AverMedia is a leader in content capture. With a wide range of both external and internal capture cards available, I’ve had the opportunity to test drive a few of their pieces over the past year. My last review covered the excellent, albeit professional focused, Live Gamer Bolt. If you had Thunderbolt, it was outstanding.
AverMedia has raised the bar on both quality and features while lowering the bar on point of entry with the new GC5700 Live Gamer Duo. What is the Gamer Live Duo, you ask? In a nutshell, it is a dual Input capture card. However, to fully appreciate all that has gone into this card we’re going to have to crack this nut open. So grab that coffee, this is our review of Avermedia’s GC570D Live Gamer Duo.
- Interface: PCI-Express X4 Gen 2
- Input One: HDMI 2.0
- Input Two: HDMI 1.4
- Output 1 (Pass-Through): HDMI 2.0
- Output 1 Max Pass-Through Resolution: 2160p60 HDR /1440p144/1080p240
- Max Recording Resolutions:
- Input 1 - 1080p60 HDR, 2160p, 1440p, 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 576p, 480p
- Input 2 - 1080p60
- Record Format: MPEG 4
- Dimensions (W x D x H): 140 x 125 x 22 mm (5.51 * 4.92 * 0.87in)
- Weight: 209g (7.37 oz)
- System Requirements:
- OS: Windows 10 x64
- CPU: Intel i5-6xxx / AMD Ryzen 5 1600 or above
- GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1050/ AMD R7 560 or above
The GC570D is a beautiful looking piece of hardware. Sporting the brand’s usual blend of fashion and function, this PCIe card is enclosed in a matte black metal case with horizontal vents acting as both a functional cooling system as well as an aesthetic treat to look at. The top of the card sports the AverMedia Logo as well as the model name while the outside edge houses an RGB lit indicator strip.
This strip once again offers function, with different light-up patterns indicating everything from recording status, to disk capacity warnings, as well as fashion with a few different lighting presets. At the time of writing, the RGB options were a bit lacking. This was a bit of a disappointment as I’m a big fan of colour-themed builds. However, according to the stats sheet, there is 3rd-party support in the works which will hopefully open up some serious customization to the RGB lighting on the card down the road.
The front face of the card houses dual HDMI inputs as well as one output for passthrough. It's a sleek look that is both catching to the eye and looks great in the system. The whole package feels solid and has the high standard of quality I’ve come to expect from the brand.
That Was Easy
Getting the Gamer Live Duo set up is arguably one of the easiest experiences I’ve had to date. After a quick slot drop into an available PCIe x4 slot, I was able to open the AverMedia Assist Central software. One quick scan and the program showed me all related hardware that was installed on my PC. It then offered to download and install the drivers. Two quick clicks later and RECentral 4 (AverMedia’s capture software) recognized the Duo and was ready to get going.
RECentral itself is an amazingly simple piece of software to use. The top left corner allows you to navigate the various settings panels. Below that you can choose between a single or multi-source setup (more on this later). To the right is your preview window with controls such as record and stream nestled in at the bottom. It’s clean, simple and exceptionally easy for streamers or content creators to get up and running.
Not only is it easy to set up but customizing scenes is also a painless process. All of the features you would expect in a streaming/recording software package are present. This allows you to create your branded overlays easily. Additionally, the Live editing feature allows you to edit your current recordings on the fly for quick segment uploads. This all happens in real-time while recording reducing the amount of editing that has to happen in post.
Having used a few different streaming/recording suites in the past, I have to say that RECentral 4 has been the one that has consistently impressed me. With the three different devices I’ve used or reviewed over the last year, I’ve never once run into an issue getting them installed and running. The software has been consistently reliable and has no problem detecting the various pieces of equipment I have attached to my computer. Although I’ve not utilized the live editing much, the few times I have it worked quite well and allowed me to quickly produce content on the fly. It was actually easier than trying to make notes with timestamps for editing in a post later.
The Power Of Two
The most impressive feature, and what sets the Live Gamer Duo apart from all other capture cards currently on the market, is the dual HDMI input. Input One is dedicated to the game. It supports a full 4K pass-through at 60 with HDR support. During my tests I found this to be the case consistently. I didn’t note any performance issues while testing on the PS4 Pro. The image was sharp, crisp and smooth as silk to watch.
For those that enjoy recording, the Duo has no problem consistently outputting 1080p60 HDR. In fact, I ran a capture on multiple games as part of my testing and was impressed with how well I could run the titles even in the live preview pane in RECentral. A quick note on full HDR recording; It’s only available in Single Mode through RECentral. This means that you cannot utilize the second input (more on this later) for capture while recording HDR content.
In fact, the Duo is equipped to actively process video input signals before they get to the PC. Downscaling, frame rate conversion and even HDR to SDR conversion all happens before the data ever reaches the PC. It lightens the burden of processing on the PC without affecting the pass-through quality.
Not only does the Live Gamer Duo handle video pass-through like a champ but it also supports full 1.7 and 5.1 ch surround sound passthrough for the audio buffs among us. I ran the test with my Philips 5.1 surround system using the Duo’s pass-through and found that it sounded as good as it does when running natively to the TV and sound system.
Shifting focus over to Input two, this lovely port is designed with live streamers in mind. Although it doesn’t support passthrough, input two has no problem handling a DSLR or Mirrorless camera (or any other 1080p source for that matter). Selecting Multi-Mode in RECentral allows you to select Input two as a second source with ease. This removes the need to add a secondary peripheral to handle your ‘webcam’ and also gives you that crisp, clean image that only a DSLR or mirrorless can provide. As you can see in the video below, the Duo handles both inputs at the same time with ease.
I had some fun with the Duo and actually ran a splitter off my PS4 and routed one of those splits to a TV and the other to that second input. It had no problem handling the PS4 and the Xbox (on input one) at the same time. The point, for those wondering why I would want to try that, was to see if one would be able to set up a ‘couch co-op’ stream having both systems capturing on the one stream. I am happy to say that it worked perfectly.
The GC570D Live Gamer Duo is my favourite capture card to date. It offers some of the most robust features I’ve seen in a card, is incredibly well supported by the AverMedia software suite and as a PCI-E card is accessible to a much broader audience of gamers. Adding in the full 4K HDR pass-through support, dual inputs and powerful onboard processing, the Gamer Live Duo is a force to be reckoned with. If you’re in the market for a new game capture solution I can highly recommend the AverMedia Live Gamer Duo. Priced at $249.99 USD as of the time of writing, this is a peripheral worth investing in if you're looking to refine your streaming or content creation process.
The product discussed in the review was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.