Elgato HD60 X Review | PCMag

2022-05-28 10:58:06 By : Mr. Sugary Yue

Affordable 4K/30fps video capture

The Elgato HD60 X lets you capture 4K/30fps or 1080p/60fps video game footage, and it doesn't require a desktop PC with a PCIe slot.

It's surprisingly easy to play games at 4K resolution and 60 frames per second on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Capturing that action for Let’s Play videos or Twitch streams, on the other hand, is a bit harder. If you want to record 4K/60fps video on your game console, you need either a desktop PC with a free PCIe card slot for a capture card, or you must be willing to pay around $400 for an external, 4K/60fps-capable USB capture device.

Elgato strikes an appealing compromise with its oddly named HD60 X. It can capture 1080p video at 60 frames per second like its name implies. However, it can also capture 4K video at 30 frames per second. You must choose between prioritizing resolution or frame rate, but it works equally well for both tasks. Just know that you'll want to use third-party capture or streaming software, as Elgato’s own capture app suffered some problems in testing.

The HD60 X looks more rectangular than the round-edged HD60 S+, but not quite as much of a stark block as the 4K HD60 S+. It’s a matte black plastic rectangle measuring 2.8 by 4.4 by 0.7 inches (HWD), with pinched sides to give it a flat hexagonal front silhouette. The front panel holds a 3.5mm audio jack for a headset or microphone, and the back panel has an HDMI input for the connected console, an HDMI output for your TV or monitor, and a USB-C port for connecting to your computer. An HDMI cable and a USB-A-to-USB-C cable are included in the box.

Elgato has its own, free 4K Capture Utility software for Windows, but the HD60 X also works with any standard recording or streaming software that accepts input from a video capture device. This is welcome flexibility, because Elgato’s software didn't properly work during testing. Whether connected to a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X, the Elgato HD60 X captured video featuring audio that was filled with strange crackles instead of the console’s sound (which passed through to the TV just fine). We were worried that the device was defective or that we were using faulty cables, but the feed captured through OBS Studio came through with sound intact.

This isn’t a massive complaint, because generally, the free pack-in capture software of any capture device or webcam is going to be less functional than a full capture and streaming suite, such as OBS Studio, StreamLabs, or XSplit Broadcaster. Still, we were surprised that audio simply didn’t work using Elgato’s app.

The Elgato HD60 X captures video at 4K resolution (3,840 by 2,160) and 30 frames per second, as well as 1440p (2,560 by 1,440) or 1080p (1,920 by 1,080) at 60 frames per second. There are also lower-resolution options. The capture device can pass video through to a connected TV or monitor at 4K/60fps, 1440p/120fps, or 1080p/240fps, with support for high dynamic range (HDR) and variable frame rate (VRR).

To use the Elgato HD60 X, you need a PC with at least a 6th generation AMD Ryzen 7 or Intel Core i5 CPU, AMD Radeon RX 480 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 10xx GPU, 4GB RAM, and a USB 3.0 port. It only accepts unencrypted HDMI signals, so HDCP must be disabled on any console that uses it.

The captured footage turned out exactly as expected. Using OBS Studio, we recorded Elden Ring gameplay on the PS5 and Halo Infinite gameplay on the Xbox Series X. In both cases, 4K video at 30 frames per second was crisp and consistent, while 1080p video at 60 frames per second was visibly smoother. If you want 4K/60fps, be prepared to spend at least twice as much on a USB device, or use a desktop PC with a free PCIe slot for a capture card.

Unfortunately, the capture latency on a laptop screen was just a bit too much to be able to accurately aim at moving targets in Halo Infinite, or effectively dodge roll in Elden Ring. The pass-through signal sent to the TV, on the other hand, seemed to show no noticeable lag, and that’s what’s important; the feed being captured by your computer will almost always have some sort of delay, even if it’s minimal.

The Elgato HD60 X does exactly what it sets out to do: capture 4K/30fps or 1080p/60fps video. It sends a lag-free, 4K/60fps, HDR-enhanced signal (with VRR support) to your TV, while capturing that same feed at a lower frame rate or resolution of your choice. We found Elgato’s own capture software wanting, but the hardware worked perfectly in OBS Studio. For $200, the HD60 X is a compelling device that offers flexibility in what you want to record or stream, depending on whether the content is better suited for smooth action or fine detail.

If you want to record 4K/60fps video, you’ll need to spend more money. Elgato’s $399.99 4K60 S+ is purported to capture footage at that resolution and frame rate through a USB connection, while the $249.99 4K60 Pro Mk. 2 PCIe card enables your PC to do it (if you have a tower and a free slot). However, we have not yet tested either device.

The Elgato HD60 X lets you capture 4K/30fps or 1080p/60fps video game footage, and it doesn't require a desktop PC with a PCIe slot.

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I’ve been PCMag’s home entertainment expert for over 10 years, covering both TVs and everything you might want to connect to them. I’ve reviewed more than a thousand different consumer electronics products including headphones, speakers, TVs, and every major game system and VR headset of the last decade. I’m an ISF-certified TV calibrator and a THX-certified home theater professional, and I’m here to help you understand 4K, HDR, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and even 8K (and to reassure you that you don’t need to worry about 8K at all for at least a few more years).

Home theater technology (TVs, media streamers, and soundbars)

Smart speakers and smart displays

I test TVs with a Klein K-80 colorimeter, a Murideo SIX-G signal generator, a HDFury Diva 4K HDMI matrix, and Portrait Displays’ Calman software. That’s a lot of complicated equipment specifically for screens, but that doesn’t cover what I run on a daily basis.

I use an Asus ROG Zephyr 14 gaming laptop as my primary system for both work and PC gaming (and both, when I review gaming headsets and controllers), along with an aging Samsung Notebook 7 as my portable writing station. I keep the Asus laptop in my home office, with a Das Keyboard 4S and an LG ultrawide monitor attached to it. The Samsung laptop stays in my bag, along with a Keychron K8 mechanical keyboard, because I’m the sort of person who will sit down in a coffee shop and bust out not only a laptop, but a separate keyboard. Mechanical just feels better.

For my own home theater, I have a modest but bright and accurate TCL 55R635 TV and a Roku Streambar Pro; bigger and louder would usually be better, but not in a Brooklyn apartment. I keep a Nintendo Switch dock connected to it, along with a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X so I can test any peripheral that comes out no matter what system it’s for. I also have a Chromecast With Google TV for general content streaming.

As for mobile gear, I’m surprisingly phone-ambivalent and have swapped between iPhones and Pixels from generation to generation. I favor the iPhone for general snapshots when I need to take pictures of products or cover events, but I also have a Sony Alpha A6000 camera for when I feel like photo walking.

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