Last week, the latest GeForce update (1.7) saw the delivery of shadowplay to all Kepler owners. This new media focused feature allows gamers to capture and save moments that they wish they were recording with say fraps, or camtasia. The recorded session can then be exported in high quality H.264 format, either directly to youtube, or into a video editor of your choice. Although it is currently impossible to stream from shadowplay straight to any given live streaming service, Nvidia’s Scott Herkelman still had this to say on the future of the new software: “Nvidia is currently working to integrate Twitch with ShadowPlay so that players can actually stream their game footage to friends and “fans” worldwide.”.
When downloaded, users are greeted with 3 options for their shadowplay experience; off (pretty self explanatory), shadow mode, and manual mode. When activated, shadow mode causes shadowplay to run in the background and capture compressed gameplay footage. At any point during play time, the user can then hit “alt + F10” which will immediately save up to 20 minutes of previous playtime. So if you find yourself running amok on an absolute killing spree but forgetting to start up fraps, hitting a simple key combo can save your precious moments for years to come. Manual mode works a lot like currently available screen capturing software, whereby footage is not being constantly recorded but rather the user has control over the start and finish point of the video by simply hitting “alt + F9” at the beginning and end of their desired capture interval.
Manual mode seems pretty standard issue, but I can already sense several eyebrows being raised at the thought of footage being constantly captured (especially over several hour sittings). Well in terms of performance, you shouldn’t notice too much of a dip. Even though various other screen capturing programs seem to tear our average FPS straight in half, shadowplay takes advantage of hardware acceleration within all Kepler GPUs, and works alongside our cards in keeping performance above an acceptable threshold. This means that any serious frame drops should be due to beta status, rather than problems with the core software logistics. As for space, shadowplay will not permanently store any footage unless specifically told to. During shadow mode play time, only the previous 20 minutes of gameplay will be stored at any one time in a “cache-esque” part of the software.
So if you’re a Kepler owner looking for an alternative screen capturing software, shadowplay is the way to go.