GeForce NOW RTX 3080 tested: Here’s how NVIDIA improves cloud gaming

GeForce NOW RTX 3080 the new subscription plan that has just been launched by Nvidia for his renowned service of cloud game. RTX 3080 joins those already existing Free And Priority and allows you to play until the resolution 1440p and until 120 frames per second with the titles that allow it. Obviously, this is not possible with all games (Far Cry 6 and Cyberpunk 2077, for example, will remain at 60 fps), whereas Apex Legends, CS:GO and Destiny 2 they will go to 120 fps, with advantages in particular for latencies.

The GeForce NOW update allows users to enjoy a gaming experience comparable to a high-end PC with GeForce RTX 3080, even if the gaming station does not have hardware that allows it. Remotely, in fact, each user has access to 35 TFLOPs of graphics power, an 8-core, 16-thread CPU, 28GB of DDR4-3200 memory, and a PCIe 4.0 SSD.

Among other things, GeForce NOW lets you activate effects in laser trace on supported games such as Cyberpunk 2077, Watch Dogs: Legion and The Division 2. These games are automatically launched with the best graphics options and, therefore, with ray tracing enabled by default.

Watch Dogs Legion RTX s

In terms of internet connection performance, if NVIDIA requires at least 25 Mbps to play in 1080p 60 fps, the RTX 3080 plan requires a connection from 35 Mbps over Ethernet or Wi-Fi on the 5 GHz band. Additionally, the GeForce NOW plan also introduces the option Adaptive synchronization, which NVIDIA defines as a kind of extension of what it learned while working on G-Sync and Reflex technologies applied to the cloud. In practice, the frames rendered by the game engine are synchronized with the 60 or 120 frame encoding process and subsequently with the refresh rate of the monitor equipped with the client you are playing on. This is possible because NVIDIA managed to eliminate some server-side CPU and GPU buffering and compensate for network jitter by eliminating some client-side buffering.

In order to test the latency improvements brought by the new RTX 3080 profile, we used the sensor LDAT extensionwith the monitor ASUS ROG Swift PG259QNR at 360Hz. We positioned the sensor near the area of ​​the screen where the flame would have occurred following the explosion of a shot from a weapon: the instrument, which connected to a mouse, measured the luminance of the screen and calculated the time between two mouse clicks and luminance change.

We started from destiny 2with these latency results.

GeForce NOW RTX 3080 - Destiny 2

We used a PC with a Z590 motherboard with a Core i9-10900K and 16GB of DDR4-4000 memory, which was able to render Destiny 2 in 1080p at around 300 frames per second. An exceptional performance that greatly reduces latency under “PC”, which therefore implies local processing. GeForce NOW with the new 120 fps setting, however, does a great job improving latencies compared to other modes available in GeForce NOW and compared to Google Stadiawhich also runs this game at 60fps.

GeForce NOW RTX 3080

Destiny 2, on the other hand, allows on GeForce NOW, thanks to the new RTX 3080 profile, to deactivate V-Sync, allowing to play at 120 frames per second, with a consequent reduction in latency. In order to enable the best performance, you need to configure the GeForce NOW settings as shown in the previous image.

destiny2geforcenow s

We remind you that running in cloud gaming does not imply a constant output resolution for the user, since the quality of the image varies from moment to moment depending on the performance of the Internet connection. In the case of Stadia, for example, to always get a resolution at 1080p, you must activate the Stadia Pro subscription and set the resolution to 4K. So here is the qualitative comparison.

As always when we make this type of comparison, we take as a reference a writing far from the point of observation. In local processing (1080p) very defined, whereas in GeForce NOW we lose very little. Stadia, on the other hand, degrades the definition of the image in a much more obvious way.

A game available on GeForce NOW and rather absent from the Stadia catalog Fortnite. Here’s how latency testing went with the Epic title.

GeForce NOW RTX 3080 - Fortnite

Also in this case, local processing leads to almost 300 frames per second at 1080p, with a consequent excellent latency result. Unfortunately, even the new GeForce NOW RTX 3080 profile cannot play Fortnite at 120 fps in cloud gaming.

