Poor performance with Camtasia Studio fixed by adjusting the screen resolution

This content is 16 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

A couple of days back, I mentioned some videos I’ve produced for Microsoft. There are various technical requirements for the way in which these videos are produced, one of which is that I have to use TechSmith Camtasia Studio 5 (which seems pretty flaky at times – in fact, it’s the only application ever to have caused a blue screen of death on my Windows Server 2008 workstation – and that was the first BSOD I’ve seen with a non-beta version of Windows in a long while).

When I’m recording these videos, I tend to capture the video on my external monitor whilst I have Camtasia Studio and any applications related to the demonstration running on my main display (then I move them to the recording area as required). Today, I was really struggling to make anything run at a decent speed whilst I was recording and the capture rate dropped to a measly 0.5 frames per second (on a computer with a 2.2GHz Intel Core2Duo CPU and 4GB of RAM).

Last time I’d recorded anything, I’d dropped my monitor resolution to 1024×768 but this time I was using it at full (1680×1050) resolution and Camtasia was just recording a 1024×768 region of the screen. As soon as I reduced the monitor resolution, performance was back to it’s normal level (encoding video on a machine with integrated graphics is always going to hit the CPU hard).

So, if you have to use Camtasia Studio (I blogged an alternative method using nothing but Windows software a while back) and you are experiencing performance issues, try adjusting the monitor resolution.

3 thoughts on “Poor performance with Camtasia Studio fixed by adjusting the screen resolution

  1. Hi Mark,

    First off, thanks for using Camtasia Studio and sharing your feedback. I appreciate it!

    At first glance, there are a few things I noticed that might be having an effect on your performance…

    You mention the mention the Blue Screen of Death on your Windows Server 2008 machine – Camtasia Studio is not designed for a server operating system. Our system requires are for Windows XP or Vista, so we can’t guarantee it will work properly or be stable on other operating systems…

    Also, reducing the resolution of your monitors frees up system resources to allow Camtasia Studio to use more of them for the capture. This improves performance and frame-rates in the recordings. Even though you were only recording a smaller area of the screen, your system still needed to display the larger resolution and uses CPU and memory for that which is then not available for Camtasia to use.

    I’d love to hear any feedback you have about Camtasia Studio. Feel free to drop me a line!

    Betsy Weber, Chief Evangelist, TechSmith

  2. Hi Betsy – and thanks for getting in touch. I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment here, and would probably have contacted TechSmith directly if Windows Server 2008 was a supported operating system for your product.

    As you are probably aware, Windows Server 2008 shares a kernel and a device driver model with Windows Vista – if it works on one then I would expect it to work on the other; however I do accept that it is not a tested and supported configuration.

    Unfortunately, as the demonstrations I was recording were based on Windows Server, running Camtasia Studio on another machine (particularly one with enough memory and processing power) would have been impractical in this case.

    Thanks again for your time – I’m sure I will be in touch with feedback should I find myself running the product on a supported system!


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