What you need to know
- NVIDIA has unveiled a new tier of GeForce Now that will give its subscribers RTX 3080 levels of performance.
- The new tier will launch first in the U.S. and provides up to 1440p gaming at up to 120FPS from a 35mbps connection.
- The new tier will cost $100 per six months access and will be available to the first subscribers in November.
NVIDIA is best known among gamers for its graphics cards but this latest upgrade to GeForce Now is arguably its most important product in years. GeForce Now is moving one step closer to being able to completely replace any gaming PC with its new tier, aptly called "RTX 3080."
The upgrade is courtesy of the new SuperPods, built to supply subscribers with RTX 3080 quality gaming from the cloud, with up to 1440p resolution and 120 FPS now on the table. It's the first time that the GeForce Now hardware will be based on NVIDIA's Ampere GPU architecture, and each SuperPod boasts double the CPU cores and triple the GPU specs of the current servers.
Each user connected to the SuperPod will get a virtual gaming machine the equivalent of an 8-core, 16-thread CPU, paired with a PCIe 4.0 SSD and the GPU power of an RTX 3080 (though the SuperPods don't actually use consumer RTX 3080 GPUs.) Latency has also been brought right down to 56ms, which is set to be a class leader, and this is the first time a cloud gaming service has been able to offer such high frame rate gaming.
It isn't limited to PC or Mac, either, with Samsung's phones with high refresh rate displays already having been tested by NVIDIA for compatibility with the new tier. Shield TV owners will get an added boost, with a 4K60HDR option becoming available with a 40mbps connection. Other devices may be enabled for this tier in the future, but with h.265 being used for the encoding, the Shield TV was the obvious, and easier choice for NVIDIA to start with.
120 FPS gaming will be limited to desktop or mobile clients for the time being, which means no web app access to it on desktop or iOS. NVIDIA is also going to be pushing an update to allow players to save in-game settings to be restored when they come back, and Microsoft Edge users will be pleased to know the browser is officially supported from October 21.
Cloud gaming isn't yet viable for everyone, but with these changes to GeForce Now we're already entering a time when it could start to replace full-fat gaming PCs. You can't buy an RTX 3080 right now without a gigantic effort, but do you need one if you can rent one from the cloud whenever you play your games? This is a truly impressive, and exciting update to GeForce Now and pre-reservations for subscriptions will begin today. Prices for the new tier are $100 for 6 months access and initially it will only be available in the U.S.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine