If you've read our GeForce GTX 780 review, you may remember us making mention of an upcoming Nvidia feature called ShadowPlay. We described it as an always-on DVR for gaming, so that should give you an idea of what this feature does.
As part of a GeForce Experience software package coming June 25, ShadowPlay leverages the NVEnc fixed-function encoder built into Kepler-based GPUs and automatically records passing gameplay. The user can manually select the rolling block of time recorded, be it the last two minutes or 20 minutes. This way, if something particularly interesting happens during the game, a hotkey combination will trigger an instant saving of the past set amount of time to a file, and a new rolling record file is started. Those who crave ultimate control can also use hotkeys to start and stop recording, similar to how it works for other tools like Fraps.
So why not just use Fraps? Besides the rolling record feature, ShadowPlay incurs far less of a performance hit. Where Fraps records the raw data, ShadowPlay encodes and compresses more efficiently into an H.264 video file, which leaves more system resources to outputting frames. This also means that ShadowPlay video files are just a fraction of the size of a Fraps output – we're talking hundreds of megabytes with ShadowPlay rather than gigabytes with Fraps.
Ultimately, ShadowPlay will be a boon to gamers who love to record and share their gaming moments. This will make it easier than ever.