September 7, 2022

10 Best Screen Recorders for Low-End PCs

11 min

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Need a screen recorder for a low-end PC? Try Movavi Screen Recorder!

  • Easy screen capture
  • Webcam and mic recording
  • Low system requirements
  • High-quality footage

There are many reasons you might need to record your screen. But most screen recorders are so resource-hungry that it makes it hard if you don’t have the latest PC or Mac. Let’s take a look at the best screen recorder for a low-end PC.

Program

Best for

Download

Movavi Screen RecorderCapturing high-quality videos of video calls, conferences, and virtual events and presentations
OBS StudioRecording screen activity for free on a Windows 8.1 or later PC
BandicamRecording videos and gameplay on a PC or Xbox
FrapsRecording screen activity on older, low-end PCs
FBX Game RecorderFree screen recording and editing with a watermark on output videos
DxtoryRecording video of DirectX and OpenGL applications
Xbox Game BarRecording or streaming gameplay on Xbox and Windows 10 computers
iTop Screen RecorderCapturing audio-only or HD video recordings on a PC
Action! Screen RecorderRecording and streaming gameplay for Windows Vista
D3DGearRecording and streaming gameplay to Twitch for Windows XP

Best recording software for a low-end PC

Movavi Screen Recorder

Best for: Capturing high-resolution videos of video calls, online video conferences, and virtual events and presentations

OS: Windows 7/8/10/11, macOS X 10.13 or higher

Price: Free trial, $42.95/year or $57.95/lifetime

G2 rating: 4.5 out of 5, 49 reviews

Movavi Screen Recorder is one of the best screen recorders for low-end PCs on the market today. Its user-friendly interface makes it a top pick for video streamers and content creators who need to capture high-quality video from their computer screens quickly and easily. Unlike some other screen recorders, Movavi doesn’t put a time limit on recordings, and output videos won’t include a watermark on the paid version. The software offers a free download to allow users to try out without committing to a purchase. And users also have the option to pay for an annual license or make a one-time purchase and use the software indefinitely.

Key features:

  • Webcam recording capabilities, including simultaneous recording of screen and webcam footage
  • Capture system sound and microphone audio
  • Can record two streams at once

Pros:

  • User-friendly for beginners and pros
  • Multiple options for export file formats
  • Instant sharing to YouTube
  • Includes video editing features for quick edits to captured videos

Cons:

  • Watermark on the free version

OBS Studio

Best for: Recording screens for free on a Windows 8.1 or later PC

OS: Windows 8.1/10/11, macOS X 10.13 or higher, Linux

Price: Free

TechRadar rating: 4 out of 5

OBS Studio is an open-source, lightweight screen recorder that enables users to record their screens and stream live videos for free. Its greatest strength is the ability to capture and record multiple scenes at once. Basically, users can select multiple windows or screen areas (or multiple monitors) and record simultaneous activity across them. It’s also possible to record from your webcam and add an overlay, too. However, figuring out how to do all that isn’t the easiest, as OBS Studio’s interface is somewhat clunky and not altogether intuitive.

Key features:

  • Unlimited simultaneous multi-scene recording capabilities
  • Includes webcam overlay feature
  • Modular, customizable “dock” interface

Pros:

  • No watermark on output videos
  • High-quality export recordings
  • Highly customizable with a wide array of configuration options

Cons:

  • Not compatible with Windows 7 or 8
  • Users report difficulties recording from a microphone
  • User interface is not intuitive for beginners

Download OBS Studio

Bandicam

Best for: Recording gameplay and videos on a PC, Xbox, or mobile device

OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/10

Price: $39.95-79.90

G2 rating: 4.3 out of 5, 32 reviews

Bandicam is a paid screen recording program that’s compatible with versions of Windows dating back as far as XP and Vista. While its price is reasonable, and it does offer a free download to try out the software, this is probably not the best free screen recorder for a low-end PC without a watermark. Also, if you’re looking for recording software that doesn’t lower the FPS of your screen, this may not be the best option for users with low-end PCs. Bandicam does, however, empower users to record from their PC screen, webcam, or from a gaming system or mobile device.

