The Razer Ripsaw should have made a bigger splash when it was first released a few years ago. It was a direct rival to the Elgato Game Capture HD60 S that allowed us to capture and record older game consoles because of its component cable input.
In theory, it sounded like a great capture card, but its actual performance left much to be desired due to the card's rampant freezing and compatibility issues. When you're about to go live on a stream, nothing is more disappointing than having your hardware not cooperate with you, which was a common occurrence whenever I used a Razer Ripsaw.
Thankfully, the new $160 Razer Ripsaw HD offers a solid alternative to the HD60 S with some smart design choices and competitive pricing. The slightly less expensive capture card adds upgrades such as a USB Type-C connection along with allowing 4K pass-through at a smooth 60 frames per second with little to no setup.
More important, though, the Ripsaw HD works without a hitch. There's no more messing with settings through Razer Synapse, or trying to figure out why the light is red on the capture card. Just plug in and you're ready to record footage or stream to Twitch without the need to install any proprietary software in order to get the thing to work.
This means you can keep your Xbox One X or PlayStation 4 Pro display settings at 4K when you stream or record and the Ripsaw will do all the work to output at 1080p/60fps for your recordings and streams. This results in some splendid-looking video. It's a nice touch and gives you one less thing to worry about when you're setting up your stream and more time to focus on creating a fun broadcast.
Speaking of streaming, the Ripsaw HD works with all common streaming software, including OBS and Xsplit. I captured crisp and smooth recordings at a glorious 60fps while streaming Hitman 2 on the Xbox One X on both streaming platforms. You can access audio monitoring of the device through Razer Synapse and you'll even get notifications whenever the display settings are changed.
However, it was strange to see that there was no capture software included in the package even though Elgato offers its own Game Capture software for free for its capture cards. It would have been nice to see Razer offer something similar for users who just want to record clips of gameplay.
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The Razer Ripsaw HD offers a little more for a little less and is a good fit for the entry-level streamer. It's a good product that shows that Razer was listening to feedback and criticisms from the older versions of the Ripsaw. Razer has stepped up its game and is now offering Elgato some worthy competition.