How Much Does NVIDIA ShadowPlay Affect FPS?

How Much Does NVIDIA ShadowPlay Affect FPS? Answered |

NVIDIA ShadowPlay is a screen recording feature available only in NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience software for GeForce GPUs. This feature allows you to capture, record, and share your gameplay. It is now available in the “In-Game Overlay” feature of NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience utility.

Using software to capture your gameplay can sometimes affect the frames; it can cause lag and high latency because the software also uses the rendering performance of a GPU. NVIDIA ShadowPlay is one of the most effective software to capture gameplay in good quality with minimum delay and frame loss.

We will show you the comparison results of NVIDIA ShadowPlay and whether it affects the frames. We will also discuss and answer your questions about screen recording and how you can easily record your gameplay using NVIDIA Shadowplay without losing frames, so stay tuned and dive in.

How Much Does NVIDIA ShadowPlay Affect FPS?

NVIDIA ShadowPlay has a direct effect on your FPS. This effect depends on the type of hardware you have and its compatibility. Low-end hardware will show poor performance as compared to high-end hardware. According to NVIDIA, it showed a 5% difference in low-end and a 10% difference in high-end games.

Almost all of the screen or game recording software uses the rendering performance of the GPU to capture. Most of the time, the difference depends on your PC build and whether it supports rendering that allows you to record without causing lag or latency issues.

A low-end PC can affect the frames, causing laggy gameplay and bad capture. Gaming PCs are recommended to capture your gameplay smoothly because they are built differently from mainstream personal computers. They are built with the latest components and high standards.

They are specialized computers with high-performance graphic cards, a processor with a higher core count, and more RAM. Just make sure you have the right hardware to avoid the hassle. NVIDIA ShadowPlay only works for GeForce GTX 750 or higher GPU. There are some compatibility requirements for this feature.

General System Requirements

Hardware Requirements
Desktop GPU GeForce GTX 750 or higher
Notebook Graphics (iGPU) GTX850M, 860M, 950M, 960M or higher
Driver GeForce 496.13 Driver or later
CPU Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz or AMD Athlon II X4 630 2.8GHZ or higher
RAM 4GB or higher

These are the minimum system requirements to run the “In-Game Overlay” of NVIDIA GeForce, allowing you to use the “ShadowPlay” feature to capture games. But remember that these requirements are only for ShadoowPlay, not the game you want to capture because it will require its own recommended requirements.

How Much Does NVIDIA ShadowPlay Affect FPS? Answered |


Different hardware will affect different games accordingly. For example, the GeForce RTX 4090 will have no issues capturing any new Triple-A title games, but the old GeForce GTX 1060 can have issues even running these games. So, it depends on the hardware and the game you want to capture.

If the game you want to capture runs smoothly over 60 frames, you will have no issues capturing the gameplay in 30 FPS. Some games can give you over 100 frames captured in 60 FPS. Capturing frames makes a huge difference in recording; 60 FPS capture will look much smoother.

In this before and after comparison below, you can easily evaluate that it hinders the frames a bit, but if you have good hardware components, you won’t notice the difference. Competitive gaming can be affected by game recording because it can cause lag.

How Much Does NVIDIA ShadowPlay Affect FPS? Answered |

But as mentioned above, these results can differ depending on your hardware and the game. You can also easily compare your gameplay by monitoring the performance and frames using “Performance Overlay” in GeForce Experience’s built-in overlay feature.


To enable the HUD options and performance overlay, first, you need to open your “In-Game Overlay” of Geforce Experience. Press “ALT+Z” to open the overlay and go to the settings in the lower right corner. You can also access these options in GeForce Experience settings. Just make sure you have it enabled.

How Much Does NVIDIA ShadowPlay Affect FPS? Answered |


After opening the settings tab, click “HUD layout” on the second number. It features all the options, including NVIDIA’s Connect, keyboard shortcuts, your recordings, LIVE streaming broadcast, game highlights, a photo mode with game filter, and audio settings below.

You can also access your captured videos from here. Notification, privacy control, and performance monitoring location settings are provided below.

How Much Does NVIDIA ShadowPlay Affect FPS? Answered |

Click on the “Performance Tab” and select any of the bottom three options according to the statistics you want to monitor. This monitor overlay shows real-time hardware performance. You can easily track your frames and make conclusions according to your hardware.

First, “Basic” will only show you the FPS. The second will also show you render latency and GPU/CPU utilization. The third option enables all the performance monitor options that allow you to monitor your PC’s clock speed, voltage, and temperature. You can press ALT+R to show and hide the performance overlay.

How Much Does NVIDIA ShadowPlay Affect FPS? Answered |

How To Capture Gameplay Using NVIDIA ShadowPlay?

