AverMedia Live Capture Bolt GC555 First Impressions: The Best 4K Capture Card Money Can Buy?

Over the last few years, AverMedia has been catching upto Elgato in the race for the best capture card, and both have been trying to get to the top, with each of them continuing to push boundaries further. The competition got much intense when publishers and console manufacturers started pushing 4K gaming to the mainstream.

Now, after quite a few months after its release, we’ve finally got our hands on Avermedia’s most expensive capture card yet, the Live Capture Bolt. We spent some time with it, and here are our initial impressions.

AverMedia Live Capture Bolt (GC555) Technical Specifications and System Requirements

Technical Specifications

  • Interface: Thunderbolt 3
  • Input: HDMI 2.0.
  • Output: HDMI 2.0 with lag-free passthrough (cable included) with HDR support.
  • Max. Recording Resolution: 2160p60 HDR* /1440p144/ 1080p240
  • Supported Resolution: 2160p, 1440p, 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 576p, 480p
  • Dimensions: 120 x 120 x 29.3 mm
  • Weight: 348g

System Requirements

Laptop

For 4Kp60 HDR or 1080p240 recording:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-7700HQ or above
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1050 Ti or above
  • RAM: 8 GB (DDR4 2400 or above)

For 1080p60 recording:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4810MQ
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M or above
  • RAM: 8GB 

Desktop

For 4Kp60 HDR or 1080p240 recording:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-6XXX / AMD Ryzen 3 XXX or above
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1060 / AMD RX 5700 or above
  • RAM: 8GB (DDR4 2400 or above)

For 1080p60 recording (4Kp60 HDR pass-through supported):

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-3330 or above (i7-3770 recommended)
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 / AMD Radeon R7 250X or above
  • RAM: 4GB

Mac

  • macOS High Sierra 10.15 and above Mac Thunderbolt 3

The Live Gamer Bolt is an external version of AverMedia’s Live Gamer 4K. For some context, Live Gamer 4K is a dedicated capture card for PCs; meanwhile, Bolt is more of a plug and play device. It comes in a very portable form factor, and it weighs 347 grams, making it a pretty good first choice for users who prefer to be on the move. The outer casing is carved out of plastic, but the build quality feels quite sturdy and premium.

The AverMedia Live Gamer Bolt comes with two HDMI ports, one for input and one for output, along with a Thunderbolt 3 port. Setting up Bolt is quite easy – You plug in the HDMI cord from the console into the HDMI IN port, then connect the Monitor to the HDMI OUT. Then plug in the included Thunderbolt 3 cable in your PC to power the device. 

Also Read: AverMedia GC311 Live Gamer Mini Capture Card Review – Livestreaming On a Budget

The Thunderbolt 3 port comes here as a boon, but it’s also one of the major drawbacks of this device. Well, it does give a boost to the performance with almost zero latency. But, if your PC doesn’t have a Thunderbolt 3 port, then GC555 is no less than a box as it won’t even turn on without Thunderbolt 3, and there are only select high-end PCs offering a Thunderbolt 3 port.

Like every other AverMedia capture card, the GC555 comes with support for the company’s recording software, AVerMedia RECentral. Well, I didn’t get much time to explore the software in depth. But, we did spend some time recording gameplay footage on our PS4, and the overall experience was pretty good.

AverMedia Live Gamer Bolt GC555

You can record gameplay in different resolutions with different bitrates, depending on the hardware. The RECentral offers preset, or you can also configure resolution, frame rate, bitrate, or video codec according to your preferences. Most importantly, you need RECentral to play around with the RGB lighting on your GC555.

The Live Gamer Bolt GC355 is one of the first capture cards to offer 4K 60fps HDR recording, and it might not be the cheapest option available at Rs. 43,800, but it does stand out on its promises. So, if you are out there buying a high-end capture card, you can consider getting the GC355. Meanwhile, we can’t pass a judgement yet but stay tuned for our full review.

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