Performance and Software
For testing, my biggest focus was on the software that the 4K60 Pro uses. My past experiences with capture cards haven’t been the best over the years. I wish I could say it was just my Razer Ripsaw that gave me issues, but AVermedia capture cards in the past also had me fighting with software issues as well. So no matter what features Elgato have to offer with the 4K60 Pro, if the software is problematic then nothing else matters. Lucky for me I have been playing with some Elgato software recently with our Stream Deck XL (check out the review) and with the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT launch as well. At least with the Stream Deck, I was extremely impressed with the software so while I wouldn’t say I had high hopes, the previous capture cards ruined that, but I did have medium hopes lol.
So when you install the software and the card, this is what you start with when you get going. An extremely simple setup which I like. Up top, you have two tabs one for the capture page which we are looking at and then a second for the library. Up along the top right you can see what capture rate you are at when it is running as well as the bitrate and next to that is the capacity of the drive you have set up to record to. Next to that is the settings gear icon which I will dive into in a minute. Along the bottom, you have the name of what your capture will be logged as in the software. Then in the middle, you have the pause and record buttons along with a timer showing how long you have been running. Then on the bottom right corner, you have a screenshot button, a microphone mute icon that you can click on and turn on your microphone and then a volume indicator. That will show both left and right audio channel volumes when you have something playing with audio. Clicking on that bottom left name also lets you change the title of your current file and to set different tags as well as put the game name in.
The library tab up on top changes you to a different screen. Here you can see all of the files you have recorded. By default, they are listed by date and you can see by day, week, etc. You can also sort by title, game, length, size, etc all up on the top edge with one or two clicks depending on descending or ascending. You can also search for something specific in the top right corner and change the view from this icon view to a list. On the left, you can dive into tags that you can give each of your files to help sort them as well as the smart folders. The smart folders get interesting because you can auto sort things depending on a list of variables that can all be combined for one folder. So as an example you can sort all of your favorite files from X game into a folder or anything from X game that is longer than x minutes. This could be a quick way to keep track of clips to use later in a video.
From there you have the settings gear icon which opens up a smaller window with 5 tabs on it. The first page is simple with the option to turn auto-updates on or off and to check for updates. You can also sign up for stream link beta. In short, this is a way to be able to record using the Elgato 4K Capture utility while still streaming to OBS or XSplit.
The next page is the Device page. Here you can select which capture device the software is using, which is important if you have more than one Elgato capture device which a lot of streamers might when they also capture their camera feed using something like the cam link 4K. You can see the firmware version and your video input settings. You can also change a few things like the HDMI color range and EDID settings. The Input EDID setting, for example, is what you are telling the device hooked up to the capture card. AKA you can tell it hey this is the 4K60 Pro or spoof that and call it a standard TV. By default, it merges these together, but you can change it if you have a connection issue.
The picture tab is simple and easy to figure out. Here you can dive into the brightness, contrast, saturation, and hue just like if this were your TV.
The next tab is the recording tab and this is where you get into important settings. You set the recording location as well as the screenshot location for the software. You also select what device you will be using as an encoder, you can see by default it picked the 2080 Ti in my system. Below that is the MK2 specific setting where you can turn on recording HDR and below that, you set the resolution and frame rate. It goes up to 4K60 as the device name does indicate. Below that, you set the bit rate for the recording as well. Then down at the bottom, you can turn flashback recording on or off which is basically a DVR recording a set amount of time back that you can rewind back to.
The last settings page is the microphone setting page. Here you can select what device the software will use for a microphone. The point here is the 4K Capture Utility allows you to be able to record and do voice overlays at the same time. You can select the device, volume, and turn it down to mono if you want as well as turn on audio monitoring as well if you want to listen to yourself. The only thing missing here, in my opinion, is an option to be able to turn down the overall volume of the software or to tweak your input volume.
Elgato also integrates the 4K Capture Utility in with their Stream Deck software as well. You have to download the plugin, but once installed you get can set up a few different buttons on your stream deck to help. For example, you can turn your recording on or off, take screenshots, turn your microphone on or off, turn off the audio preview, and turn off the flashback recording as well.
I did get a picture of the 4K60 Pro MK2 installed as well. It mostly served as a reminder of how dust my system keeps getting while doing drywall work in my house though. But you can see how small it is compared to the 2080 Ti. It is about half as long and being a half-height card, it is, of course, half the height as well.
So I, of course, couldn’t just look at the software and let that be it. I have been testing the card out including testing it out while streaming a few classic games on the PlayStation Classic. I tested doing two different things because I was very curious. I wanted to find out how well you could play games without using the HDMI passthrough at all and then tested with the passthrough as well. To be honest, I was hoping that streaming while not having to use the passthrough would be possible just for simplicity on my system. Not having to take down a PC monitor to switch over to the full HDMI signal and just full screening the game when I play would be easier. This did work and it was a lot better than my previous experiences with this. But trying to play through the preview window does introduce some input lag. This was completely unplayable for me on all of the games I played initially because timing was important in games like ridge racer 4 and the other racing games I played, if it was something slower like Final Fantasy 7 it wouldn’t have been a problem. I later figured out however that a lot of that input lag came from having the flashback feature turned on, turning it off fixed most of it and the racing games were then playable. There was still a touch of input lag, but not enough to be unplayable. That said playing using the HDMI passthrough was much better, it had zero input lag.
The biggest issue I ran into in testing was just unhooking my modern game consoles from their home in the living room and getting them close to my PC to test out the higher resolutions. This also brought out another thing to keep in mind. You can record at any resolution that you want, but if you are using the passthrough you need a 4K TV to record at 4K.