First look: Nvidia GeForce Now brings premium gaming to Mac

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2017
AppleInsider goes hands on with the latest beta version of Nvidia GeForce Now, a cloud gaming service that promises to deliver high-end gaming experiences to Mac.








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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    dr hawkdr hawk Posts: 21member
    I have a couple of questions regarding this service that weren't brought up on the video.

    1) Will they have overseas servers (as I live in Australia and the lag would be in the 100's of milliseconds at best if the server is in the US)?
    2) What connection to the internet is required for fast speeds? (ADSL 2 and above?)

    Cheers Dr Hawk
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 5,008administrator
    dr hawk said:
    I have a couple of questions regarding this service that weren't brought up on the video.

    1) Will they have overseas servers (as I live in Australia and the lag would be in the 100's of milliseconds at best if the server is in the US)?
    2) What connection to the internet is required for fast speeds? (ADSL 2 and above?)

    Cheers Dr Hawk
    This is just the very first examination of the service. I'll pass your questions on. 

    Regarding internet speed, Nvidia recommends 50Mbit speed for 1080p, 20Mbit for 720p, and at least 10Mbit to work at all.
    chia
  • Reply 3 of 14
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,308member
    For their gaming service they do have one Asia-Pacific server AFAIK in addition to several in the US and EU, No doubt Mike will get the answers to the rest of your questions but at least you won't have to depend on connection to a US server (assuming I'm correct). If it's similar to their GeForce gaming on the Shield I think you have the opportunity to check the latency before committing to the service. 
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 4 of 14
    Why does this remind me of  OnLive , from what now seems like so long ago.


  • Reply 5 of 14
    Dang, I read that as Nvidia chips coming back to the Macbook line -_-
  • Reply 6 of 14
    archienyarchieny Posts: 12member
    dr hawk said:
    I have a couple of questions regarding this service that weren't brought up on the video.

    1) Will they have overseas servers (as I live in Australia and the lag would be in the 100's of milliseconds at best if the server is in the US)?
    2) What connection to the internet is required for fast speeds? (ADSL 2 and above?)

    Cheers Dr Hawk
    This is just the very first examination of the service. I'll pass your questions on. 

    Regarding internet speed, Nvidia recommends 50Mbit speed for 1080p, 20Mbit for 720p, and at least 10Mbit to work at all.
    According to the email which informed me of my acceptance to the beta, it states that one must live within the United States or Canada. Direct quote from email:
    "To participate in the beta, you need a compatible Mac computer with a 25 Mbps Internet connection, and to be located in the continental United States or Canada. "

    So initially, it seems that there is no viable service outside the U.S. or Canada.
    edited June 2017 chia
  • Reply 7 of 14
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,353member
    dr hawk said:
    I have a couple of questions regarding this service that weren't brought up on the video.

    1) Will they have overseas servers (as I live in Australia and the lag would be in the 100's of milliseconds at best if the server is in the US)?
    2) What connection to the internet is required for fast speeds? (ADSL 2 and above?)

    Cheers Dr Hawk
    This is just the very first examination of the service. I'll pass your questions on. 

    Regarding internet speed, Nvidia recommends 50Mbit speed for 1080p, 20Mbit for 720p, and at least 10Mbit to work at all.
    So, everyone with DSL can forget it. Not that i wanted to pay for such a service...
  • Reply 8 of 14
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,353member

    archieny said:
    dr hawk said:
    I have a couple of questions regarding this service that weren't brought up on the video.

    1) Will they have overseas servers (as I live in Australia and the lag would be in the 100's of milliseconds at best if the server is in the US)?
    2) What connection to the internet is required for fast speeds? (ADSL 2 and above?)

    Cheers Dr Hawk
    This is just the very first examination of the service. I'll pass your questions on. 

