[Review] AVerMedia Live Gamer Mini GC311 Capture Card: Better Value Than Elgato?
The AVerMedia Live Gamer Mini GC311 Capture Card
Planning to level up your stream game but find Elgato's products a tad too expensive? The AVerMedia Live Gamer Mini GC311 is an excellent entry level capture card that retails for just RM664 (in comparison, the Elgato HD60 is priced in the vicinity of RM900).
In the box, you'll find the credit card-sized capture card, the quick start guide, and a single USB2.0 to Micro-USB cable. Unfortunately, an HDMI cable is not provided, but you can easily swing by Lowyat or Shopee and pick one up if you don't have a spare one lying around.
And yes, the box is unnecessarily big. Stop wasting trees please, AVerMedia.
Setup is extremely easy, even without aid from the infographic within the quick start guide. There are 3 ports on the back of the capture card:
1x Micro-USB (this goes to your PC)
1x HDMI input (this connects to the device you want to stream from e.g. Nintendo Switch dock, PS4 etc.)
1x HDMI output (this connects to your display device e.g. TV / PC monitor)
Just plug 'em all in, install the software, and you're ready to go!
If you want to stream mobile phone games, you'll need to buy your own Lightning to HDMI adapter if you're using an iPhone, or a Micro-USB / USB-C to HDMI adapter for most other mobile devices.
I personally like the all-back port layout on the LGM - the one on Elgato's HD60 series capture cards was rather unwieldy for my setup as it was harder to tuck the cables away out of sight beneath my monitor. Here are some pics for size and layout comparisons:
I was actually quite surprised that it worked so easily, given that I've struggled setting up capture cards in the past - if it wasn't some lag or stuttering issue, it would be issues with audio playback etc.
But once all the cables were hooked up on the AVerMedia LGM, I ran a quick recording through RECentral - AVermedia's own streaming software - and it turned out beautifully on the default settings, which was at 1080p 60fps.
Of course, you can also use XSplit or OBS if you're already used to them, but RECentral worked surprisingly well and had a super user-friendly interface to boot. Single Mode is a straightforward capture mode, while Multi Mode also allows you to chuck in your webcam input, logos and the like if you want a fancier stream setup.
The LGM also boasts zero latency full HD passthrough, which I can vouch for. There's no discernible delay, unless perhaps you're a super hardcore fighting game or rhythm gamer - I personally did not feel anything amiss, (though as you can probably see from the mediocre gameplay above that I'm pretty much a scrub.)
Apart from that, this deceptively tiny package also packs on onboard H.264 hardware encoder, which will reduce stress on your PC while streaming or recording. This feature is a nice-to-have surprise at this price point, especially since the only portable Elgato capture card to feature one is the 4K60 S+, which costs three times more at nearly RM2,000 (of course it has a lot more other features for that price point la, but we're strictly talking about the entry price of having a built-in encoder).
Recorded video is stored in mp4 format, and you can record all the way down to 480p if necessary (though idk what would necessitate such potato footage). Initially, I was concerned about the USB 2.0 support (as opposed to USB 3.0), but in my testing phase I found it sufficient to stream and record smoothly at 1080p / 60fps.
If you're an entry level streamer who streams at 1080p / 60fps max, the AVerMedia Live Gamer Mini is definitely a device you should consider. Its priced competitively and has all you need in a tiny, lightweight package.
Setup was a breeze, it has a built-in hardware encoder, and it has zero-latency pass-through. On the flipside, it only supports USB 2.0 (though I didn't encounter any speed issues so far with my limited testing).
If you wanna check it out (from your shopping cart), you can head over here and pick it up for just RM664: