We are supported by readers, when you click & purchase through links on our site we earn affiliate commission. Learn more.

GeForce NOW RTX 3080 Tier Impressions – Cloud Gaming Will get Critical

NVIDIA may be included among the many pioneers of cloud gaming with GeForce NOW, which started its journey over six years in the past. Positive, there have been OnLive and Gaikai earlier than, however they merely did not have an actual likelihood of breaking by way of because of the lack of the mandatory infrastructure for cloud gaming to take off.

Now, although, the state of affairs may be very totally different. Due to a mix of technological developments, it’s now very a lot attainable to stream video games from a distant {hardware} to PCs, smartphones, tablets, and even TVs (GFN has rolled out help for choose LG 2022 televisions).

GeForce NOW Provides Icarus and Refrain; Europe RTX Memberships are Changing into Energetic

GeForce NOW has developed, too, and never simply in relation to tech. At first, NVIDIA tried to promote it because the ‘Netflix of gaming’, a subscription-based choice of video games playable by way of SHIELD gadgets. At CES 2017, nevertheless, the corporate introduced an evolution of the idea. GeForce NOW would as an alternative provide players distant entry to a gaming PC and they’d join their very own libraries from platforms like Steam, Battle.internet, Origin, Uplay, and GOG.

After almost three years of beta testing (when customers might stream video games fully totally free), GeForce NOW formally launched on February 4th, 2020. Ever since then, customers have been ready to decide on between the free membership tier and the Precedence tier, which is priced at $50 for six months or $9.99 month-to-month and permits entry to RTX 2000-Class {hardware} with ray tracing and DLSS availability in supported video games. With this tier, you possibly can stream video games as much as 1080p@60 FPS and luxuriate in for much longer gameplay classes of as much as six consecutive hours.

However NVIDIA is now concentrating on a better finish viewers with the RTX 3080 Tier. With this costlier ($100 for a compulsory six-month dedication) possibility, PC players can safe RTX 3080-Class efficiency by way of the cloud. They will additionally stream their video games at as much as 1440p@120 FPS on PC; 1440p/1600p (relying on the mannequin)@120 FPS on Mac; and 1080p@120 FPS on choose Android smartphones just like the Samsung S20 FE 5G, Samsung S21, Samsung S21+, Samsung S21 Extremely, and Samsung Note20 Extremely 5G.

4K HDR@60 FPS streaming is obtainable as effectively, however solely to homeowners of any of the NVIDIA SHIELD gadgets, sadly sufficient. That will change sooner or later, however there is no timetable for when 4K HDR streaming by way of GeForce NOW might be out there by way of PC or Mac.

GeForce NOW App Is Accessible Immediately By way of Choose 2022 LG TVs

Do notice that the {hardware} and connection necessities wanted to make the most of the RTX 3080 tier are steeper than earlier tiers. In terms of the PC {hardware} necessities, these are comparatively gentle and needs to be simply met and surpassed by any GPU launched since 2015.

Producer and Mannequin Max Decision and FPS
AMD R9 285 (UVD5) and later 1440p/1600p at 60 FPS

1440p/1600p at 120 FPS

Intel HD Graphics (Bay Path) and later 1080p at 60 FPS

1080p at 120 FPS

Intel HD Graphics (Bay Path) and later 1440p/1600p at 60 FPS
Intel HD 510 and later 1440p/1600p at 60 FPS

1440p/1600p at 120 FPS

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 and later* 1440p/1600p at 60 FPS

1440p/1600p at 120 FPS

* Word GeForce GTX 760, 770, and 780Ti don’t help 1440p/1600p

Mac customers will want a 2012 or later mannequin to stream at 1440p/1600p@120 FPS, which once more should not be a severe hurdle for anybody trying to do some gaming. That mentioned, make certain to be utilizing the native GeForce NOW PC or Mac apps, as 120FPS streaming shouldn’t be supported by way of browsers.

The connection necessities could also be a bit extra problematic. The RTX 3080 tier requires a 35 Mbps web connection (70 Mbps advisable) for 1440p@120 FPS streaming and 40 Mbps (80 Mbps advisable) for 4K HDR streaming on SHIELD gadgets. When you select to play at 1440p@120 FPS, your information utilization might be round 13 GB per hour, which is certainly one thing to bear in mind in case your ISP has carried out information caps.

