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In other words, without using recording software that runs on the same PC playing the game.

I've tried using FRAPS in the past, but the slight drop in frame rate and control-to-result time creates a disadvantage in the game.

I am looking for a way, other than the obvious (point a video camera at the monitor) of recording what the graphics card is outputting.

I have a separate PC if a solution could be found that requires a second PC's resources to do the recording and encoding.

I am open to answers/solutions that require the spending of money.

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What you could do is duplicate the monitor using your computer's video out port and record from there. –  badp Oct 3 '10 at 19:56
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I really think you're going to get a better answer to this question on Super User. There is nothing specifically gaming about this question, and for a question on computer usage they really have the best information. –  tzenes Oct 3 '10 at 20:15
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Will give that a try. The reason I posted here is that for general recording - frame rate matters a LOT less, and also I was guessing I'd be more likely to encounter someone who knows the answer to my question from experience on gaming exchange than any other part of the exchange network. –  MrVimes Oct 3 '10 at 20:45
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1 Answer

Using Fraps

Unfortunately video recording in-game, via software, usually requires a powerful PC. In order to increase the FPS you can try to reduce the resolution/details of your game

Hardware Solution

There are some hardware devices that can used to record your game video streams. They cost around 200$ and can be installed internally like

or externally using HDMI, as for example

Extra

Few engines have recording capability inside. One example is the Valve Source Engine used in the following games:

  • Team Fortress 2
  • Portal
  • Left 4 Dead 1 and 2
  • ...

In this case you can just open the developer console and write

record [demooname]

where demoname is the name of the file .dem the game will create.

In the case of Source Engine you will not have any FPS drop rate because the demo is stored in a special format that you have to rework later in order to create a video stream.

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This thread on Metafilter seems to jive with what Drake says for hardware solutions: ask.metafilter.com/139172/… –  cowgod Oct 5 '10 at 4:07
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