MSI Afterburner and AMD Gaming Evolved (Powered by Raptr) - Working Together In A Tense Harmony [Tutorial Of A Workaround]

I have been using Raptr (the AMD-Sponsored version, called AMD Gaming Evolved) for a while off and on, more dedicatedly since December now and have been having a lot of fun with it. In this article, I'll show my 'Workaround' steps for getting MSI Afterburner and Raptr (G.E.) to work together. It's odd, but it's easy. Enjoy.

There are a bunch of reasons why gamers would want to run MSI Afterburner along with Raptr/GamingEvolved: the added Overclocking capability, Fan Control, Buffered Gameplay Recording, and more.

At first, I noticed that when trying to run MSI Afterburner, together with Raptr/GamingEvolved, they both just looked at each other and said, "Nuh-uh.." and walked away... sometimes taking the game with it. After looking it up online, it seems that many people have wanted this and had this problem. So, I took it upon myself to see if I could find a Solution (or at least a Workaround) for this odd interaction - and I did!

I share it with you now, my dear readers and fellow gamers, so that you can utilize the potential of these two programs together (and mention the steps for the workaround, in hopes that it will help the Developers of these useful applications possibly ease their mutual tension between them, in future updates, perhaps).

Short Version first (for the impatient or those that "just want to know c'mon", and those with ADHD - both parties of which I belong to myself), then a Long Version, explaining the steps further and possible reasons why this entire interaction may be occurring:

Short Version

  • Run RAPTR_GE (set the Overlay for any corner but the Upper-Left)
  • Run Game (wait a moment to let the Overlays for RAPTR_GE load, if Enabled)
  • Run MSI_AB (which Defaults to using the Upper-Left for its Overlay)
  • Sit With  Mouth Open For A Moment

Long Version

Here are the steps I found for getting Afterburner and Raptr working together in a tense harmony**, figured out after much testing of settings, and games, and reboots, and re-installations, and more...

Initially, I found it ran much better while running Bandicam (in the background, not 'doing anything' with it); but after updating all three programs and GPU drivers since beginning Testing, it seems that the extra step of running Bandicam (and having it just sit there) is not needed anymore. So, here are the 'New and Improved', simplified steps for getting these two useful programs to work together:

  • Run AMD Gaming Evolved / Raptr and Login
  • Make sure MSI Afterburner is not running
  • Run your game
  • Let AMD Gaming Evolved / Raptr load its Overlays
    (I suggest the Lower-Left corner (I used that for testing the below games), but eventually tried the Lower-Right as well, and I believe any will work, as long as it is not the Upper-Left corner [as MSI Afterburner uses that region for its Overlay by Default])
  • Run MSI Afterburner and choose/have your settings for Fans, Overclocking, Gameplay Recording,etc
  • Go back to your running game and let these programs detect the game and load up fully
    (you should see the MSI Afterburner overlay [by Default, in the Upper-Left] and the Raptr/GE overlay load in its corner you selected - and you should now be running Afterburner and Raptr together!

  1. Note that some games can have MSI Afterburner running already (I have noted some below, in a list); but for the most part, it will result in either the GamingEvolved/Raptr GameDVR not loading, or the game simply crashing [at least, it did in my testing].
  2. Note also, that you should try not to lose Focus of the game (ie. don't ALT+TAB out of the game or click outside of the window if in a Windowed Mode) or close any of the programs (eg. don't close MSI Afterburner and leave your game and Ratpr/GE running - it will likely crash the game [at least, it did in my tests]).

That's it!

Hopefully, you are now running MSI_AB and RAPTR_GE together, seeing the overlays for both and are able to have the benefits of both; Buffered Game Recording, Game Time Tracking, Fan Control, and even Overclocking.

Note: If running the RAPTR_GE recording buffer and the MSI_AB recording buffer at the same time, game performance will be affected - but it is possible if you wish to do so - I did it in my Testing.

Now, I am not a Programmer, nor am I a Developer for any of these programs or companies; so I am not 100% sure why this 'works'. It seems to be mainly a Workaround [to me], as it should not require running a multiple almost-competitor programs, with seemingly-close functions/overlays/etc all at once [and initially, Bandicam had to be running in Minimized mode]. The only reasoning I can find (in my superficial estimation), is that there are functions/calls that the programs are making that interfere with each other 'just enough' to make this all work together in a 'tense harmony'**. I say this because it does not work near as reliably, if you run MSI Afterburner first, the games first, or other variations of this.

