ShadowPlay Alternative – OBS vs Bandicam vs Action!

shadowplay alternative This is a topic that many people are looking for. is a channel providing useful information about learning, life, digital marketing and online courses …. it will help you have an overview and solid multi-faceted knowledge . Today, would like to introduce to you ShadowPlay Alternative – OBS vs Bandicam vs Action!. Following along are instructions in the video below:

“My name is chris and this is battle non sense last time. I told you you about a really crazy nissue that i had with shadowplay where recordings would have frames or repeated frames nwhen. I connected my monitor to the wrong displayport connector on my graphics card as it turns out nvidia knows about this issue nas stated by the nvidia germany twitter. Account.

So we can only hope that they will fix this issue soon so when it s working then nvidia s shadowplay nis a really great free feature that i ve been using a lot in the last few years. But as a content producer and a gamer. I need na solution that works all the time. I don t want to spend an entire weekend trying to nfigure out what caused my gameplay captures to get corrupted.

I have very little time to just sit down and play a game for fun so when i hit that record button. Then i want to be sure that it just nworks so as i mentioned in my last video. I set nout to find an alternative to shadowplay. Which also uses nvidia s nvenc to encode video nas that has a much smaller performance impact than x264 software encoding.

Which is also nwhy. I am exclusively looking at tools that support nvenc for encoding and that rules out other tools like dxtory so the tools that i am going to compare to nshadowplay are obs bandicam and action. So what did i know about these tools. Before ni tested them.

Obs is a free open source software and compared nto shadowplay its biggest. Downside is probably that it doesn t have an in game. Overlay. This means that unless you have a 2nd monitor nwhere you run obs.

You don t know if it detected your game. You don t know if it ndid start to record. And you don t know if the replay was saved after you pressed nthe key on your keyboard recordings can have up to 6 naudio tracks. Which is great as you can then have one track for the audio of the game.

Another one for the audio of your voice over ip software like teamspeak or discord and nanother one for your microphone. This helps you when you edit the video as you then have full control over these separate audio sources. The file names of the recordings can be customized nbut unlike. Shadowplay.

Obs is sadly unable to use the name of the game for the filename nwhich makes it a bit harder to organise your recordings a really cool feature of obs is that you can nuse a 2nd graphics card for the video encoding which i will tell you more about in a minute. It also comes with a replay buffer. However nit stores. The video in your ram.

Which means that you need at least 16gb s of ram as nthe replay. Buffer needs about 2gb for 8 minutes of gameplay when you record at 1080p with n60fps and a quality setting of 20 for nvenc obs. Only records with cfr or constant frame nrate. Which is a bit more demanding and results in larger files.

However this also has its benefits which i nwill tell you more about later bandicam costs 39 us dollars. And you need none license. Per seat or pc. Like shadowplay.

It has an in game overlay nand you can only record 2 audio tracks. But unlike shadowplay you can select the source nfor your primary audio track you can customize the filename of your recordings. Nand you can use a 2nd gpu for the nvenc encoding. But sadly it doesn t have a replay buffer nand while you can choose between variable and constant bit rate.

It only records with na variable frame rate action is cheaper than bandicam. But also needs one license per pc. It has an in game overlay and it also only supports na maximum of 2 audio tracks..


Sadly you can t customize the filenames nbut. It uses a system. Very similar to shadowplay to keep things organised. It cannot use a 2nd gpu for nvenc encoding nbut.

It does come with a replay buffer. Which is sadly limited to 13 minutes and 1080p according to their website also like shadowplay and bandicam it only nuses a variable frame rate for the recordings now what s up with using a 2nd gpu for the nnvenc video encoding. The idea behind this is that you add a less npowerful maybe an older graphics card which then takes care of the video encoding so that nyour primary graphics card has more power left to render the game which should slightly nincrease the frame rate so how can you do this. And what do you need nto pay attention to so when you look inside your pc then your ncurrent graphics card will be installed in a pci e slot.

Which provides 16 pci e lanes depending on where you install your 2nd graphics ncard your primary card might only then get 8 pci e lanes which you can see here inside nthe. Gpu z. Tool based on tests that other youtubers and websites ndid. It seems the x8 mode.

Won t become a bottleneck even for powerful cards like a ngtx 1080. However. If you want that your card has access nto all 16. Pci e.

Lanes. Then you should take a look at the manual of your mainboard. As nsome like the asus maximus x. Apex has one pci e slot.

Which gets 4 lanes from the chipset nwhich is more than enough for nvenc encoding and so your primary card will still get. 16. Npci e. Lanes.

When the 2nd card is installed in case that you have 2 monitors you now can either have both connected to your primary graphics card or you connect your 2nd monitor nto your 2nd graphics card which obs does benefit from as i will show you a bit later now to have obs use the 2nd gpu for the encoding. You go to the recording settings. Select nvenc as encoder and change the gpu from 0. To 1 you can also use this for streaming.

If you want to i also found that using cqp or image quality nbased encoding with a value of 20 and bluray as profile provided. Very good image quality nand good performance inside of adobe premiere. While any other preset would result in very nsluggish timeline scrubbing. So to do the same in bandicam.

You go to video nclick on settings select h264 nvenc and select your 2nd graphics card in the gpu device ndropdown menu. I ended up using 90 for quality which made nthe recordings look nearly as good as what i got in obs. Which is much better than nwhat shadowplay creates even at the highest bitrate. Then you want to test if the 2nd card is actually nused for the encoding to do that you open gpu z.

And select your n2nd graphics card when you then start to capture your gameplay then you will see the ngpu load increase which confirms that the encoder uses the 2nd graphics card instead nof the primary one now to find out how these tools affect the nperformance of the game that you are recording. I did quite many tests with the unigine superposition nbenchmark. There are a many numbers in this chart so ni am not going to read out all of them. But if you want to take a closer look then you ncan find a link to the results in the description down below.

So with all recording tools disable and with nthe benchmark running in exclusive full. Screen mode i got a minimum frame rate. Of 8691 nan average of 11646 and a maximum frame rate of 15803 just by having obs running on the 2nd monitor nwhich was connected to my primary graphics card. I lost about 10 frames per second on average and this was not just in a single test.

I nran all these tests multiple times to make sure that i get conclusive results. When i disabled the preview in obs. Then this nincreased..


The average frame rate by about 1 fps. When i connected the 2nd monitor to my gtx n1050 and had obs running. There then this had a positive impact on the frame rate as you ncan. See here where you should not only look at the average.

But also the minimum and maximum nframe rate results. So just by launching obs mind you i am nnot recording. Yet it just hooked into the games process to be able to capture it you nlose 10fps when your primary graphics card has to draw obs i am not sure if there is a technical limitation nthat is responsible for this major frame rate decrease. But since neither bandicam nor action ncause a lower frame rate just by having them active and drawing their overlay inside the ngame.

I hope that the obs developers can do something about that performance issue now let s talk about the performance when nwe are recording gameplay shadowplay reduces the average frame rate nby about 3 frames when obs uses the primary graphics card for nthe encoding then you lose about 10fps on average which means that compared to just nhaving obs running the frame rate stays pretty much the same while recording. Which is interesting when you then move obs over to the 2nd graphics. Ncard and also have that 2nd card do the encoding then you regain about 5fps. Which means that nit s nearly on the same level as shadowplay.

Now. The story is similar with bandicam where nwe also see a fps increase when it uses the 2nd graphics card for encoding action doesn t have the ability to use na 2nd graphics card for encoding but not only that it also had the biggest impact non the frame rate of the benchmark with about 14fps less on average. I then repeated the same set of tests when nthe benchmark was running in borderless windowed mode. Which resulted in a lower frame rate noverall.

Which is one of the reasons. Why you should always play in exclusive fullscreen nmode as that provides the highest frame rates and the lowest input lag. So even though the frame rates are lower due nto. The borderless windowed mode.

The results from the encoding tests are very similar nto those from the exclusive fullscreen mode as using the 2nd graphics card for the encoding nslightly increased the frame rates and action again caused the biggest fps reduction of nall 4 recording tools so adding a 2nd graphics card and have it ndo the encoding increases the performance of the game during recording and streaming. That said. The performance gain is not that nbig and many of you will probably say that it s not worth it and that s a valid opinion. But for some of you it might be interesting nto install a 2nd graphics card and see how that affects the performance of the games nwhile streaming or recording gameplay as you do get closer to the performance.

Offered. Nby. Shadowplay. While you get superior image quality as you might know shadowplay cannot record nmore than 60fps while obs bandicam and action allow you to capture at higher rates.

So i did another set of tests using the benchmark nin rise of the tomb raider where i recorded the gameplay at 120fps with obs running on the gtx 1080 and using nit for the encoding. The average frame rate dropped by about 28fps nbut when i moved obs over to the 1050 and had that do the encoding then i only nlost just 7fps while recording 120fps at 1080p. The story is similar with bandicam just that nobs manages to provide higher frame rates. While recording at 120fps on the 1050 action is sadly again at the bottom of this nlist with the biggest fps loss while recording at 120fps.

So what is the conclusion then to find out we should have a look at my list of pros and cons after using obs bandicam and action obs is free and open source. It uses a constant frame rate to record videos. Nwhich helps to avoid video and audio sync issues especially during editing. It offers a replay.

Buffer nyou. Can use a 2nd gpu to do the nvenc encoding. The encoder settings are highly customizable nperformance is close to shadowplay when you using a 2nd graphics card nyou can get better image quality than shadowplay 60fps recordings feel very smooth maybe thanks nto recording with cfr you can have up to 6 audio tracks in your nrecordings. Which is great for editing.

I never had a single corrupted recording nand it supports plugins but just by launching obs you reduce the games nframe rate and tools like rtss can cause problems for nthe game capture. I currently have the problem that i must close rtss or obs will nnot detect overwatch. I will even get a black screen when i select it manually as the hook fails when rtss is active. I know that others don t have that issue nand.

I only encounter it with overwatch so i don t know why it happens. But i still nwant to mention it as that might be also be problem for others. So..


