GeForce NOW

GeForce NOW Ultimate 4080 Review

The GeForce NOW 4080, the latest offering from Nvidia, is now starting to roll out to everyone as part of the new ultimate tier. This upgrade promises to raise the bar even higher for cloud gaming, but is it the right choice for you? 

This upgrade represents a significant step forward in the world of cloud gaming. This new offering from Nvidia further improves the gold standard of cloud gaming by not only providing better performance but also introducing new features that benefit performance, latency, and quality of life. The difference between local and cloud gaming will be indistinguishable to the vast majority users and GFN should be the choice on where to play games if you are in a region that supports the 4080. The regions at launch are San Jose, Los Angeles and Dallas in North America; and Frankfurt in Europe. 

The headline feature of the 4080 is its powerful hardware, which includes the latest RTX 40-series GPU. This allows for smooth, high-quality gaming even at the highest settings. Additionally, the 4080 further improves on the ray tracing capabilities, which can significantly enhance the visual realism of games. 

Like before it allows gamers to play the latest and most demanding games on a wide range of devices, including low-end laptops, Macs and PCs, with no need for expensive hardware upgrade. 

This upgrade represents great value for money, particularly for members who were already subscribed to the 3080 tier. The 4080 is available as part of the new ultimate tier, and it is being offered at no additional cost to members who were already subscribed to the 3080 tier. This means that existing 3080 members can now access the 4080’s powerful hardware and new features without any increase in their subscription cost. 

The Nvidia GeForce NOW 4080 upgrade is a testament to the company’s commitment to delivering on what cloud gaming is meant to be. Constantly updating the hardware and introducing new features is crucial for maintaining the highest standard of cloud gaming experience. The 4080 upgrade demonstrates Nvidia’s dedication to providing the best cloud gaming experience possible. 

Another aspect of the Nvidia GeForce NOW 4080 upgrade that is worth mentioning is the inclusion of the latest technologies such as DLSS 3.0 and Nvidia Reflex.  

DLSS 3.0 is a deep learning-based super-sampling technology that uses AI algorithms to deliver improved graphics and performance. It enables games to run at high resolutions with minimal loss in image quality, making the gaming experience more immersive and visually appealing. 

Nvidia Reflex is a suite of technologies that reduce system latency, providing a more responsive and smooth gaming experience. It works by minimizing the time between a gamer’s input on their device and the response on the screen. This is particularly beneficial for fast-paced and competitive games, where every microsecond counts. 

Together, DLSS 3.0 and Nvidia Reflex further enhance the gaming experience, making it more visually appealing and responsive. These technologies will be covered in more detail later in the review. 

One important thing to note about the Nvidia GeForce NOW 4080 upgrade is that to get the most out of it, you will need to have either a 4K screen, high-frame rate monitor or ultra-wide monitor. The 4080 is designed to provide the best possible gaming experience, and to fully take advantage of its powerful hardware and new features, you will need a monitor that can handle the high resolution and frame rates. 

Having a 4K screen allows you to experience games giving a highly detailed and immersive gaming experience. A high-frame rate monitor, on the other hand, can display games at a higher refresh rate, which can make the gameplay smoother and more responsive. An ultra-wide monitor offers a wider field of view, making the gaming experience more immersive and providing a more cinematic experience. 

It’s important to note that while having a 4K screen, high-frame rate monitor or ultra-wide monitor is not necessary to use the 4080, it will enhance the gaming experience significantly. If you don’t have one of these monitors, it’s worth considering an upgrade if you want to fully take advantage of the 4080’s capabilities. 

One thing to keep in mind when using GFN is that with the increase in library size to over 1500 games, it means that there are more games in maintenance. While the large selection of games is certainly a positive, it also means that some of the games you may want to play may be in maintenance or may be unavailable for launch at certain times. 

Games in maintenance are typically being updated or patched, which can cause them to be temporarily unavailable for play. This can be frustrating for gamers who want to play a specific game but are unable to launch it. There were a few games that we wanted to cover but could not because of this. 

The service has a large library of games, some of the most popular and high-profile titles, are missing and this0 an issue. However, this appears to be changing with the recent addition of major publishers such as 2K, Square Enix, EA, and Sega joining the service. 

The inclusion of these major publishers means that more showpiece titles will become available on the service, making it more attractive to gamers who are looking for the latest and most popular games. This is a positive development and it’s likely that more publishers will join the service in the future, further expanding the available selection of games. 

It’s worth noting that this issue is not unique to Nvidia’s service, as other game streaming services also face the challenge of getting the rights to all the popular games. But the addition of major publishers like 2k, Square Enix, EA, and Sega is a step in the right direction and it’s expected to improve over time. 

