EVGA XR1 USB Capture Device Review – 2 Devices in 1?

Manufacturer: EVGA EVGA XR1 USB Capture Device Review – 2 Devices in 1?

I have had EVGA’s XR1 capture device on hand for a while now, and hadn’t had occasion to give it sufficient use to write up a full review until recently. Obviously, this isn’t a brand new product, having been introduced in September 2020. EVGA has since released two more XR1 products, with the XR1 lite added in 2021 and, just last month, the XR1 PRO.

In fact, the XR1 PRO has replaced the original XR1, making this review rather pointless – if not for the fact that the original device can still be found brand new at places like Newegg, and currently sells for $119 – making it $30 cheaper than the new XR1 PRO (product page). If you don’t need the PRO features (more on the differences shortly), and just want a 1080/60 capture device, read on.

A Summary of EVGA XR1 Models

Beginning with the original XR1 (the subject of this review), this USB 3.0 device is capable of 1080/60 capture, 4K/60 passthrough, and, of some interest, an “advanced pass through mode” supporting high refresh rate displays.

“The EVGA XR1 Capture Device allows you to share the world and stream with 4K Pass Through Mode – Record at 1080P/60FPS while you game at 4K/60FPS. Also features an Advanced Pass Through Mode that allows you to switch to 144Hz refresh rate + HDR with the press of a button. No need to disconnect or disable to get the full capabilities of your display!”

This description is a little confusing when one considers that, under features, the mode is listed as “1440p@120fps HDR Advanced Pass Through”. For current-gen console owners (and by that I mean Xbox owners as PS5 only supports 120 Hz at 4K) this means that you can have your Xbox connected to a 120 Hz 2560×1440 monitor, with the XR1 in between. HOWEVER, this does not work while capturing. 4K/HDR can also be passed through – but not during capture.

Why support for a passive mode is advertised as an “Advanced Pass Through Mode” is beyond me, and I’m not alone in my confusion. Ultimately, you are going to be stuck with a maximum of 60 Hz refresh support at 4K or 1080p when the device is active.

EVGA XR1 Comparison Graphic

After looking at the official product comparison (above), I’m even more confused.

The new XR1 PRO is a USB 3.1 device, and raises capture support to 4K/30 (along with 1440/60 and 1080/60), and offers a big upgrade in the passthrough category (see the above graphic) with 1440p@144fps HDR / 4K@60fps HDR support. The XR1 lite is a more basic USB 3.0 device with 1080/60 capture and 4K/60 passthrough, and it does not offer RGB effects, physical controls, or mic input.

All XR1 devices are OBS Certified, and all capture using the RAW video format – meaning it is uncompressed until you choose to do so. OBS offers various recording formats and compression levels, or you can keep it lossless (if you have Allyn Malventano-level storage available).

Product Specifications
  • Interface: USB 3.0 Type-C
  • Video Input Interface: HDMI 2.0 (up to 4K@60fps)
  • Audio Input Interface: HDMI
  • Video Bypass: HDMI (up to 4K@60fps)
  • Video Resolution Input: 480p / 576p / 720p / 1080p / 1440p / 2160p@60fps
  • Video Resolution Pass Through: 480p / 576p / 720p / 1080p / 2160p@60fps
  • Video Resolution Advanced Pass Through (NO CAPTURE)*: 720p / 1080p / 1440p@120fps
    • * NOTE: Advanced Pass Through allows you to pass through your monitors native resolution and refresh rate, without having to disconnect the device. Note that there is no capture feature when in advanced pass through mode.
  • Encode Resolution: Up to 1080p @ 60fps
  • Encode Format: RAW
  • Dimension: 130mm x 86.4mm x 32.95mm w/ Control Dial /130mm x 86.4mm x 24.15mm w/o Control Dial
  • Weight: 159g

$119.99 USD (Newegg)

Manufacturer Description

“The EVGA XR1 Capture Device allows you to share the world and stream with 4K Pass Through Mode – Record at 1080P/60FPS while you game at 4K/60FPS. Also features an Advanced Pass Through Mode that allows you to switch to 144Hz refresh rate + HDR with the press of a button. No need to disconnect or disable to get the full capabilities of your display!”

EVGA XR1 USB Capture Device Review - 2 Devices in 1? - General Tech 11
EVGA XR1 USB Capture Device Review - 2 Devices in 1? - General Tech 12


If we measure the world by comparing things to storage products, I would say that the original XR1 is a little bit larger than a portable 2.5-inch hard drive, or about the same size as a ruggedized external 2.5-inch hard drive. In metric, this translates to 130 (w) x 86.4 (d) x 32.95 (h) mm if we take the control dial into consideration, and 130 x 86.4 x 24.15 mm if we do not.

The XR1 connects to your PC via a USB Type-C port, with a Type-C to Type-A cable included in the box. (I ended up using my own Type-C to Type-C cable for most testing, but both worked.) In addition to the HDMI input and output ports (on on each end), there are a pair of 3.5 mm audio jacks on the side of the device. One of these handles mic input and line output (headset audio), and the other is a “console party link” for connecting to a controller.

EVGA XR1 For the Gamer Chart

I didn’t end up using any software with the XR1, as it is a plug-and-play device that requires no driver installation, but EVGA offers XR1 RGB Software (from the support/download page) if you want to customize the lighting effects. And speaking of not needing software to do things, the mic-in volume does not require anything more than the top control dial.

From the included ‘quick guide’:

EVGA XR1 Control Dial Function

Usage Impressions

The fact that the XR1 requires no special drivers and is immediately available in OBS makes the setup and use of this device with a Windows machine effortless. I did not test it with a Mac, which is officially supported, or Linux, which is not.

After satisfying myself that the card behaved pretty much exactly like my previous USB 3.0 capture device, an Elgato Game Capture HD60 S, which also captured in RAW at up to 1080/60, I began capturing some 1080/60 game footage in earnest.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade on PC has not been everyone’s favorite port, but I enjoy the game and hadn’t played it much since the PC launch. Starting up a new game I ended up playing for nearly an hour before I realized it – and the XR1 did its 1080/60 capture thing without incident.

Enjoy these JPG screenshots from my MKV capture file:

I used the recently-reviewed Lenovo P15 Gen 2 mobile workstation for the capture test, and there were no drop-outs or other USB issues. I was initially confused as to why I wasn’t hearing game audio being passed through, but the XR1 does have a headphone jack so I plugged in there and was able to hear game audio. Not sure what my issue was.

An examination of the MKV file OBS generated (I chose this format and the “indistinguishable” quality level) revealed that audio was in fact recorded. The quality of the video and audio recording was excellent, and the end result was as good as I could have expected from any USB 3.0 capture of 1080p video.

More Than a Capture Card

If you’re into the streaming thing, or if you just like having the most unnecessarily good webcam quality for Zoom calls, you know about the Cam Link 4K. Elgato’s Cam Link products are a dead-simple way to take the HDMI output from any camera that offers it, and turn this into something that your OS sees as a webcam. This is thanks to Cam Link’s USB Video Class (UVC) driver support, and you might be surprised to learn that the XR1 also supports UVC. I was, at least.

Yes, if you get your hands on the XR1 you aren’t just getting a game capture device with similar features to other USB 3.0 capture devices, you’re also getting the capabilities of something like the Cam Link – though not up to the 4K resolution of the latest version of that device. Still, it’s nice to have, and both OBS and vMix played nice with it in my testing with a Sony a6000 camera. I even used it in place of my trusty Cam Link 4K on a recent pcper podcast and no one noticed! Or cared!

Final Thoughts

EVGA’s first XR1 capture device may have been replaced by the XR1 PRO, admittedly a more capable device (with less confusing technical abilities), but the original XR1 is still out there, and if your capture needs are satisfied by 1080p/60 then the XR1 is just fine. But it probably isn’t the best option, and I’m just talking about EVGA devices.

If we shift focus to the XR1 lite, the argument about satisfying 1080/60 capture needs suddenly involves a device that sells for only $69.99. You don’t get RGB effects or analog mic input, but you do get 1080/60 RAW capture and 4K/60 passthrough. There’s probably a reason the XR1 lite is the “#1 Best Seller in Video Capturing Devices” on Newegg.

EVGA XR1 Series Newegg Pricing

As mentioned earlier in the review, the original XR1 is currently selling for $119, and while this is $30 less than the XR1 PRO at $149.99, honestly the PRO offers enough more that I would spend the extra money and buy that one, instead. EVGA was smart to introduce the more capable XR1 PRO and downright brilliant to offer the XR1 lite for such a low price.

So, what was the point of this review of a discontinued first-gen product at $119 if you can get, as discussed above, a basic 1080/60 capture device for $69.99, and a more powerful successor to the XR1 for $149.99 (or less)? Content. That’s the point. I created longform content about a content creator’s content capture device. 

EVGA XR1 Series Newegg Pricing

Who needs RGB lighting when you have a mirror finish that reflects old CPU boxes?

In future I would like to test out the XR1 PRO, if for no other reason than to see if it retains the UVC driver support of the original, but I did at least verify that the initial XR1 is a useful USB 3.0 capture device that can also take the place of a Cam Link.

Review Disclosures

This is what we consider the responsible disclosure of our review policies and procedures.

How Product Was Obtained

The product is on loan from EVGA for the purpose of this review.

What Happens To Product After Review

The product remains the property of EVGA but is on extended loan for future testing and product comparisons.

Company Involvement

EVGA had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.

PC Perspective Compensation

Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by EVGA for this review.

Advertising Disclosure

EVGA has not purchased advertising at PC Perspective during the past twelve months.

Affiliate Links

This article contains affiliate links to online retailers. PC Perspective may receive compensation for purchases through those links.

Video News

About The Author

Sebastian Peak

Editor-in-Chief at PC Perspective. Writer of computer stuff, vintage PC nerd, and full-time dad. Still in search of the perfect smartphone. In his nonexistent spare time Sebastian's hobbies include hi-fi audio, guitars, and road bikes. Currently investigating time travel.

1 Comment

  1. psuedonymous

    “An examination of the MKV file OBS generated (I chose this format and the “indistinguishable” quality level)”

    Just an aside: .mkv is a container format, not a video format. You can put an enormous variety of video CODECs into an .mkv container, e.g. h.264 (AKA AVC), h.265 (HEVC), CP9, AV1, VC-1, good old MPEG2, etc.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest Podcasts

Archive & Timeline

Previous 12 months
Explore: All The Years!