Free screen recorder for gaming?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Gaming MoneySaving
15 replies 3.2K views
sherbie28sherbie28 Forumite
632 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Gaming MoneySaving
Don't know much about this kind of stuff but nephew wants to record himself playing sims. I've had a look on google but not really sure what's suitable for a teenager to use. He doesn't want to put them on YouTube or anything, I think he just wants to have a go. We have a webcam so I assume he can use that to record his voice? I found a few but it said open source and live streaming, does that mean anyone can see it, I'm not keen on him using something like that. Thanks
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Replies

  • Tlg1991Tlg1991 Forumite
    178 Posts
    IF he wants to record the gameplay on a PC / Laptop then use a programme called Fraps. its by far the bests and most simple to use. you set up a key and when you press it, it starts recording to the hard drive. but beware you do need a pretty powerful computer or dedicated hard drive for recording to. imagine the pc is reading the game files from the harddrive and processing all that info and then you hit a button to record raw footage not compressed which can be gigabytes of data in minutes, all that being recorded to the same harddrive its trying to run the game from. luckily on fraps it gives you a frame rate count and when you hit record it will drop, if it drops a lot and goes into the 10s 20s its not worth doing, you will need to invest a bit of money in a better computer.
    :j
  • edited 4 September 2015 at 9:55PM
    TropezTropez Forumite
    3.7K Posts
    edited 4 September 2015 at 9:55PM
    If it is on a PC what graphics card is he using?

    Both nVidia and AMD have developed their own recording software (Shadowplay for nVidia and Raptr GVR for AMD). I've used AMD's and it is, in my opinion, superior to Fraps and Shadowplay is supposed to be superior to both. Fraps can produce crisper video but the performance hit on mid to low end systems nearly negates this. AMD claims only a 3% performance reduction on its Raptr program and given that I've not encountered any noticeable hit during recording in demanding games I believe they're correct.

    There's a review and benchmarks of Raptr, Shadowplay and Fraps here:
    http://www.gamersnexus.net/game-bench/1561-shadowplay-vs-fraps-vs-gvr-recording-benchmark

    Not all nVidia and AMD cards will be compatible with their gaming recording solutions. AMD's Raptr GVR is compatible with some non-AMD cards though.

    AMD's Raptr is also based around Plays.tv so you can just get this software. However, the software is mostly designed for sharing (although you can save local copies of videos, it's just a bit more fiddly): http://plays.tv/
  • bingo_bangobingo_bango Forumite
    2.6K Posts
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    I'll confirm that Raptr works with my nVidia GTX960. It's the first capture software I've tried, and TBH I'm not that impressed with the results.

    In fairness, it hasn't affected FPS rates significantly (I still get over 60fps on most games when Raptr is running) but the resultant files are not quite what I had hoped for. They are meant to be 720p, but on playback look more like 480p.

    I'll have a go with Shadowplay, and maybe FRAPS as well to see what sort of resolution they'll give me (and will update when I have).

    On a side note, anyone know if I can make use of a spare GTX650 to do the processing for the capture? I can't SLi these two cards, but I could (theoretically if I had a game that used the engine) use the 650 to run PhysX thereby leaving the 960 solely for the main rendering grunt work. Just curious if it might be possible to utilise the 650 similarly for the capture process.
  • TropezTropez Forumite
    3.7K Posts
    I'll confirm that Raptr works with my nVidia GTX960. It's the first capture software I've tried, and TBH I'm not that impressed with the results.

    In fairness, it hasn't affected FPS rates significantly (I still get over 60fps on most games when Raptr is running) but the resultant files are not quite what I had hoped for. They are meant to be 720p, but on playback look more like 480p.

    What have you set the bitrate to?

    I use the maximum 50Mb/s bitrate at 60FPS on 1080p resolution and the videos look fine. The images don't quite have the fidelity they do when actually playing the game but the resultant videos are certainly more than passable.

    I can upload some footage later to give you an idea.
  • CycrowCycrow Forumite
    2.6K Posts
    On a side note, anyone know if I can make use of a spare GTX650 to do the processing for the capture? I can't SLi these two cards, but I could (theoretically if I had a game that used the engine) use the 650 to run PhysX thereby leaving the 960 solely for the main rendering grunt work. Just curious if it might be possible to utilise the 650 similarly for the capture process.

    No that wouldn't really help, the main performance loss is extracting the frame buffer and writing it to file. This has to be done on the GPU thats rendering, another gpu will not be able to access the rendering frame buffer.

    And the writing to file cant be done on the GPU either, thats mainly the hard drive thats being used, with a bit of system ram and cpu resources
  • bingo_bangobingo_bango Forumite
    2.6K Posts
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    Cycrow wrote: »
    No that wouldn't really help, the main performance loss is extracting the frame buffer and writing it to file. This has to be done on the GPU thats rendering, another gpu will not be able to access the rendering frame buffer.

    And the writing to file cant be done on the GPU either, thats mainly the hard drive thats being used, with a bit of system ram and cpu resources

    That was my understanding too. I did however read something (very briefly at lunchtime) yesterday on several sites that seemed to suggest that the software used will determine what hardware setup is the most efficient, and it may be that using a second card with a 2 monitor display setup might actually be the most stable.

    I'll have a bit more of a root around tonight when I get a chance and see what I can bring up.

    As for your first question, I have a feeling it was 60FPS and I know it was 720p. I'll have another play around and see what I can change to improve it.
  • My favourite after much testing over the years, and experienced YouTube gamer with 1million+ views, I have concluded that the local recording feature on Xsplit Broadcaster is the way to go. You can toggle the settings in the free version to optimise nicely for YouTube. No watermark, no time limit. If you want HD, then pay a little fee of $14.95 for 3 months.

    The program is actually designed for Live Streaming, but works best for me as a local recorder.

    Second place, I would say Bandicam, but it's not free. Very simple and good quality broadcasts though.

    Fraps creates massive files, takes hours of editing even on a high end machine. I don't have time for that, even if the quality is good. Unless you are streaming to an audience on a cinema screen, you don't need the huge file sizes of Fraps.
    Total Debt Left: £14,843 / £23,954
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  • bingo_bangobingo_bango Forumite
    2.6K Posts
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    Small update: Tried Shadowplay last night and ran it at 50mbps, 60FPS and 1080p (H.264 codec). Quality of the recorded file was much better than I was getting under Raptr, but a 10 minute file is 3Gb+.

    No real loss of FPS (still getting about 58FPS with shadowplay running).

    Onto the next option then.
  • Anybody knows free that will work on twitch?
  • CycrowCycrow Forumite
    2.6K Posts
    Small update: Tried Shadowplay last night and ran it at 50mbps, 60FPS and 1080p (H.264 codec). Quality of the recorded file was much better than I was getting under Raptr, but a 10 minute file is 3Gb+.

    No real loss of FPS (still getting about 58FPS with shadowplay running).

    Onto the next option then.

    If the only problem with shadowplay is the size of the file, why not just encode the file once its created ?

    video output from games should be large files as it'll be uncompressed video.

    The only way to reduce the size of the file is to either reduce the resolution/framerate or compress the data.
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