AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K 2.1 Review

The Live Gamer 4K 2.1 GC575 is an excellent HDMI 2.1 capture card that is compact and sleek while offering full 4K 144Hz passthrough with HDR and VRR.

Published
Updated
Manufacturer: AVerMedia (GC575)
6 minutes & 36 seconds read time
TweakTown's Rating: 93%
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The Bottom Line

Small, compact, and powerful, AVerMedia's Live Gamer 4K 2.1 delivers 4K144 passthrough (with HDR and VRR) with 4K60 capture, making it a capture card for all of your content creation and streaming needs.

Pros

  • + Full HDMI 2.1 passthrough up to 4K 144 Hz
  • + Game with HDR and VRR and record high-quality 60FPS gameplay
  • + Small and compact PCIe capture card
  • + Works flawlessly with OBS
  • + AVerMedia's RECentral is an excellent "one-click" solution for recording

Cons

  • - RECentral can freeze after recording multiple clips or videos
  • - 4K120 capture is still not here

Should you buy it?

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Introduction & Specification Details and Close-up

In many ways, the AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K 2.1 GC575 is the plug-it-in PCIe capture card version of the external AVerMedia Live Gamer ULTRA 2.1 GC553G2 we reviewed late last year. The idea is to offer gamers, content creators, and streamers the option to play with full 4K 144 Hz visuals with HDR and VRR enabled but still capture crisp, highly detailed 4K 60 FPS video or stream on platforms like Twitch or YouTube.

AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K 2.1 Review 5

The external AVerMedia Live Gamer ULTRA 2.1 is an excellent device built for modern gaming, where cinematic titles on consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X deliver 4K gaming experiences with vibrant HDR lighting. On the PC front, with QHD OLED displays hitting a super-fast 240 Hz refresh rate in 2024 alongside UltraWide and 4K displays, PC gamers are slowly moving on from 1080p.

The need for a capture card that can handle a PS5 or GeForce RTX 4070 SUPER-powered rig is high because the alternative is a situation where you need to downgrade the visual experience to match the desired capture - whether that be 1080p 60 for streaming or up to non-HDR 4K 60 for YouTube and other videos. The AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K 2.1 GC575 is precisely that versatile capture device, letting you enjoy the full benefits of a 4K or 1440p OLED display while offering powerful options for capture and streaming via OBS or AVerMedia's simple-to-use RECentral software.

AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K 2.1 Review 11

With its compact form factor and impressive design, the AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K 2.1 is an excellent option for those looking to capture console gaming footage, create videos, or stream PC titles via a dedicated streaming or capture rig. Game with HDR, VRR, and high frame rates while recording crisp broadcast-ready footage. Let's dig in.

Specifications & Close Up

  • Interface: PCIe Gen 3 x4
  • Input & Output (Pass-through): HDMI 2.1
  • Max Pass-Through Resolution: 2160p144 HDR/VRR, 3440x1440p 120 HDR/VRR, 1440p240 HDR/VRR, 1080p360 HDR/VRR
  • Max Capture Resolution: 2160p60
  • Supported Resolution: 2160p, 1440p, 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 576p, 576i, 480p, 480i
  • Video Format: YUY2, NV12, RGB24, P010(HDR)
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 121 x 160.5 x 21.5 mm
  • Weight: 150.5 grams
  • System Requirements: Windows 10 x64, Windows 11 x64, or later
  • Hardware Requirements: CPU: Intel Core i5-6XXX, AMD Ryzen 3 XXX or above GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, AMD Radeon RX 5700 or above
  • What's In the Box: Live Gamer 4K 2.1 (GC575), HDMI 2.1 Cable, Quick Start Guide
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Kosta's Test System Specifications

  • Motherboard: ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR X670E HERO
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 SUPER Founders Edition
  • Cooler: ASUS ROG RYUO III 360 ARGB
  • RAM: 64GB (4x16GB) Corsair DOMINATOR TITANIUM RGB DDR5 DRAM 6000MT/s
  • SSD: Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus-G M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD 4TB, Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus Plus M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD 8TB
  • Power Supply: ASUS TUF Gaming 1000W Gold
  • Case: Corsair 5000D AIRFLOW Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX PC Case
  • OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
Buy at Amazon

AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K 2.1 GC575

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$242.99$260.17$259.99
Buy at Newegg
$269.99$269.99$269.99
* Prices last scanned on 5/26/2024 at 2:04 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Design & Software

Design

One of the capture card concerns in the modern PC gaming era, especially for content creators and streamers who opt for powerful gaming hardware, is having enough room in a case to install a PCIe device. With the size of gaming GPUs in 2024, it's a legitimate concern, but thankfully, the AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K 2.1 is compact and then some. The 121 x 160.5 x 21.5 mm dimensions are tiny as far as PCIe devices go, and with a low-profile height, short length, and single-slot thickness, it sits comfortably below or beside a triple-slot GeForce RTX 4080 SUPER.

AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K 2.1 Review 4

The quality of the card matches the price tag, which interestingly is the same as the external Live Gamer ULTRA 2.1 at $269.99 USD. From the full metal shroud to the sturdy PCB to the RGB light strip that can sync with various RGB software, the AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K 2.1 is a sleek little unit and more compact than most dedicated capture cards - HDMI 2.1 or not. Install it vertically, and you'll get to see more lighting, reflective surfaces, venting, and other nice touches made to the physical design of the Live Gamer 4K 2.1.

AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K 2.1 Review 14

However, the small size and focus on pure HDMI 2.1 mean that in terms of ports and inputs, you're looking at the most straightforward setups - a single HDMI In and a single HDMI Out. Power is delivered via the PCIe Gen 3 x4 interface, which has 20Gbps bandwidth for low latency and high-quality video. This is more than the Live Ultra 2.1's USB-C interface; however, there's no 4K 120 recording option.

As we're now in the PCIe Gen5 era, the Gen3 interface and the modest PC requirements of an AMD Ryzen 3 CPU or GeForce GTX 1060 make this compatible with most PCs. Unlike the external Live ULTRA 2.1, you won't find dedicated audio input or output ports, as a dedicated capture card, additional recording, or pairing with a microphone or headset is handled by software, and whatever additional peripherals and devices you've connected to Windows.

Software

The AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K 2.1 isn't tied to any specific software or driver; this is a pure plug-and-play card that will work with whatever app you use for capture and recording. That said, the AVerMedia Gaming Utility is a handy and recommended tool for getting a quick look at the current status (so you can see exactly what video and audio is coming through) of the HDMI input, with the ability to check and update the card's firmware. This app is also where you can customize the RGB lighting.

AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K 2.1 Review 15

If you're a content creator or streamer well versed in the powerful OBS tool, you'll be pleased to know that the AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K 2.1 support is seamless and immediately appears as a source. However, OBS isn't very friendly to beginners or those who might want to capture high-quality raw gameplay footage from various PCs and consoles. A simple one-click or so solution for capturing and streaming is available for beginners with AverMedia's RECentral 4 app - updated this year to support the new Live Gamer 4K 2.1 and the Live Gamer ULTRA 2.1 we reviewed last year.

AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K 2.1 Review 18

Although RECentral 4's interface is minimal, it's a powerful tool that offers a range of capture quality options with the ability to add secondary audio sources and even a webcam overlay. There's minimal customization required to get started; all you need to do is click on the big record button to start recording or the camera button to capture a high-quality screenshot.

Based on the recording quality, there's even a nice little indicator of how much recording time is left - the remaining space on your storage device is listed as recording hours and minutes. RECentral also offers a suite of streaming options, including the ability to hook straight into Twitch or YouTube - though if you're serious about streaming, OBS is still the way to go with the Live Gamer 4K 2.1.

Performance

Recording raw gameplay with RECentral is great because it simplifies the capture experience to "pressing record," unlike the OBS platform, which requires setting up recording and streaming profiles. This review used RECentral to capture 4K gameplay from Forza Horizon 5 and Diablo 4 running on an Xbox Series X, with high-quality recordings chosen. The quality of the raw 4K gameplay you can capture with the Live Gamer 4K 2.1 is impressive, crisp, detailed, and smooth. Even when compressed to YouTube 4K, the result is still better than software-based recording.

The real magic, especially when it comes to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and high-end GPU capture, is the ability to hit record and continue playing in 4K with HDR and VRR - knowing that the recording will be archive-ready in crisp 1080p, 1440p, or 4K. As a fan of 3440x1440p displays, it was also pleasing to learn that the Live Gamer 4K 2.1 didn't have any issues recording ultrawide cinematic footage - well-made 21:9 videos can often be spectacular, so that's another big plus for the card.

After extensive testing and recording across multiple devices (including some classic 1990s console gaming with the AYANEO Retro Mini PC AM02), I did find that RECentral did crash or freeze after recording numerous videos in succession, forcing a hard quit and restart of the app. I didn't encounter any issues with video quality, stuttering, or freezing with OBS - so the problem looks like RECentral. On the plus side, the freezing only happened when starting to record, not during - so there wasn't any lost footage.

Final Thoughts

The AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K 2.1 GC575 is an excellent HDMI 2.1 capture card built for the current console generation (and the upcoming PlayStation 5 Pro) and PC gaming hardware. It has full passthrough support, so you can get the most out of your high-end display and hardware when recording or streaming. As described in the introduction, this is the PCIe version of the excellent Live Gamer Ultra 2.1 USB-C external card that AVerMedia launched late last year.

AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K 2.1 Review 10

The good news is that during those months, AVerMedia updated its simple-to-use RECentral software to support the company's 4K capture devices. There have also been several bug fixes, expanded resolution, and refresh-rate support, so the Live Gamer 4K 2.1 is in a great place. It's all here: small, compact, excellent software support, versatile recording, and capture. The price might feel a tad high at $269.99 USD, but if you're a content creator, streamer, or someone who wants to capture archive quality gameplay from a PC or console - the Live Gamer 4K 2.1 is an excellent choice.

Photo of product for sale

Performance

96%

Quality

95%

Features

90%

Value

92%

Overall

93%

The Bottom Line

Small, compact, and powerful, AVerMedia's Live Gamer 4K 2.1 delivers 4K144 passthrough (with HDR and VRR) with 4K60 capture, making it a capture card for all of your content creation and streaming needs.

TweakTown award
93%

AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K 2.1 GC575

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$242.99$260.17$259.99
Buy at Newegg
$269.99$269.99$269.99
* Prices last scanned on 5/26/2024 at 2:04 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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