ere’s the basic problem: say you want to record some gameplay. The traditional process involves all the parts of your rig combining to draw every frame you see on the screen. Traditional recording software, such as FRAPS, Mirillis Action, MSi Afterburner or DXTory (my personal favourite), hooks into the game, grabs the frames from the GPU and then encodes it on the CPU. Obviously, this comes with a significant performance hit, although some programs cope better than others, and your choice of settings plays a big factor.
With ShadowPlay, the majority of the performance hit — in theory — is eliminated by using the Kepler H.264 encoder on the card and freeing up valuable CPU time. Incidentally, because the footage has to be compressed (can you imagine streaming even uncompressed 720p to the NVIDIA SHIELD), you get much smaller file sizes too.
So how does it work? We took it into the workshop for some testing.
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