In my time road testing capture cards, I’ve gone through a wide variety of devices and seen a whole host of unique pros and cons. When I finally settle down to get some footage recorded however, I usually always lean on my Elgato HD 60 for its ease of use and portability and while there are a lot of alternatives out there none have actually replaced it, although the AVermedia Live Gamer Portable came close, thanks to its PC-Less capturing options.
It’s no surprise then that AVermedias latest addition has finally taken the Elgato crown and cemented itself as my go to device for all my capturing and streaming needs!
The AVerMedia Live Gamer EXTREME is a great combination of many of its predecessors best qualities all rolled into a single sleek box of wonders that makes the whole capturing process an absolute breeze, while offering a huge array of extra features and most importantly, a completely latency free experience!
In the box you’ll find everything you need to get going. A USB 3.0 cable, HDMI cable, component cable adapter allowing you to hook up your PS3 and any other consoles which utilise them, giving you the option to capture footage from retro consoles should you have their correct component adapters, a 3.5mm jack cable and a PS3 specific cable which will hook directly to the console itself giving you another option if you own a PS3 but never invested in its component cable.
AVerMedias capturing software is available as a free download but you’ll also find a token inside the box giving you six months free subscription to X-Split, a popular streaming suite which is simple enough to use and offers some nice features such as picture in picture so people can see your beautiful face as you turn while gaming as well as 3D fonts and more.
In the looks department, the AVerMedia Live Gamer EXTREME is a snazzy little number, shaped like a wedge of cheese and covered in a smooth black plastic, it’s a straightforward and rather minimalist design.
While not the lightest of all the capture devices around, coming in at a fairly weighty 186g, the Liver Gamer EXTREME is certainly easy to carry around and wont pin your backpack to the floor like some other devices.
Addorning the top of this little box of wonders, is a glass shield protecting the ‘LGX’ logo but that isn't what makes the top so interesting. Should you want that little bit of customisation, you can print off your own cover and release the glass panel to house it inside. Want your logo or YouTube channel name emblazoned on the front? Go for it!
Underneath the cover housing you’ll find an LED light that lets you know when you’re recording or not, with a 3.5mm auxiliary and microphone input placed on the front side panel while the rest of the capture cards available inputs and outputs are located on the back of the unit.
The available 3.5mm inputs allow you to connect a microphone for recording commentary through the unit itself but without the worry of it merging straight into the video file, allowing you complete control of mixing post gaming session. It’s also possible to attach an external audio source such as an iPod so you can mix this into your stream or recording session. This level of control is a really great feature, essentially allowing you to produce a final product straight from the Live Gamer Extreme itself!
On the opposite side, you’ll find a USB 3.0 socket for hooking the unit up to your PC of choice, along with a component socket for both the PS3 cable and the component cable adapter. This is all capped off with both a HDMI in and out.
All footage captured sits at a buttery smooth 1080p and 60 frames per second, something which is essentially todays standard but is overlooked by quite a few of the competitors out there.
The main feature here however, is the ultra-low latency offered on uncompressed video, giving you the option to play and capture footage straight from your console to your PC, with no need for passing through a television or external monitor first. Yes, this is something the AVerMedia U3 offers but the great thing about the Liver Gamer EXTREME that sets it apart from other capture cards is choice. You have options. If you want to make use of your 42” LED TV while recording (and hey, why wouldn't you) then go for it! If you’ve got a brand new 5K Monitor however and simply want to use the one screen, again, go for it!
Overall, AVerMedia have done some great things with the Live Gamer EXTREME, creating a capture card that simply works and works amazingly well, while offering a host of choices that will cater for all kinds of users. The ability to capture footage both with and without passthrough is an absolute winner in my book and while if they really wanted to throw everything at it, capturing to SD card would have been a nice addition, the LGX really has stepped up as the capture device to beat.
It certainly wont be leaving my side for quite some time!