NVIDIA’s ShadowPlay Has Arrived: Use that GeForce Card to Record Your Games

Posted on October 28, 2013 9:00 AM by Rob Williams

Sometimes, anticipated products seem to take too long to get here. Other times, there’s no other word to use but “forever”. Where NVIDIA’s ShadowPlay is concerned, “forever” is definitely the right term, because when the company first announced it, GeForce fans all over wanted it – and wanted it right there and then.

ShadowPlay is in effect a Fraps competitor, designed to capture your gameplay more efficiently thanks to offloading some of the work to the GPU. While this is going to impact your FPS a wee bit, NVIDIA feels confident that the actual impact will be minimal, or even non-existent to the human eye (this of course would change if you’re using lower-end hardware).

Like Fraps, ShadowPlay works with every game, and you also have the ability to record gameplay continually in case something cool happens and you’d like to save a video of it. In addition, Twitch.tv support is built right in, and the cost? $0. Quite an eye-catcher given Fraps’ $37 one-time fee, and $59/year for X-Split (which I’ve never used). Unfortunately, but as expected, ShadowPlay requires recent GeForce cards to operate.

NVIDIA GeForce Experience - ShadowPlay

As seen in the above shot, ShadowPlay integrates itself with GeForce Experience, and overall, the applet is stupid simple to use. That has its upsides and downsides; while ShadowPlay is easy to use, it lacks the advanced encoder options that some might like to tweak. Perhaps in time we’ll see those added.

The options that are made available include adjusting the “shadow” recording from 1 – 20 minutes, the quality of the video (Low, Medium, and High), disabling audio, and, if you don’t like the GPU always recording, the ability to turn that off and stick to manual.

Due to being inundated at the moment with other work, I haven’t been able to give ShadowPlay a great test, but do have good initial experiences. I plan to use it every single time I game going forward in order to discover its perks, and potential drawbacks.

Want to give ShadowPlay a go for yourself? Head on over to NVIDIA’s download page, grab GeForce 331.65, and give it a go. And if you do happen to give it a go, please let us know your thoughts below. It’s hard to gauge just how epic a tool is based on a single experience, after all.

  • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

    So, I ran ShadowPlay last night for a number of hours while playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and I’m beyond impressed with it. I experienced no performance hit at all, despite it constantly recording, and it was always quick to save some footage to the disk whenever I hit Alt + F9. The quality is quite good, and a 7 minute video came out to be 1.11GB.

    I look forward to using this more… so far I am seriously impressed.

  • David Miller

    Shadow play did a good job its working better than fraps and dxtory im get no fps lost on my gtx 770s right now this is good for people with low end cards thanks nvidia

  • Zachary Greenlee

    I have a 650, and for some reason I can’t get it to work with games like minecraft and stuff, though I didn’t really try all that hard XD. I did use it successfully on Path of Exile, and I noticed no fps drops at all, and it was really smooth and the vid quality was fantastic! All and all, considering I wanna record, but don’t have a super beefy PC, I am excited.

  • nicotinic

    Just tried it out… Awesome is really an understatement. I have Fraps and I’ve never used it’s video recording feature.
    This is awesome. Should make some journalist’s/YouTube poster’s video posting a lot easier with Geforce Cards.
    Really nice!

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      That’s for sure. I’ve been unable to put more testing in up to this point, but I hope to soon. It seems like a feature that AMD will REALLY want to “borrow”.

  • cpy

    Damn it, i was planning to use it with minecraft windowed mode, i guess i’ll have to wait.

  • Oscar Opiela

    this is bad you basicly need a desktop pc to be able to use it cause of the graphics card requirements, so its useless for gaming laptops

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      Mobile GPUs are not as powerful and capable as desktop GPUs, so NVIDIA decided to focus on the desktop at the current time. That said, I’d expect the feature to come to notebooks in time.

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