First a big thank you to for providing Fraps 2.6.4 for this Review.

For those of you who don't know, Fraps is a program that runs in the background of windows. With this software you can hit a hot key and record a video of a game your in or you can capture a screen shots of the game your in. It Also has the ability to tell you how many frames a second your getting in game.

Above is a screen shot of the of the general tab. In this tab you have your basic options like if the program should be minimized when its loaded up. You also have the option of having the program start when windows restarts every time. As you can see in the screen shot you also have who the program is registered to and also what version of the program you have.

In the FPS tab you see above you also have some pretty basic options such as where you want the Frames per second counter to be displayed on your screen. You can also set the Hot key that turns the FPS counter on and off. There are also a few other options in there that shouldn't be to hard to figure out.

In the Movies tab you have a few options in here as well. Its important to note when your recording movies you will take a pretty massive frame rate hit in game. So if you have Fraps on its default settings and your only getting 40 frames per second in game expect that to drop to 10 frames per second in game. If you have a fast computer you may not notice that big of a hit. Recording a video and trying to play a modern video game will bog down most machines and thats something to keep in mind.

The best way to stop that kind of frame per second hit while recording is to record videos in half size. This reduces the load on the computer when your playing the game while recording a video. Again this all depends on what your machine specs are to begin with. If your computer is old don't expect to use Fraps and not notice a performance hit.

With the Movies tab you also have the ability to select how many fps at witch you record your video. Again the higher you set this number the worse the performance is going to be in game while recording. You also have the option to record sound or not to record it. If you choose not to record the sound then that will help performance wise and will also give you a smaller video file when your done recording.

In terms of the Audio selection you have with Fraps if you going to be recording any video footage while your also on Team Speak I would suggest you leave Team Speak and do your recording. If you don't leave anything you here including chat in Team Speak will get echoed back to the Team Speak channel your in. This really only applies if you have the sound input selected to “What U Here”

The only other thing to keep in mind about recording videos in general using Fraps is that the end video file will be huge. 1 minute with audio can be several hundred megs depending on how you have the size of the capture setup. As is noted with the help file for fraps the video inst really compressed all that much so the video files are quite large. What this means is that if your planning on making movies for the Internet or movies you want someone to download you have to load the movies up into a editor of some sort and then convert them to something like Divx in order to get the size of the video down.

This last screen shot above is of the Screen Shot tab. You have the option here to set your hot key up to capture a screen shot along with where you want that file to be saved. You can also select what format you want the Screen Shot saved in as well. One nifty feature is you can set the Screen Shots up to be taken every so often and automatically saved to a folder. This is good because then you can play the game and not worry about capturing screens. The view button is handy as well, it will put windows explorer in the folder where you have the Screen Shots saved to so you can then view your Screen Shots.

In conclusion Fraps is a handy program to have, if your into taking videos of your games. The price for Fraps at the time of this article is $37 U.S and thats not to bad, its less then the cost of a single game. I would like to see more control in the way the audio is handled but aside from that I like the program. If you missed the link above here is the link to the Fraps web site where you can get a demo version or purchase the full version of Fraps.

Fraps was tested on the following machine..

AMD XP 2500
ATI 9800 PRO 128 MEG