Key features:

  • Webcam overlay capability
  • Real-time drawing and mouse effects capabilities while recording a screen
  • Simultaneous system and microphone audio

Pros:

  • Chroma key features allow presenters to overlay their webcam footage on their screen in real time
  • Includes convenient scheduled recording options

Cons:

  • Not compatible with macOS or Linux
  • Lowers FPS for slow computers

Download Bandicam

Fraps

Best for: Recording screen activity on older, low-end PCs

OS: Windows XP/2003/Vista/7/8/8.1/10/11

Price: $37

G2 rating: 4.2 out of 5, 46 reviews

Fraps is a universal Windows screen recorder. In other words, whether you have a newer low-end PC or an older Windows machine, you should have no trouble running Fraps for your screen recording needs. With that in mind, the user interface for this software feels a bit dated and is not always the most intuitive. It does, however, allow users to customize their output videos’ frame rates. If your system is powerful enough to support it, you can record video up to 7680 × 4800 with between 1 and 120 FPS. Fraps also allows users to choose their audio source, and you can record both system audio and microphone audio at the same time – making it a workable solution for live streaming video creators.

Key features:

  • Custom frame rate capabilities
  • One-click screenshots while recording
  • Customizable hotkeys

Pros:

  • Versatile options to improve screen recording quality on low-end PCs
  • Compatible with almost any Windows computer
  • Includes free trial download

Cons:

  • Not compatible with macOS or Linux
  • Interface is a bit clunky

Download Fraps

FBX Game Recorder

Best for: Free screen recording and editing for users who don’t mind a watermark

OS: Windows 7/8/10

Price: $19/year or $49/lifetime

FBX Game Recorder offers a free version with a watermark, or users can opt to pay annually or purchase a lifetime license. The software offers a fair amount of versatility, including the ability to capture short videos and images while recording a longer video from your screen. It also features rapid set-up capabilities to start streaming quickly if you need to go live on the fly. It’s compatible with Windows 7 and newer, but it’s not compatible with any other OS.

Key features:

  • Capabilities to record short video clips during screen recording via hotkeys
  • High-resolution screenshot capabilities while recording
  • Rapid streaming set-up to easily and quickly go live

Pros:

  • Adjusts to users’ bandwidth for smoother streaming videos
  • Lag-free recording
  • Editing tools include GIFs, stickers, captions, and some effects

Cons:

  • Watermark on the free version
  • Only compatible with Windows

Download FBX Game Recorder

Dxtory

Best for: Recording video of DirectX and OpenGL applications

OS: Windows XP/7/8/8.1/10

Price: 3800 JPY ($29.58 at time of writing)

CNET rating: 3 out of 5, 5 reviews

Dxtory is among the best recording software for low-end PCs because it utilizes s surface memory buffer that reduces the load on the computer while maintaining the speed of the recording. The software’s codec records your screen’s original pixel data to get the most lossless video possible, and it’s capable of recording from multiple audio sources, as well, making it a strong contender for gaming streamers. It’s also of note that Dxtory’s pricing is in Japanese yen and therefore may vary for buyers in the U.S., depending on exchange rates.

Key features:

  • High-speed video capture for DirectX and OpenGL applications
  • Original pixel data recording
  • Record from multiple audio sources

Pros:

  • Allows screenshots while recording
  • Lossless video output
  • Supports multiple video codecs

Cons:

  • Not very user-friendly and has a steep learning curve
  • Price may vary with exchange rates

Download Dxtory

Xbox Game Bar

Best for: Recording or streaming gameplay on Xbox and Windows 10 computers

OS: Windows 10 or higher

Price: Free

PCWorld rating: 3.5 out of 5

Xbox Game Bar is a built-in app that comes with Windows 10. In addition to screen recording and sharing, Xbox Game Bar has features that allow users to connect and chat with other players on PC and Xbox games, and stream gaming videos instantly while playing. It’s compatible with most PC games, but it does have limitations for users with lower-end or older PCs. While it’s a useful screen recorder that’s included with Windows 10, it’s not compatible with older versions of Windows and may lag when running on less powerful desktops or laptops. It also limits users to recording one app at a time, making it impossible to record the entire desktop screen.

Key features:

  • Broadcast & capture widget allows users to start recording by holding Win + G
  • Customizable user interface
  • Chat capabilities while recording

Pros:

  • Free with Windows 10
  • Easy instant streaming capabilities
  • Access to multiple useful widget integrations, including podcasting and streaming applications

Cons:

  • Not compatible with older versions of Windows
  • Only capable of recording one window or app at a time
  • 4-hour maximum video length

Download Xbox Game Bar

iTop Screen Recorder

Best for: Recording audio-only or HD videos on a PC

OS: Windows 7/8/10/11

Price: $79.99/year

iTop Screen Recorder gives users the ability to record their full screen or a selected window, webcam footage, and it has the functionality to record audio without video as well. It specializes in HD video and claims to have no lag with high-quality output. With multiple output and conversion formats, iTop Screen Recorder also includes some basic editing capabilities. The free trial includes a watermark on all output videos.