[At least, it did not work those ways on my system, at the time of this writing and testing - I realize that every system configuration is different, and offers differing obstacles to these two programs working together. I feel it is an immense task as it is, to have each of these programs running one at a time on such a multitude of systems and difference of hardware that exists - my compliments go out to the Developers of both of these useful programs, regardless]

To try to be a little more specific, perhaps it is 'working' because there are functions/calls that these programs are doing, that are actually conflicting with each other - but they do so in such a fashion, that the end result is that they each stake out their territory and 'dont mess with each other' - each working in their own little Overlay or Recording areas, each performing their programmed functions, but with a sideways eye held in the direction of the other applications...

Regardless of how this Technomancy is working [remember it was even more 'odd' initially, with having to run Bandicam for some reason, at the same time], I tested it with multiple games now and it appears to be a repeatable process with reliable output (as long as you don't look at your computer too long in the eye region) - thus, I wanted to share it here with you all.

Games The Above Procedure Was Tested With: 

DNW = Did Not Work
AB = can have MSI_AB running already (before game is started)
22 = Error 22 was experienced (intermittently) 

  • Minecraft
  • Battlefield 4
  • Battlefield: Hardline
  • Planetside 2
  • Just Cause 2
  • World Of Warcraft
  • Simcity (2013)
  • Hitman: Absolution
  • Zombies Monsters Robots
  • Left 4 Dead
  • Left 4 Dead 2 - AB
  • Team Fortress 2 - AB
  • Counter Strike: Global Offensive - AB
  • TESV: Skyrim - AB
  • Batman: Arkham City - AB, 22
  • Tomb Raider (2013) - AB
  • Torchlight - AB
  • The Secret World - AB
  • Need For Speed World - DNW
  • Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 - DNW (reliably)
  • Plants Vs Zombies (Steam and Origin) - DNW  

[Edit/Update: I did not initially test Hearthstone at the time of writing this post, but I have played it some since - and felt I must come back here and add that, in my experience with playing Hearthstone while running MSI Afterburner, there have been many occurrences of crashing, both of the game itself and the Blizzard Launcher [have been crashing]... Whether it is something at the moment with Blizzard's software, something with Afterburner, or something with Windows 10 (as I have recently Upgraded to it) I cannot say - but I wanted to make sure to let you know that if this is occurring with you (crashing when running Hearthstone and MSI Afterburner together) that It's Not Just You™]

By the way, if on your system, you just can't get these two to play nice together (but want to make sure and run at least Raptr/GE in order to track your gameplay or use the Optimizer, etc) - don't worry, you can do most of the functions MSI Afterburner offers with similar [also free] programs... If you purchased a video card from some companies recently, you may have gotten a disc with a similar utility on it.

For instance, EVGA has PrecisionX (you may have gotten no disc though and will have to go to their offical website). Club3D (new to North America, but they have been 'across the pond' for a couple of decades now) has RoyalFlush. Both of these examples offer Overclocking, Overvoltage and Fan Control (and PrecisionX offers Screenshot Capturing).

AMD Gaming Evolved (Raptr) of course offers both Screenshot Capturing and Buffered Recording of gameplay [Quality Tests of these GameDVR recordings, in future articles, Coming Soon™!]; but if you want the extra features that MSI Afterburner offers - and want these two programs running at the same time (for whatever reasons you may have) - I hope the above steps work for you. Enjoy... and See You In The Game!

[**Tense Harmony is the phrase I am utilizing in this article, because it is a tentative, fragile working condition: I found that if I ALT+TAB'd out of a game, it could cause this whole house of cards to come crashing down [the game could crash]. If I was running the game in a Windowed Mode, and I clicked outside of it for some reason (to look up something in the Intertubes, etc), it could cause the game to crash. Basically, any sneezing or farting of any type near the computer could cause this Workaround to asplode. Remember, that initiallyin Testing, trying to figure this all out, I had to run Bandicam as well, Minimized and 'not doing anything' - I mean, what the frell? I normally wouldn't even recommend, as a Former IT Professional, running multiple-different-and-for-the-most-part-competing [game recording] programs, each with their own functions and overlays... heck, I could have been called a heretic and forced to do Late-Night Tech Support, if I was still working, for suggesting to run multiple programs that all do the same thing for goodness'sakes, heh... Anyway, thus my phrasing utilized herein. No matter what though, I hope it works for you, as it did for me.]

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