Four years after the 4K60 Pro Mk2, Elgato upgrades its frame grabber to PCI express.
AverMedia showed its new CG575 4K HDMI 2.1 capture card at Computex this summer, and Elgato has just replied at CES. This new card is an evolution of the 4K60 Pro, which now matches the monitors available on the market. The card will be available on Elgato’s website for $279.99 or €299.99.
The acquisition card comes in a beautiful box with just one accessory, an Ultra High Speed HDMI cable. Sober and unadorned.
- Passthrough: up to 8K60, HDR10, 5.1 Surround Sound
- Acquisition: up to 4K60, SDR, 5.1 Surround Sound
- Input/Output: HDMI 2.1
- Ultra-low latency
- Compatible devices: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X, Switch, Steam Deck, Mac, iPhone 15, DSLR.
- Compatible applications: OBS, Streamlabs, Twitch Studio, Restream, Zoom, Teams.
- VRR (Variable Refresh Rate)
Installing the card is easy, although you do need to open the case. Almost plug&play. The “4K Capture Utility” software enables rapid configuration and recording, if you wish to do so via this software. In OBS Studio, the card is recognized directly in Video Capture Device.
In simple terms, this acquisition card is an update of the 4K60 PRO (MK2), which switches from HDMI 2.0 to HDMI 2.1. But that would be to overlook a whole host of other assets on this card. First of all, let’s talk audio. Elgato has switched to 5.1 Surround Sound, and not by chance, since YouTube has recently added support for this feature.
Resolutions and frequencies
Let’s move on to the improvement over their previous model, the 4K60 Pro. You can now record/broadcast in 4k60 instead of the previous 2k60. And passthrough up to 8k60, 4k120 or 1080p240, corresponding to the new monitors available.
When it comes to resolutions and capture frequencies, not everything is possible, and it would be difficult to transcribe all the possibilities and limits. That’s why you’ll have to take a look at the table (below) provided by Elgato for a better understanding.
According to Elgato, support for Ultrawide 21/9 screens is planned and should arrive soon via an update.
Passthrough is the most essential feature for good gameplay. Using the OBS Studio preview window to play would add a huge delay, and therefore a poor gaming experience. 4K PRO promises ultra-low latency, without giving any figures. So we got out the probe to measure this purportedly ultra-low latency.
In this test, we compare the input lag of the monitor connected directly, then add the frame grabber to the loop. Finally, we also measured the latency of the acquisition signal broadcast via OBS Studio, i.e. without passthrough.
We used a 43-inch 4K 120hz OLED screen and our Leo Bodnar 4K Lag Tester. We took our measurements on 3 zones of the screen: top, middle and bottom, and then averaged them.
As you can see, latency is minimal, with a difference of 0.03 milli seconds. Completely imperceptible, you’d clearly run out of excuses to say that your lack of in-game performance is due to the acquisition card. And I don’t think anyone believes you.
We can also see that the latency in OBS Studio is 75ms, which is reasonable and will allow smooth feedback during a stream. This is certainly a much better result than the USB version of the acquisition card.
Who is this product aimed at?
Obviously for console gamers who want to stream, but also for serious PC streamers who don’t want any loss of performance when playing games. However, you’ll need a two-PC setup for this, or if you have an external DSLR camera. If neither of these applies to you, there’s really no advantage to having a capture card.
Which version to choose?
In our experience, PCIexpress capture cards tend to be considerably more reliable than their USB counterparts. And that’s probably because PCIe has lower latency than USB and its drivers. You’ll also experience little latency on OBS when using the PCIe card.
But there’s a trade-off here: you’ll either get flexibility and ease of use with a USB card. Or reliability and speed with a PCIe card.
ELGATO 4K PRO
All in all, Elgato provides a good update to an already successful product. It’s easy to use and the 4K Pro will be the queen of the market for the next fee years, just like its predecessors. That’s why we’re awarding it gold!