I'm not exactly sure when it was implemented (version 2.1, the latest official version? although I'm using a 2.2 beta 4 which just came out today AFAIK), but MSI has incorporated a screen and video capture feature to their Afterburner program that was previously known for its easy overclocking/overvolting/GPU monitoring prowess
I actually own a license for FRAPS and have been fumbling with it to record live games (or capture game recordings/replays for later editing and sharing on the web) but FRAPS has always had too many cons to really make it a winner for me, the biggest being:
1. 4GB file size limit: this dates back to old AVI container constraints, and while it can be a useful automatic splitting of video to make it easier to sort through different segments of footage, it gets tedious when recording higher resolutions and frame rates as 1080p30 can easily consume 4GB for every 90seconds of recording time. So for an hour of game play we're looking at having to mess with 40 files for compiling a video from 1080p30 source.
2. which brings us to quality: while FRAPS default (and only) compression quality is top notch, its just not that efficient if its only capable of ~22 seconds for every GB of space for a 1080p30 video.
3. which brings us to FRAPS' lossless RGB recording: of course the resulting quality is phenomenal if you have the hardware capable of capturing it, the problem I have had is that its extremely glitchy, and is unfortunately too glitchy to mess with. Locked framerates are a must with this and that only kills live game play recording performance even more
4. which brings us to in-game performance while recording: Until recently FRAPS forced players to play at whatever frame rate they were recording at. This meant you needed beefy hardware to maintain a minimum framerate of 60 if you wanted a truly smooth and unencumbered playing experience while recording. Playing a 30 or less fps can be a death-sentence for competitive shooters, although fortunately many popular games have game engine recording features (think Valve Source based game recordings or Star Craft replays) that can be played back later at a lower fixed framerate while FRAPS records that. But this isn't the case for all games, and in some instances the replay isn't 100% accurate to what truly happened, thus a live recording can be mandatory, and this is where FRAPS has really been a let down over the years.
I did say until recently, and more recent versions have improved things and will let you play at a higher frame rate than your chosen recording rate, however its pretty far from ideal. For instance I can average over 120fps in most of my games, but with FRAPS recording 1080p @ 30fps it will typically cap me at 90fps and if performance dips below that it will reduce it to 60fps or even 30fps if necessary, and if I want to regain higher gameplay performance I'll have to stop and restart the recording process. So it really is far from ideal, especially considering lossless RGB is too glitchy to use without framerate lock
I just started messing with Afterburner 2.2 beta 4 today and have to say it solves every single one of FRAPS' shortcomings:
1. files are contained to whenever you start and stop them (for instance i have a single 15.1GB file which would have been divided into 4 separate files in FRAPS)
2. MSI AB provides the option of a few different video formats: uncompressed - requires major
harddrive storage, for instance that 15.1GB file I mentioned is of the uncompressed format @ 1080p30 and is only 98 seconds long, that's ~154MB/sec of sustained write requirement which easily pushes the limits of my 2TB RAID0 array I record to, not to forget that 2TB would only equate to ~3.5 hours of total record time for uncompressed 1080p30.
The other two formats are MJPG compression (which has % quality slider toggle to increase or quality at cost of file size, default is 85% and seems comparable to what FRAPS outputs by defualt) and the other is RTV1 compression (does not work with the quality slider and have yet to mess with it)
3. unlike with FRAPS, the recordings came out with a hitch and play back on common media players flawlessly (particularly the uncompressed format vs. FRAPS' mess)
4. most imporantly, I experience no discernible performance impact
while playing and recording, this is true of compressed or uncompressed recording (of course I have a very fast rig and hard drive set up as I have a dedicated RAID0 array just for capturing video)
5. full functionality is completely free, no watermarks, no hassle
Afterburner 2.2b4: http://downloads.guru3d.com/download.php?det=2740
quick setup guide (includes video) I followed: http://versatile1.wordpress.com/2011...s-alternative/