Knowing that not everyone who wants to record their gaming exploits has a top end gaming PC, we’ve designed FBX to run well on a wide range of hardware. So regardless of whether you’ve got the latest and greatest graphics card in your gaming rig, or if you’re using a potato PC that is a 10 year old hand me-down, here are 5 tips for getting the most out of your hardware…
Take advantage of game capture mode
FBX offers two capture modes – game mode and fullscreen mode. For best performance, game capture mode is the one to use.
The secret to the high performance that game capture mode is capable of is that it is able to inject itself into the game’s processes and capture the image for each frame directly from its source. This is much, much more efficient than waiting for the image to be handled by various other processes before finally arriving on your screen and then capturing from there.
Select the right encoder
Encoders come in various shapes and sizes. Broadly speaking, they can be broken down into 2 types – software encoders which are available to everyone and hardware encoders which require you to have specific hardware.
Hardware encoders make use of dedicated hardware on graphics cards or CPUs. This means that the PC’s CPU doesn’t have to work as hard to encode the video and can concentrate on making the game run as fast as possible. These are fairly common for most recent gaming PCs but older PCs or budget PCs may not include the necessary hardware.
Software encoders, on the other hand, use software that is installed in Windows with the encoding handled by the PC’s CPU instead of using dedicated hardware. They are available for all users though, even if you have the oldest, slowest potato PC there is.
As a general rule of thumb, a graphics card hardware encoder (look for NVidia or AMD encoders) will give the best performance out of all of the available encoders, with CPU encoders following them home not too far behind in second place. If you have both available to you, go for the graphics card encoder and consider the CPU encoder a backup just for if you have any problems.
Bringing up the rear are software encoders which will put an extra chunk of load on your PC’s CPU while it is already busy running the game. The performance and quality that these give will not be on the same level as what hardware encoders can achieve so our advice is only select one of these if you don’t have a hardware encoder available.
Be sensible with your frame rate
Before selecting your frame rate, it’s important to consider that as you increase the recording frame rate, more system resources (namely memory and CPU) will be required by FBX.
So if you’re using a lower spec PC to play a game that is already pushing your PC to the limit, setting a high recording fps is just going to put it under even more stress. As a result, both the game’s and FBX’s performance can suffer. This is especially true if you are using a software encoder that will be directly competing with the game for what CPU is left available. In such cases, dial back the recording frame rate to help alleviate this.
For this reason, it’s worth noting that to save you from being overly optimistic when using a software encoder, frame rates higher than 60 fps are locked. If the PC doesn’t have a hardware encoder, it’s unlikely to be powerful enough to give reasonable performance at those higher frame rates so it’s just not even worth trying. It’ll just end it disappointment!
Also consider the frame rate that the game is running at. If the game is locked to 30 fps, then recording at 60 fps will give you no benefit and will just make your PC work harder than is necessary. Again, this could actually harm the game’s performance.
Similarly, if your PC can only manage to run a game at 60 fps, don’t chose a recording frame rate of 144 fps in the hope that FBX may work miracles. All that will do is make it tougher for the PC to maintain those 60 fps. Choose an fps close to what the game is actually running at instead and you’ll usually get better results.
Consider your game’s settings as well
Instead of reducing the amount of memory and CPU that FBX requires, you could come at it from the other angle and free up some of these resources by reducing how much the game needs.
Reducing the game’s resolution is a very quick and easy way to do this, especially if you are have a lower spec PC. We’ve lost count of the number of times that we’ve seen users trying to record Roblox at 1440p on an ancient PC and they are then confused about why the results aren’t what they hoped for. Actually reducing the game’s resolution has a double benefit because it will not only reduce the resources that the game needs but also FBX (since it will now be capturing from a smaller area).
Alternatively, you could dial back some of the game’s graphics settings. If your PC is struggling to record smoothly while you have ‘Ultra’ selected across the board, try dialling some of the settings back to ‘High’ or even ‘Medium’ if need be.
Free up resources
There have been quite a few mentions of system resources already in this list but it cannot be overstated how important they are to maximising performance.
So far we’ve only considered the resource demands of your game and FBX but it’s probable that you will have other things running on your PC at the same. Many will happily sit in the background, seemingly keeping out of the way but you may be surprised at how much impact they can have on your gaming and recording performance.
Google Chrome, for example, is notoriously memory hungry, especially if there are a bunch of different tabs open in it. Even if it’s sat minimised to your taskbar, it will still be denying your game and FBX some of that precious memory which you can never have enough of.
Closing anything that you are not actively using will maximise the amount of free memory that is then available while you are recording. And more memory, will usually mean better performance – for both your game and FBX.