Having the ability to record your monitor's activity is not only a must for every hardcore gamer, but it is also a feature 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 is 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 important 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.
Dxtory: Key Features
1.1 What is Dxtory really?
Dxtory is an incredibly powerful movie capture tool for DirectX and OpenGL Applications. It is currently available for Windows only because Dxtory Mac has not been released yet.
1.2 Capture Capability
Dxtory is capable of high-speed recording because the program receives data from a surface memory buffer. Due to the nature of Dxtory's codec, original pixel data can be recorded, and thus, videos are recorded in the highest quality without any loss. However, as it can create high-quality clips, this obviously means larger file sizes, which can cause difficulties for users when trying to share and manage their files.
In terms of audio output, there are six different audio codecs for you to choose from, and each codec has a wide range of different formats. Usually, the one selected by default will produce the best sound for your video. As for video output format, by default, Dxtory saves your recordings in AVI format, but you can also record in RawCap. Screenshots can be saved in 4 different image formats: PNG, JPEG, BMP, and TGA, and their quality can be adjusted manually on a scale of 100.
1.3 Recording Performance
Dxtory is preferred by many users because of its compactness and its ability to support up to 120FPS (Frames Per Second) recording.
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 numerous settings options are there to give you a lot more configuration and set-up options.
One of the features that make Dxtory stand out from all other recording software is that it allows you to personalize your screenshots by adjusting their margins. Moreover, you can fully customize the layout of the program. You can change the color of the status indicator and position it anywhere you want on the screen. Another unique feature of Dxtory is that it lets you record audio from multiple sources simultaneously.
Fraps: Key Features
Fraps can be considered as a universal Windows screen recording program that can be used to record especially gameplays utilizing DirectX or OpenGL graphics technology.
If you are new to screen recording, Fraps is the way to go. Its 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 for capturing capabilities. With Fraps, you will be able to customize frames per second for your recording and choose between full-size and half-size recordings. However, it does not let you fine-tune your capture settings to the extent Dxtory lets you.
2.2 Output Formats
Fraps records video in AVI format, and because there is very little compression, file sizes will be large. If you want to have your recorded videos in a different format, you will need to use an external converter. In terms of screenshot output formats, you have slightly more flexibility as you can choose to save your screenshots in one of the following formats: BMP, JPG, PNG, and TGA. The output format and quality of your audio cannot be modified.
In terms of performance, gamers face a common issue when using Fraps because it decreases game performance while recording, lagging, and choppy gameplay being a frequent response to video games.
In comparison to Dxtory, Fraps does not let you record in any chosen resolution. It supports up to 768 x 480 resolution recording; however, Fraps' not-so-effective compression technique will produce massive files using these settings. So how to record the 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.
If you are new to screen recording, Fraps is the way to go. Its simple and user-friendly interface makes it easier to use than any of its competitors on the market. There is a separate tab for managing screenshots and movies so that each process can be set up separately, and you can get a clear overview of your settings for each.
2.4 Extra Features
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 records 30 seconds at a time 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 it is an ideal solution for all other purposes.
AceThinker Screen Grabber Premium (Windows and Mac)
AceThinker Screen Grabber Premium is a tool that can record anything that appears on your computer screen in HD quality like 720p or 1080p. It can also be in full screen, region, and an external webcam.
Once you open the tool, it will show you its recording options like Video Recorder, Audio Recorder, or Screen Capture. Since we are tackling screen recording, choose “Video Recorder.”
This screen recorder can record any activity on your screen like gameplay video, tutorials, webinars, and more. It can also record 4K quality movies and have the same output as you are watching it live. Another good thing about this tool is it allows you to record your screen and webcam simultaneously, perfect for video blogs since it can include the audio from your PC or microphone.
3.3 Output Formats
Screen Grabber Premium lets you choose its default format to MP4, WMV, AVI, MOV, F4V, TS, and GIF.
3.4 Extra features and price
It has a feature called the Task Scheduler that allows you to set a date and time to record your screen automatically, excellent for recording scheduled live stream videos. All of these are available for only $29.95 for its PRO license.
As you can see in the table below, both Dxtory and Fraps are great tools to finalize your chosen activity with, however, they have different advantages and disadvantages outlined here in more details.
|Dxtory||Fraps||Screen Grabber Premium|
|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||It can record computer screen in lossless quality and up to 60 fps|
|Audio Quality||Perfect, utilizing PCM codec by default for audio||Good audio quality, no distortion||This tool can capture audio in lossless and no lag quality|
|Audio Compatibility||Up to 8 audio sources||Up to 2 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||It can perform in its highest performance because of its low CPU usage|
|Operation||Smooth recording, no black screens or no frame-dropping||Most smooth gameplay and recording||Very smooth and easy to use|
|CPU usage||Strong dependence on the graphics card||Very low CPU usage||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 are plenty of other criteria which the two can be analyzed with that requires a bit more advanced technical knowledge. Each software is good for its own reasons, with the major difference is 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 software 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 the ability to upload your clip directly to YouTube.