How to Check your FPS in any Game

Fraps Logo

I’ve seen a lot of people searching search engines with “how to check fps on X game” landing on BenchmarK3D. Well it’s a simple matter if you have the right software, but what if you don’t know what is the right software? I’m here to tell you just that.

There are quite a few applications and software out there that will tell you your FPS or frames per seconds. While some software are free usually the best ones are not so I will give you a list and you will chose one or more based on their capabilities and your requirements.

Beepa Fraps

The most used software to show your FPS is Beepa Fraps. Unfortunately Fraps is not free but has a free version with a few limitations. The free version of Fraps allows you to show your FPS on-screen, lets you record videos and screenshots. The most important function of Fraps is that it lets you benchmark games. Fraps can record: frame rate, minimum, average and maximum FPS and the frame times, all at the same time. It writes all the data in .xml docs for later viewing. Fraps costs 37$ and can be bought right from their website:

Key Features (Full Version):

  • Take Screenshots (bmp, jpg, png, tga)
  • Record Video (any framerate, half-size/full-size, stereo/multichannel audio, uncompressed)
  • Record to file (FPS, mininmum FPS, average FPS, maximum FPS, frametimes, record for how long you want)
  • On Screen Display (OSD):

  • FPS Only

  • fraps osd

    fraps gui

    MSI Afterburner

    The second most used and best software is MSI Afterburner. This software is actually free and you don’t need any MSI hardware to use it. With MSI Afterburner you can record lots and lots of things like: FPS, GPU Usage, GPU temperature, FAN speed, Memory and GPU Clock speeds. Afterburner lets you record all that data to a file or on the OSD (on screen display). It also allows the user to record movies (without sound) and screenshots. Although it lets you compress movies this isn’t a really good idea as it will slow your system down considerably. A really good feature of MSI Afterburner is that it lets you overclock your GPU and save that to a profile. You can get MSI Afterburner from here: MSI Website

    Key Features:

  • Take Screenshots (bmp, png, jpg, quality settings)
  • Record Video (10-100 FPS, choose video format and quality)
  • Record to file (FPS, GPU temp, GPU usage, Fan speed, Fan tachometer, Core Clock, Memory Clock)
  • Overclock (GPU Core and Memory Clocks)
  • Change FAN behaviour

    On Screen Display (OSD):

  • FPS
  • GPU Usage
  • GPU Temp
  • Fan Speed
  • Fan tachometer
  • Core Clock
  • Memory Clock

  • msi afterburner osd

    msi afterburner gui

    Although MSI Afterburner is more feature rich and free I actually use it very rarely, I usually stick with Fraps which has a smaller memory footprint. I only use MSI Afterburner for the GPU usage.

    If you need the capabilities of both programs you can use MSI Afterburner and Fraps at the same time, I’m doing it all the time and haven’t noticed any incompatibilities between the two.

    Here’s a video showing more clearly the differences between the two programs when it comes to video recording, as you will see FPS produces more “stable” videos than MSI Afterburner.

    So there you have it, if you just want to know what is your FPS at all times you can go with the free version of Fraps, but if you want more than just see your FPS you’ll have to use MSI Afterburner.

    • Deadly

      Fraps is not better, it’s laggy! And of course using two programs at once will make one program slower genius! Afterburner is free and better!

    • Evo

      Thumbs up for MSI :))