AMD's New Gaming Evolved App Adds Hardware Video Encoding, Twitch Support

When Nvidia unveiled its GeForce Experience application last year, AMD was quick to return fire, but the company's version of the Raptr software client lagged Nvidia's application in several areas. While both could be used to optimize a game for best performance, Raptr (nee Gaming Evolved) didn't have the same ability to record or stream in-game footage.

The company claims to have solved that problem with version 4.0 of the Gaming Evolved App, with the new ability to broadcast to Twitch, record footage to the hard drive, optimize games at the push of a button, and with new support for webcam overlays and voice capturing.

In short, Raptr appears to be baking in a lot of the features that GeForce Experience pioneered. Note that this isn't bad.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and giving AMD users an equivalent experience to what GeForce users enjoy is only a good thing.

There's some dispute over the claimed number of applications -- AMD's copy argues that it supports over 5000 games, whereas GeForce Experience only bakes in support for a mere 169 for GFE. As you might imagine, Nvidia strenously contests this, pointing out that they don't detect titles on a game-by-game basis and that you can flip "Record Desktop" on to enable recording in a title that might not support it. Which application is better on this front will have to remain in dispute, given that we've got no way to test AMD's claim -- but it seems safe to guess that the two are approaching parity on this front.

Raptr has evolved a great deal since it first debuted; the new version will optimize titles even if you don't have an AMD card in your system and recommend other games you might want to play. It seems to function like a hybrid of GeForce Experience and Steam in that regard, and its chat client option can connect to a variety of IM services. Overall, I'd say AMD is trying to do more things with Raptr than NV has tackled with GFE -- time will tell if that increased functionality is a positive or a distraction.

It's not clear if AMD is helping to monetize the game library and product stack or if that's Raptr's own idea -- some of the items available for purchase are tied to AMD products -- but the application appears to run perfectly on a GeForce, even if certain options, like the hardware-accelerated recording, aren't available if your GPU isn't based on GCN.

If you've got an AMD card, I'd say Gaming Evolved is worth the download -- even if you tend to optimize your titles by hand, I'm impressed with how much the application has improved in such a short time.