If you are looking for a shadowplay alternative nthen probably the biggest downside of obs is that it does not have any in game overlay this means that when you have just one monitor nthen you have no idea. If obs detected the game that you are playing you have no way nto. Tell. If the recording is active and you get absolutely no feedback at all when you npress the hotkey to save the replay.

Buffer. So. If you can t run obs on a 2nd monitor nto check these things then this might be the only reason for your not to use obs. As nthis missing feedback makes it hard to use obs.

Sadly. There are also no plugins that nfully resolve this issue at least not as far as i am aware of then the replay buffer is not reset. When you nsave. It this means.

That when you have 8 minutes of ngameplay in your replay. Buffer and then save. It. Then you will get a videofile that is 8 minutes nlong when you save the replay buffer again one nminute later then you will get another 8 minutes long video instead of a 1 minute long video.

I would really prefer the replay buffer to nreset every time i save the buffer like it does in shadowplay and action. Another concern about the replay buffer is nthat. It is stored in your ram. I would really like to get the option to store nit on a drive like shadowplay and action.

Do as that helps gamers who don t have nthat much ram in their system. And lastly. Unlike. Shadowplay bandicam and naction obs cannot use the title of the game for the nrecorded video file.

Which makes organising the videos a bit harder than it has to be bandicam. Provided the best performance while nrecording. It can use a 2nd gpu for nvenc and when you nuse a 2nd gpu. Then you get a performance that is very close to shadowplay with a video nquality that is better than what shadowplay overs.

But not quite as good as what i got nin obs. However bandicam sometimes failed to detect nthe game. I had to launch it multiple times to get it to show the overlay and record it. But the even bigger issue was that when i ndidn t stop the recording before i closed the game or when a game crashed.

Then the nactive recording was corrupted and i could not recover it bandicam does come with a tool to fix broken nrecordings. But this does not work with mp4 files. It also does not have a replay buffer and nit. Only records with variable frame rate.

Which can cause audio and video sync issues. Also 60fps recordings in obs felt smoother nfor. Some reason. Which could be down to obs recording at a constant frame rate and bandicam only supports 2 audio tracks nwhich leaves you with less freedom when editing your recorded footage now how about action.

Unlike. Obs and bandicam. It never failed to ndetect a game it comes with a replay buffer and unlike bandicam. It never corrupted.

A recording. However. The replay buffer is limited to 13 nminutes and according to the website 1080p..


The encoder options are very limited as you ncan. Only choose between 4. Different presets. You cannot use a 2nd gpu to do the nvenc encoding.

It only supports recording with a variable nframe rate. 60fps recordings don t feel as smooth as nthose from obs it only supports 2 audio tracks which again nlimits your options if you are a content producer and it had the worst performance of all tested ntools as it had the biggest impact on the frame rate of the game so which of these tools should you choose nthen well. If you don t need more than 2 audio ntracks and if the shadowplay recordings. Don t give you a headache when you edit them then nyou can just stick with shadowplay.

But if you want the best possible video quality nthe smoothest recordings. 3. Or more audio tracks a replay. Buffer high performance nencoding and the ability to record at 120fps for some sick slow motion.

Frag videos. Then nobs is the best option. You just have to find a way to deal with the nissue that it doesn t have an in game overlay and that the game capture sometimes requires nthat you manually select the process of the game that you want to capture if you are a streamer and already use obs nthen. I encourage you to try and use a 2nd gpu for the nvenc encoding.

I have had a few people try that out and they nsaid that this fixed the frame drops that they had while streaming let me know in the comments down below. If nthat worked for you too. Now if you don t need a replay buffer or nmore than 2 audio tracks. But cannot live without an in game.

Overlay and want better video quality or the ability to record with 120fps. Then bandicam is a good solution as it doesn t have a big impact on the games frame rate while recording. And it also allows nyou to enhance the recording performance by using a 2nd gpu for nvenc. However to avoid that you lose a great gameplay nmoment to a broken recording you might want to create several shorter recordings.

And you absolutely want to make sure that you stop the recording before you exit the game. If action would allow you to tune the encoder nsettings to make the video quality better than shadowplay s or if it allowed you nto choose cfr instead of vfr. Then i could live with the lower frame rate that you get nwhile capturing your gameplay. And i might even recommend it over bandicam nthen.

As it never corrupted a recording and comes with a replay buffer. But based on the versions that i tested. I nhighly recommend that you give obs and bandicam a shot when you are looking for a shadowplay nalternative. So let me know in the comments down below nwhich recording software you use and if you tired to use a 2nd gpu for nvenc encoding.

I would be very interested to hear nhow that worked for you if you enjoy my videos. Then it would be great nif you could support me on patreon. As youtube s ad revenue is sadly not enough anymore to nrun a niche channel like mine. Without the awesome support that i get from nmy patrons.

Battle non sense would not exists. Anymore you can find a link to my patreon in the description. Ndown below. Where you will also find links to my social accounts in case.

That you want nto stay up to date on the videos that i am working on so if you enjoyed this video. Then please give nit a like subscribe for more and i hope to see you next time until then have a nice day and take care. ” ..


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