AVerMedia is back with an excellent new external capture card that is capable of recording 4K HDR footage as well as 240 frames per second at 1080p. The AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt is basically an external version of the Live Gamer 4K, which is still great. Live Gamer Bolt launches this month for $450.
The Live Gamer Bolt is one of the first external cards capable of recording 4K HDR at 60 frames per second. It can do this because it works exclusively through a Thunderbolt 3 port. Thunderbolt 3 is capable of a 40Gb/s transfer speed. It’s also the port that eGPUs use when connecting to laptops. That bandwidth enables the Live Gamer Bolt to push through the required video data to capture a full 4K frame 60 times every second at bitrates up to 240Mbps.
But is the device worth it? For some, absolutely. Let’s break down why
What you’ll like
- Gorgeous 4K HDR footage
- Speedy 1080p video at 240 frames per second
- Hyper low-latency input, so you can play without an external monitor
- Significantly more portable than an internal capture card
- Your recent laptop probably has Thunderbolt 3
What you won’t like
- If you don’t have Thunderbolt 3, you’re out of luck
- Requires a beefy laptop or desktop for 4K60 HDR
What you need to know about the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt
- It launches April 2020
- Price: $450
If you’re in the market for a 4K60 HDR capture card, you shouldn’t necessarily run out and get the Live Gamer Bolt immediately. The Live Gamer 4K produces pretty much identical results, but you can get it for just $229 from most online stores. And if you’re just going to plug the Bolt into a desktop and leave it there, then you’re wasting your money. In that case, just get the Live Gamer 4K instead. It’s more affordable, and you don’t need to worry about having a Thunderbolt 3 port, which is especially rare on AMD motherboards.
If you, however, need a capture card you can plug into the laptop on the go or around the house, then the Bolt is your best bet.
And the good news in that case is if you have a gaming laptop, you likely also have Thunderbolt 3. You likely also have the required memory, CPU, and video card to capture 4K60 HDR.
What this all means is that you can plug the Live Gamer Bolt into your laptop, and that will provide all the power and data transfer that you need. It’s not as portable as something like the Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus, which can record with just power and an SD card. But the Portable can’t do 4K60 HDR, either.
And the Bolt’s 4K60 HDR results are mesmerizing. Here is an example uploaded to YouTube:
I’m imagining going to an event like E3 again one day and needing to capture 4K HDR footage. The Bolt makes that possible with gear I can carry around in a bag. The devices itself is relatively small and it has a sturdy build quality.
It’s also nice to have a capture solution that I can drag around the house instead of having to take consoles from my family room to my PC.
If any of that sounds like what you want from a capture card, then the Live Gamer Bolt is easy to recommend. The price is steep, but it’s worth it if it delivers what you need.