Subscribers to the GeForce RTX 3080 can also enjoy 1440p, 120Hz, and 4K HDR streaming.
Even though Nvidia’s monstrous GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card was released over a year ago, it’s still nearly hard to get your hands on one unless you want to spend a similarly monstrous markup on eBay. Nvidia is introducing the GeForce RTX 3080 to its GeForce Now cloud streaming service, along with a juicy 1440p, 120Hz gaming option, meaning you’ll soon be able to leverage the GPU’s frightening firepower for around the cost of a Netflix membership.
It’s a significant step forward for GeForce Now, solidifying it as one of the top PC gaming alternatives during the never-ending GPU shortage. If you’re new to desktop gaming or if your present graphics card fails and you would not want to invest $1,500 to $2,000 on an off-the-shelf RTX 3080, GeForce Now can keep your playing at the highest level until the chaos is over (at least assuming your internet is up to snuff). Yes, that includes cutting-edge, real-time ray tracing as well as Nvidia DLSS.
To make such a ferocious option viable, Nvidia needs to improve its servers. The company’s new GeForce Now “Superpods” boosts available CPU cores and memory bandwidth while also delivering the required GPUs—which aren’t true RTX 3080 GPUs, but rather a similarly configured chip based on the same underlying GA102 “Ampere” GPU. Is there one significant difference? The Superpod 3080s has 24GB of VRAM instead of the standard graphics cards’ 10GB of GDDR6X.
Each virtual RTX 3080 PC comes with an AMD Threadripper 8-core, 16-thread CPU, 28GB of DDR4-3200 memory, and a lightning-fast PCIe 4.0 SSD. So, yes, it’ll be able to handle whatever game you throw at it without flinching.
Nvidia is releasing additional display support options that use the increased processing power. Standard GeForce Now streaming is restricted to 60 frames per second at 1080p resolution, but with an RTX 3080 subscription, you can stream up to 1440p resolution and 120Hz.
If your phone has a 120Hz screen, you can use it at maximum refresh rate, albeit mobile access defaults to 720p resolution to avoid text components being unreadable on such small screens. (You can also manually set a phone’s resolution to 1080p.) Additionally, if you possess an Nvidia Shield TV, you’ll be able to play HDR games at 4K/60, with support for more devices coming soon.
However, pushing that many pixels necessitates higher bandwidth needs. While standard GeForce Now customers should have a 25Mbps internet connection, Nvidia recommends a 35Mbps connection for streaming games at 1440p/120 or a 40Mbps connection for the Shield TVs 4K HDR broadcasts.
Playing at such high framerates may alleviate some of the latency issues cloud gaming services could cause. According to the Nvidia chart above, the latency of the same game should decrease while running at 120 frames per second from a faraway RTX 3080.
Nvidia is also taking a page from its G-Sync experience to provide all GFN users an adaptive sync display option to improve gaming smoothness, independent of monitor type.
While G-Sync and other adaptive sync monitor smooth things down by matching your display speed to your GPU’s output, GeForce Now’s new adaptive sync technology aligns the server frame captures with the frame displays of your clients, either 60Hz or 120Hz.
On paper, adaptive cloud sync sounds thrilling, but when GeForce Now’s RTX 3080s go live, the evidence will be in the pudding.
Additionally, subscribing to the RTX 3080 tier unlocks additional perks. While GeForce Now’s free and standard tiers deal with overcapacity by putting gamers in a line, Nvidia cloud VP Phil Eisler says “no delay is the aim” for RTX 3080 members.
While he recognized that users might notice a brief weight from time to time—for example, when a hot new online game debuts—he also stated that the business will actively limit the number of RTX 3080 subscriptions and virtual PCs accessible.
Unlike the other levels, if you’re playing a lower-level game, you won’t get relegated to a lower-spec virtual PC. If you pay for an RTX 3080 on the cloud, you’ll always be playing on an RTX 3080.
You’ll also be able to play for up to eight hours straight, as well as save your graphics settings rather than having them default to an Nvidia-recommended preset. Users frequently desire the latter feature, according to Eisler.
It’s encouraging to see Nvidia pay attention; however, it’s a shame that the feature is limited to the most expensive membership tier.
Now let’s talk about the costs. While the free tier remains intact, with unlimited one-hour sessions, full access to your compatible PC library, and over 70 free-to-play titles, premium tier pricing had risen steadily since GeForce Now’s inception a few years ago.
Nvidia raised the Priority access costs to $10 per month or $100 per year earlier. That remains unchanged under Nvidia’s new plans, albeit the firm is now only selling six-month contracts for $50. (They did not give pricing on a month-to-month basis.) The RTX 3080 subscription, which costs $100 for six months, is substantially more expensive.
It calculates to $16.66 per month, approximately dividing the cost of a standard Netflix package and a premium Netflix plan. On the surface, that sum may appear absurd. Still, it feels like a reasonable price for indefinite access to a high-powered RTX 3080 workstation at a time when getting graphics cards is nearly difficult and genuine 3080s are selling for more than $1,500 on the streets.
That $16 a month might help you keep gaming until the GPU shortage passes and with some potent hardware at your disposal.
GeForce Now is a tried and trustworthy service, and Nvidia is attempting to keep RTX 3080 subscriber wait times to a minimum, so if you’re interested, consider signing up.