Game Recording - Fraps Vs Bandicam Vs Msi Afterburner Vs Dxtory Vs Playclaw

Discussion in 'Tech Chat' started by Net, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. Net

    Net Achievement Hunter

    Over the last couple days I've been trying out a bunch of different screen recording software. I wanted to record my BF3 games without a huge hit to FPS and without extremely large files. So far I've tested Fraps, Bandicam, MSI Afterburner 2.20 Beta, Dxtory, and Playclaw.

    To start my rig has...
    Core i7 2600K OC to 4.5 Ghz
    8 GB DDR3 1600
    120 GB OCZ Agility 3 (OS drive, NOT used in recording)
    2 x 1 TB Wester Digitial Blacks in RAID 0 (Used in recording)
    Nvidia 570 GTX OC

    My benchmarking is done on Skyrim on Ultra Settings. I load the same save point each time and record. Without recording I get 80 FPS (I disabled V-sync). For testing I record in 1080p @ 45 fps.

    I’ve recorded in 1080p, 720p and 540p (Fraps only has Full or half screen options) and recording at smaller resolution does help with a little with the FPS drops in some of them, but they still drop too many FPS considering the quality lost.

    I've tested each one quite a bit, and ranked them.... I'll start at the bottom.

    5. Playclaw
    PlayClaw : Game Video Recorder alternative, Game Screen Capture, Ventrilo Teamspeak overlay, Game Recorder

    -Pre-Record feature (Nice if you only want to record snippets)
    -User friendly interface.
    -Semi Customizable.
    -Allows several overlays (CPU, GPU, Teamspeak, Time)

    -Decent FPS drop when recording (Dropped from 80fps to 45fps in Skyrim)
    -HUGE files. (1 min @ 1080p “Low Compression” is 5GB)
    -Not fully customizable
    -Only records Windows Sounds (i.e. Not windows sounds AND a mic)
    -Cost: $30

    Overall: Monstrous file size, big FPS drop, and average quality.
    This isn't bad, but it’s the worst of the group. It doesn't bring much to the table that the others can do better. It has average record quality, but HUGE file sizes. Not only HUGE files, but you take a big FPS hit. Even putting the “cores” the program uses to 8 doesn’t reduce the FPS drop. That puts it in last place.
    4. Fraps
    FRAPS show fps, record video game movies, screen capture software

    -”Best” recording quality
    -Simple Interface
    -Allows audio recording of two sources i.e. your game and Mic (with option of push to record)
    -Allows multichannel audio recording
    -Most popular

    -Very large files (1 Minute is about 5GB)
    -Splits files at 4.5GB automatically
    -Recording at 30 FPS will drop your FPS to 30
    -Almost no configuration/customization
    -Very limited resolution options (full, half)
    -Decent FPS Drops (went from 80 to 52 FPS)
    -Cost: $37

    Overall: You still take a big hit to FPS, the file sizes are still huge, and zero customization.
    This is earned 4th because it is too simple. It doesn’t have any of the customization that most of the others offer. Though this is the most popular and is argued to have the “best” quality I couldn't tell the difference between this one and some of the others. If you want to record more than a couple minutes at a time, you’ll need your own 1TB drive just for your recordings.

    3. Dxtory

    -TONs of options
    -Fully configurable
    -Able to choose your codec
    -Streamable (i.e. Justin TV etc)
    -Output in AVI or RAW
    -Record to multiple Hard Drives simultaneously (only in RAW)
    -Includes tools to merge/edit/covert RAW files
    -Can record multiple different audio streams.

    -FPS drop similar to others
    -Busy interface
    -Amount of options can be daunting
    -UNGODLY large file sizes in RAW (8-10 GB per Min)
    -Simultaneous writing to Hard Drives only in RAW mode
    -AVI codec not recognized by VLC (WMP played it ok)
    -Cost: $47

    Overall: The ability to stream, ton of options, and ability to record to multiple HDDs would tie #2, but for my purposes, the FPS hit and file sizes makes this one 3rd.
    This is the one for those who want the purest recordings possible, but the RAW files don’t get any bigger. This also has the unique feature of recording to multiple HDDs simultaneously in RAW mode. It is unbelievably customizable and it lets you tweak every setting imaginable.

    2. Bandicam
    Bandicam - Best Game Recording Software, Game Video Recorder, Game Screen Capture, Desktop Screen Recorder

    -MUCH smaller files sizes (1 Min @ 1080p 330 MB)
    -Comparable quality
    -Semi customizable
    -Can record windows/screens too (i.e. firefox, skype, etc)
    -Custom resolutions
    -Can record 2 audio sources (with push to record for 2nd source)
    -Auto Complete (based on size or time, with option to automatically start recording again)

    -Smaller FPS hit (Dropped from 80-60fps)
    -Cost: $39

    Overall: Solid compromise between file size and FPS hit.
    This one has a smaller FPS hit, MUCH smaller file sizes, but still able to compete in the quality department. For those who are worried about space, might want to try this one out. This used to be my favorite before I stumbled upon.....

    1. MSI Afterburner 2.20 Beta
    MSI Afterburner

    -Little to no FPS hit (some games*)
    -Small file sizes with amazing quality

    -Some FPS hit (some games*)
    -Audio recording available only in 2.20 Beta
    -FPS overlay off by default
    -Can only record 1 audio stream
    -Not fully customizable
    -Little purple circle in top left when recording

    Overall: It’s free, has the least hit to FPS, and has amazing quality.
    This one combines the best of all of them. Able to control the quality much better than the others so you can find that balance between file size and quality. I’ve been using MSI afterburner to overclock my 570 GTX for quite some time. It wasn’t until recently that I found out it had this amazing feature.

    *Almost no FPS drop in BF3 at 1080p, but it does dip in Skyrim similar to the others.

    In conclusion, each one offers something different. Personally, I’ll be using MSI Afterburner for BF3, and Bandicam for Skyrim.

    Thank if you found this useful.


    Originaly Posted by Ghost over at
  2. tigar

    tigar Achievement Hunter

    just to say dxtory is my favorite considering how it can actually capture directly from the card instead of screen cap like fraps does so on certain games its just like bandicam no fps drop

    then again what i did was i streamed it at 1080 to a other pc and stored the data there as what i noticed is that dxtory does slow down in fps when actually trying to save it while recording it yet streaming it doesnt drop the fps more then 1-2 in most of the games i tried it on
  3. Ghost

    Ghost Not a Noob

    Glad to see my post made the transfer! :)
  4. Ghost

    Ghost Not a Noob

    Well since it's been more than 5 minutes it won't let me edit my own post... anyways...

    Here is a video I shot with MSI afterburner a while ago. The actual recording is much better quality than Youtube is able to stream.
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