Nvidia GeForce Now RTX 3080 Review: The Only Way to Get One

In the identical manner that streaming Netflix is not fairly as top quality as enjoying a 4K HDR Blu-ray at house, streaming a sport over a service like GeForce Now is an expertise that requires some sacrifices. Video compression meant that typically motion obtained slightly muddy, and sometimes there have been blocky distortions, or a half-second second the place the sport would reduce out and wish to catch up. 

On sooner connections although—how I managed to get over-50Mbps speeds on lodge Wi-Fi, I’ll by no means know—even these points had been few and much between. I hung out enjoying Cyberpunk 2077 and Control, each video games that make prolific use of Nvidia’s ray tracing and DLSS which provides the RTX 3080 an opportunity to shine. I used to be ready to play lengthy sufficient to overlook that I used to be enjoying a sport on a server tons of of miles away.

That could be sufficient to make a compelling argument that, even when GeForce Now is not going to substitute your gaming rig proper now, that it could possibly be a good possibility for anybody who does not need to purchase or construct their very own. But now we’ve got to take care of the provision chain disaster within the room.

Why Buy When the Cow is for Rent

$100 each six months for the RTX 3080 plan comes out to slightly below $17 per 30 days. That implies that streaming video games from Nvidia’s fancy graphics card within the cloud prices almost as a lot as the costliest Netflix plan, and you continue to have to carry your personal video games. Fortunately, Nvidia permits you to use your current library from providers like Steam or Epic, however not all games are supported. It’s so much to ask when you possibly can simply purchase your personal for an MSRP value of $700.

Except, you possibly can’t.

We’re severe. Buying many graphics playing cards–particularly high-end playing cards just like the 3080–is not simply “finding a Turbo Man doll on Christmas Eve” tough. For the common particular person, it is downright unattainable. Some commonly advised strategies on buying one embrace hanging out in Discord servers and YouTube streams devoted to monitoring retailer shares; tenting outdoors retailers; and shopping for total prebuilt gaming PCs simply to salvage the cardboard out of them. Alternatively you possibly can simply chunk the bullet and shell out close to $2,000 for one from resellers.

When these are the one different choices on the desk, $200 a yr begins to sound much more affordable. It would take about three and a half years to spend as a lot on GeForce Now as an precise RTX 3080 would value to personal at its typical retail value, however provided that you may get your arms on one. There’s additionally the chance that on this timeframe, GeForce Now’s high tiers will get upgrades to newer, extra highly effective {hardware}.

In brief, it is not solely simpler to hire an RTX 3080 by way of GeForce Now than it’s to purchase one your self—and by “easier”, we largely imply “possible”—you may even get monetary savings in the long term by doing so. 

As Good because it Gets

Photoraph: NVIDIA

If you play GeForce Now on the free tier, it has a couple of drawbacks. Since the service’s free tier may get unwieldy to host in a short time, gamers have to wait in a queue to get on-line, and play periods are restricted to one hour apiece. The Priority tier, the service’s earlier highest possibility, lets players skip forward of the free tier customers and play on some extra superior {hardware} for up to 6 hours.

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