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Razer’s new external capture card lets you play at 4K while streaming at 1080p

Razer is expanding its lineup of broadcasting peripherals with the Ripsaw HD, an external multi-platform capture card that records video in Full HD 1080p at 60 frames per second.

That's the same as Elgato's Game Capture HD60 S, which for newcomers is the best capture card for PC gaming. However, Razer's new card has a couple of advantages—a lower price and a 4K 60fps passthrough.

The 4K passthrough means you can play games at 4K, if your hardware is up to snuff, while sharing 1080p gameplay with your audience. That is one of the main selling points.

"With the Ripsaw HD joining our extensive broadcaster range, streamers now have a capture card ready to broadcast the latest games at high resolution and framerates from both their PC or console," says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. "Viewers will love the Full HD streams, while broadcasters can enjoy their games as they were intended with the 4K pass-through."

Note that the 4K passthrough only allows you to play at 4K, and not actually record at the resolution. Here's a rundown of the pertinent specs:

  • Max capture resolution: Uncompressed 1080p 60fps
  • Interface: USB 3.0 only
  • Video input: Digital – HDMI 2.0
  • Audio input: Digital – HDMI
  • Audio mix-in input: 3.5 mm mic-in / 3.5 mm aux-in
  • Video output: HDMI 2.0
  • Maximum supported passthrough resolutions: 2160p60
  • Other supported resolutions: 2160p, 1080p, 1440p, 720p, 480p
  • Includes: USB3.0 Type C to Type A cable, HDMI 2.0 Cable, 3.5 mm Audio Cable

The Ripsaw HD also features built-in audio mixing. Users can pipe their microphone audio through the card with "zero latency and no syncing delays," Razer claims. One potential benefit is being able to use a single mic across multiple PCs, rather than fuss with an audio mixer to manage in-game communications and broadcast audio.

We haven't tested this card yet, though on the surface, it looks like a compelling option. It's priced at $159.99 (€169.99) and will be available starting April 11. That's around $10 cheaper than the list price for Elgato's HD60 S, though it's currently on sale for $149 at Amazon. Assuming it works as advertised, though, a $10 difference for some will be well worth having a 4K passthrough and audio features.