your PC
out of 10