What Does an Elgato Capture Card Do? [Answered]

A capture card is a device, used to capture content shown on-screen. The capture card is mostly used to live stream games or record gameplay which is posted later on Youtube, Instagram or Twitch.

One of the most popular recording devices is the Elgato capture card. This article explains how the Elgato capture card works.

Elgato capture card takes a raw feed of recorded games and saves them in a format understood by the computer.

The capture card uses a separate computer to operate whilst a different PC or console are used to play video games.

The on-screen content being recorded on the gaming device would continue to transfer data to the PC with the Elgato setup, and encoded into a supported video format.

Do Capture Cards Affect FPS?

Capture cards require multi-core CPUs, and it’s recommended to run Elgato on a separate computer.

However, if you are running Elgato on the same device used in the game, your performance would be affected.

  • Are Capture Cards Worth It?
  • Sometimes, the resolution you are recording would also affect system performance. 4K would require more resources than 1080P or even 720P.

    What Specs Do I Need To Use Elgato?

    Here are the general Elgato Game Capture HD System Requirements.


    • macOS Sierra 10.12
    • 2 Ghz (or higher, before Turbo Boost) Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, or 2 Ghz (or higher, before Turbo Boost) multi-core i3, i5 or i7 CPU
    • 4GB Total Installed RAM (or higher)
    • Built-in USB 2.0 port


    • Windows 10 (64-bit)
    • 2nd generation Intel Core i5 CPU (i5-2xxx or comparable), 2 Ghz or higher, before Turbo Boost
    • Sound card (if your laptop can play sound, then it meets this requirement)
    • 4GB Total Installed RAM (or higher)
    • Built-in USB 2.0 port

    To use Stream Command with the Elgato Game Capture HD 2.0 software:

    • 2nd generation Intel Core i7 CPU (i7-2xxx or comparable), 2 Ghz or higher, before Turbo Boost
    • Windows 10 (64-bit)

    Stream Command for Mac available in version 2.5 and above.

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