5 Best Portable Video Game Capture Cards Reviews-2018

We recently found ourselves in the market for a hardware based screen capture solution for iOS and that lead us down the path of researching a ton of cards. For our purposes we really wanted mobility, so we researched the portable market. As it turns out, there were only a handful of good options out there. We have reviewed what believe to be the only five portable video game capture cards that are currently on the market.

5.Diamond Multimedia USB 2.0 HD 1080

Diamond Multimedia USB 2.0 HD 1080

This would be the budget option for gamers. We fought between this and the Roxio Game Capture HD PRO, and the reason we settled on Diamond’s GC1000 for entry-level/value is because it has better software. The software Roxio has made is just horrible and outdated. That said, the Diamond is no gem. It has issues as well. What it is a great hardware for capturing nearly any input via pass through and USB. It can record at 1080p. It DOES NOT work for Mac users. The capture software is clunky, but at least functional. No HDMI cables included. If you are willing to put a little work in and you have a PC, this will be great because of it’s low cost. If you want better software with great features and higher quality hardware for another $50, read on.

  • Low price
  • Composite, USB, and Component cables included
  • No power supply required
  • Mediocore software
  • Difficult setup
  • No Mac/OSX support

4.Hauppauge HD 1540 PVR Rocket 1080p

Hauppauge HD 1540 PVR Rocket 1080p

This is an absolutely excellent option if you prefer Hauppauge’s software. No power brick required, and no computer required! You record directly to a USB thumb drive. There is no limit on what size thumb drive you get, so go big if you buy this. We highly, highly recommend you get the SanDisk Cruzer Fit 64GB as it is extremely small and reliable. You don’t want a long USB drive sticking out of the Rocket. It will get dislodged and you may risk losing recordings. So get this SanDisk if you want to buy the Rocket. The downsides of the Rocket are that it is expensive and you have to pay for a thumb drive if you don’t already have one, making it even more expensive. Otherwise this is an absolutely brilliant choice. Since you don’t need special software, there is less setup and pain. Just hook it up and start recording.

  • No computer required
  • Record directly to USB drive
  • No power supply required
  • Expensive
  • Requires USB drive

3.AVerMedia – C875 Live Gamer Portable

AVerMedia – C875 Live Gamer Portable

This is another expensive but great option for recording with out a PC. This time, instead of a USB drive, you are recording to an SD card. However, you also have the option to record via USB to PC. So it is more versatile than the PVR Rocket. As a nice bonus you also get a three month subscription to XSplit Broadcaster, which is amazing ly good software for streaming to services such as Twitch. Otherwise this is a relatively typical capture card with H264, 1080p, low latency pass-thru HDMI, and high compatibility with nearly all consoles. You can record audio via the 3.5mm plug and optionally put it in a separate file or include it in the final video file. Unfortunately this one is difficult to setup with the PS3 and the USB/HDMI cables it comes with are extremely short and you will probably need to buy new ones. We think, for the price, you can do better.

  • FREE 3mos premium xsplit broadcaster
  • Record directly to SD card
  • No computer required
  • Power supply required
  • Expensive
  • Requires purchase of SD card

2.Hauppauge – HD PVR 2 Gaming

Hauppauge – HD PVR 2 Gaming
*** MAC USERS READ THIS ***
The HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition by Hauppauge is an excellent choice for portable recording but it does not come with native Mac support. You will need to buy it as add on software for $29.95 from hdpvrcapture.com. Yes this is ridiculous. The other option is to buy the HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition Plus for an additional $20 which will also give you 5.1 channel sound recordings.
Moving on to the majority of our game capture audience (PC/Xbox/PS), there is no big downside to this capturer. In fact, it’s a strong competitor the the number one option in our list. Some claim it has better color quality, but we couldn’t find any solid evidence of that. The performance is identical, so is the codec used. The big difference between this and our number one option is that the Hauppauge requires you to use a power brick. You may think this is not a big deal, but it’s annoying. We promise. It’s an extra item to pack, and extra cord to run to a surge protector, and an extra item in your way. Otherwise, short of it’s lack of native Mac support and requirement of a power cord, this is a good pass through portable game capture card.

  • High quality captures
  • Includes 9′ USB cable, and 6′ video cables
  • Easy to use
  • Power supply required
  • Computer required
  • Mac edition requires extra software

1.Elgato – Game Capture HD

Elgato – Game Capture HD
So here is the deal. The Elgato fits in your pocket. It will not break the bank, costing less than $200. It has probably the most ridiculously easy setup and software that we have ever seen. It comes with excellent low power chipsets that make it so you do not have to carry with or buy a power adapter for it. Think LAN party here people, do you really want another power brick and to have to ask the guy next to you if you can use his surge protector★ Performance is brilliant and the H264 10bit color captures with built in anti-aliasing are crisp and beautiful. Streaming to Twitch, YouTube, or even Ustream is incredibly easy.
In our opinion there is just no other reason to get a different capture card. This is it.

  • High quality captures
  • Easy to use software
  • Buffering technology allows you to recapture unrecorded moments
  • High quality voice over recording
  • Stream to Twitch, YouTube, and Ustream
  • No power supply required
  • Computer required
  • Expensive