Cloud gaming reaches new heights this month as NVIDIA upgrades the GeForce NOW Ultimate membership. The price remains at $20 a month, but users will gain RTX 4080 streaming with a 4K 120FPS resolution. Additionally, NVIDIA will add a “competitive” 240Hz setting and high-res options for ultrawide monitors.
These upgrades are enabled by NVIDIA’s SuperPOD RTX 4080 supercomputers, which were unveiled at CES 2023 on January 5th. According to NVIDIA, the SuperPOD provides 1.7x the performance of NVIDIA’s existing RTX 3080 service. And because these supercomputers run on RTX 4080, they offer the advanced ray-tracing and DLSS 3 features you’d expect from a high-end gaming PC.
Obviously, this is a huge graphical upgrade for the GeForce Now service. But I’m more impressed by NVIDIA’s advancements in streaming latency. Enabling GeForce Now’s competitive NVIDIA Reflex mode now unlocks a 240Hz refresh rate, reducing input latency to just 25ms in some tests. (That said, real-world input latency seems to be closer to 35ms.)
I’m also excited by GeForce NOW’s newly-added support for AV1 video encoding. It reduces bandwidth usage by around 15% when compared to the existing H.265 encoding method. The improvements offered by AV1 encoding should be noticeable when gaming on a mobile connection or in a home with lots of network traffic.
The improved NVIDIA GeForce Now Ultimate membership rolls out this month. That said, availability depends largely on your location—NVIDIA needs to upgrade its data centers with SuperPOD computers, and you won’t see RTX 4080 performance until your nearest data center is ready. Please note that this upgrade is only for Ultimate subscribers.
NVIDIA GeForce Now
GeForce Now lets you stream games you already own, making it a great option for established gamers.