Video Capture Hardware for PC Gaming

Hello everyone,

Been reading for a long time. First time posting here. I'm looking for a hardware solution for video capture for my PC. I record gameplay footage for use on YouTube (mostly in reviews). Up until now I've been using Fraps. But, I'm wanting to move to a solution that doesn't give me the huge FPS hit that I get from Fraps. Cutting a game from 90+ FPS down to 30 is bad. I've decided to move on to a hardware-based solution, but I can't find anything that does it well. The main problem I have is finding an internal card, or even an external device, that records in 1080p.

I can record in 1080i and deinterlace the footage, but that would give me lower-quality videos that I currently produce. I'm trying to go with a hardware solution that will give the same, or better quality videos that I currently have. Does anyone know of a solution for this, that will not be such a huge impact on my system performance?

The 3 items I've been looking at are:

But, recording from my PC back into the same PC has me a bit concerned that it could become a cabling nightmare and impact performance the same way Fraps does.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?
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  1. I have no experience with fraps and very little experience with computer games (console games are different though).

    The first 2 items have hardware-based encoding which should reduce the impact on the CPU considerably. I can't tell on the third one. The first appears that it has its own CPU and would be easier to install since it's USB-based. The other 2 require that you work inside of your computer.

    One small problem that I see with the first item is the rather low bit rate of 13.5 Mbps. This is fine if you only intend on posting your videos on YouTube, but if you plan on archiving them, I'd recommend at least 20 Mbps for 1080, preferrably as high as 30. When you play a game that has a lot of fast motion and rotation, you'll see some pretty noticeable artifacts with 13.5 Mbps, fairly noticeable with 20, and slightly noticeable with 30.

    One thing to consider is having the videos stored on a second hard drive, one that your games are not stored on. This should help with the load times of your games, when that happens.

    This is otherwise as far as I can go. Someone more knowledgeable with fraps and computer gaming (as opposed to console gaming) might be able to help more.
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