Although I have access to all kinds of software, finding a proper one for my personal use becomes an annoying thing sometimes. That's maybe because I tend to notince only the bad things from a software or maybe because I know that there should be a better one undiscovered yet. One of these examples, that really surprised me was Fraps. A tiny but very powerful software. With the help of Direct X and OpenGL technology, this software can capture in realtime any video source from your desktop, can save screenshots in BMP, PNG, JPG formats and can be used also as benchmarking software.
The main reason I searched for this software was the need of a very good capturing program, especially for games. I was using SnagIt, which is a very good capture program, when you want to capture forms, windows, scrolling windows, web pages, but problems appear when you want to capture almost any game that uses DirectX. That's because a lot of the latest games don't support the Alt+Tab command anymore. So I began to search for a software that doesn't have these problems.
Fraps manages all these problems by saving the captures directly into any folder, without any prompting message or any preview screen. This can be done by using hotkeys which can be activated from the main interface. You won't feel anything wrong in the game while you make these screenshots.
The same goes with the video capturing. This represents the best part of this appllication. The game will not slow down a moment (unless you have a really poor system), and the resulting video file has an astonishing quality. All this while I was running a game at a resolution of 1280x1024. The reason for this is because the application won't use any compression tool for capturing the video. It will be saved in a pure AVI format without compression. You won't get any framed clips and the sound will match the image prefectly. The bad part is that this uncompressed AVI file will use a huge space of your hard-drive. After any capturing session, you should use a conversion software for compressing the file. The easiest one would be Movie Maker which is already integrated in your system as a component of your Windows OS.
Fraps can be used also as a Benchmarking Software, by monitoring the frames of any game. The FPS counter can be displayed on the screen along with the game. The statistics can be saved on your disk for further analyzes and reviews.
Pluses: it can capture video streaming with sound; can save screenshots in BMP, PNG and JPG formats; the use of hotkeys; it can show FPS on your screen while you are playing; high quality video capture.
Drawbacks / flaws:
In conclusion: If you can close your eyes to this price, FRAPS will completely meet your expectations.