We tried GeForce Now with the RTX 3080 tariff

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Nvidia unveiled a new tariff a few weeks ago RTX 3080 for his service GeForce Now. Given the current availability and prices of RTX graphics, this is indeed the easiest and cheapest way to get to the gaming experience with ray tracing and full gaming performance.

Play at full power

GeForce Now has been in real operation for several years, you can either play for free with a limit of one hour of continuous playing, or you pay extra for a higher tariff with RTX support, ie not only ray-tracing effects, but also DLSS for higher frame rates. The maximum for the paid tariff Priority is then FullHD resolution at 60 frames per second, but Nvidia recently downloaded it to 45 FPS for selected titles.

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You can play 95 games for free, you buy more like regular PC games

The new, more expensive RTX 3080 tariff attracts mainly higher resolutions – 2560 × 1440 in 120 FPS when playing on a PC, or up to 4K, including HDR support when playing on the Nvidia Shield, a TV player. Not much is emphasized, but the higher available performance and faster response could be much more interesting for you.

Lightning response

The response is probably the biggest scarecrow for those who are still thinking about GeForce Now. After all, pressing or moving the mouse must leave you via the Internet to the nearest Nvidia data center, where it will be processed. Then a new frame of the game must be generated, the image compressed and sent back to you, where it is decoded on the screen. Lots of work and long distance, right?

In fact, it’s much less familiar than you think. Nvidia mainly tries to compete with the responses of home game consoles with wireless controllers and generally slower TVs. He can overtake you now. It still lags behind the computer, but only slightly. I deliberately tried to shoot an arrow shooting in slow motion Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey for a locally running game on my RTX 2060 Super and via GeForce Now with the RTX 3080 tariff.

I shot it 32x in slow motion (960 FPS) on a Galaxy S10e phone and aligned the videos exactly the moment I lift my finger from the mouse, which tells the game: shoot. My measured difference in reaction between the locally running game and the one somewhere in the cloud was less than 8 (!) Ms. Because I measured it on a 60Hz 4K monitor, where the frame lasts 16.6 ms, we are simply at the level of one frame.

When connecting to the basic, now medium tariff GeForce Now, I achieved a difference of about 22 ms between the local and the cloud. With the RTX 3080 tariff, you can significantly reduce the latency of the entire system.

What is it all about?

You will definitely recognize the higher performance. Benchmark v Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey v Ultra graphics for the basic tariff will show 45 FPS in FullHD, for the RTX 3080 tariff even 75 FPS, and in addition a higher resolution of 2560 × 1440.

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The basic version runs slower, the full performance of the RTX 3080 is much better

This benchmark also reveals the real hardware configuration of the cloud. Basic runs on the processor Intel CC150 (special eight-core Intel for Geforce Now) and graphics Nvidia Tesla T10, tariff RTX 3080 runs on AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3955WX and graphics Nvidia A10G, which with its power lies somewhere between RTX 3080 and RTX 3080Ti.

Maximum experience only on Nvidia Shield

I also tried GeForce Now on Nvidia Shield, where I managed to achieve a perfectly sharp 4K resolution. With the basic tariff, which only sends FullHD, I knew up close that the image is driven by compression algorithms and looks a bit out of focus. In the case of 4K, however, everything is drawn sharply, as if I were sending it from a local source.

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Left image sent from FullHD version, right image in 4K from Geforce Now

But there is still imperfect HDR support on Shield. IN Metro: Exodus everything was displayed in HDR and it could be turned on in the settings. And Warframe the game was in HDR, but in the setup it claimed that it was not HDR and did not allow to fine-tune the parameters of HDR. Cyberpunk 2077 he didn’t offer me HDR in the options at all, and he didn’t even run in HDR. According to Geforce Now, HDR can perform all games. Maybe it would work if I had Cyberpunk on Steam as two working games and not on GOG Galaxy. Then, for example, the game itself Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey then HDR can, but Geforce Now says no. HDR doesn’t go that way.

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Although Cyberpunk 2077 claims to support both RTX and HDR, only RTX comes from GOG

As a result, the sharp 4K resolution works reliably on the Shield, and the games look great. You can connect a keyboard and mouse and play both on a computer or use a gamepad. However, HDR support is not yet combed and will probably be fine-tuned according to specific games. So try Shield mainly because of the 4K resolution. It definitely looks better than 1440p on a computer.

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4K image looks great, RTX takes care of reflections. AC: Odyssey just doesn’t have HDR

Quality is paid for

New tariff RTX 3080 on GeForce Now is not cheap, it costs CZK 2,690 for half a year, basic tariff Priority costs half and tariff Free its free. On the other hand, it is exclusive, so you get even more preferential access than the basic Priorities and don’t wait for a connection. But higher image quality and higher performance can make sense. In particular, Shield can compete with new game consoles, which it can match, or even surpass, in image quality. Of course, you must have a fast internet connection with a reception of over 50 Mbit / s.

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You can play for free or feel free with the performance of the RTX 3080

The problem with GeForce Now is the persistently unbalanced range of games and the laborious path to a game you haven’t purchased. There are hundreds of supported games, including the latest ones, and more are being added, but you will probably come across your favorite game, which is not here. Maybe from a series Battlefield it’s just here 1 Revolution, is missing anything from Borderlands and more. Ubisoft probably has the most extensive offer here.

What bothers me more is that if you choose from a menu of supported games that you don’t already own, Geforce Now will simply reject you. The Steam, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and Epic stores will not open here. You have to buy it in another application, on another website. Then you don’t see all the supported games on the title page, you have to manually search for them by name, if they exist on GeForce Now. Only the Steam library that fills your list on GeForce Now can be linked automatically, but other stores lack it.

Try it, it’s worth it

But all these problems will be clear to you when you try the free GeForce Now tariff. If you tried GeForce Now many months ago, try again, connection stability has really improved and it works much better. Not only on computers and laptops, but also on tablets, phones or Nvidia Shield.

If you find your favorite games on the free tariff and you want to play them in full parade, the RTX 3080 tariff makes sense. I have a much better feeling from playing on a stuffed machine than from the basic tariff. But if you only have a laptop with a FullHD display, you probably don’t need the more expensive RTX 3080.

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