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AVerMedia's Live Gamer Bolt brings external capture to the high-end, but who will use it?

An excellent capture card with a HUGE limitation

AVerMedia's Live Game Bolt brings external capture to the high-end, but who will use it?

AVerMedia's Live Gamer Bolt brings external capture to the high-end, but who will use it?

When it comes to game streaming, there are two names that you should be aware of, Elgato and AverMedia, both of which deliver compelling external and internal video capture solutions for YouTubers, Steamers, Reviewers and Professionals alike. 

With its new Live Gamer Bolt, AverMedia wants to push external capture solutions to new heights, offering the full capabilities of its Live Gamer 4K within an external capture box, but this leap in technological capability doesn't come without its downsides. 

The Live Gamer Bolt supports 4K 60FPS, 1440p at 144Hz and 1080p at 240Hz, offers HDR10 support and offers users a low-latency pass-through options. Simply put, this is a Live Gamer 4K within an external form factor, and that fact has created the Live Gamer Bolt's greatest limitation, Thunderbolt 3. 

Users need to connect their AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt to a PC, and that requires a Thunderbolt 3 connection. USB 3.0, 3.1, 3.2 and 3.2x2 won't cut it with the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt, it won't even support lower quality capture modes with these connections. The Live Gamer Bolt requires the PCIe lanes that Thunderbolt 3 offers, severely limiting the capture box's usage outside of niche use cases. 

The Live Gamer Bolt, like most AVerMedia products, supports HDMI 2.0, not HDMI 2.1, and offers supports for HDR-to-SDR tone mapping, support for a wide range of resolutions and 7.1/51. Ch Surround Sound Pass-Through. The device also comes with a bundled copy of Cyberlink PowerDirector 15 for 4K video editing.  

AVerMedia's Live Game Bolt brings external capture to the high-end, but who will use it?  

For £399, the Live Gamer Bolt is either the solution to all of your on-the-go video capture problems or a product that is too niche to useful to you. The functionality of this device depends solely on your PC's support for Thunderbolt 3, a connection which remains rare on modern PCs. Perhaps this device will support USB4 when compatible devices are released, but as it stands, the Live Gamer Bolt uses a niche connection and is therefore unusable by many desktop and mobile users. 

Regardless, AVerMedia's Live Gamer Bolt pushes the bounds of external capture solutions, offering users both 4K 60Hz and 1080p 240Hz capture support out of the box. If your systems support Thunderbolt 3, this may be the capture solution for you, but the device's price premium might then become an issue. 

You can join the discussion on AVerMedia's Live Gamer Bolt capture card on the OC3D Forums

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Most Recent Comments

15-04-2020, 07:58:47

looz
Thunderbolt 3 isn't as much of a limiting factor as MSRP of US$449 is. Quote

15-04-2020, 22:38:46

Avet
Actually they are ahead of the curve. USB 4 is coming soon and it will support TB3. Them having a product already on the market and figuring out tweaks before USB 4 happens is a big deal.

Apart from Mac people, and Music producers no one cares or uses it. TB is actually amazing. It is PCI-E interface through cable. And you can daisy-chain many things that don't need full bandwidth. I hate wasting PCI-E slots on a thing like a capture card that doesn't actually need to occupy all that potential bandwidth.

With NVME storage becoming cheep you will need those slots. Think about this ADATA SX8200 Pro 2TB is roughly the same price as Samsung 860 Evo 2TB... I mean... WTF??? So do you want to have a capture card in PCI-E slot and 4TB of SATA storage, or a capture card via TB and 4TB of NVME storage in that PCI-E slot?Quote

16-04-2020, 05:39:15

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avet View Post
Actually they are ahead of the curve. USB 4 is coming soon and it will support TB3. Them having a product already on the market and figuring out tweaks before USB 4 happens is a big deal.

Apart from Mac people, and Music producers no one cares or uses it. TB is actually amazing. It is PCI-E interface through cable. And you can daisy-chain many things that don't need full bandwidth. I hate wasting PCI-E slots on a thing like a capture card that doesn't actually need to occupy all that potential bandwidth.

With NVME storage becoming cheep you will need those slots. Think about this ADATA SX8200 Pro 2TB is roughly the same price as Samsung 860 Evo 2TB... I mean... WTF??? So do you want to have a capture card in PCI-E slot and 4TB of SATA storage, or a capture card via TB and 4TB of NVME storage in that PCI-E slot?
I think USB4 will be somewhat disappointing. Full-fat USB4 will basically be Thunderbolt 3, but there will be cut-down versions to reduce costs.

There's a reason why Intel is branding Thunderbolt 4 as full-fat Thunderbolt 3 + Full USB4 support.

I agree that there are benefits from being ahead of the curve on this, but right now this is a super niche product, and by the time USB4 becomes more common, people will be asking for HDMI 2.1.Quote
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