The hardware demand for games keeps getting higher and higher graphically. 4K gaming still isn’t that famous today, but we’ll see it as an enthusiast standard in the future. Ever wanted to capture 4K resolution videos? Then keep on reading our AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt review.
The AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt’s launch hyped many gamers. It’s a game-changer in this current era of video game streaming. It’s because gamers today are focused on playing online with their friends due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The need for streamers to stream and capture footage from their PCs and game consoles has never been this crucial. We’re talking about AVerMedia’s 4K HDR 60fps-capable external capture card; the king of high-resolution video streaming.
AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt Packaging
In this section of our AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt review, we will talk about the packaging. It’s an important factor in the first impressions and transit safety department.
To start off, the packaging is a single box that contains another box, one inside of the other. It is pretty simple and easy to open.
The packaging art prominently features the capture card and gives out its name, the model and brand name, and its classification.
More specific information and overall specs can be found at the sides of the box.
After taking off the transparent plastic cover, the second box inside the initial cover sports a carbon black finish, and can easily be flipped to reveal the contents inside.
Speaking of which, inside the box, we can find the capture card itself, the Live Gamer BOLT (GC555).
Once we probe further, we can also find an HDMI 2.0 cable for connection, a Thunderbolt 3 cable, and a 3.5m audio cable.
Also included is the quick guide on how to use the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt, supported in different languages.
Lastly, a CyberLink PowerDirector 15 Product Key Card, an extra, is included.
Overall, the package is clean, direct, and simple. Everything you need to find can be found relatively easily. And at the same time, the package feels secure and safe for transit, ensuring the highest, factory-fresh quality when it arrives.
AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt Review – Design and Functionality
We’re now down to the design and functionality part of our AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt review. Let’s take an overall look on how the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt fits in your lifestyle overall.
Its design. Physically, it’s a little bigger than your usual capture card. And a little heavier too. This is due to the new, more powerful chipsets inside, and the fan required to cool it down. Overall, its build is robust and gives out that sturdy, rock-solid feel.
For a quick overview, a capture card is designed as an input device used to convert the signals from your game to digital data that can be uploaded to the internet.
Essentially, it allows you to capture and save your favourite games.
And in this department, the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt performs excellently. It’s capable of up to 4K, 60fps, HDR recording, not to mention its high refresh rate, which we will talk about in more detail later on.
Moreover, you can find a fan on top, with the vent acting both as a design aesthetic and a functional air intake. The holes make sure that proper airflow is observed and that the fan takes in enough air to sufficiently cool the capture card.
This is especially during long periods of use, which may cause heat damage when not dealt with properly.
Yet despite its purely functional design, it has found a way to integrate the vent seamlessly with the casing and therefore part of the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt’s overall aesthetic and design.
On another topic, with the inclusion of RGB lights, an external capture card has never looked prettier. Thanks to the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt’s gamer target audience, this design choice was included to further fuel and sell that aesthetic.
All of these combined and factored in, we can conclude that both the design and functionality of the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt go hand-in-hand.
Key Features of the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt
As we have already discussed the overall picture, it is now time to get under the hood and look more specifically.
Here in this section of the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt review, we will take a look at all the standout features that make the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt click.
Excellent, High-Resolution Recording
First and foremost, the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt is capable of recording and streaming in 4K HDR. This is while maintaining a steady goldilocks framerate of 60 fps. Enjoy lifelike images with stable framerate and have the power to stream it to your viewers.
Secondly, the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt boasts a very low latency: down to a mere 50ms. This means that this capture card is capable of delivering almost no delays in second displays. Moreover, the resulting stream review’s apparent delay is virtually unnoticeable.
Wider Connectivity and Accessibility
Moreover, compared to its previous iterations, the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt utilises Thunderbolt 3 technology, ensuring more accessibility and higher performance.
Not to mention, the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt can also utilise all sorts of streaming software: from OBS to Streamlabs and even XSplit. It can also connect to various and up to the latest current-gen consoles like the Xbox One series X, as well as a PC.
The AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt sports surround sound for maximum immersion. Using the 7.1 surround sound passthrough included with the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt, you will feel as though you’re right in the middle of your game.
