Also, something I've been talking with another poster on this site Darksable is a scratch drive where I've been recording content through fraps onto a SSD and my performance doesn't dip all that much. I'm sure a capture card would help though offload that data.
Looks like the primary purpose of this card is to record hd content from an external device. It was designed with consoles and video cameras in mind, but could also record the game play of another PC as well. With programs like FRAPS available, recording from another PC was probably an after thought or, as PopaTim, states, in case your PC isn't beefy enough to game and record simultaneously.
What I want to do is install this card and then record in game footage of my game that I am developing on the Unity engine. It's on an i7 3770 with sli 670 and 32 gb ram and asus maximus v extreme mobo. The mobo does not have pcie 1, does this matter? I have two monitors which both have hdmi inputs. I would hope that this build would be strong enough but I dont know.
So is there just a "record" button that I can hit and then immediately jump into my game or are there some other things I have to do or other connections I have to make in order for it work?
Your board has full 16x lanes however a 1x or 4x cards will work within the 16x slot. So you don't have to worry about that FRAPS does have a button you can program a hot key to start capturing video. I would say do that if you feel you are able to maintain a high frame rate as FRAPS will pull heavy on CPU/Hard Drive performance. Also, you may want to look into xsplit its a bit less taxing. It is more technical and less 1 hit key wonder ish but it also has smaller project sizes as a project within fraps can grow very quickly very fast. a 10 minute video could in theory be 20+gigabytes it seems higher then your normal youtube 1080p hd content.