Question What is the difference of video card vs capture card? Do people still use capture card today?


Mar 14, 2019
What is a capture card have over a video card and used for? Do you need video card and also a capture card for gaming/ game recording and streaming?

Looking at this article is bit confusing it is talking about adding and external capture card to record game play and making reference to VHS, Betamax, or on traditional CDs

Not sure what they mean by that. With out card and using integrated graphics will not work? And can you do it on i5 or need i7 or i9?


A capture card does exactly what it sounds like. It captures audio/video from a typically external source. In the old days, people would take their DVD home movies, connect the output of the DVD player to the input of the capture card and record their movies to the PC. That's just one example.

A capture card typically does not output video via cable to a display or if it does, it doesn't have the power of a higher-end graphics card.

As far as game recording, I've heard of some people who have a separate computer set up just for recording, but these days, given the power of graphic card and CPU, most people just use software based recording for game streaming/capture. As far as computing power is concerned, you should be able to get by with a Core I5, but would be better off with a Core I7 and depending on the game requirements, perhaps even a Core I9.

-Wolf sends
The 2 are not the same thing, or even close to have the same function
here's the rundown:

A video card, also known as a graphics card, or gpu, is another processing unit, designed for mostly "gaming".
Gpus have ram built in, and can either run general purpose code, render or accelerate such tasks.

For most general consumers, you use a video card for gaming. meaning, your games will look better, run at higher fps and perform better.
The integrated gpu on all but F series intel cpus, and only on G series amd apus, is very low end, and doesn't even compare to the lowest end dedicated gpus offered by amd and nvidia.

A capture card is a whole nother ordeal.
It let's you record or stream from external sources using a physical connection.

Say an xbox, you can't just install a recording software on it and record your gameplay (it has a built in recorder but nevermind that, it doesn't let you stream)
So if you want to put that video file, or video feed into your computer, say to upload to youtube, or stream on twitch, you need a capture card, that connects to your computer on 1 end (usually either usb, or internal pci-e) then to any hdmi source.
Another example is if you are streaming and want a good webcam, a good solution would be to use an actual DSLR camera, but that can't just, stream to your pc can it? it records to SD cards right?
So no, you can use a capture card to connect the camera (as long as it has HDMI!) straight to the pc, and get instant feed of what it's recording, and be able to, well, capture it.
It usually also records audio.

Capture cards can have in, out, or both, usually either in or both,
The reason of it is this: If you only have in, say, your xbox will display to your pc, and the only way to see like, what your xbox is doing, is through the recording on your pc, which isn't ideal. It has lag, is lower quality and usually not full screened.
The out port is for say, put your xbox in to record, but also put another HDMI cable to a TV or another monitor so you can play normally.

Software recording is almost exclusive to just your computer screen. You can't software record an xbox, because you can't download record software on it, same with a camera.
If you have a normal webcam that connects to your pc using usb, your pc will see that as a normal video source, without a capture card, but you obviously can't do that with a DSLR.

As for if you need an i3 i5 i7 or i9, that's a very different question.
Obviously higher is better, but since you talked about the integrated gpu, i'll say this, the integrated gpu on all i3s, and all i9s and everything in between is the same UHD 630 gpu that can't even run basic games.
If you don't have a video card, you can't run games.

As for what cpu you need (i3, i5, i7, i9 are all cpus, that happen to have a small, very bad gpus soldered on them)
That depends. It's recommended to have more cores for streaming while gaming, since both gaming and streaming need cores. I'd say, 6 cores are minimum. that means a current gen i5, but no i3s.
8 would be ideal, but the sky's the limit.
Games require both a good cpu and a good gpu to run, but obviously even low end stuff can run games, just with less resolution and less fps.

This turned out to be kind of long, please ask if there's anything you'd like me to explain, or didn't understand.