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Must-see 3D

Gamers, display your 3D frame rate as you play.

For gamers, video performance is everything. They extract as much power from their graphics cards as possible without melting down their motherboards, all to enhance in-game realism. They require accurate, in-depth, real-time data on graphics performance. That's where D3DGear steps into the picture. It's a free DirectX and OpenGL utility that automatically measures and displays the 3D frame rate of your Windows-based games and graphics-intensive applications. It's also a screenshot capture tool that can record multiple frames and save it in AVI video, even as you play, or copy any screen image and save it as a JPEG or other type of image file. Programmable hotkeys simplify saving screen images. The company's Web site offers help if needed.

D3DGear downloads politely but it requires a reboot to install. The program is easy to use: Just start it up first, and then start your game. D3DGear will display the game or application's frame rate on screen. The program's interface is basically a properties dialog that lets you set options for screen capture, AVI movie, and other features. D3DGear does exactly what it claims, displaying accurate frame rates of demanding material. What you do with the data is up to you; just be sure your video card's cooler is up to it.

The latest release of D3DGear fixes a bug in the screen capture tool related to antialiasing and another issue that caused Call of Duty 2 to crash. It also supports DirectX10 and Windows 7. D3DGear is free to try for 15 days.

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