Having the ability to record your monitor’s activity is not only a must for every hardcore gamer, but it also a feature that is essential for businesses and education systems to be able to share and demonstrate how certain tasks are done on your desktop or laptop. While screen capturing on a Mac computer is relatively easy via QuickTime player utility, which comes free with the computer, on a Windows computer it is a feature that seems to be missing. Luckily, there are a wide range of free software available for download that gets the job done. Among the many, the two most popular and widely used are ExKode Dxtory and Fraps recording software. When choosing your recording tool, it is essential to consider aspects such as speed, quality, price and storage space. In the following article, I will compare and contrast Dxtory and Fraps based on the above listed factors.
Understanding The Key Features of DxtorySo what is Dxtory really? Dxtory is an incredibly powerful movie capture tool for DirectX and OpenGL Applications. Although it is only available for Windows, because Dxtory Mac has not been released yet, it is preferred by many because of its compactness and its ability to support up to 120FPS (Frames Per Second) recording. However, at first, especially for new users the interface may be a bit confusing but once you learn to navigate your way through it and experiment a bit, you will realize that its many settings options are there to give you a lot more configuration and set-up options.
One feature that makes Dxtory stand out of all other recording software, is that it gives you the opportunity to personalize your screenshots by adjusting their margins. Moreover, you can choose to save your screencast clip in a number of different file formats.
Another advantage of Dxtory over many other recording software is that it is capable of producing extraordinarily high-quality clips. In turn, this obviously means larger file sizes, which is something that can cause difficulties for users when trying to share and manage their files.
Unfortunately, the free version of Dxtory limits the users’ options, yet it is still a software that is worth using without all the paid extras if you don’t mind the watermark it places on your clips.
Fraps - Advantages & DisadvantagesFraps can be considered as a universal Windows screen recording program that can be used to record especially gameplays utilizing DirectX or OpenGL graphic technology. If you are new to screen recording, Fraps is the way to go. It’s simple and user-friendly interface makes it easier to use than any of its competitors on the market. Being one of the pioneers in screen capturing software, it has been around for a long time but unfortunately in recent years its developers have not put out many updates and thus it is difficult for it to keep up with its fast-developing competitors in terms of flexibility and options. Still it’s a decent software for the basic user.
In terms of performance, a common issue gamers face when using Fraps is that it decreases game performance while recording, lagging and a choppy gameplay being a frequent response by video games.
Although in comparison to Dxtory Fraps does not let you record in any chosen resolution, it does support up to 768 x 480 resolution recording, however due to Fraps’ not so effective compression technique, it will produce massive files using these settings.
So how to record desktop with Fraps? The answer is easy. You open the software, and really the only thing you need to set is the frame rate and the output folder and you are good to go. Simple as that.
One unique feature of Fraps record software that I found especially useful is that you can take a screenshot anytime with the press of a key and it does not require you to fiddle around with pasting images from the clipboard into Microsoft Paint and then saving it in JPEG format, instead it saves it automatically into an allocated folder.
With regard to its cost, you might ask: but how much is Fraps? Well, similarly to Dxtory there is a full version of the Fraps video recording software available for $37, but apart from unlocking the free trial’s 30 second cap on recording at a single time, there is not much difference between the two versions. The fact that Fraps only records30 seconds at a time will is not much of a disadvantage to the user though, as the recording can be immediately restarted with the press of a button.
So, is Fraps good? For high quality, action packed video games, I would not recommend it, but for all other purposes it is an ideal solution.
As you can see in the table below, both Dxtory as well as Fraps are great tools to finalize your chosen activity with, however they have different advantages and disadvantages, outlined here in more details.
|Video Quality||Excellent, 4 different quality settings (RGB – True Quality, YUV24 – High Quality, YUV420 – Medium Quality, and YUV410 – Low Quality)||Amazing quality due to Fps01 codec (best for quality), but very bad video compression|
|Audio Quality||Perfect, utilizing PCM codec by default for audio||Good audio quality, no distortion|
|Audio Compatibility||Up to 8 audio sources||Up to 2 audio sources|
|Performance||Poor performance on lower powered computers, highest quality capturing on strong PCs||Highest performance due to low CPU usage|
|Operation||Smooth recording, no black screens or no framedropping||Most smooth gameplay and recording|
|CPU usage||Strong dependence on the graphic card||Very low CPU usage|
While this short overview aims to highlight some of the main advantages and disadvantages of the two most widely used screen recording software and attempts to give some basic guidelines for the newbies, there is plenty other criteria which the two, above mentioned software can be analyzed through that requires a bit more advanced technical knowledge. Each software is good for its own reasons, with the major difference being that while Fraps is aimed at users who are relatively new to screen recording and want a clear-cut user interface, Dxtory video recording software is for the more advanced users who do not mind taking some time to configure things. Both Dxtory record desktop and Fraps record desktop. An alternative solution to Dxtory and Fraps that is worth the try is AceThinker’s Screen Grabber Pro. It is a versatile piece of software at an affordable price that allows you to record anything on your screen anytime with its built in scheduled recording function. Screen Grabber Pro also features an unmatched unique real-time editor tool and once finished, it even gives you the opportunity to upload your clip directly to YouTube.