With Live Gamer Extreme 3, AVerMedia tries to reconcile two extremes that many gamers find incompatible: compact dimensions and high performance with the lowest possible power consumption.
Scope of delivery and first impression
It’s amazing how powerful hardware the engineers have packed into the case. And many, many gamers should be clicking their tongues: the slightly older AVerMedia Live Gamer Ultra also offers uncompressed 4K visuals with 30fps, 4K60 pass-through, and extremely low latency for lag-free gaming.
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But Live Gamer Extreme 3 masters the variable refresh rate (VRR) that the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S put to good use.
The bundle includes Live Gamer Extreme 3, a USB-C cable for data transfer, and an HDMI cable. A multilingual quick start guide is also included, but we recommend it See the official FAQ, if you have problems with the configuration. Too bad: while Live Gamer Ultra came with a key for Cyberlin PowerDirector 15, this time there is no such additional software.
The little catch box makes a great first impression. At 112.5 x 66.1 x 20.9mm and just 85 grams, it’s a lightweight carry-on or can be stowed away to save space.
The noble design of the device is technically well thought out, as is typical for AVerMedia. At the top you will find a status LED, all connections are at the back.
In addition to the HDMI input and output, there is a 3.5mm audio jack for the wired microphone and headphones. All data goes to your PC or laptop through the USB 3.2 port.
High system requirements
Two years ago, I complained to the AverMedia Live Gamer Ultra that you had better exceed the system requirements so as not to experience unpleasant surprises during operation.
The LGE3 is frugal on the Windows desktop: an Intel Core i5-6XXX processor or similar should be available along with a GeForce GTX 1060 or better.
If you game and stream on the laptop, reading the specs is a bit more challenging: You’re more likely to find an Intel i7-7700HQ or better on higher-priced models. And an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is now a few classes above the integrated graphics units most laptops use. And many newer models have 8GB of RAM, but not the older mobile computers from three or four years ago.
For Apple users, the requirements are also unusually high for an Intel quad-core CPU clocked at 3.6GHz and at least a Radeon 555 graphics card with 2GB of video RAM and 16GB of memory. of work.
Easy initial setup
And seriously? My Lenovo Ideapad 5 laptop, which I used for editorial purposes, with an Intel Core i5-1135G7, an integrated Intel Xe graphics unit and 16 GB of working memory, was such a borderline case that it was actually slightly below the requirements of the system. Would Live Gamer Extreme 3 still work?
For this I had to install the device first:
- Connect AverMedia Live Gamer Extreme 3 to the computer using the supplied USB-C cable. When the connection is established, the LED on the top turns solid blue.
- the current firmware Download from AVerMedia site and install
- AVerMeans Download Help Center and open it to install the ReCentral app. Alternatively, you can also install streaming software like OBS, Xsplit, or Streamlabs Desktop.
- After that, connect your console or PC to Live Gamer Extreme 3 and launch the ReCentral app or one of the other streaming programs mentioned.
The result on the laptop surprised me. No images made it to AVerMedia’s own ReCentral software environment. Instead, there is a note that the device is already in use.
On the other hand, Live Gamer Extreme 3 sent a video feed under OBS and Streamlabs Desktop. However, the Nintendo NES Mini’s 720p output caused constant flickering. If the Switch, PlayStation 4/5, or Xbox One/Series X|S played the material at 1080p or 4K, the video picture was optimal and the sound was clear.
When he runs, he slides
I was able to reproduce some of the results from the notebook on my desktop computer. This easily meets the system requirements, but struggles with the difficulties mentioned. 720p sources flicker, 1080p or 4K are not a problem.
Unlike the mobile computer, ReCentral immediately recognized the device and included it in the source selection. That OBS and Streamlabs Desktop also worked with the device out of the box is just an almost self-evident side note here.
However, the cause remains hidden from me. And it’s only really a struggle as long as you’re trying to capture older consoles or the scaled-down reboots of the NES, SNES, PlayStation, or Sega Mega Drive at 720p max. For these, Live Gamer Ultra is the right choice.
VRR: the game changer
The LGE3’s unique selling point is VRR. The abbreviation stands for Variable Refresh Rate, that is, a variable refresh rate. Many computers and the current PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles take advantage of this technology to ensure a smooth experience. In addition to the console, you also need a suitable monitor, recognizable by the “FreeSync” label.
If a game normally runs at 60 frames per second (fps), but hits a lower refresh rate due to a processor-intensive display, the video output device tells the TV or monitor . If it supports VRR, it adapts its refresh rate to the fps provided by the game.
To the human eye, this appears smoother than the conspicuous image stutter of previous generations of consoles. Only the streaming or capturing device must also support VRR in order to pass this variable frame rate to the computer. As of now, only AVerMedia Live Gamer Extreme 3 can do that.
Not a device for all gamers: the alternatives
Despite good performance (under the right conditions) and VRR, AVerMedia’s streaming box is not suitable for all types of gamers and YouTube creators. It accepts audio and video signals, transfers them to an external monitor if necessary, and transfers them to a computer via USB.
However, it doesn’t work without a computer and doesn’t have a built-in recording feature. So if you are not only looking for a streaming device, but also want to record your gameplay directly, we recommend the affordable AVerMedia EzRecorder 330 with direct recording to memory card and USB hard drive and built-in editing software.
If you’re using a desktop and have a free PCIe slot, Live Gamer HD2 and Live Gamer 4K are worth a look. These still convince with high compatibility and good performance and are attractively priced.
Conclusion: Inexpensive streaming card with slight shortfalls
High system requirements and minor bugs in software support cloud the overall positive impression of AVerMedia Live Gamer Extreme 3 only minimally. If you’re looking for a future-proof streaming option, this device is worth more than a glance! Its strengths include high variability, compact dimensions and easy installation.
While 720p sources are excluded, the AVerMedia card naturally supports image signals from PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. But it only plays its biggest asset in the current generation of consoles. Because with VRR, the fluidity of gaming on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S is finally here in the mainstream.
The AVerMedia Live Gamer Extreme 3 is already available in stores and costs 169 euros (RRP).
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