NZXT Signal capture cards review: HD60 and 4K30 give solid performance for the price [Video]


NZXT is on a roll releasing accessories and hardware for gamers and streamers. The latest is the new NZXT Signal capture cards. The 4K30 and HD60 are nearly identical from the outside but offer different recording and passthrough capabilities, depending on what is needed for the specific streaming or capture application. We got our hands on both cards, so be sure to hit the video below to see all of the details on these new capture cards from NZXT. 

NZXT is moving beyond PC cases, coolers, and keyboards and is stepping further into streaming gear. We went hands-on with the Capsule Streaming mic late last year, but today we have the latest in the streaming lineup. 

What is a capture card? 

First off, let’s take an overview look at the purpose of a capture card. The basic benefit of a capture card is to take the image source, in this case from an HDMI cable, from something like a console, mobile device, or even a gaming PC, and send the video signal to a monitor with zero-lag passthrough as well as a PC to capture the image in streaming software like OBS, Streamlabs, or even video chat software like Zoom. 

Sometimes they’re internal PCIe cards, but these from NZXT are external and run off of a USB 3.2 Gen 1 connection.

Capture cards can also be useful to take the HDMI output of a video camera and use it in-stream if the camera doesn’t natively work as a USB-capable device.

NZXT Signal capture cards: What are the differences?

The Signal capture cards from NZXT offer two different performance packages at different prices. Both names give a good hint of what the cards are capable of. 

First off, the $139.99 HD60 is aimed at capturing the max video quality for Twitch, which is 1080p60 while playing at up to 4K60 on a compatible monitor with zero-lag passthrough. 

HD60 passthrough to monitor

  • 3840x2160p 60fps
  • 2560x1440p 60fps
  • 1920x1080p 60fps
  • 1920x1080i 60fps

HD60 capture resolutions: 

  • 1920x1080p (60, 50, 30, 25)
  • 720p (60, 50, 30, 25)
  • 576p (50, 25)
  • 480p (60, 30)

NZXT Signal capture card: Video

Now, if that isn’t enough, if you’re a competitive FPS player who wants to take advantage of a higher refresh rate monitor, you’ll want to jump up to the $179.99 NZXT Signal 4K30. 

4K30 passthrough to monitor

  • 3840x2160p 60fps HDR
  • 2560x1440p 144fps HDR
  • 2560x1080p 144fps HDR
  • 1920x1080p 240fps HDR

4K30 capture resolutions: 

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

NZXT Cam app

Out of the box, the NZXT Signal capture cards will work with streaming software like OBS, but there is some useful information in the NZXT Cam app. Under the capture card tab, there is info for resolution, FPS, HDR, and audio sample rate. As I made adjustments to the image from my Xbox, that info was updated in the app to reflect the image that was coming through. 

Using in OBS

Setting up the NZXT Signal is very easy in OBS. Just add a new video capture device in the sources section and choose the NZXT Signal under the devices drop-down. Otherwise, I left everything in the default configuration. 

NZXT Signal capture card: A couple of glitches

One issue I’ve had with the NZXT Signal capture card so far was a setting on my Xbox Series X that was causing the 4K30 to lose signal. When variable refresh rate was enabled, there were some instances when playing Forza Horizon 5 that it would lose signal, causing the monitor to black out. Once I turned that off, though, it was smooth sailing – even at 1440p 120Hz with HDR enabled. 

The only other small issue happened when powering on my Xbox. If I had my PC powered on already and turned on the Xbox Series X, the capture card wouldn’t pick up the signal, and I wasn’t able to switch to the Xbox input on my monitor. When I unplugged and replugged the HDMI cord in the input slot on the NZXT Signal, though, the image returned, and I was able to use the Xbox just fine.

NZXT Signal capture card: Pricing and competition

There are plenty of other capture cards out there, but the NZXT Signal cards seem to be right in line price-wise with the features they offer. You can get more performance and features with some cards from Elgato like the 4K60 S+ which will record directly on the external capture card, but you’ll also have to pay more for that. 

Razer’s Ripsaw comes in at $160 and tops out at 1080p60 for capture resolutions. 

9to5Toys’ Take

Capture cards are kind of what you make of them – there are many different uses. They’re great for a dual-PC streaming setup, capturing console or mobile gameplay, or utilizing a high-end camera that doesn’t have USB connectivity. In my testing with the Xbox Series X to capture gameplay through OBS, the NZXT Signal capture cards worked very well. 

I wish that it was able to take advantage of the 4K 120Hz that the Xbox Series X is capable of, but I was still impressed with the 1440 120 HDR capability and how well that played on the Philips Momentum monitor I am using. 

NZXT has been pushing plenty of new releases lately. It will be very interesting to see what comes next. 

Buy NZXT Signal.

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