When you do meet and surpass mentioned necessities, the RTX 3080 GeForce NOW tier provides a lot better efficiency than the RTX 2000-equipped Precedence tier, but in addition a lot decrease latency. NVIDIA claims to have examined a 30.86% enchancment in Future 2’s click-to-pixel latency as measured by the LDAT device with 15ms RTD (Spherical Journey Delay).

NVIDIA did not simply change their server {hardware} with Ampere-based GPUs, anyway. They’ve additionally labored closely on the software program aspect to ship smoother and stutter-free recreation streams. The principle results of this effort is the Adaptive Sync possibility out there within the streaming choices.

In accordance with NVIDIA, Adaptive Sync is predicated on the latency decreasing REFLEX expertise utilized to the server aspect. This enables the NVIDIA driver to tempo frames between the CPU and GPU after which to synchronize them to the refresh charge of the native show. The purpose right here is to scale back each dropped frames and repeated frames as a lot as attainable.

The synchronization buffer time does not occur on the server and client-side, which might result in greater latency. Frames are as an alternative rendered by the sport engine synchronously to the streaming (encoding) course of at 60 or 120 FPS, relying on the chosen refresh charge. Lastly, potential community jitter is reportedly compensated for due to a suggestions loop.

Nonetheless, in order for you absolutely the lowest latency, NVIDIA itself recommends turning Vsync off, although in fact, that exposes you to the danger of tearing.


The factor with cloud gaming is that your mileage could very effectively differ enormously relying in your connection. As such, it is solely actually attainable to relay one’s private expertise.

In my case, NVIDIA’s EU Central server (the primary in Europe to be up to date with RTX 3080-Class {hardware}) is between 28 and 30 milliseconds away, judging from the GeForce NOW app’s personal testing device. Not distinctive, however not unhealthy both, and beneath the advisable worth of lower than 40 ms. To check the precise expertise, I’ve picked three common video games: Outriders, Guardians of the Galaxy, and New World. A cooperative recreation, a single participant recreation, and a massively multiplayer recreation.

I just lately had the possibility to strive the primary two by way of Parsec as a part of hands-on previews, which gave me a reasonably good concept of how they felt when streamed by way of the cloud. The distinction was important right here, with GeForce NOW’s high tier simply outmatching Parsec (which, to be truthful, is fully free) in each picture high quality and responsiveness.

Alternatively, when in comparison with the crispness I am used to with my native PC and LG 55″ 4K OLED, the picture high quality took a visual hit. That was to be anticipated, anyway, since I do not personal a SHIELD system and was pressured to stay with 1440p decision when testing GeForce NOW on PC.

As soon as I tried to play natively on my PC at 1440p (with out resorting to upscaling like NVIDIA Picture Scaling), the IQ hole grew to become far smaller and principally owed to the inevitable compression of the video stream. This was roughly similar to the distinction between watching a film with an UltraHD BluRay and a daily 4K stream from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, or Apple+. It is there, however you get used to it.

Moreover, the compression was far more noticeable when taking part in New World merely as a result of the truth that I used to be pressured to play nearer to the display with the keyboard and mouse because the recreation does not have native controller help but. The opposite two may be performed with a gamepad, and that naturally lends to laying additional again away from the display, which in flip makes it more durable to identify any potential compression artifacts.

By default, GeForce NOW will set the graphics settings of your video games to a really conservative stage. In all three video games, medium presets have been chosen; that shocked me, given the {hardware} that is in these SuperPODS. I’d undoubtedly advocate elevating that at the very least as much as the excessive preset, if not even additional, because the RTX 3080-Class {hardware} can undoubtedly deal with it. Extra on that additional beneath.

The star of the present right here is, clearly, the excessive body charge enabled by this new tier. There is no such thing as a cloud gaming service able to supporting 1440p/1660p@120 FPS; even the significantly pricier Shadow (from $29.99 month-to-month upward) stops at 1080p@144 FPS. Between the excessive body charge and the aforementioned Adaptive Sync, GeForce NOW does really feel extra responsive than any cloud gaming service I’ve ever tried, together with Google Stadia. That is to not say it is precisely the identical as taking part in regionally, however that is actually a pipe dream except you are actually sitting in the identical constructing the place the server is positioned. That is pretty much as good because it will get for now as I did not have any hassle dodging or executing talents in any of these video games, aside from a few cases the place the connection had some hiccups. Such is the way in which of cloud streaming, in any case – the identical occurs occasionally with Netflix and its siblings, too.

