Recording Gameplay: OBS, ShadowPlay, and other whatnot


@ducksauce88 Man, you gotta use Shadow Play… It has pretty much no impact on PC! And you can just 1 button and it will save last 5 minutes. Like the PS Share button. Or manually start and stop… Whatever you want.

Overwatch Highlight/PotG Thread

Well I have been recording/streaming alot anyway, but I will enable this because that is a really nice feature to have. I’m slowly building up vids for a nice Tracer montage.


I’m in the camp of “record everything then pick out what you want.” ShadowPlay can be fine, but I prefer h.264 encoding, and if you’ve got the HDD space to support it, I can’t think of a good reason not to record nonstop (unless you absolutely hate the idea of editing, but even with a 5 minute recording, you’re still going to have to edit at least a little bit) :wink:


I have been recording everything since i log in to play. I Have a 1TB HDD just for videos and h.264 is what i get from ShadowPlay. Right now i am using this setting:

Video: MPEG4 Video (H264) 1280x720 59.94fps 13913kbps [V: h264 high L4.1, yuv420p, 1280x720, 13913 kb/s]
Audio: AAC 48000Hz stereo 196kbps [A: SoundHandler (aac lc, 48000 Hz, stereo, 196 kb/s)]

Simply because it will take me ages to upload 1080p to the Youtubes haha


Neat. When I messed with it forever ago I don’t recall having near that many options. I think I still prefer OBS if I need to do recording on the same system as I’m playing on (this is partly to do with my familiarity with the software), but it looks like ShadowPlay could be a completely viable alternative.


Also, I have changed my OBS settings to use the GPU for encoding. This allowed me to stream at a much higher bitrate too.

Credit @Bradum for informing me.


Give it a try, You honestly will have no impact while recording at extreme high bitrate.

Good, now i can watch in 60fps!


Oh there’s an impact, it’s just not on your CPU anymore. As I’ve got an i7, I can afford to use the CPU to encode (and I have a separate rig to record anyhow; I almost never do same-rig recording).


Video encoding has FAR less impact on GPU performance than CPU performance. Encoding an h.265 video with no CUDA (i.e. no GPU, CPU at full load) would take me like… 6 hours… With CUDA, it uses like… 5% gpu power to help, and it encodes in like… 20 min. And I also have an i7.


I said encode, meant record. Point is, I’ve got unused CPU potential in my rig but not GPU. As an example, I get 60-70 FPS in Overwatch; were I to need to record on this machine while gaming, I’d sooner use the extra power I have on my i7 over taking a hit to my FPS by using ShadowPlay. Some of us have a single GPU system that was above average a couple years ago :wink:


I can promise you that you will take less of an FPS hit by using NVENC rather than CPU encoding.

Look at @ducksauce88… He has a 6-core i7 and sees WAY better performance by using his GPU rather than his CPU.

And in this situation “encode” and “record” are the same thing.


Testing because I’m curious, not because I ever record on this computer. My hypothesis is I will see no difference in frames because the settings I use I spent a good deal of time optimizing, but we will see.


Youtube 1080p is 8000Kbps, so record at that.


That’s what my default record settings are on this rig :wink:


OK, so despite ShadowPlay being significantly-improved from the last time I messed with it, it’s still not my thing. Part of this is based on how my setup is, part of it has to do with ShadowPlay’s setup.

To its credit, there were far less resources used to record a comparable video with ShadowPlay as opposed to OBS for the purposes of YouTube upload (that said, per my hypothesis, I can record above YouTube quality on OBS without any FPS issues in Overwatch). ShadowPlay can also record at a far higher quality than OBS with negligible (but still present) FPS issues given my current rig.

Against it (and my chief complaint) is the mandatory full screen it seems to demand. I have more than one monitor and run borderless window on all games as a result. Additionally, it has a bitrate cap lower than my separate recording system (not that it matters overmuch for YouTube and streaming, but I like having all my bits there when I go back and look at videos and such).

ShadowPlay is better than OBS at recording on the same rig for a YouTube upload (though it matters not one way or the other if you have the CPU headroom, which I do), but it doesn’t matter given my setup and I’ll probably never use it. Even given its improved performance potential for streaming, I prefer the added customization options afforded by OBS.


Did you play around with h.264 CPU encoding vs Nvidia NVENC encoding in OBS?


I hate NVENC; the quality last time I messed with it was absolute shit. We’re talking so bad I was amazed it was somehow a thing. I tried it some time ago when I was building out my optimal settings in OBS, but the experience was so bad I’m not even willing to give it another chance. It could be the cure for cancer and I’ll never know nor care.


Maybe I’ll enable my iGPU again and use QuickSync.


Swear on me mum, QuickSync looked better than NVENC when I was messing with it.


I’ve found Shadowplay to work with borderless; odd you had issues. It is def more convenient for quick records from what I’ve seen, but OBS will always beat it at streaming.