Lossless high quality footage – Yalla Match

evaluation:
8/10
?

  • 1 – Absolutely hot litter
  • 2 – Sorta lukewarm garbage
  • 3 – Severely flawed design
  • 4 – Some pros, lots of cons
  • 5 – minus acceptable
  • 6 – Good enough to buy for sale
  • 7 – Great, but not the best in class
  • 8 – Gorgeous, with some margins
  • 9 shut up and take my money
  • 10 – Absolute Nirvana Design

price: $179.99

Marcus Merz III

Signage and video content creators should look for a capture card for lossless recording across multiple consoles or computers, especially if the footage is in 4K resolution. Signal NZXT 4K30, released on June 29, 2022, is a simple solution for high-quality screen recording without a performance hit.

This is what we love

  • design aesthetics
  • Simple setup
  • HDMI pass
  • Competitive price point

And what we don’t do?

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

With the top-notch gaming mouse, the latest functional mechanical keyboard, NZXT is on the path to fully absorbing your computer setup. Now, two new capture cards, including the HD60 model coil, are being welcomed into the lineup. Here’s a look at the Signal 4K30.

Setup and NZXT CAM: Smooth and Simple

NZXT Signal 4K30 in NZXT CAM

  • Console Compatibility: Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Nintendo Switch
  • Support other devices: 2-PC setups, professional cameras, smartphones, tablets
  • Software compatibility: OBS, Stream Labs, Discord, Skype, Zoom and more
  • ports: 2x HDMI 2.0, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 1
  • Supported Operating Systems: Windows 10, Windows 11, macOS (without NZXT CAM)

Setup is completely straightforward. Remove the capture card from the box with the included HDMI 2.0 and USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 cable. Connect the Signal 4K30 to the recording computer using a USB cable. Next, connect your other device to the capture card input port using an HDMI cable. Nothing needs to be connected to the capture card’s ejection port.

Now, if you are using Windows, download and install NZXT CAM (NZXT Personalization Software). You can’t customize the capture card in any way, but it’s easy to check that everything is recognized and set up correctly. You can see information such as the current FPS and resolution of your recordings, whether or not HDR is enabled, the current color format, range and bit depth.

Class: NZXT CAM is only available on Windows. You can use Signal 4K30 on a Mac, but you won’t be able to run the customization software. NZXT doesn’t plan to release support for Mac or Linux anytime soon.

If you’re not sure what any of these settings mean, hover over the info icon to fill in a brief explanation. You can also click Learn More to find in-depth guides on configuring your Signal 4K30 to best match your setup.

Most of the time, the initial setup process for a 4K30 is done — plug and play. There’s a good chance you’ll have to do a bit more work before hitting record.

First, you’ll need screen recording software if you don’t already have one – I use OBS Studio, but any Signal 4K30-compatible software will do. Now, you will need to configure the software to recognize the NZXT capture card as a video source. In OBS, that means right-clicking on the Sources window and adding the video capture device. Then give it a name and select NZXT Signal 4K30 Video as the device.

I won’t go into configuring your settings for streaming or recording; These vary from machine to machine or even project to project. The good news is that once you’ve created a baseline preset, you’re all set and ready to sign up.

Design: compact and elegant

NZXT Signal 4K30 Capture Card Hand Held Over Desk
Marcus Merz III
  • HDMI 2.0 input, output and passthrough
  • My voice: 2 channel, 16 bit, 48 kHz
  • The dimension: 4 x 3 x 0.5 inches (10.16 x 7.62 x 1.27 cm)

As with top-of-the-line gaming mouse, NZXT uses a matte black finish to create the Signal 4K30’s gorgeous exterior. The only color you’ll see are the four legs on the bottom of the card, and the LED (usually white) on the front-facing side.

Not only for contrast, these colorful parts serve purposes. Starting with the purple feet: For a pickup card, the cables are heavy. Cables are under tension especially, and are very common in many setups that require a significant amount of cable length for clean routing or extending the gap between a computer and a standing desk. These feet grip your desk, preventing the pickup card from slipping and ensuring it rests neatly on the surface you’ve chosen for it.