It is fairly simple to capture and record your screen or game using NVIDIA ShadowPlay. This built-in feature of GeForce GPUs is much more reliable than any third-party software. Free software often comes with a watermark; paying to capture your game can be costly, and software cracks can cause serious issues.

NVIDIA ShadowPlay offers free-of-cost, best-quality captures without any watermarks. If you own a GeForce GPU, you can easily edge out some of these features to gain more access and freedom. To start your recording, open “In-Game Overlay” by pressing ALT+Z. Now click on the “Record” tab and press “Start.”

How Much Does NVIDIA ShadowPlay Affect FPS? Answered |

You can instantly start or stop the recording by pressing the ALT+F9 shortcut key. While gaming, turn on the recording, and press ALT+R to show the performance overlay monitor. You can easily analyze if the NVIDIA ShadowPlay recording affects your gaming frames.

Does ShadowPlay Record 120 FPS?

The highest available framerate in the NVIDIA ShadowPlay is currently limited to 60 FPS. Hence, it won’t let you exceed this limit; there are only two options to select from, which are 30 FPS and 60 FPS. You can use any other third-party software like OBS to capture custom 120 FPS videos.

You can also modify the video capture settings of the NVIDIA ShadowPlay in the settings below. Here, you can see the frame rate options. Modification settings include instant replay length that can be maximized to 20 minutes. Resolution and bitrate are recommended according to your GPU and Display.

If you want to capture a smooth gameplay video, capturing it at 60 FPS will be more than enough. Even though the game runs in higher frames, capturing those doesn’t matter if the gameplay is smooth. Most of the gameplay videos on YouTube are still in 30 FPS.

Video frames don’t matter as much as game frames because a smooth video can also be only 30 frames per second. A video will only get laggy if the game lags during the capture.

How Much Does NVIDIA ShadowPlay Affect FPS? Answered |

Is GeForce FPS Accurate?

GeForce FPS (frames per second) measurements are generally considered accurate in gaming performance. However, slight variations and discrepancies are possible due to device configuration, software settings, and external boundaries. 

For a comprehensive evaluation of overall gaming performance, it is recommended to use FPS as a reference and consider hardware capabilities, game optimization, and player experience.

GeForce Experience’s Performance Overlay uses real-time data to monitor a single frame per second, which is accurate. GeForce Experience features are based on extensive testing across various hardware. These are built to provide a balanced performance.

Does ShadowPlay Use CPU Or GPU?

ShadowPlay, the NVIDIA game capture and recording feature, typically uses the GPU rather than the CPU. It utilizes the hardware-multiplied video encoder integrated into NVIDIA GPUs to capture and encode gameplay images with minimal impact on CPU performance. 

It allows for effective and excellent video capture while preserving the fluidity of gameplay. NVIDIA ShadowPlay is a feature only for GeForce lineup GPUs, which simply means it uses GPU acceleration while recording or streaming. Moreover, bottlenecks can cause unstable usage of both CPU and GPU. GPU rendering allows a user to record the gameplay smoothly.

How Much Does NVIDIA ShadowPlay Affect FPS? Answered |

Is ShadowPlay Good For Low-End PC?

ShadowPlay, NVIDIA’s built-in display screen recording and streaming software program, can benefit low-end PCs. It uses hardware encoding to minimize the impact on the overall performance, allowing easy gameplay recording and streaming even on less effective machines. 

However, adjusting the settings appropriately, including lowering the recording resolution or frame charge, is critical to optimize overall performance on low-end PCsGeForce GTX 750 or higher GPU only supports NVIDIA ShadowPlay. 

It is fair to say that ShadowPlay is good for low-end PCs, but this also depends on the game you want to capture. However, the overall performance of NVIDIA ShadowPlay is quite good for low-end PCs.


NVIDIA ShadowPlay can affect your FPS only 5 to 10 percent, depending on your hardware and the game you want to capture. The high-end gaming PC will face no issue recording the gameplay at 60 FPS. But low-end PCs can cause lag and unstable frames.

NVIDIA ShadowPlay is now a feature in the “In-Game Overlay” of NVIDIA GeForce Experience that allows you to capture games and customize settings. It also includes a performance monitor that helps you see stats of your GPU performance, frame temperature, etc.

You can easily trace and monitor your game’s FPS using the “In-Game Overlay” Performance Tab. The data is processed as 1 fame per second. It is a very reliable and safe option. All of the data shown in the Performance Tab is, in fact, accurate, and you can modify the settings for advanced monitoring.

Start your recording in NVIDIA ShadowPlay and monitor the difference in your FPS before and after the recording to get an idea of your hardware and how much it affects you. GeForce ShadowPlay only allows you to capture in 30 or 60 FPS. All of the capture settings are customizable.

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