Nvidia GeForce Now beta goes live, delivers high-end gaming to Mac

Posted:
in Mac Software edited October 2017
Announced at CES in January, Nvidia's GeForce Now cloud-based gaming service went live in beta form on Friday, promising users the ability to play graphically intensive games on their Mac, including PC-only titles.

Nvidia GeForce Now


Nvidia's service, currently available for testing in the U.S. and Canada, relies on the power of GeForce GTX GPUs in the cloud to deliver a virtual PC experience to Mac owners.

The clever system performs all the heavy lifting in the cloud, then pipes down a processed stream to a user's Mac, allowing owners of older Apple hardware play games that they might not otherwise have access to. In addition, since the service is basically a virtual PC, users can sample a host of PC-only titles.

The virtual PC experience is integrated with online game stores like Steam, Origin and Battle.net, where users can sign in and purchase titles just as they would on a Windows rig. Previously purchased titles can also be installed on through the GeForce Now interface, meaning users don't have to pay twice to access a game they already own.

AppleInsider tested out an early beta of GeForce Now in June and found the service to be more than adequate for all but the most demanding games. Frame rates were solid, gameplay smooth and video was, for the most part, free of artifacts.

As Nvidia notes, a fast internet connection is recommended for optimal results. In our time with the service, we found Wi-Fi to be acceptable even for fast-paced games like Overwatch, though a hardwired connection provides the best experience.





Nvidia GeForce Now is available for free during the beta testing phase, which runs through the end of the year. Games, of course, must be purchased separately.

Nvidia is touting "Playerunknown's Battlegrounds" as a marquee title on its dedicated GeForce Now webpage, but a number of other games are compatible with the service. For example, the recently released "Divinity: Original Sin 2" is available for play, as are older classics "Dota 2" and "Team Fortress 2."

Once the service goes live, GeForce Now will move to a tier based subscription system. Pricing has yet to be determined, but Nvidia estimated game packages to start at $25 for 20 hours of play when it debuted the service earlier this year.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    I’m not sure who this service is for...

    I could see gamers using 20 hours a week, that is $1500 + per year.

    If that really worth it?  

    I could see something like this for Xbox for $599 /year etc.

    In a “gym” business model, where every pays X amount, but only use Y.


    macplusplus
  • Reply 2 of 19
    Surely not too far from being iPad enabled?
  • Reply 3 of 19
    mcbanjo said:
    Surely not too far from being iPad enabled?
    I’m guessing you need a pc based interface like a mouse. But you’re right, this might be “mobile” gaming in a year or two from now.
  • Reply 4 of 19
    I’m not sure who this service is for...

    I could see gamers using 20 hours a week, that is $1500 + per year.

    If that really worth it?  

    I could see something like this for Xbox for $599 /year etc.

    In a “gym” business model, where every pays X amount, but only use Y.


    $1300 but yeah that’s super expensive even if it goes cheaper for an annual subscription or whatever. PlayStation Now is $20/mo for the same basic concept, and that’s accessible by PS4 and PC, so $240/year for access to hundreds of streaming games. I guess the PC Master Race™ people might see some added value in this but for that much can’t you build a decent gaming PC?
    viclauyyc
  • Reply 5 of 19
    All that money just for the privilege to game on a Mac when you've already paid for the computer. And then again for the game. 

    Crazy. 

    Apple should develop a tool to port common things to metal, so devastating can have an easier time of making games available on Mac. 
  • Reply 6 of 19
    I’m not sure who this service is for...

    I could see gamers using 20 hours a week, that is $1500 + per year.

    If that really worth it?  

    I could see something like this for Xbox for $599 /year etc.

    In a “gym” business model, where every pays X amount, but only use Y.


    It’s for Mac owners that don’t want an Xbox, like playing triple AAA titles on thier MBP BUT tired of Boot Camp drama and lugging around even the sexiest of hours serms silly for grand theft auto

    but 20 hours for 25 is still too much 

    and once it’s crowded this review should be renewed to reflect the speed a busy GeForce now gives for this orice
  • Reply 7 of 19
    I’m not sure who this service is for...

    I could see gamers using 20 hours a week, that is $1500 + per year.

    If that really worth it?  

    I could see something like this for Xbox for $599 /year etc.

    In a “gym” business model, where every pays X amount, but only use Y.


    Also that business model is successful at the far msrgins. That’s Planet Fitness not a real profitable gym - I hate that people think gyms are run this way still 


    Sexiest of external gpu*
  • Reply 8 of 19
    Crazy expensive. 
    Hardcore gamers will eat 20 hours up in 2 days easy on weekends and about 4-5 hours a day weekly. 
    45 hours - $50 bucks or so a week. $200 a month - $2400 a year. 
    That buys you a kick ass Alienware loaded - which will last you 2 years before you upgrade a card.

    fastasleep
  • Reply 9 of 19
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    Apple should make 3D displays.
  • Reply 10 of 19
    Nvidia says fast internet connection is recommended but then you talk in terms of wifi and hardwired. This means nothing as wifi and hardwired speeds are different for everyone. Please talk in terms of Mb/s.
    ksecfastasleepjony0
  • Reply 11 of 19
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,296member
    I don't think this is for people who are going to spend 40 hours each week gaming. Those people are going to justify the cost of buying a gaming rig. This is for the people who want to join in with those people, but don't want to have to invest in a gaming rig if they only game a few hours each week.