Key features:

  • Basic editing, including trimming and filters
  • HD game recording capabilities
  • Multiple output formats

Pros:

  • User-friendly for beginners and advanced users
  • No ads on the free trial version
  • Little to no lag on HD recordings

Cons:

  • No hot-key options for recording on the fly
  • Editing functions are very basic
  • No screenshot feature while recording

Download iTop Screen Recorder

Action! Screen Recorder

Best for: Video and gaming recording and streaming

OS: Windows Vista/7/8/8.1/10

Price: $29.95

G2 rating: 4.8 out of 5, 12 reviews

Action! Screen Recorder is a Windows screen recorder by Mirillis. It has HD recording capabilities and comes with a 30-day free trial. During the trial period, output videos will have a watermark, but all of the functionalities of the paid version are included to give users a better feel for the software. Video can be captured from your webcam, screen, web player, and/or a specific section of the screen. It also comes with a free Android app that lets you control your recording while it’s in progress without touching your computer.

Key features:

  • Live audio commentary capabilities
  • Simultaneous webcam and screen recording
  • Livestreaming capabilities for YouTube and Twitch

Pros:

  • Includes audio and video editing features
  • Strong livestreaming support
  • Record up to 8K resolution

Cons:

  • No way to adjust a video’s bitrate
  • No customizability for frame rate
  • Limited output video formats

Download Action! Screen Recorder

D3DGear

Best for: Streaming gameplay to Twitch

OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10

Price: $29.85

AlternativeTo rating: 4.5 out of 5, 13 reviews

D3DGear is specifically designed to record gameplay on your PC, though it also has capabilities to record gameplay on an Oculus Rift VR device. It excels with low-to-no lag livestreaming during gameplay, and it’s capable of recording up to 4K video resolution. If you want to record your screen for anything but gaming, though, you’ll need to opt for a different screen recorder.

Key features:

  • Lag-free livestreaming to Twitch
  • Constant Frame Rate (CFR) capabilities
  • Screenshot capabilities while recording

Pros:

  • Minimal impact on gaming performance and speed
  • Capable of recording Oculus Rift VR gameplay
  • 4K video output

Cons:

  • Only records games, no other videos
  • No integration with YouTube for streaming

Download D3DGear

In conclusion: Tips for choosing a lightweight screen recorder

With our detailed reviews of the top screen recorders for low-end PCs, you should hopefully have the info you need to choose the best one for your needs. While all of these programs have their pros and cons, there are a few things you should take into account as you make your decision, including:

  • User interface: How user-friendly is the program? Are you a beginner who needs a little more support and an intuitive interface? Are you an advanced user who’s used to seeing features and tools in a specific format? Take a look at the functionality of each program and see which one will be easiest to learn and most convenient to use.
  • Features and capabilities: If you need to edit your output videos and you don’t want to buy a separate video editing program, you should consider an option with editing capabilities, like Movavi Screen Recorder. Will you need to record high-definition videos? Are you going to be streaming to Twitch or YouTube? Dive in and take a look at the key features for each of your choices to see which will do the best job.
  • Price: Shop around and compare prices. The cheapest program may not be the best option if it doesn’t have all the features and functionalities you need, but you don’t want to just assume that the top-dollar option will be the best – it’s not always the case!

Keep these considerations in mind as you shop for a screen recorder that will work well with your PC. And, while you’re looking, why not try out Movavi Screen Recorder’s free download?

Ben Jacklin

Ben is a writer from the UK with qualifications in Media and Music Technology, he specializes in software reviews and tutorials. Ben has been blogging about media and tech subjects since he was a teenager from his base in the East of England.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that Movavi Screen Recorder does not allow capture of copy-protected video and audio streams. Learn more

Frequently asked questions

What is the best screen recorder for a low-end PC?

Based on our reviews, our top five choices for the best screen recorder for a low-end PC are:

  • Movavi Screen Recorder
  • Bandicam
  • OBS Studio
  • Fraps
  • Dxtory

We based our rating on versatility, price, user experience, and available features. Movavi is our top pick because it allows users to record a wide range of videos and presentations, make edits to create professional-level output videos, and streaming is easy too. With that in mind, new software hits the market every day, and we highly recommend taking some time to learn about all the options available today.

What is the best no-lag screen recorder?

Here’s a list of some of the best options:

  • Movavi Screen Recorder
  • ScreenRec
  • AceThinker Screen Grabber Pro
  • BB FlashBack Express
  • ScreenFlow

Follow the link below to learn more about no-lag recorders: