On Monday 28th October, prepare to update your drivers. Nvidia’s GeForce Experience software is being updated to include gameplay video capture tools, dubbed ShadowPlay. If you have a GTX 600/700 series GPU, a H.264 video encoder is built into your graphics card. This is currently used to provide low-latency game streaming with the Nvidia Shield handheld gaming device, but soon it will allow PC gamers to capture gameplay without destroying their frame-rate.
Even though third-party solutions have existed for years, software like FRAPS, DXTORY, and MSi Afterburner all use the CPU to encode video into usually an uncompressed and gargantuan file format. A very taxing task on top of what is usually a CPU intensive game (e.g. Planetside 2). This causes frame-rate drops, hindering your gameplay and ultimately getting you killed. When handled by a dedicated chip on the graphics card this can’t happen, ensuring a smooth gameplay experience.
ShadowPlay will have two modes: Shadow and Manual. Manual behaves like a VCR, just like any other capture software. Shadow will continuously record the last 20 minutes of gameplay into a temporary file at high-quality 1080p, and hitting a user-defined button with store it. So if you’ve ever pulled of an amazing stunt or kill streak before and wished you were recording that, now it’s possible to retroactively save those moments for later editing and uploading to Youtube.
Nvidia has also announced Twitch streaming support to arrive soon. Allowing streamers to have the benefit of ShadowPlay’s no-CPU footprint when streaming.
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