NZXT Signal 4K30 Capture Card Review: Lossless High-Quality Footage

Date:


Score:
8/10
?
  • 1 – Absolute Scorching Rubbish
  • 2 – Sorta Lukewarm Rubbish
  • 3 – Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 – Some Professionals, Tons Of Cons
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good Sufficient to Purchase On Sale
  • 7 – Nice, However Not Greatest-In-Class
  • 8 – Unbelievable, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 – Shut Up And Take My Cash
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Worth: $179.99

NZXT Signal 4K30 capture card resting on desktop
Marcus Mears III

Streamers and video content material creators ought to look to a seize card for lossless recording throughout a number of consoles or PCs, particularly if the footage is 4K. NZXT’s Sign 4K30, launched June 29, 2022, is an easy resolution to high-quality display screen recording with out struggling a blow to efficiency.

Here is What We Like

  • Design aesthetics
  • Easy setup
  • HDMI passthrough
  • Aggressive worth level

And What We Do not

  • Magnet for smudges and fingerprints
  • USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 required

With the Carry gaming mouse and Perform mechanical keyboard, NZXT is on the trail to whole PC setup assimilation. Now, two new seize playing cards, together with an HD60 mannequin, are welcomed into the lineup. Right here’s a take a look at the Sign 4K30.

Setup and NZXT CAM: Clean and Easy

NZXT Signal 4K30 in NZXT CAM software

  • Console Compatibility: Xbox Collection X/S, Xbox One, Ps 4, Ps 5, Nintendo Swap
  • Different Gadget Assist: 2-PC setups, skilled cameras, smartphones, tablets
  • Software program Compatibility: OBS, Stream Labs, Discord, Skype, Zoom, and extra
  • Ports: 2x HDMI 2.0, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 1
  • Supported Working Programs: Home windows 10, Home windows 11, macOS (no NZXT CAM)

The setup is totally easy. Take away your seize card from the field together with the included HDMI 2.0 and USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 cable. Join your Sign 4K30 to the recording PC utilizing the USB cable. Then, join your different gadget to the seize card’s enter port utilizing an HDMI cable. Nothing must be plugged into the output port of the seize card.

Now, when you’re utilizing Home windows, obtain and set up NZXT CAM (NZXT’s customization software program). You possibly can’t customise the seize card in any approach, but it surely’s useful to validate that every little thing is acknowledged and arrange correctly. You possibly can see data corresponding to the present FPS and determination of your recordings, whether or not or not HDR is enabled, and the present coloration format, vary, and bit depth.

Be aware: NZXT CAM is just accessible on Home windows. You should use the Sign 4K30 on Mac, however won’t be able to run the customization software program. NZXT doesn’t plan to launch assist for Mac or Linux any time quickly.

When you’re unsure what any of those settings imply, mouse over the data icon to populate a quick clarification. You may as well click on “Study Extra” to search out in-depth guides on configuring your Sign 4K30 to finest match your setup.

The 4K30’s preliminary setup course of is finished for essentially the most half—plug and play. There’s an excellent probability you’ll should put in somewhat extra work earlier than urgent document, although.

Firstly, you’ll want display screen recording software program when you don’t have already got it—I’m utilizing OBS Studio, however any software program suitable with the Sign 4K30 will do. Now, you’ll have to configure the software program to acknowledge NZXT’s seize card as a video supply. In OBS, which means right-clicking the Sources window and including a Video Seize Gadget. Then, give it a reputation and choose NZXT Sign 4K30 Video because the gadget.

I gained’t go into configuring your settings for streaming or recording; these fluctuate from machine to machine and even mission to mission. The excellent news is, upon getting a baseline preset established, you’re all arrange and able to document.

Design: Compact and Glossy

NZXT Signal 4K30 capture card held in hand over desk
Marcus Mears III
  • HDMI 2.0 enter, output, and passthrough
  • Audio: 2 Channel, 16 bit, 48 kHz
  • Dimensions: 4 x 3 x 0.5in (10.16 x 7.62 x 1.27cm)

As with the Carry gaming mouse, NZXT employs a slick matte black to create the Sign 4K30’s eye-pleasing exterior. The one coloration you’ll see are the 4 purple toes on the underside of the cardboard, and the (often white) LED indicator on the front-facing aspect.

Not only for distinction, these colourful bits serve functions. Beginning with the purple toes: to a seize card, cables are heavy. Particularly cables underneath pressure, that are all too widespread in lots of setups that require a big quantity of cable size for clear routing or spanning the hole between a PC and a standing desk. These toes grip your desk, stopping the seize card from sliding about and guaranteeing it rests neatly on the floor you selected for it.