Not to mention, you can gain the edge in games where the audio is of vital importance, such as shooters and stealth games.
Onboard Video Processing
The AVerMedia Live Gamer bolt processes video and input signal before it goes into your PC. Allowing for downscales of 4K to 1080p and frame rate conversion to 60 FPS, all this is done inside the card itself without affecting the passthrough signal.
This reduces the time the signal needs to travel and thereby reducing the overall processing time and latency.
RGB Lighting Effects
As an added bonus, the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt features RGB lights for that added flair and gamer aesthetic.
Last but not the least, the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt comes with a free-to-download BOLT software, which can be used to clone your display port monitor and mitigate the need for it.
The system requirements to use the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt are as follows:
An operating system of Windows 10 is required, along with an
Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor or above. A graphics card of NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX1050 Ti or above is also needed. Along with 8 GBs of RAM (DDR4 2400 or above).
Meanwhile, for 1080p60 recording (4Kp60 HDR passthrough supported), a lower overall specification is required. An Intel® Core™ i5-3330 or above is needed, although an i7-3770 is recommended.
A GPU of NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 650, AMD Radeon™ R7 250X or above
And lastly, 4 GB of RAM is needed. In this specific case, a RAM higher than DDR4 2400 is not necessarily required.
As for the interface the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt utilises Thunderbolt 3. While it’s Input & Output (Pass-Through) is HDMI 2.0
When it comes to Max. Pass-Through Resolution, the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt is capable of resolutions of up to 2160p60 HDR /1440p144/ 1080p240.
The same can be said about the maximum recording resolution: at 2160p60 HDR* /1440p144/ 1080p240.
Supported Resolutions for the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt include the following: 2160p, 1440p, 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 576p, and 480p.
Additionally, the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt Records in MPEG4 (or MP4) Format. Its dimensions (width, depth, and height respectively) are as follows: 120 x 120 x 29.3 mm (4.72 x 4.72 x 1.15 in).
Last but not the least, the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt weighs in around 348 g (12.27 oz). Fitting for its robust build.
Hands-on with the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt
Let’s now get our hands with this capture card. Does AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt live up to its expectations?
The extra cost that comes with the high performance can be a little niche, sure, since only a select few PCs, relatively speaking, can handle it. But the trade-off is quite good.
We managed to maintain a steady framerate even when streaming at maximum settings. Moreover, the low latency made sure that there were no significant delays whatsoever.
Some of the things we noticed lacking, however, was for one, the included software does not have support in editing their HDR recordings.
The ease of setup was also a factor worth talking about. Since it is an external capture card, one does not need to open their PC to set it up. Simply plug the Thunderbolt 3 to your respective I/O, and you’re ready to go.
Other than that, you can also set this up quite well with the latest consoles, notably those that support 4K like the Playstation 4 for example.
Some capture cards require internal installation, and having an external one is a great touch for people who want to stream 4K with their consoles and are looking for a more approachable solution.
Given all of that, though, being outside your CPU can present its problems, mainly exposure to the elements.
When not properly maintained, mild dust accumulation might occur and will cause a distinct noise when the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt Review is in use. A simple cleanup should remedy this.
Overall, we found the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt a robust machine that’s capable of delivering. With the right hands and the right setup, its potential truly shines.
We find that the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt has a top place in the top calibre of gamers and streamers worldwide.
AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt Review Summary
Overall though, the pros outweigh the cons. We were very impressed with the performance, given it supports ultra-wide with the max pixel clock at 3440×1440 at 100Hz. Not to mention its ease of setup as an external capture card.
Despite the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt not recording internally, it does make up for it by streaming at very low latency. Although the Thunderbolt 3 support can be limiting, the performance you get out of it is undeniable.
If you have the best games and want to record at the highest possible quality, this is an excellent choice.
There aren’t a lot of 4K 60fps streaming options out there as of late, especially external ones. If you have the gear to support it, the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt will find its place in your gaming sessions or streaming setups.
Thank you for reading through our AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt Review review. If you found this review helpful, you can visit AverMedia’s website and purchase the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt here.