    Also, I wonder about the commercial aspect of this for people who need high-end 3D hardware or other GPU-heavy applications. They could get that power on a laptop without the investment, especially if they only need it from time to time. I'd be interested in something like that!

    Nvidia says fast internet connection is recommended but then you talk in terms of wifi and hardwired. This means nothing as wifi and hardwired speeds are different for everyone. Please talk in terms of Mb/s.
    Yea, if a difference can be noticed between WiFi and wired, then it's going to have to be a pretty fast internet connection. I'm wondering the same thing, as I can hardly believe they are pulling this off. I also wonder how location impacts this (i.e.: are the nVidia systems in San Jose and the testers in San Francisco?). I'd think ping-time and such would be crucial.
  • Reply 12 of 19
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,973member
    This has been live...I've been using it for the past 3 or so weeks. I've been playing Player Unknown Battlegrounds on my Mac Pro with an NVIDIA 970 and it works pretty well. I get between 60-100fps. You need a fast internet connection though. That will kill you more than anything. There is a tiny bit go lag (latency) as I think the game itself is running at NVIDIA and just streamed back to your Mac...hence why you need a fast internet connection. 

    Its a great concept, but I think in the end, at least for Mac users just either use Parallels or build a gaming PC. Its too expensive and laggy. When the beta period is over, I'm not going to subscribe to it. I'll just boot to Parallels and do it like I was. 
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 13 of 19
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 3,170member
    appex said:
    Apple should make 3D displays.
    What does that have anything to do with anything. Also, no they shouldn’t. 
    macxpresswilliamlondonStrangeDays
  • Reply 14 of 19
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,973member
    appex said:
    Apple should make 3D displays.
    What does that have anything to do with anything. Also, no they shouldn’t. 
    Because he always has weird ideas for Apple. Waiting for the comment of Apple should make headless Macs because well everyone uses a 20yr old display. 
    williamlondonStrangeDays
  • Reply 15 of 19
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,973member

    appex said:
    Apple should make 3D displays.
    3D is dead....
  • Reply 16 of 19
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,296member
    macxpress said:
    ... There is a tiny bit go lag (latency) as I think the game itself is running at NVIDIA and just streamed back to your Mac...hence why you need a fast internet connection. 
    Yea, I can't see how it would work for fast-paced games, especially for serious gamers. They do stuff to reduce any lag, even locally. This has to send your controller data, and then the screen back. To main server locations, I'm typically looking at somewhere just under 100ms, so that's nearly 200ms of round-trip lag. I suppose if I lived in the same city as the nVidia servers, that might reduce to, say 60ms total.

    macxpress said:
    Because he always has weird ideas for Apple. Waiting for the comment of Apple should make headless Macs because well everyone uses a 20yr old display. 
    I don't want a headless Mac so I can use a 20yr old display... but I do want one so I don't have to use an iMac display. I want my main display to be more than single-use (i.e.: inputs).

    macxpress said:
    3D is dead....
    I'm not sure it was ever alive to begin with (outside of TV manufacturer marketing). (But, boy-oh-boy did I have some forum arguments about that several years back.)
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 17 of 19
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,973member
    cgWerks said:
    macxpress said:
    ... There is a tiny bit go lag (latency) as I think the game itself is running at NVIDIA and just streamed back to your Mac...hence why you need a fast internet connection. 
    Yea, I can't see how it would work for fast-paced games, especially for serious gamers. They do stuff to reduce any lag, even locally. This has to send your controller data, and then the screen back. To main server locations, I'm typically looking at somewhere just under 100ms, so that's nearly 200ms of round-trip lag. I suppose if I lived in the same city as the nVidia servers, that might reduce to, say 60ms total.

    macxpress said:
    Because he always has weird ideas for Apple. Waiting for the comment of Apple should make headless Macs because well everyone uses a 20yr old display. 
    I don't want a headless Mac so I can use a 20yr old display... but I do want one so I don't have to use an iMac display. I want my main display to be more than single-use (i.e.: inputs).

    macxpress said:
    3D is dead....
    I'm not sure it was ever alive to begin with (outside of TV manufacturer marketing). (But, boy-oh-boy did I have some forum arguments about that several years back.)
    Agreed on all accounts! :smiley: 
  • Reply 18 of 19
    macxpress said:
    3D is dead....
    Autostereoscopic 3D, hopefully, isn’t. It just needs some maturation.
  • Reply 19 of 19
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,102member
    FWIW the GForce subscription on the Nvidia Shield TV is a whole lot less than this and TBH is very capable even for fast gameplay. My son uses it pretty much daily. ,Depending a bit on where in the world you're located they'd certainly benefit from adding a couple more servers tho. 
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