Video Capture Using Xfire

In my previous entry, I wrote about Xfire and how it was unfortunately experiencing problems at the time. In that entry I also ranted a little about how bad the video capture function on Xfire was, albeit it’s still in beta-testing stage.

After Xfire servers came up again, I decided to try out the video capture again. After, it’s been 3 releases since video capture first appeared back in v1.86. Current version of Xfire as of this writing is v1.89. There has to be some improvements made, otherwise why release new versions?

Surprisingly, framerates didn’t drop by alot this time. In fact, I could almost say that it matches FRAPS now. Well, almost, anyway. In a quick test run, under GRAW, FRAPS showed 50 FPS in a certain scene. Turning on FRAPS capture without moving or shooting, lowered the framerates to about 20 (I know, it’s weird. FRAPS normally doesn’t drop the framerates that much). Turning off FRAPS brought the framerates back up to about 45 to 50.

This time, I turned on the video capture on Xfire. Framerates dropped from 50 to about 19 or 18.

To me, that’s amazing. It almost matched FRAP’s score. In fact, trying to play the game under Xfire’s video capture is alot smoother now. I can still feel sluggishness, but still, not like a slide-show that Xfire video capture used to be.

As a test, I played the mission “Strong Bear” and recorded 2 sections of the whole mission, one using each method of video capture, as a test.

The video above, the rescue of the tank crew, was shot entirely in FRAPS, at 1024×768 full resolution. It looks sucky only because I resized it downwards by 50% to 512×384 before uploading to Vimeo. The test was on framerate smoothness, not on visual quality anyway.

This clip above is shot entirely using Xfire’s video capture function at 512×384 resolution. Remember, it’s still in beta, meaning that more improvements are to be expected on subsequent versions.

Throughout both clips, framerates hovered around 15 to 25 mark. On Xfire Video capture mode, the framerates were marginally lower when compared to FRAPS. As mentioned before, when I turned on video capture in Xfire, I could “feel” the sluggishness of the game almost immediately. With FRAPS however, I don’t.

Comparing smoothness, FRAPS still wins. However, Xfire is fast catching up, seeing as how bad it was in v1.86, a scant 3 releases ago. Once Xfire manages to match FRAPS in performance, I bet many more new people will sign up with Xfire just to use the video capture function!

Why? Because Xfire is FREE, and you have to pay for FRAPS. Xfire can do more than just capture video – you can chat on it, it records your game hours, you can browse gaming servers etc. FRAPS basically is just a framerate benchmarking and video capture tool only.

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