15th Jan2013

AverMedia Live Gamer HD – Review and Performance Benchmarks

by Rip

Ease of Use – 10 / 10 – AverMedia has really made it simple to accomplish whatever your goals are with this card. The hot button makes starting up the software super convenient, and within a few clicks you’re ready to hit it again to start/stop your capture or stream. Often times the included software with hardware feels bloated or sluggish and the ReCentral software is definitely not. With all of the presets available depending on your skill level and the integration with the hot button its a definite winner.

Capturing – 10 / 10 – With 20mbps and 720p @ 60fps you’re going to be hardpressed to fault this capture card. As stated earlier, while this card can do 1080p @ 30fps I still prefer the higher framerate. The fact that your computer barely gets hit with any CPU burden when playing and capturing on the same PC is also a huge plus for this card. Some people have noted issues with audio sync on the MP4 file format when capturing but I didn’t experience any issues with it during my testing.

Streaming – 9 / 10 – As noted in the image quality section, the main flaw in this card is that you need a higher bitrate to get better image quality and unfortunately that is a luxury that most streamers will not have. Aside from that though, the included free ReCentral software is more than adequate for anyone looking to get into streaming their gameplay. The only thing its lacking is webcam support.

Value – 9 / 10 – Right now the card is around $200 (but you can find it at Amazon for $180 right now). For this price though, if you’re streaming from console, this card only supports HDMI which may give some users issues with HDCP (Playstation 3). Supporting a component input on the card that does pass-thru to the HDMI output would have been the perfect solution (the BlackMagic Intensity Pro is capable of doing this). The card does come with a good chunk of accessories though as well as the 3 month Xsplit license, so for everything it does do, it is still a great value.

Overall – 9.5 / 10 – Editors Choice Award
Depending on what you’re looking for in the capture card market there are different cards for different needs. If you are looking for a card for streaming intensive PC games or if you don’t want to have to turn down your game settings to stream the game, then this card is definitely your best option. If your computer is on the lower end of the performance spectrum then again, this may be the perfect card for you. If you are mainly a console streamer not interested in doing long capture sessions and your PC is a Core i5 or i7 quad core processor, then the BlackMagic Intensity Pro may suit you best. In many ways, the Live Gamer HD is sort of a jack-of-all-trades, but while it may not be a master of many, its damn good at all of them! Especially for people with slower computers that can barely handle streaming as it is.

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1 comments
kornstar
kornstar

wow, awesome review! this is super detailed. really like the benchmarks. gonna give it a try. wish this review wasn't on so many separate pages tho...