Nvidia GeForce Now RTX 3080 review: The only way to get one


In the same way that streaming Netflix isn’t quite as high-quality as playing 4K HDR Blu-ray at home, streaming a game via a service like GeForce Now is an experience that requires some sacrifice. Video compression meant that sometimes the action was a little muddy, sometimes there were blocky distortions, or half a second where the game stopped and needed to catch up.

Despite the faster connections—how I managed to get speeds over 50Mbps on my hotel Wi-Fi, I’d never know—even these issues were few and far between. I spent time playing Cyberpunk 2077 movie And monitoringBoth games that make heavy use of Nvidia’s ray tracing and DLSS which give the RTX 3080 a chance to shine. I was able to play long enough to forget I was playing a game on a server hundreds of miles away.

That would be enough to make a compelling argument that even if GeForce Now doesn’t replace your gaming hardware at the moment, it might be a decent option for anyone who doesn’t want to buy or build their own. But now we have to deal with the supply chain crisis in the room.

Why buy when the cow is for rent

He takes out $100 every six months for the RTX 3080 plan for less than $17 a month. This means that streaming games from Nvidia’s great graphics card in the cloud costs almost as much as Netflix’s most expensive plan, And You still have to bring your own toys. Fortunately, Nvidia lets you use your existing library of services like Steam or Epic, but not all games are supported. There are a lot of questions asking when you can buy your own product for an MSRP of $700.

Except, you can’t.

We are serious. Buying multiple graphic cards – especially high-end cards like the 3080 – is not just hard to “find a Turbo Man on Christmas Eve”. For the average person, this is absolutely impossible. Some of the usually recommended strategies for getting one include hanging out in Discord servers and YouTube streams meant to monitor store inventory; camping outside retailers; And buy pre-built gaming PCs just to salvage the card from. Alternatively, you can just bite off the bullet and shell out nearly $2,000 off one of the vendors.

When those are the only other options on the table, $200 a year starts to sound more reasonable. It would take about three and a half years to spend on a GeForce Now like the actual RTX 3080 would cost at its usual retail price, but only if you could get one. There is also the possibility that in this time frame, the higher levels of GeForce Now will receive upgrades to newer, more powerful hardware.

In short, it’s no easier to rent an RTX 3080 via GeForce Now than just buy one yourself — and by “easier”, we pretty much mean “possible” — you can even save money in the long run by doing so.

as best as possible

Photo: NVIDIA

If you play GeForce Now on the free tier, it will have some drawbacks. Since the free tier of the service can be difficult to host very quickly, players have to wait in a queue to get online, and gaming sessions are limited to one hour per person. The Priority tier, the service’s previous highest option, allows players to skip free tier users and play on some of the more advanced devices for up to 6 hours.



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