Why Are Capture Cards So Expensive?

Why Are Capture Cards So Expensive

From competitive gamers to content creators, recently, everyone has been championing one thing: the capture card. It is a portable input machine that receives data from gaming devices and feeds it into your computer. As a result, the gameplay streams on the computer screen easily.

Using this capture device takes a lot of the stress of streaming and video content creation off of your shoulders. You don’t need to buy bulks of connectors or anything. Just plug in the capture card and record!

However, a quality game capture card can cost around $250. Some even cost up to $400!

But why are capture cards so expensive? The answer to this lies in their versatile functionality and feature-rich build. We’ve explained it all in detail below. Keep reading! 

Why Do People Buy Capture Cards? 

A capture card is a device that captures whatever is being displayed on-screen from another device like a gaming console or another computer and converts that content into a livestream online or a high-quality video that you can play back. 

However, a capture card’s purpose does not remain limited to signal conversion only. And so, people use a capture card for gaming and connectivity purposes. Let’s explore all the benefits of capture cards in detail below!

Why Are Capture Cards So Expensive


Despite the power and ability of gaming consoles, even these great machines have their limits. You can not constantly load them with data and still expect an optimal performance from them over time. This is very evident when attempting to run a game and record it at the same time. 

The PC will start lagging which is a common complaint among gamers. Reduced speed can slow your movements in the game, giving their opponent the chance to gain the advantage over you in the game. Not even a casual gamer wants that, right?

Well, capture cards are a great way to solve this problem. They take the stress of recording and/or streaming off of your PC making it easier for your computer to run the game you are playing. 


Yes, we know what you’re thinking. There are several third-party software available for recording and editing. Some gaming PCs even come with built-in software for this very same reason. 

So, why use a capture card? Well, it’s because of the video quality. 

Most of the software isn’t compatible with the outstanding resolution of your high-end PCs, and so, it decreases the image quality significantly. Plus, the software may compromise on quality recording if your computer doesn’t have enough space on it. 

In any case, for gamers, poor video quality can mean a decline in followership. People won’t engage, appreciate, or follow if they cannot enjoy the content watched. But, worry not, because a capture card helps record HD quality video without taking up space on your system.

Moreover, unlike software, capture cards are easy-to-use. You do not have to open multiple screens, adjust settings, etc. Simple, connect the capture device and press the button to start recording. 

Streaming Purposes 

Streaming games on platforms like Twitch is an essential part of the gaming career. It is how you demonstrate your gaming skills to the world. However, when you use streaming software, the setup process is slightly complex. 

Also, most software does not feature multiple platform streaming services. A capture card has versatile functionality. It lets you record HD content and stream it on various platforms all at the same time.

Features of High-Quality Capture Cards 

Aside from its different functions, the reason why capture cards are expensive is because they are rich in helpful features. Typically, a quality capture card will come with the latest software, more input types, a simple interface, and higher image quality. Here’s a detailed overview of these features.


Every manufacturer includes a different capture software in their product. This particular software enables the capture card to record, stream, and even edit the video footage. The latest software allows you to add commentary and stream overlays too. 

Types of Input

Since a capture card is a device that processes input from other consoles and devices, you will find several input ports on them. The most fundamental ones include USB, USB-C, PCle, and Thunderbolt3. Recently, manufacturers have also started including HDMI ports.

The HDMI input port is essential for connection to the most common gaming consoles. These include Xbox-one, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and even Nintendo Switch


The interface, when you’re talking about capture cards, is how the capture card connects to the computer. Most capture cards use a USB that is easy to connect. However, you may find a PCie slot. It is slightly difficult but functions the same. 

Image Quality

Capture cards use different resolutions to record the videos. On average, it is 1080 pixels or Full HD. However, premium capture card options come with 4K (Ultra HD) resolutions. 

Please note that a higher resolution results in a higher quality video recording. However, it also increases the cost. So, choose carefully.  

How Much Should You Pay for a Capture Card? 

The capture card range can be anywhere from $150 to $400. However, how much you should spend depends on the desired features and brand. The most popular capture card brands include Elgato, ASUS, and AVerMedia.

If you want a high-grade capture card with the latest features and manufactured by a reliable brand, expect to spend around $200. But, if you have budget limitations, you may find a decent capture card at $100. Remember, keep your budget in mind but if you cheap out, you will get what you pay for. 

Final Thoughts

Capture cards are expensive for two reasons: functionality and build. These innovative devices are the ultimate solution for all your gaming needs. 

You can use a capture device to game, record, and stream all at the same time seamlessly. Hence, it is an idealistic choice for streamers.

We hope you enjoyed this article. In case of any confusion or queries, comment down below. We’ll be more than happy to help you out! 

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