Fraps is the best game recorder, benchmarking, and real-time screen recording utility software that can be used on both 2D and 3D apps – OpenGL and DirectX. It has been used mainly to determine the capabilities of a computer in terms of game framerate performance and for more than 10 years remained the undisputed benchmark tool in the industry.
Considering the configurations it has to offer, we can all agree that it brings a pretty decent experience to a user. No matter the framerate, this utility program is still able to capture games or any other content with ease and at the maximum quality.
Its consistency is unmatched too, taking into account that there are no huge jumps between the highest and lowest frame rates.
On top of that, Fraps handles latency way better than similar functioning software when it comes to starting or stopping the recording process. Amazingly, this game recorder can handle up to 120 FPS and better yet undertakes its benchmarking job fully by placing an FPS overlay on one of the corners so that you are always on the knowledge of the performance at any one given time.
On the other hand, it delivers impressively on the video quality optimizations, bitrate adjustment, defining the framerate to use, and even the recording resolution.
Of course, just like any other software out there, Fraps has its own share of pros and cons. We look at these below just to have a quick sneak peek at what a user will be gearing for once they decide to rock this benchmark tool.
Pros & Cons of Fraps
- Simple and intuitive – There will be no steep learning curve here as this screen capture app is easy to navigate.
- Customizability – Depending on how you want the output, Fraps lets you tinker with various video settings not forgetting hotkeys and frame rate recording.
- Reliable frame rate benchmark – This is a very significant feature that gives you the exact performance without adding or removing anything on the FPS counter tool.
- Support for high resolutions – Amazingly, this game recorder and benchmark app for Windows 10 can comfortably handle resolutions of up to 7680×4800.
- Screenshot capture – Besides screen and game capture, this portable program can also take snapshots at specific time intervals.
- Resource hungry – This will be notable on low spec systems since it tends to consume a lot of resources.
- No longer updated – Unfortunately, this screen recorder has really lagged behind feature-wise considering that the last update wan in February 2013 when Fraps 3.5.99 was released
- Limited trial version – This FPS counter app can only capture the screen for 30 seconds on the free trial version unless you jump camp to the paid version that goes for $37.
How to Use Fraps
This section will touch lightly on the steps to use Fraps to capture game or screen video as below:
- Download, install, and launch Fraps. You can also avoid installing by grabbing Fraps portable version.
- Pick your configuration – FPS, Movies, or Screenshots.
- Adjust the accompanying parameters accordingly.
- Hit the correct hotkey to start the screen or game capture process.
What Does Fraps Have to Offer?
Fraps can be mistaken for a not that featureful app when you look at its size but do not let that fool you. As mentioned, it comes in several configurations that a user can call depending on the task at hand. What are these specific configurations that we are referring to in this review?
This screen recorder software for Windows can be used for FPS/benchmarking purposes, screen recording for 2D, or 3D apps including games, or just as a snapshot tool. Here is a deeper breakdown of these functions.
Game Recording & Screen Recording
First and foremost is that this screen recorder lets you pick the directory where to save the game recording and also features a one-click button that navigates you directly to the output folder. For convenience, a video capture hotkey is available and can be customized to avoid conflict with other hotkeys you may have.
In regard to video capture options, this software opens you up to some predefined FPS choices although you can still key in your preferred FPS value in the provided input box and whether to rock full-size or half-size modes. Setting a buffer is also allowed and to avoid the video recording becoming very huge in size, one can enable the option to split the movie at intervals of 4GB. Some extras here include hiding the mouse cursor in the video, locking the framerate when recording, and even the option to force lossless RGB capture but keep in mind that this is usually slower.
In regards to the audio, this screen capture software can record audio from the Windows 10 system or a preferred external input device with a push to talk option too. Audio can be recorded in either stereo or multichannel mode depending on the user’s preferences.
Just like in the screen recording configuration, this top tool lets you have control over where the output benchmark results are saved and also a one-click button to open the saving directory without the need to hassle navigating the Windows 10 file explorer manually.
There is also a benchmarking key available for use on top of some benchmark settings that when enabled on a game can grasp the FPS, frame times, on top of the minimum, maximum, and average framerate.
To monitor the benchmarking process, Fraps boasts of an overlay that can be placed like a watermark on one of the corners of the screen with the option to enable or disable the overlay using a hotkey. Other than that, this benchmark software has got you covered anytime you need seduce when the benchmarking process should end even if you will not be around to stop it in person.
After you have defined the saving directory for the snapshots you plan to take, this tool has a customizable hotkey for you to put into use. It also opens you up to several output image formats covering the most popular ones including BMP, JPG, PNG, and TGA.
During the screenshot capture process, a user can choose to overlay the FPS as the time of taking and on top of that choose to keep repeating the capture process at certain intervals up to a time when the hotkey is pressed to stop. At the click of a button, this software will navigate you to the directory you choose and there you will find your screenshots waiting for further actions.
Fraps is a lightweight, user-friendly, and fairly powerful program that you can call to action when faced with game recording, screen capture, snapshot capture, and still offer a reliable benchmarking tool to keep tabs on your computer performance.
It may be outdated but that has not taken it out of the game yet. And yes, it may lack most of the modern features like sharing, video editing, annotations, among others but do not in any way think that it will offer anything less than the best and high-quality results especially for gamers.