On the other hand, the LED indicator tells you about the status of the Signal 4K30. If the white LED is solid, your connection is sound and you can use the card properly. If the LED is blinking red, this means that you are connected to an outlet with speeds that are slower than required. Make sure your motherboard supports USB 3.2 Gen 1 before purchasing this capture card.

Other than that, this card features a blackout design that matches just about any setup. Smudges and fingerprints will hold like nobody’s business, but thankfully, they’re easy to erase and they’ll look new in about 30 seconds.

The left and right sides are lined with cooling dividers, and they do a proper job of heat dissipation. The card became somewhat warm to the touch after a few hours of use, but it never climbed anywhere near terrible temperatures.

Moving to the back side of the card, it offers two HDMI 2.0 ports (input and output connections) and a USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port. Each port is labeled with micro lettering; They read “Type-C”, “In” and “Out” from left to right (while viewing the card from the back). If you’re familiar with other capture cards, like the Elgato HD60 S+, you know this selection of ports is pretty standard practice.

NB: Make sure your devices have free HDMI 2.0 ports to accommodate the capture card along with any external monitors.

At 4 x 3 x 0.5 inches, the Signal 4K30 is compact and easy to store. It’s larger than a deck of cards (excluding height) but smaller than a passport. Place it anywhere on your desk or pack it into a backpack pocket for secure travel – size and portability are definitely the winning areas for this pick-up card.

Performance: true for the fund

NZXT knows how to deliver style, but how does the Signal 4K30’s performance match? Here’s the short answer: OK.

I have scored different matches (which are Escape from TarkovAnd the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen OrderAnd the Red Dead Redemption 2) on a 2 PC setup at two available resolutions (numbers in parentheses represent refresh rates):

  • 3840 x 2160 pixels (30, 25 Hz)
  • 2560 x 1440 pixels (60, 50, 30, 25 Hz)
  • 1920 x 1080 pixels (120, 60, 50, 30, 25 Hz)
  • 720p (60, 50, 30, 25 Hz)
  • 576 pixels (50, 25 Hz)
  • 480 pixels (60, 30 Hz)

I chose to record at 4K 30 Hz (3840 x 2160 pixels 30) and 1920 x 1080 pixels at 60 Hz. 1080p60 is usually all you need for a successful twitch stream; But if you need 4K video, this card can definitely handle it. Plus, with an HDMI pass, you can play at a higher resolution than the card records. For example, if you want to explore the wilderness Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2) 4K resolution on your screen while broadcasting to 1080p viewers, you can do so without any extra effort.

Class: We captured the above gameplay 1920 x 1080 at 60Hz.

I didn’t experience any noticeable drop in performance; I was hitting as usual 50-60 fps at Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order While capturing 1080p60 recording with apparently no lag. Of course, it would be fine to capture 4K footage at 60fps, but 30 still frames come out smoothly in the recording, and the sharp, vibrant look of 4K gaming covers a multitude of sins.

One thing to note is that I didn’t test the Signal 4K30 with an external camera (like a face camera for streaming), which can cause an issue for audio/video sync on some cards. If this issue does happen to present itself (nothing leads me to believe it will), it can generally be fixed in the software you’re using for streaming or recording.

Should you buy an NZXT 4K30 signal?

If you’re in the market for a capture card to complete your content creation loadout, I can recommend the NZXT 4K30 Signal for its ease of use, sleek design, and performance at its price.

However, there are some cases where you should not buy Signal 4K30. If you don’t plan on recording any 4K footage, this card is overkill. Check out the Signal HD60 instead; It’s got all the performance you need with $40 off the top. So, make sure you actually need a capture card—if you’re only planning to record one computer screen, you almost certainly don’t.

As an alternative, the Ripsaw is a bit more affordable and features 3.5mm audio jacks for simple audio management. You may also want to consider other capture cards and determine if the inside card fits your needs better.

You can get the Signal 4K30 today for $179.99 or its HD60 counterpart for $139.99.

evaluation: 8/10

price: $179.99

This is what we love

  • design aesthetics
  • Simple setup
  • HDMI pass
  • Competitive price point

And what we don’t do?

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