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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.

  • What you could do is duplicate the monitor using your computer's video out port and record from there.
    – badp
    Oct 3, 2010 at 19:56
  • 3
    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, 2010 at 20:15
  • 2
    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, 2010 at 20:45
  • 3
    Since any program i have ever heard of uses some system resources, a program like the one you're asking for might be impossible.
    – RedRiderX
    Nov 8, 2011 at 20:58
  • 1
    @TobiasKienzler Either way it still fits in the scope of Gaming.SE and still remains a valid and open question.
    – Mob
    Nov 20, 2011 at 9:45

4 Answers 4


You won't be able to do that with a software solution - at least not for any graphically intensive applications. If the application is rate-limited to 60 fps, but could as well run at 200 fps if allowed to, recording won't make a difference, of course ...

There are hardware recorders available, including those for HDMI. There are even internal hardware recorder cards available (like the Hauppage Colossus). I'd suggest looking around on sites like Tom's Hardware or the Audio/Video Stream Recording Forums for reviews and detailed help.


You could use a video camera pointed at your screen. It will cause 0 FPS drop, however the quality will be terrible.

Alternatively, check out Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro but be aware it is limited in resolution to 1920x1080.

I was originally thinking you could use VNC to clone the display to a separate computer that was running FRAPS where you could record it, but I don't think VNC can get the hardware accelerated images, and also doubt your network is up to transferring that quantity of data smoothly.


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


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.


Martin Sojka has the right of it, it will be a hardware issue to increase the performance. The only other things you could do is stop all background processes before starting your game and FRAPS and lower your game graphics etc. so it will run faster.

I haven't tried it myself but I've heard good things about using dxtory instead of FRAPS.Apparently dxtory doesn't stifle framerate as much but uses more disk space for files, pre-converting to a standard format. So if you have storage over performance I'd give it a go.


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