Tech time: Nvidia ShadowPlay

Any of my friends will tell you that I’m a bit of tech nut, and also a dedicated PC gamer. So I’ve decided to begin a new series of articles to discuss the latest in gaming technology while trying not to bore everyone. Let’s start with some ultra-convenient gameplay recording features from hardware giant Nvidia.

Featured - Tech time Nvidia ShadowPlay

A long time ago, just after the creation of, I wrote about controller versus mouse & keyboard gaming and the realistic hair effects of Tomb Raider (2013). Today I’ll be taking a look at a new feature built into Nvidia PC graphics cards that provides the ability to record high-quality gameplay footage at a minimal cost to performance, called ShadowPlay. The videos we record here at have been captured using an application called Fraps, which is very easy to use but can easily halve the performance of the game you’re recording.

ShadowPlay uses a dedicated chip built into the PC graphics card to record the video straight to your computer and therefore the performance impact is minuscule (less than ten percent). Unfortunately this is only available to the last and current generation of GeForce graphics cards – GTX 650 or higher – but for anyone currently upgrading their machine, as long as it’s Nvidia they will benefit from this feature.

So why should you spend all that money on new hardware when you can just buy software like Fraps to record gameplay? If you’re sitting down to record some footage and don’t mind the reduced performance then save yourself some cash, but there is one killer feature of ShadowPlay that can also be found in the next-generation of games consoles: the ability to save the last twenty minutes of footage at the press of a button. Sometimes the best gaming moments occur when you’re playing without an audience but thanks to this feature and the minimal impact of recording, you can simply relax and wait for your best kill or achievement to happen naturally.

ShadowPlay is currently available as a beta version via Nvidia‘s GeForce Experience application which I highly recommend to PC gamers who use this brand of hardware. Support has been added for allowing gamers to use the dedicated hardware encoding for streaming, which again increases game performance over other software while recording. Are any of our PC gamers already using this feature? If so, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.

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11 responses to “Tech time: Nvidia ShadowPlay

  1. That Hawken game they demoed with looks pretty wicked cool as well. Maybe I finally have a reason to start PC gaming. Plus I’m getting a device with a Tegra 4 soon, so maybe I’ll be wandering into the Tegra Zone to get this soon. #virginPCblood

    • I hear that Hawken is Call of Duty with mechs, but it’s free-to-play so you can’t argue with that!

  2. I can’t wait to get my new PC as it should have this integrated…I might finally be able to have some decent gameplay videos recorded :P

    • If you get a new Nvidia card you’ll have access to ShadowPlay, then you can tell us all about it :)

        • Ah that’s the card I was thinking of upgrading to, take a look at the MSI GTX 760 HAWK edition as that’s the best one at the moment.

          • Well, with all my money gone between my Steam Wallet (for the sale) and the computer itself…I don’t think I’ll be getting anything else any time soon hahaha! I still need to get a good monitor for that PC actually!

            • It’s worth saving up for a 120Hz monitor if you can, otherwise get something simple and wait for the Nvidia G-Sync monitors to arrive next year for the ultimate experience.


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