Review cover Elgato 4K60 Pro Capture Card (Hardware)
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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?
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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.

Verdict

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
9.8
out of 10

Overall

Setting out to do everything you could hope to expect from a top-of-the-line capture card, and then some, Elgato's 4K60 Pro is just about flawless. The only drawback is that something this nice comes at a high cost.
Wait, I was always under the assumption that this card did the encoding... If there's no on-board encoder, then it's a waste of money at that price.
 
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4K hardware encoding is really expensive, since it requires an FPGA, and these devices usually output compressed video, so lag will be pretty crazy. That's why 99% of capture devices does the compression with the graphics card and output uncompressed video (to the graphics card).

For hardware encoding you have the 4K60S+. Its expensive but it would worth.. if it would be reliable, unfortunately it fails a lot, you have to buy a bunch of them to get a perfectly working device.
 
I've had the HD60 pro for years and love it
Elgato is definitely the way to go when you want a capture card that just does what it's supposed to.
 
I have this card. it's great. It is sort of idiotic however that it does not have a on-board encoder and the cheaper one...does. Whatever. Sucks that it doesn't work at all on Linux. Like,. all of their products don't..Software is also pretty terrible.
 
I bought a generic one on Amazon for $30 and it's been flawless for nearly a year for me now. The only issue I had was the usb cable stopped working but I replaced it for $5 or $6. I stream PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U and Switch to my PC with it with a 5 port hdmi splitter.

Do you guys use OBS or something else?
 
As much as I used the Elagto HD 60 for about 2 years I opted out on the Avermedia Live Gamer 4K. b/c it was slightly cheaper on Ebay, it can do the same thing as the Elgato 4K 60 pro, but actually capture 1440p @144hz and 1080p @ 240hz. Although HDR personally is a hit or miss b/c it looks washed out and most ppl wont have the option to view it on Youtube. Then theres this whole tech ideology of your TV might have fake HDR. So don't buy these capture cards for just HDR support, 4K at 60+fps is enough. Another thing about these 4K cards is that they do infact upscale non 4K console recordings to 4K like the Switch for an example aslong your TV/monitor resolution supports it.

About the encoding Im sure its a tradition that only external capture cards provide their own encoding. Which in the past models were to primarily compress file sizes, but now I think they allow Raw capture. But yeah if your getting an internal 4K card then you need a 4K PC for the encoding, its a waste of money if your needs don't match your requirements in that regard. A 1080p PC doesn't need a 4K card.
@ConspiracyFactualist
OBS is a great alternative for streaming/ local recording
 
OBS is a great alternative for streaming/ local recording
I'd say it's the best free recording/streaming software to use. It has so many options and customizations to work with, it's incredible. I never actually had to use Elgato's HD Capture software at all (except in OBS itself). There's even a great mod for OBS called "StreamFX" and gives even more to work with, especially better encoding options.
 
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I'd say it's the best free recording/streaming software to use. It has so many options and customizations to work with, it's incredible. I never actually had to use Elgato's HD Capture software at all (except in OBS itself). There's even a great mod for OBS called "StreamFX" and gives even more to work with, especially better encoding options.
Oh yeah hands down its the best option for PC streaming/recording. I used to use Geoforce experience for a long time, but it has no cusomizations compared to OBS and Mirillis Action- (cracked). But yeah PC users should never have to buy a capture card since theres many free software to record gameplay. The worst thing Ive seen console users do is use their console for recording which is a struggle to maintain content.
 
I'd say it's the best free recording/streaming software to use. It has so many options and customizations to work with, it's incredible. I never actually had to use Elgato's HD Capture software at all (except in OBS itself). There's even a great mod for OBS called "StreamFX" and gives even more to work with, especially better encoding options.

Using Autohotkey, and a lot of trial and error I came up with scripts that let me launch full screen even with my PC controller, when by default OBS does not even have any keyboard shortcuts for output to fullscreen I found someones script that I added to obs though and then I made several autohotkey scripts. I realize most just care about streaming to the internet and so they don't care about full screen that's not what i use a capture card for I use it to stream my PC and all my consoles to my TV downstairs.

I love making autohotkey scripts another example I have a controller shortcut for Chiaki which launches my PS4 using my PC controller and OBS plays it fullscreen all by just sending Select + Left Stick Down at any time even if OBS is minimized and my PS4 starts in rest mode all the way to playing in fullscreen. I use joytokey for the controller shortcuts.
 
I've had this product since March and have been using it religiously. Never owned a capture card before so I can't say how it compares to others, but I'm satisfied with it. Don't have 4K, but it works perfectly fine for my 1080/60 purposes.
 
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