In recent days, it’s almost hard to imagine buying an Nvidia or AMD GPU due to the unexpected inflation in hardware cost due to the now ever-so-popular cryptocurrency mining craze that has taken the world by storm. It’s gotten to the point that even Forbe’s P.C. hardware enthusiast Jason Evangelho has begun covering on how to avoid the ever-rising cost of NVIDIA and AMD GPU’s clear down to the point of simply buying a pre-constructed PC from their manufacturers for under $800 USD.
However, in recent days, it seems that NVIDIA may have a short-term if not permanent resolution to their ongoing hardware shortage caused by bitcoin mining enthusiasts: GeForce Now, their very own streaming service, which allows for games to be played on maximum settings without using much of your PC’s hardware. But is this too good to be true? Lets take a look.
But how does this work?
To begin, NVIDIAs GeForce Now allows you to do what any streaming service does. It allows you to tap NVIDIA’s own rather large and expensive set of remote servers powered by their Tesla GPUs, which the company has stated will offer performances on par with their GTX 1080 GPUs.
Outside of that tidbit of information, NVIDIA hasn’t said much more, and seems to be keeping their secrets to themselves about what RAM and CPU’s they are using. But, just as you would expect from services such as Netflix, Amazon Video, or Google’s Play Movies and TV, you just download the app, install it, and use the GeForce Now client to begin streaming your games from their servers to your Mac or Windows PC.
What are the system recommendations though?
When it comes to their GeForce Now service, users will need to have some processing power behind their computer as well as some RAM and a semi-decent GPU. NVIDIA has outlined their minimal requirements as you can see down below.
- 3.1GHz Core i3 Processor or Higher
- 4GB RAM or more
- Intel HD 2000, Geforce 600 series or Radeon HD 3000 or higher
Just as expected, these requirements aren’t near as steep as they may sound. If you’re building a budget PC, you could easily meet these requirements or even purchase a PC with these requirements for under $800 USD. But the biggest must they’ve outlined is going to be your internet bandwidth.
You will need a minimal internet speed of at least 25Mbps, but NVIDIA has stated that they recommend a 50Mbps connection for the best experience. They do highly recommend that you will need to have a reliable internet connection to get the best experience, which means you’ll want to be connected to your router via Ethernet cable or a 5GHz Wi-Fi connection. Personally, we recommend a hardwired connection for the best results.
Now for the biggest question: Should NVIDIA’s GeForce Now replace high-end PCs?
Recently, David and I’ve been discussing the inevitability that sooner rather than later we will need to upgrade from our MSI variant of the NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB Game Ready GPU. Our goal would eventually be to upgrade to a 1080ti or a Titan series before much longer. The reason behind it? The fact that 4K gaming is beginning to become mainstream and the fact that 1080p will be a thing of the past in the upcoming years.
With our PC specs already meet that of high-end gaming and could quite easily do everything we want outside of 4K gaming. The problem here is evident, we can’t afford to upgrade due to the inflated cost of both AMD and NVIDIA GPU’s. Right now, for us to even consider upgrading, we’re looking at almost paying double – if not triple the cost of what the MSRP is for the GPUs we’ve been looking at. You can see our specs below.
PC Hardware Used
- Motherboard: MSI Z720 M7
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB MSI Game Ready Plus
- CPU: I7-7700K 3.6GHz OCed to 4.2GHz
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB RAM
- Cooling Unit: Cooler Master V8 GTS Radiator
While our build could certainly take on most of today’s games, we’ve had this GPU shortage placed before us and ultimately find ourselves in the same spot as many PC building enthusiasts.
Parts are going to be hard for us to get our hands on, but NVIDIA’s current resolution may actually be for the best. Since they are using a streaming platform of their own, GeForce Now is a viable solution when it launches on Mac and Windows PC. In order to make this service viable, NVIDIA allows you to use their service so that you can stream games that you already own via Steam, Battle.net or Ubisoft’s Uplay service. Unfortunately, Origin users are left in the dark when it comes to GeForce Now.
Thankfully, from what we’re seeing, NVIDIA’s service isn’t something to shake your head at and walk away from, but rather, think of as a secondary option instead of upgrading your GPU or CPU at this time. Since GeForce Now being different from a Shield tablet as you can use your own computer via a dedicated piece of hardware, playing titles across multiple services is a viable option and one that works well in NVIDIA’s favor.
Playing some of today’s most demanding games such as Call of Duty: WWII, The Witcher II: The Wild Hunt, and even Overwatch in 4K is completely possible. You won’t need to build dedicated hardware to do so, but rather just have the bandwidth and the monitor/TV to do so with. But there is a hidden cost to all of this: a monthly fee of $7.99 versus “free-for-life”.
At the moment, it seems that GeForce Now might be the better choice when it comes to the idea of investing into a new PC. Thanks to its cost-effective pricing, low-system requirements and its ability to be readily available when you need it, NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW looks to be a more viable option and one that I’ll be considering in the future for David and myself while reviewing higher-end games.
You can check out End Gadgets amazing coverage of NVIDIA’s GeForce Now by Devindra Hardawar for more information about NVIDIA’s new streaming service. Stay tuned for our very own impressions of the service in the near future.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.