I did discover some minor issues in comparison with my common PC expertise. For instance, the Xbox controller’s vibration did not work in Outriders, whereas Guardians of the Galaxy did not enable me to pick a better than 60Hz refresh charge though my show helps 120Hz and it was set as such within the GeForce NOW app, which was simply acknowledged by the opposite examined video games. These are comparatively trivial shortcomings, however they present that some quirks nonetheless have to be ironed out by NVIDIA.

A render of the GeForce NOW RTX 3080 SuperPODS.

One thing that is not subjective is the {hardware} functionality of GeForce NOW’s RTX 3080 tier. To check that, I’ve run the built-in benchmark of Guardians of the Galaxy with the identical settings (1440p, DLSS on High quality, maxed choices with ray traced reflections and clear reflections enabled) on each the GFN RTX 3080 tier and my very own PC, geared up with an Intel i9 9900K CPU and GeForce RTX 3090 GPU.

The benchmark device reveals that there truly is not an RTX 3080 graphics card within the GeForce NOW SuperPOD you may be connecting to. As a substitute, there’s an A10G graphics card, likely derived from this one. Curiously, this GPU options 24GB of VRAM, as a lot as my RTX 3090 and over twice the 10GB of the particular RTX 3080 GPU, although its reminiscence bandwidth of 600GB/s is decrease than that of the RTX 3070 Ti. Then once more, the A10 has extra CUDA cores than the RTX 3080, 9216 versus 8704. Tradeoffs that make sense for a datacenter GPU, absolutely, and the underside line is that this can be a very highly effective graphics card irrespective of the way you slice it.

The CPU, an AMD Ryzen Threadripper Professional 3955WX sporting sixteen cores, can be fascinating. It is based mostly on the Zen 2 structure, so it is not as quick as the most recent Zen 3 or Alder Lake chips from AMD and Intel. In truth, it even renders a bit extra slowly than my Intel i9 9900K (11.2ms vs 9.9 on common), however in the end it does its job effectively sufficient. The minimal FPS registered within the benchmarks is definitely greater on the GFN platform, as you possibly can see from the graphs.

GeForce NOW RTX 3080 Tier

Native PC

Closing Ideas

NVIDIA’s RTX 3080 GeForce NOW tier comes on the proper time. PC players are past fed up with the continued chip scarcity, which is stopping them from buying any graphics card at an honest, close-to-MSRP worth. That state of affairs is not going to vary any time quickly, in accordance with NVIDIA’s personal CEO Jensen Huang.

Any PC gamer left hanging for an improve might conceivably promote their older graphics card at a premium on the used market and experience it out for so long as wanted with GFN’s RTX 3080 tier. In comparison with different cloud gaming providers, it offers a premium expertise. It’s costlier than Stadia Professional ($9.99/mo), in fact, however the excessive body charge possibility, decrease latency, and much bigger roster of video games are effectively well worth the further value. Furthermore, PC recreation gross sales are rather more frequent and extra aggressive than something on the Stadia retailer, with reductions largely offsetting the costlier month-to-month value of GFN.

That mentioned, there are different issues to make. Whereas NVIDIA has steadily labored so as to add new video games to the GeForce NOW library on a weekly foundation, there are nonetheless some enormous publishers lacking. Chief amongst them are Microsoft and Sony, and since they’re each rivals within the cloud gaming market by way of xCloud and PlayStation NOW, it is arduous to think about they may ever be part of GFN.

However there’s extra: there are not any 2K, Activision Blizzard, SEGA, or Koei Tecmo video games on the library. Digital Arts has just lately made a comeback on GeForce NOW, however solely with a handful of principally older video games like Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and Dragon Age: Inquisition. Positive, Apex: Legends is there, however you will not discover FIFA 2022, Madden NFL 22, Battlefield 2042, or Mass Impact Legendary Version on GeForce NOW. Final however not least, there is no phrase but on whether or not Elden Ring, arguably essentially the most anticipated PC title due in 2022, might be playable by way of GeForce NOW. Presently, no Darkish Souls recreation is, and that is removed from reassuring.

Finally, I do know that I might undoubtedly think about it if I did not already personal a top-of-the-line gaming PC, however you may should fastidiously assess your particular wants to grasp whether or not NVIDIA’s cloud gaming service is price it in your case. Are the video games you play on GeForce NOW’s library? Does your connection maintain up effectively in all regards (bandwidth, latency, and many others.)? The latter, at the very least, may be simply examined with GFN’s free tier earlier than committing to a subscription.