The LED indicator, then again, tells you concerning the standing of your Sign 4K30. If the LED is a strong white, your connection is sound and you need to use the cardboard correctly. If the LED blinks purple, you’re plugged right into a port with slower speeds than required. Make sure that your motherboard helps USB 3.2 Gen 1 earlier than shopping for this seize card.

In any other case, this card encompasses a blackout design positive to suit into nearly any setup. It would maintain smudges and fingerprints like no person’s enterprise, however fortunately, it’s straightforward to wipe off and have wanting good as new in about 30 seconds.

The left and proper sides are lined with divots for cooling, and so they do an ample job dissipating warmth. The cardboard turned considerably heat to the contact after a couple of hours of use, but it surely by no means climbed wherever close to worrisome temperatures.

Transferring to the rear aspect of the cardboard, it affords 2 HDMI 2.0 ports (enter and output connections), and 1 USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port. Every port is labeled in refined lettering; they learn “Sort-C,” “In,” and “Out” from left to proper (as you view the cardboard from the again). When you’re aware of different seize playing cards, just like the Elgato HD60 S+, you already know that this collection of ports is fairly commonplace apply.

Tip: Make sure that your units have free HDMI 2.0 ports to accommodate your seize card alongside any exterior shows.

At 4 x 3 x 0.5in, the Sign 4K30 is compact and simple to stow. It’s bigger than a deck of playing cards (save for the peak) however simply smaller than a passport. Match it wherever in your desk or pack it up in a backpack pocket for secure travels—measurement and portability are undoubtedly successful areas for this seize card.

Efficiency: True to the Field

NZXT is aware of how you can ship on model, however how does the Sign 4K30’s efficiency match up? Right here’s the quick reply: nicely.

I recorded varied video games (particularly Escape from Tarkov, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and Purple Lifeless Redemption 2) on a 2-PC setup at a few the accessible resolutions (the figures in parentheses characterize refresh charges):

  • 3840x2160p (30, 25hz)
  • 2560x1440p (60, 50, 30, 25hz)
  • 1920x1080p (120, 60, 50, 30, 25hz)
  • 720p (60, 50, 30, 25hz)
  • 576p (50, 25hz)
  • 480p (60, 30hz)

I selected to document in 4K 30hz (3840x2160p 30) and 1920x1080p 60hz. Sometimes, 1080p60 is essentially the most you’ll want for a profitable Twitch stream; however when you want 4K video, this card can actually deal with it. Plus, with HDMI passthrough, you possibly can recreation at increased resolutions than the cardboard information. As an illustration, if you wish to discover the wilderness of Purple Lifeless Redemption 2 (RDR2) in 4K in your display screen whereas streaming to your viewers in 1080p, you are able to do so with none further legwork.

Be aware: We captured the above 1920×1080 gameplay at 60hz.

I didn’t expertise any noticeable drops in efficiency; I used to be hitting my typical 50-60 FPS in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order whereas capturing a 1080p60 recording with seemingly no added lag. In fact, it’d be good to seize 4K footage in 60 FPS, however a constant 30 comes out clean within the recording, and the sharp, vibrant look of gaming in 4K covers a mess of sins.

One factor to notice is that I didn’t take a look at the Sign 4K30 with an exterior digital camera (like a face cam for streaming), which may spell bother for audio/video syncing on some playing cards. If this challenge occurs to current itself (nothing leads me to consider it could), it will probably usually be mounted within the software program you employ for streaming or recording.

Ought to You Purchase the NZXT Sign 4K30?

When you’re available in the market for a seize card to finish your content material creation loadout, I can advocate the NZXT Sign 4K30 for its ease of use, fashionable design, and efficiency at its worth level.

Nonetheless, there are a couple of instances through which you shouldn’t purchase the Sign 4K30. When you don’t plan on recording any 4K footage, this card is overkill. Take a look at the Sign HD60 as a substitute; it has all of the efficiency you want with $40 taken off the highest. Additionally, be sure you really want a seize card—when you’re simply planning to document a single PC display screen, you nearly actually don’t.

Instead, the Razer Ripsaw is barely extra inexpensive and options 3.5mm audio jacks for easy sound administration. You may additionally need to take into account different seize playing cards and decide if an inner card would higher fit your wants.

You possibly can choose up the Sign 4K30 right now for $179.99 or its HD60 counterpart for $139.99.

Score: 8/10

Worth: $179.99

Right here’s What We Like

  • Design aesthetics
  • Easy setup
  • HDMI passthrough
  • Aggressive worth level

And What We Do not

  • Magnet for smudges and fingerprints
  • USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 required



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