The main difference between GeForce NOW and Stadia is that NVIDIA’s service basically runs the PC versions of games, while Google’s uses the console counterparts, albeit slightly improved and more stable in terms of frame rates. that’s why you don’t go over 30 frames per second in far cry 6 and you cannot adjust graphics settings. On GeForce NOW, however, Far Cry 6 even lets you run the landmarks.

GeForce NOW RTX 3080 - Far Cry 6

We notice how the latency increases considerably with local processing: this is because Far Cry 6 is a newer game than Destiny 2 and Fortnite with its graphics engine which moves many more polygonal objects on the screen. In cloud gaming, on the other hand, there is not such a significant increase in latency compared to the Bungie title, because obviously the processing is not done from the local machine but remotely. GeForce NOW can play Far Cry 6 at 60 fps, and this implies significantly lower latencies than the Stadia version. We also did a quick test comparing the PC version to the GeForce NOW version: leave it as is for obvious reasons, but we’re posting the result anyway, mainly to show how this test mode is available in the GFN version of Far cry 6.

GeForce NOW RTX 3080 - Far Cry 6

At the same time, it should be noted that a multiplayer title, or a driving game, by their nature requires the lowest possible latencies. For this reason, cloud gaming pairs better with more relaxed single-player experiences. In this regard, let’s see how GeForce NOW behaves with Cyberpunk 2077. We pitted it against Stadia once again, which still manages to run the CD Projekt RED title at 60fps, like GFN.

GeForce NOW RTX 3080 - Cyberpunk 2077

In this case, the result recorded by Stadia is better than in previous tests, although the qualitative comparison confirms that Google’s cloud gaming service is less efficient in terms of definition and is more prone to the appearance of typical artifacts video compression.

Beyond these tests, however, cloud gaming does not (yet) guarantee latencies comparable to those of a good gaming PC and with local processing, nor the same quality of graphics. Depending on the performance of the connection, in fact, visual artifacts remain, very often similar to those of a traditional video accessible by streaming.

However, consider that a cloud gaming service like GeForce NOW allows you to play immediately, without waiting for game downloads and without taking up space on your storage units. Considering that a title like Destiny 2 requires a download of more than 72 GB, it becomes clear how much value this becomes. Among the many strengths of GeForce NOW is the ability to access through the service the profiles of the main game distribution applications (Steam, Epic Games Store, GOG, Ubisoft Connect and Origin)so you can share your libraries, saves, progress, and other game-related content.

One of the best features of GeForce NOW is that it gives the gamer true ownership of the games they buy. Unlike some competing services, games are purchased through distribution services and remain yours, even if you cancel your GeForce NOW subscription. Any progress you make playing games on GeForce NOW carries over to PC game builds for all titles that support cloud saves (almost all of the ones we tested except Cyberpunk 2077) .

Plus, GeForce NOW PCs stay up-to-date with the latest drivers and game patches so gamers never have to worry about maintenance—simply launch games and start playing right away. I’GeForce NOW Apps easy to use to search the catalog for the games you are interested in. GeForce NOW, however, not only accessible from PCs with Windows, but also from Macs, Shield TVs, Chromebooks and Android smartphones.

The expense required to activate the GeForce NOW RTX 3080 profile of 99.99 euros for six months and, in addition to the RTX 3080 experience, allows gaming sessions lasting 8 hours. Priority, however, costs 49.99 euros for six months, with gaming sessions limited to 6 hours and images up to 1080p and 60 frames per second. The free plan, on the other hand, lets you play for up to an hour.

It is an expense of around 16 euros per month, justified for those who like to play with high frame rates and for those who are particularly interested in games for which, as we said in the article, the new profile is working fine. The constantly improved cloud gaming experience is undoubtedly rewarding for those who have high-performance connections and above all at 1 Gbp/s, with ever lower latencies and appreciable graphic quality, beyond a few artifacts. With the worldwide shortage of video cards and the skyrocketing prices of those arriving in stores, GeForce NOW can represent an excellent transitional solution, also because it allows you to activate ray tracing even in the absence of local hardware capable of processing it.

For more information, we refer you to GeForce NOW website.