When buying a capture card, it's important to find one that best balances image and video quality with performance and price.
One of the biggest names for capture cards is Elgato, and they have two similar products on the market: The HD60 and the HD60S.
When Elgato launched the Elgato HD60 capture card in 2014, it was an instant hit with gamers worldwide. It provided a much better quality of video than its competitors and made gameplay streaming easier. In 2019, Elgato released their newer model: the Elgato HD60S.
There are some important factors and key differences between these two capture cards that you should know about before making your purchase decision for a capture device.
Renowned for its features, the HD60 is a great device to use. It has powerful functions that many content creators like.
The Elgato HD60 can record up to 1080p/60fps. It also has a USB 2.0 interface that is tried and tested to work reliably with most computers.
This capture card also has an H.264 encoder that takes fewer resources from your computer while capturing and recording. This makes it a good choice for older systems.
The Elgato HD60S is the perfect complement to any system. A pleasing and striking greyscale design, LED status strip, and a sleek exterior, makes it one of the best-looking capture cards on the market today!
This Elgato game capture card is tough to rival. Not only does it offer a 1080p/60fps quality, but its reversible USB-C connector also simplifies the setup.
The HD60S is a USB 3.0-powered capture card with Instant Gameview and reliable, high-performance functionality. It gets you up and running on Twitch or YouTube quickly thanks to its low latency technology.
The Elgato HD60S works best when you have a decent computer and use software like OBS to stream.
The Elgato HD60S has an advantage over the more basic HD60 because it doesn't encode the video before sending it to your computer. This is why it is better to use the HD60S for streaming over recording videos.
The HD60S does not have a built-in hardware encoder. You'll offload the encoding to your processor, which could be more taxing on PC rigs with less powerful specs.
This is why the Elgato HD60 is amazing for recording. If your computer is a bit older or you plan on doing basic recordings with the Game Capture mode, the Elgato HD60 would be my suggestion. There's less strain on your computer since the hard work of encoding is handled by its onboard encoder that helps with the load on your system.
A big issue with the HD60 is that it cannot properly use third-party software as its built-in hardware encoder doesn't work properly with them.
The good thing is that both cards can handle 1080p/60fps and up to 40 Mbps bitrate (60 Mbps bitrate for the HD60S). The quality of the recording is going to be the same on both cards. The biggest change you will notice is how much your CPU usage will be affected.
The HD60 has a delay of around 2-3 seconds from your screen to the capture software. On the other hand, the HD60S uses a USB 3.0 interface, which allows the instant gameview feature of the HD60S, which brings the delay down to a measly 2-3 frames.
The Elgato HD60 can still be used and is still supported by Elgato in their Game Capture software, but it is an End of Life Product and won't be supported in their future software, such as the 4k Capture Utility App.
Elgato HD60S is the better and newer product. It has some major differences over its previous model, including improved video quality, USB 3.0 connectivity, and has a max bitrate of 60Mbps.
The main difference between both capture cards is the HD60s+ can record up to 1080p/60fps or 2160p/30fps. It can record and passthrough HDR10 in Windows 10 and can also passthrough up to 2160p/60fps.
The Elgato HD60 and Elgato HD60S capture cards both work well on relatively average PCs. Still, the built-in hardware encoder of the HD60 may be more beneficial for lower-end PC users who want to save processing power.
However, the Elgato HD60S offers lower latency than the previous model (HD60) thanks to a quicker USB 3.0 connection, making it a great choice for streamers.
Keep in mind that the Elgato HD60S is the prevailing model from Elgato, with a few major improvements over the Elgato HD60.
Don't get me wrong, both the HD60S and the HD60 are good capture cards.
The good news is that they're very similar, but the HD60S edges out because of its faster data transfer and lower latency, thanks to its USB 3.0 connection for Instant Gameview.
I feel obligated to recommend getting the HD60S over the HD60 as it is an End of Life product.