Best Bitrate for Recording Gameplay in OBS or Elgato

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One thing that you will encounter when recording a gameplay either in OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) or from an Elgato capture card (HD60 S, HD60 S+, 4K60 S+, 4K60 PRO), even in AverMedia, there is this bitrate that makes you clueless on what it is for. The bitrate is the number of bits per second that it can transmit media, for recording gameplay its the data from your recorder to the storage device.

Aside from transferring the media to the storage, there is another factor that affects bitrate, this is the encoder, that processes the data and compression, most of the encoder commonly used in recording are the HVEC/H265 and H264 which gives the best compression.

Basically, the bitrate settings is for the gameplay’s quality and file size. The higher the bitrate, the higher the quality and the file size. The lower the bitrate, its the opposite. However, you can find a better bitrate settings that produces unnoticeable changes from high quality with reduce file size.

Bitrate Comparison

So, let’s dig in. In our testing, We will also be using 1-minute average recording to compare the file size and for comparing the quality, we will take a capture after the movement and motion blur, so we can capture the noises and low quality portion of the video. And the following hardware and settings:

  • Hardware: Elgato 4K60 S+
  • Storage: SD Card with 120MB/s write speed
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Frame Rate: 60fps

To help you decide which bitrate settings is for you, we have listed the file size and quality comparison below for each bitrate settings. The comparison is incremental with 10,000Kbit/s or 10Mbit/s.

BitrateAverage 1-minute FilesizeQuality after moving

So far, the best settings for bitrate in terms of quality and sizes is at 40,000Kbit/s (sweet spot). If you want to further down the file size, you could go as low as 30,000Kbit/s that somehow maintains the quality and if you want for more quality you could go as high as 50,000Kbit/s. Using above 50Mbit/s doesn’t really give noticeable changes or improvements.

Even in NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience also uses 50,000Kbit/s as their 100% high quality for 1080p recording. We will be also adding more bitrate comparison for 4K and other resolution.

Video Comparison

For your reference, we also uploaded the video of the comparison above so you can check it yourself.

Storage (SD Card, HDD, SSD) and Bitrate

It is also important that you’ll be using a storage that is above your bitrate speed. For example, if you’re using 100,000Kbit/s bitrate, you need to make sure that your storage device write speed is above 100MB/s, or else, it will have problem transferring files and data corruption.

This is similar to DSLR camera that has minimum write speed requirement when using SD Cards.

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