Apr 12, 2019

PC Game Recording - Setup and Performance Issues

There are a few things that need be mentioned up front when it comes to PC Game Recording with Elgato Gaming products.

Please note that Elgato Gaming products are designed to capture from Gaming Consoles and not every PC setup will work.

If you play and record from the same PC, it is likely you will run into some performance related issues. Your computer does not only have to deal with the game that you currently playing, but also take care of the recording and processing of that video at the same time. The result might be that your processor will run into a high work load, which might cause issues with the recordings.

These issues could be screen tearing, audio distortion, or other graphical errors that might end up in the recording.

That is why the System Requirements only apply to capturing from a console, unless you have a second PC or Mac, which fulfills the System Requirements and can be used to record the Gaming PC.

 
Recording and Playing on the Same PC


If you plan on playing and recording on the same PC, please make sure to use the correct setup.

For the purposes of this article, we will use a Windows 10 PC as an example.

One very important note:

The following Elgato Game Capture devices have a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 60 Hertz:
 
  • Elgato Game Capture HD
  • Elgato Game Capture HD60
  • Elgato Game Capture HD60 S
  • Elgato Game Capture HD60 Pro
If you have a display that goes beyond that resolution you might have to reduce the settings as mentioned later on in this article, for everything to work as expected.

For the setup, you will need a graphics card that is seated within your gaming PC, this will be most likely a AMD, or Nvidia graphics card. The HDMI out on your graphics card will be used to connect to any of our Elgato Gaming products “HDMI In” port. In some cases your Motherboard might have a HDMI out as well, which can be used if no other HDMI port on your graphics card is available. This makes sure that you won't have to deal with any DVI to HDMI adapters etc. 

Install the Elgato Game Capture HD software:

https://www.elgato.com/en/game-capture-hd-support

Next, open up the software and make the following changes that prepares for PC Game Recording (see screenshot):


 
 

If you see pictures that duplicate themselves inside Elgato Game Capture HD software, then the setup is correct.

In some cases that might not be so. There is a possibility that you might have to duplicate your desktop in order for this to work. For this you have to go into the Windows Display settings to make a few changes.

Please see the screenshots below for more information on how to do this.

 


Please Note: After applying the settings it is quite possible that you will see a Desktop without any icons. This could mean that your Desktop has been extended.  This can happen when your Elgato Game Capture HD is recognized as a second monitor. 

In such a case it helps if you have a second HDMI Display, or a TV, to connect to the HDMI OUT of your Elgato Game Capture HD to apply the settings.

Once you confirm the settings you should be able to receive the signal correctly and can open the Elgato Game Capture HD software to proceed with the setup.

For all those who use Displays above 60 Hertz, please see the screenshot below on how to change this manually to 60 Hertz.

If you take a look at the screenshot below, you can also click on the "Monitor" Tab directly and change the refresh rate to 60 Hertz there as well "Screen refresh rate".
 
 

In some cases the picture on the TV might not be full screen, black borders, etc. 

Reason:

Some Graphic adapter in combination with certain TV/Monitors does an “Underscan” with the Game Capture HD

Solution:

Go to the Graphics adapter setting and change the Overscan feature until the picture fits perfectly (see the screenshot below for more info):



 
 
How to record Sound via Elgato Sound Capture

Elgato Sound Capture is the easiest way and most likely preferred way to capture audio. In this setup, you simply open Elgato Sound Capture and chose the "PC Gaming" feature, which lets you chose not only how the audio gets submitted, as well as where you want to hear your audio. In this case, you could send the audio via HDMI to your Elgato Game Capture HD and simultaneously hear the sound on your headset on the Gaming computer. 

Here is a screenshot of how the settings could look for you, this might be different depending what Audio devices you are using.

 


Once everything is setup correctly you should be able to see the Game Audio widget within Elgato Game Capture HD software moving, once a game is played, or any sound that is played coming over the HDMI Out of your graphics card.

This should complete the setup. Please keep in mind that with this setup your Elgato Game Capture HD software will be running in the background and you have to use ALT + Tab to switch around between the actual game and Elgato Game Capture HD software. This means starting and stopping a recording will require ALT + Tab so you can switch between the two.

 
General Performance Issues


As mentioned in the beginning, performance might be an issue. You can check your processor’s workload during a recording, by opening up the Task Manager (CTRL + ALT + Delete), then clicking on “More details”. Please check the two following screenshots:

 


 
 



If you have a high workload and notice that the recordings are not as expected, you can try the performance steps listed in the article below to improve the performance and hopefully resolve the issue.

Improve Elgato Game Capture HD Software Performance

Please also try to change the Encoder and Decoder settings between your graphics card / integrated graphics, and software built in, to see if that resolves any related issues as well. See the screenshot below for more details:

 


As stated before, keep in mind that Elgato Game Capture HD was designed to capture from consoles and therefore we can’t guarantee that every PC setup will work.

 
Recording from one PC to Another Computer


Recording your Gaming PC using another separate computer that fulfills the System Requirements is the best choice. In this case we used a Gaming PC to record to a Mac. Obviously, you can use a PC or a Mac to get this done.

In any case you connect the HDMI Out of your graphics card to the HDMI In of your Elgato Game Capture HD. Elgato Game Capture HD will be connected via USB to the second computer (Recording computer) which also needs the Elgato Game Capture HD software. You can clone/duplicate the monitor as described earlier to make sure everything works as expected. 

Elgato Sound Capture is the easiest way and most likely preferred way to capture audio. In this setup, which includes Elgato Sound Capture (install Elgato Game Capture HD software also on your Gaming computer), you simply open Elgato Sound Capture and chose the "PC Gaming" feature, which lets you chose not only how the audio gets submitted, as well as where you want to hear your audio. In this case, you could send the audio via HDMI to your Elgato Game Capture HD and simultaneously hear the sound on your headset on the Gaming computer. Please see the screenshot below for more info:

 
 

 

Please Note: On the Streaming/Recording PC you typically would turn Elgato Sound Capture to the "OFF" position and use the default Windows Audio Playback device assigned to that computer (in most cases "Realtek High Definition Audio").

Please see the screenshot below (in this case on a Mac) for the correct setup with your Elgato Game Capture HD software:

 



Finally, here is a picture of this setup in action:

 




Should you run into performance related issues and notice that the recordings are not as expected, you can try the performance steps listed in the article below to improve the performance and hopefully resolve the issue.

Improve Elgato Game Capture HD Software Performance

Please also try to change the Encoder and Decoder settings between your graphics card / integrated graphics, or software built in, to see if that resolves any related issues as well. See the screenshot below for more details:

 

As stated before, keep in mind that Elgato Game Capture HD was designed to capture from consoles and therefore we can’t guarantee that every setup will work.

If you should still have issues or questions, please open a support ticket to us so we can assist you in this matter.