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My Review of Raptr/AMD Gaming Evolved, over a year later.

I have been using Raptr and AMD Gaming Evolved for over a year. I joined back in Oct of 2013, and frankly I don't remember it that much. I had at one point forgot that it was installed on my computer until they added in recording. I remember the day that we got the power to record past events, the power to record current events and the power to stream. I have actively used Raptr/AMD GE for nearly 10 months straight and while some things are buggy and annoying, others are great and could always use a great polish to them. I have been active in the community and have helped many people sort out technical issues and improve their game play. I have made some good friends who are willing to play side by side with me on the battlefield. I have seen some great and massive spam events and issues. Do not let me get started on the "giftcard code" spam. That was worse than the black plague and spread faster than it too. This sticks to my mind as it was in the middle of BattleFest contest, I did end up winning a GPU and I'm using it daily and to great use. I was one of the big pushers to report and inform people that they were spreading a link that was infecting computers, and somehow I ended up getting banned from Raptr!! Thankfully that I was able to message Thresh on Twitter and I was overturned within a few hours. 

The recording aspect of Raptr/AMD GE has always been my personal favorite thing about it. I have about 500gb of recorded footage that at some point I need to start making into vidoes for youtube. From randomly firing a RPG into the air and knocking out a chopper, to taking down masses of players in a rampage that rambo would be proud of, I was able to record them all with Raptr/AMD GE.  

Sadly the streaming part of Raptr/AMD GE, I have to put it in the spotlight and shame it. I use to stream, and I do plan on getting my stream going again. I have tried several programs to stream footage to Twitch.TV and I have made a choice to go with a certain free streaming software. This comes out of the fact that while simply hitting a keybind to start streaming is wonderful, the limitations are really holding it back. The single fact that if I exit a game to change servers or I happen to crash that my stream instantly stops is a bummer. But with the very limited choice of quality, I can not set up a stream that provides great quality for my viewers. At first I thought I was unable to stream at 1080p 30FPS with a max bit rate of 3000. But after testing with other software I was able to stream at 1080p 30fps with a max bit rate of 3000. So I lowered the settings on Raptr/AMD GE, but instead of being able to go from 1080p to a scale I wanted. I was offered to go to either do 50% or 25%. To those of you who do not know resolution scaling off the top of your head, 50% of 1080p is 720p. This seems great for computers that can not handle the stress of streaming 1080p while gaming, it didn't turn out so well. Instead of doing 720p you are offered 960x544. Yikes, while this seems logical from the standpoint of taking half of 1920x1080p and calling it 50%. This is not how it is suppose to work. Mathematically 1920x1080 is about 2 megapixels. 720p is not 1920x720 but rather 1280x720 which comes out at a hair under 1 megapixel. Which when downgrading size would considered 50% of 1080p. 

Now I could very easily overlook the scaling for streaming. I would love to, but here is the bigger issue. While streaming using Raptr/AMD GE, my stream comes out pixelated to the point that people asked if I had fast enough internet. I have tested this and while using the same settings as Rapr/AMD Ge, I found that other software would perform wonderfully. The one thing that I would really want as a streamer is the power to overlay my twitch chat on my screen as im gaming. This allows me to respond to viewers without having to use a second screen. Sadly if I want to use this feature I must stream with Raptr/AMD GE. The poor quality, lack of advanced options, lack of stream overlays, lack of scenes for blocking out text and other uses, and most of all the fact that if my game crashes or I exit game to change servers that my stream instantly stops is a big turn off. 

Now I could keep going on about what I do not like about the streaming feature, but I have other issues I would like to address. Recently my keyboard has stopped responding while gaming and only while gaming. After a very deep look at my system and keystroke stats, I have found that Raptr/AMD GE was randomly creating input that was telling my computer that my Page Up key was pressed and this would cause my keyboard to lock up. To fix the issue I had to quickly hit Page Up to maybe if I was lucky give me 10 minutes of gameplay. I had to go into the keybinds for Raptr/AMD GE and change them to keys that would not interfere with my gaming. Sadly there is no way to remove a keybind, you must always keep all keybind options bound. I even tried to use my keyboard software to disable the Page Up key to prevent the issue in the first place, but thats when I learned that the simulated input was not keyboard based but software based. It was one hell of a panic to switch to my desktop, open my keyboard software, enable the key, and go back to my game to hit the key to make my keyboard work again. 

That was annoying, but on the bright side I learned a bit about simulated input, or as I like to call it, software ghost input. But that has nothing on the honest most annoying problem I have had for not weeks, but months. While gaming from time to time my recording will break and it will either not record or will produce a file that is only a few bits. This is down right the worst feeling in the world to go try upload a great clip to only find that it was messed up and no way to get it back. This does not happen once, if I have a bad recording then everything after that recording will also be bad until I exit my game. It breaks my heart. 

The menus are a bit sluggish and the support is well frankly, not there. I have only gotten a response from support once. And sadly the follow-up that I was promised never came. Heck to get unbanned I had to contact Thresh himself on twitter after waiting hours for raptr support. During the massive "giftcard code" spam, support was no where to be found at all. This is because support is based off a workweek and I understand it. Now don't get me wrong, I fully understand that Rapr was built by pro gamers and has a very small team. Everyone has a home to go to at the end of the day, and everyone wants to sit back and relax on a weekend. I honestly would love to help Raptr out as a weekend support tech. While my skills in coding are no where to be found, I want to be able to give a face and a person that gamers can sit down with on a weekend or even at night and get the support they are wanting. A user of any software would love to know that while the person they talked to is unable to take any actions, that this person is a real person listening to their issues and giving them the suggestions they should look at and taking note of the issue to pass it to the person that is able to fix the problem. 

Overall I am very pleased with Raptr/AMD GE, I have already given plenty of good word to A Different Kind, a gaming community that I have been with for some time. While not everyone cares about Raptr/AMD GE for whatever the reason, those that have used it report back that they love the software and that it has given them what AMD GPUs have been missing for a long time. They love the insanely small recording sizes with the very high end quality of the recordings. Some people have paid a great deal of money for their recording software or even an entire PC for just recording, and some of those people have come back to me and thanked me for letting them know about Raptr/AMD GE because they now have a single software they can use to record on the fly and record past events without putting any extra stress on their system. 

I highly suggest that anyone with a supported GPU test Raptr/AMD GE out. There is no risk and you might walk away with a new GPU, I know I did. 

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