The AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K 2.1 (GC575) emerges as a formidable contender in the world of HDMI 2.1 PCIe capture cards, catering primarily to console and PC gamers. It’s the first gaming-focused card to enter the fray, with AVerMedia presumably aiming to gain ground before competitors begin to appear. It already made a splash with the USB Live Gamer ULTRA 2.1 (that I reviewed previously), and now I’m taking a look at the PCIe version.
Feels like quality
The Live Gamer 4K 2.1, with its robust build quality and gamer-y RGB lighting, feels and looks great, which should help soften the blow of the $269.99 price tag. Installing the capture card is super simple, fitting into a motherboard’s available PCIe slot. It might not be as quick as plugging in a USB cable, but it’s almost as easy.
It’s good to see an HDMI 2.1 cable included in the box, as it can be tough to track down compatible wires. Combine the included cable with that included with your current-gen console, or the one you’re already using between your PC and HDMI 2.1-compatible monitor, and you’re good to go. Of course, there is backwards compatibility between older consoles and PCs that don’t boast HDMI 2.1.
The card’s main feature, 4K144 and 4K120 pass-through, is impressive but comes with caveats. The support for HDR and VRR is fantastic to see and experience, yet the inability to capture at 4K120, is disappointing. While it might be a niche resolution and frame rate, the Live Gamer 4K 2.1 is clearly intended to be used for many years, and it would have been nice to see that functionality available at launch.
If you’re not looking for 4K 120 FPS capture, however, and I admit that very few content creators will be, then the Live Gamer 4K 2.1 ticks the majority of boxes.
Interface: PCIe Gen 3 x4
Video Input: HDMI 2.1
Video Output (Pass-Through): HDMI 2.1
Max Pass-Through Resolutions: 2160p144 HDR/VRR, 3440x1440p 120 HDR/VRR, 1440p240 HDR/VRR, 1080p360 HDR/VRR
Max Capture Resolution: 2160p60
Video Format: YUY2, NV12, RGB24, P010(HDR)
Dimensions: (W x D x H): 121 x 160.5 x 21.5 mm (4.76 x 6.32 x 0.85 in)
Weight: 150.5 g (5.31 oz)
AVerMedia gives users the choice to use whatever capture software they want. While the company does provide RECentral, its own app that has evolved to become very robust over the years, users are still free to use applications like OBS.
Pay to play
At $269.99, AVerMedia is pitching the Live Gamer 4K 2.1 as a flagship product that delivers a premium experience. While I agree that it is a solid choice for gamers and content creators looking for a reliable, high-performance capture card, I am curious about what the competition could soon be launching and how that will impact the market.
For now, AVerMedia takes the top spot for HDMI 2.1 capture with both its external and internal cards. The hardware seems robust and the software is stable, with no signs of any rushing during development or production. If you’re in the market for a HDMI 2.1 capture card, and you need a solution right now, then AVerMedia has a fantastic option.
Disclosure: Live Gamer 4K 2.1 review sample provided by AVerMedia.
Positives and Negatives
High-quality 4K capture at 60 FPS.
Pass-through with HDR and VRR at high frame rates.
Easy to setup.
Solid build quality
Competitors could be worth waiting for.
No 4K120 capture.