    Regarding internet speed, Nvidia recommends 50Mbit speed for 1080p, 20Mbit for 720p, and at least 10Mbit to work at all.
    According to the email which informed me of my acceptance to the beta, it states that one must live within the United States or Canada. Direct quote from email:
    "To participate in the beta, you need a compatible Mac computer with a 25 Mbps Internet connection, and to be located in the continental United States or Canada. "

    So initially, it seems that there is no viable service outside the U.S. or Canada.
    And very little within the USA, since most of our internet infrastructure is still pretty poor, unless you live in the very few places with fiber.
  • Reply 9 of 14
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,289member
    This is sick, that high quality video latency can even get this low over the internet.. I'm wondering what the backend looks like. Like if there's an equal amount of gaming PC's that there are users, packed in a LAN party server room, lol.. Or if it's a crowd leasing grid of sertified machines and network specs. Perhaps one can find out about the details on the service site. Impressive nonetheless.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    dr. xdr. x Posts: 191member
    Dang, I read that as Nvidia chips coming back to the Macbook line -_-
    I too thought this as well but interesting news nonetheless. 
  • Reply 11 of 14
    I have access to the beta - but I took one look at the available games and there was nothing I had any interest in playing. 
  • Reply 12 of 14
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,232moderator
    palegolas said:
    This is sick, that high quality video latency can even get this low over the internet.. I'm wondering what the backend looks like. Like if there's an equal amount of gaming PC's that there are users, packed in a LAN party server room, lol.. Or if it's a crowd leasing grid of sertified machines and network specs. Perhaps one can find out about the details on the service site. Impressive nonetheless.
    It wouldn't be cost-effective nor use optimal space and cooling to have one PC per user, they use server racks:

    Vld2139_medium

    Related image

    Image result for geforce now server

    It says up to 16 GPUs per server blade. They use Pascal GPUs now. Each 1060 is as fast as a PS4 Pro so 16 PS4s per blade. They can also virtualize the GPUs, up to 16 users per GPU, some of the server GPUs have multiple GPU cores:

    Customized Graphics Profiles

    http://www.nvidia.com/object/grid-technology.html

    Most games don't need more than 4TFLOPs for maximum quality at 1080p so some higher-end GPUs could be shared by multiple users for lower-end titles:

    https://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-1060.167603.0.html

    One of the difficulties is making this profitable. The demand isn't constant throughout the day, it will be almost zero during the working part of the day and then high demand for 4-6 hours and then zero overnight but they need to keep the systems operating all the time. These services all have long beta phases to figure out what the demand is going to be and if it can be sustained financially.

    NVidia has an advantage in being able to use their grid for other tasks like computing so they can make money that way too. Their cloud gaming prices are high at around $0.80 per hour but other services have run out of money by pricing too low. OnLive went bankrupt years ago, Sony bought both them and Gakai and currently run Playstation Now. NVidia rebranded to Geforce Now after Sony launched their Playstation Now service.

    This service applies to PC users, Steam has over 125m active users. Not all of them need the power to play higher-end games and the ones that do typically already have a setup capable of it, they haven't been waiting for a solution. The appeal would mostly be for whatever portion of low-end/laptop users want to play high-end titles. If NVidia targets 10 million gamers and each server blade can handle 16 users and there are 20 blades per rack, they'd need 30k racks e.g 10k per data center. They wouldn't need to target 10m concurrent, Steam peaks at 14m.

    They can build a 1060 for ~$150, that would be a $1.5b cost for all the gamers and as GPUs improve in performance, they can satisfy more gamers with fewer GPUs. To make a profit at $0.8/hour, they'd need every one of 10m users to play 187 hours of games. Average games only take 10-20 hours each, a handful can take a long time. It's easy to see why the other companies went out of business.

    NVidia is better suited for this than the other services because they make the GPUs, the other services had to buy the GPUs from AMD/NVidia and NVidia has its own money to invest in it.

    These services will likely only ever be a small portion of the overall games industry but it's a great option to have for low-end Mac users because it saves having to install Bootcamp. Using it for an occasional demanding game would be ideal. Mac ports are typically more expensive anyway so this way you can get a game as soon as it comes out or in a sale and just add $15-20 to the price to be able to play it under macOS without putting any load on the hardware at all.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    I remember OnLive. This is still awesome, glad this idea is being done right.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,314member
    Marvin said:
    One of the difficulties is making this profitable. The demand isn't constant throughout the day, it will be almost zero during the working part of the day and then high demand for 4-6 hours and then zero overnight but they need to keep the systems operating all the time.
    I'd think they could rent out that power during the day to pro users who might want the rendering capabilities for 3D or video effect rendering, etc.

    I'm not sure why the video says 200fps on a 12" MacBook (aside from click-bait). There's no way you're going to get 200fps to that MacBook.

    Interesting, though, for some gaming for people who aren't fanatical about it... if they live in the right places or this services becomes distributed enough.
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