Razer Ripsaw Review
Razer are famed for high-end gaming kit, from stunning gaming laptops to headsets, mice and keyboards.
Now Razer have launched their first video capture device, entering the streaming market and going head to head with capture giants Elgato. The Razer Ripsaw allows virtually lagless streaming via its USB 3.0 interface and captures at resolutions up to 1080p60. It is aimed at the console and PC market, and is compatible with industry-standard software solutions OBS and XSplit, the two most popular broadcasting software applications.
This is also the first 1080p 60fps capture device we’ve seen that handles both composite and component, offering more flexibility than its rivals,and simplifying (for example) retro console streaming. It shouldn’t be underestimated just how useful some people will find this feature. The Ripsaw supports 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 576p, 576i, 480p, 480i resolutions.
The USB 3.0 connection allows for almost zero latency between game and captured video – a real bonus and previosuly only possible using capture cards mounted internally, directly into your PC’s motherboard. Although the Ripsaw still requires a bit of muscle, it does open up zero latency streaming for laptops for the first time. Throughout our testing (streaming to Twitch and footage capture for YouTube) the Ripsaw maintained near perfect zero-latency capture. Impressive.
But about that muscle. You’ll need to be packing at least 4GB – and preferably 8GB – on your capture PC. For a desktop you’ll need at least an Intel Core i5-4440 3.10GHz with at least NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 level graphics. Laptop users will need at least an Intel Core i7-4810MQ, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX870M or better. OS support is limited to Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 only. No Mac or Linux love here.
Our tests showed the minimum spec quoted is very much the minimum – you’re right on the edge of achieving the promised ultra-low latency here. If you want to be sure of that perfect capture experience, make sure you bump up that spec ladder and give the Ripsaw the muscle it deserves.
Razer have concentrated on the hardware with the Ripsaw, choosing to support existing software solutions rather than develop their own – a decision we applaud. These are tried and tested software solutions and will make the transition for Ripsaw adopters a smooth one.
The beauty of an external unit is ease of installation. Plug in a few cables, install the software and you’re good to go. The Ripsaw fits this model perfectly – connection and setup was virtually flawless, although we did have to uninstall our existing capture devce before the Ripsaw woukd respond. No big deal unless you really feel the need to run two separate devices, though we can’t think of a logical reason for doing so.
Usefully, on the front of the Razer Ripsaw you’ll find two 3.5mm audio input ports. One is for microphones, and the other is for auxiliary audio. These enable you to plug in a sound mixer or iPhone iPod filled with music that you can stream right into the video file.
Here is a video to help you get set-up.
If you are into streaming then you’re probably edging towards geekdom, and so will appreciate the Technical specifications for the Ripsaw.
Video input: Digital – HDMI / Analog – Component
Audio input: Digital – HDMI / Analog – RCA L/R
Audio mix-in input: 3.5 mm mic-in / 3.5 mm aux-in
Video output: HDMI (pass-through from HDMI and Component input)
What’s in the box? We love the fact it comes with pretty much every cable you’ll need.
Razer Ripsaw game capture card
USB 3.0 cable
Component AV cable
Component AV Multi cable
3.5 mm audio cable
RRP for the Ripsaw is £149.99 on the Razor Store. Razer operate at the premium end of the market, and this is a premium price for a premium product. It’s a little higher than that of its nearest rivals, but if you are looking for the extra functionality the Ripsaw offers the price is definitely competitive.
Razer supplied us with a review unit of the ‘Ripsaw’ and it was tested for over 18 hours.
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