Let’s dive deeper into the performance of the 4080 and go into a little deeper into some of the new features and technologies. 

The Nvidia GeForce NOW 4080 upgrade offers an impressive raw power output, making it the most powerful cloud gaming options available. With 64 TFLOPS of performance available, the new 4080 SuperPODs are not only 5x faster than the Xbox Series X, but also 1.75x faster than the GeForce NOW RTX 3080 SuperPODs. 

In addition to its powerful GPU, this upgrade also includes an upgraded processor, specifically the Zen 3 architecture, which is an upgrade to the thread rippers used in previous versions. The Zen 3 architecture offers several performance improvements over its predecessor. 

Nvidia Reflex is a suite of technologies that reduces system latency and increases smoothness in games, and it’s now coming to the Nvidia GeForce NOW (GFN) service. Using Reflex on GFN synchronizes the in-game FPS and the streaming FPS for the first time, increasing smoothness and reducing latency. This provides an esports quality gaming experience in supported games. 

The Reflex feature is enabled by using the Reflex SDK, which allows games to render only the frames that are needed when the monitor refreshes. Using various metrics including client performance, network conditions, and game performance, Reflex on GFN optimizes the entire pipeline for the best possible streaming experience with the lowest possible latency. It does this by rendering frames at the very last moment, ensuring that the client receives the “newest” available frame based on the latest input received from the client/gamer, which ensures frames are never “old” and frames are not repeated, keeping latency ultra low and consistent. 

When paired with a G-Sync monitor, latency is further reduced, providing an esports quality gaming experience in supported games. Using Competitive Mode with Reflex enabled, click-to-photon latency is sub-40ms, which is unheard of for cloud gaming even just two years ago 

When compared to the Xbox Series X, which has a reported latency of 63ms in 120fps mode, the 4080 offers a significant improvement in latency. Furthermore, when compared to the previous generation of GeForce NOW RTX 3080 SuperPODs, which had a latency of 60ms at 120fps and the two generations ago 2080 with 108ms at 60fps, the new 4080 Reflex in 240fps mode has a latency of 35ms, as seen in the example of playing Rainbow 6 Siege. 

Now that we’ve covered some of the raw power and technology behind the Nvidia GeForce NOW 4080 upgrade, let’s take a look at how it performs in gaming. With this upgrade, it’s a little harder to give a full picture as support is being extended to cover higher frame rates and varying resolutions. We’ll start with what is likely to be the top end for a lot of people initially: 4K at 60 frames per second (FPS). 

With its powerful hardware, it delivers a smooth and visually stunning gaming experience at 4K resolution and 60 frames per second (FPS) across all games. During our testing, we found that all games hit the 4K 60fps standard with room to spare. With some games we also used DLSS 3. 

One game that stood out during our testing with the Nvidia GeForce NOW 4080 upgrade was Dark Tide. This game proved to be troublesome on the previous RTX 3080, and now it looks and runs well.  

The improved performance of Dark Tide on the Nvidia GeForce NOW 4080 upgrade is likely due to the combination of the raw power upgrade and the patching by the game developer. Previously, with the RTX 3080, it was necessary to tune the game settings to get it working properly, but with the 4080, it’s possible to run Dark Tide with everything turned up to maximum, including ray tracing, and it works seamlessly. 

Cyberpunk 2077 is a game that truly showcases the capabilities of the upgrade. The game’s advanced graphics and ray tracing technology are used to great effect, creating a visually stunning and immersive gaming experience. 

With the 4080, the game looks like a next-gen title with everything turned up to maximum settings, including ray tracing. The powerful hardware of the 4080 allows it to handle the demanding graphics of the game with ease. The ray tracing feature in particular, provides a noticeable improvement in the visual realism of the game, making the neon-lit city of Night City come to life like never before. In addition, the inclusion of DLSS 3.0 in the 4080 also helps to improve the gaming experience in Cyberpunk 2077. 

While Cyberpunk 2077 is a great example of how the Nvidia GeForce NOW 4080 upgrade can deliver a visually stunning and immersive gaming experience, it’s also important to note that a game like Red Out showcases the advancements and maturity of cloud gaming as a whole. 

Red Out is a high-speed, futuristic racing game that takes full advantage of the low latency and high performance of the 4080. The game runs smoothly at high resolutions and frame rates, providing an immersive and responsive gaming experience. The chances are you have it your library as well if you claim your weekly Epic Free Games. 

Red Out is a shining example of how far cloud gaming has come. Running at 4K resolution and 60+ frames per second, the game delivers a smooth and responsive gaming experience with no pixelation. Additionally, Red Out requires fast reactions and quick reflexes to play, making it a perfect showcase of how the 4080’s Nvidia Reflex feature can enhance the gaming experience by reducing system latency and increasing smoothness. 

