Bob-online.net // Tech


Are cheap capture cards worth it?


I bought one of those cheap capture cards from Amazon back in October to test out. It works, but not the amazing quality I was looking for.

It advertises 4K 1080p resolution, which I was not able to get.

It says it can be used for HD acuisition, gaming, streaming, teaching, video conference or live broadcasting. Here's the link to the page on Amazon. From October to now, the product is no longer available.


Notice when the capture card is plugged in, it works right away. No drivers are needed, but look at the details. It's a generic USB Video adapter, Microsoft provides the drivers, and it was last updated in 2006. When you try to update drivers, no drivers are available. Are people getting cheap cards, slapping generic software on it and shipping them out? Why would you use drivers that are 15 years old? I'm running an AMD Ryzen 5 2600x cpu, 32 GB ram, and Radeon RX 580.

There's no way that this generic card can output 4K 1080p. I tried hooking up my Switch to the card and got bad results. I tried every setting possible and there was constant input lag. First I tried 4k at 1080p, and it was simply not usable. I scaled down to 720p, and it was usable, but extremely choppy. I tried 480p and it was the same result. The saying goes "If it's too good to be true, it probably is" applies to this. I wasn't expecting super high results at 4K for gaming, but at least 1080p, and I would settle for 720p. The capture card works for basic stuff, like for zoom calls or any device that doesn't require much output demand. I simply cannot recommend this device.


In the mean time I will look around for a better capture card. I might just go PCI-e and ditch the external cards.

Any opinions, feel free to e-mail me: bobonlinenet@gmail.com