The best capture cards for recording and livestreaming in 2021

While the best graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD can record your PC’s gameplay directly, these methods sometimes come with a performance tax that lowers your game’s frame rate and makes your stream stutter. Grabbing a capture card is the best way to ensure a quality livestream, as it translates gameplay into a language better suited for Twitch and YouTube, lowering the overhead on your hardware and helping you boost fps. It’s also the only way you’ll get all the benefits of the best gaming PC when livestreaming from consoles like the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, or Nintendo Switch.

Thankfully, capture cards are much more affordable these days, supporting up to 4K resolutions and high refresh rates – perfect for those of you recording or streaming competitive titles.

It can be a maze navigating the number of capture cards available, with models that connect to your PC via USB and ones that slot directly into your motherboard. Some even come adorned with RGB lighting – yes, really. We’ve found a wide range of capture cards to suit you, no matter your budget.

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