Nvidia is working on adding official steering wheel support for the service but currently, there are no specific timescales for when this will be implemented. While adding the support for steering wheels is great there are some issues with some racing games. With the Assetto Corsa series during our testing, we found that the road textures in these games can appear quite pixelated, which can be a little off-putting for players. The UI elements in the game appear to be fine and the game runs smoothly but the pixelation is there. 

It’s worth noting that during our testing, we encountered difficulty accessing several games that we wanted to test. These games included Watch Dogs Legion, Portal RTX, Battlefield 2042, and A Plague Tale: Requiem. Watch Dogs Legion and A Plagues Tale: Requiem where readded before we could have a chance to play them.

This is a normal practice in the cloud gaming industry as games need to be updated and patched to ensure compatibility and optimal performance on the service. Other cloud gaming platforms such as Stadia and Xbox Cloud Gaming have also taken games offline for maintenance and updates. 

It’s important to note that this may not be a permanent issue and the games may become available again in the future as they are updated and patched. In the meantime, users can access a large library of over 1500 games on the service. NVIDIA has assured us that they are aware of the issues we encountered during our testing and are actively working to resolve them. 

Having a large library of games is important for a gaming service, however, it’s also crucial that the service has access to the popular and in-demand games that players want to play. During our testing, we found that out of the top 100 games on Steam, 59 are currently available to play on GeForce NOW, with a further 10 that could potentially be added to the platform in the future as the publishers are working with Nvidia. This means that while the service has a large library of games, there may still be some popular titles that are not currently available to play on the platform. 

GeForce NOW is catering to the PC market by bringing games and features that are popular among PC gamers, such as support for high resolutions, frame rates, and ray tracing. However, in order to expand its user base and attract console gamers as well, it would be beneficial for the service to bring more console-oriented games to the platform. This includes titles like FIFA, GTA and other games that are popular among console gamers. This would help to expand the service’s appeal to a wider audience and attract a larger user base. 

The inclusion of these games, and other similar titles on GeForce NOW platform is becoming increasingly possible in recent months due to the renewed partnerships with game developers and publishers. 

GFN is bringing in ultrawide screen support and it brings several benefits 

  • Immersive gameplay: Ultrawide monitors offer a wider field of view, which can make the gaming experience more immersive and engaging. 
  • Better visuals: ultrawide monitors often have a higher resolution and a wider aspect ratio, which can result in sharper, more detailed images. They also tend to have higher framerates. 
  • Better gaming experience: The wider field of view allows for better peripheral vision in-game, which can give you an edge in fast-paced first-person shooters, racing games, and more. 

We will be discussing ultrawide support in a future review as we are currently in the process of acquiring an ultrawide monitor for testing. 

One additional benefit of ultrawide support is that it also improves the gaming experience on mobile devices such as phones and tablets. With more resolutions supported, ultrawide support on GFN eliminates the black bars that some games have when played on mobile, resulting in a more immersive and enjoyable gaming experience on mobile devices. 

With this upgrade, games now run at a steady 4k resolution and 120fps at ultra settings, whereas before, players would have to compromise on visual quality in order to achieve a locked 120fps. This means that players can now enjoy the highest level of visual quality and smooth gameplay at the same time. 

We have not been able to test the 240fps mode on GFN as we do not currently have a monitor that supports that high refresh rate. However, we expect that the support for 240fps on monitors will offer an even more smooth and immersive gaming experience, which we look forward to testing in the future. 

If you want to optimize your gaming experience on GFN, here are a couple of tips: 

  1. Turn off motion blur: During our testing, we have found that motion blur can make the game look worse, so turning it off can improve the visual quality. 
  1. Use a wired connection: If possible, use a wired connection instead of a wireless one as it can provide a more stable and faster internet connection. 
  1. Start with ultra settings: Start with the highest settings and work your way down if you experience any performance issues. This will ensure that you are getting the best possible visual quality and can help you identify the specific settings that are causing issues. 
  1. Experiment with the settings that GFN offers, like resolution, refresh rate, frame rate, and more, to find the sweet spot that suits you best 

GFN will also be adding support for the AVI Codec. 

We have a number of videos coming up that showcase the significant improvement in the gaming experience. These include big showpiece games like Cyberpunk, The Division 2, Dark Tide, Crysis, Far Cry, and more, as well as some smaller indie titles and older games. 

PC gaming and GeForce NOW offer the ability to play older games on newer hardware, allowing for improved graphics and performance. This can enhance the gaming experience and make older games feel new again. Additionally, as new hardware is released, it is exciting to see how games will look and perform on the latest technology. 

For gamers who are looking for an easy way to access the latest games and hardware, the GeForce NOW Ultimate subscription with the RTX 4080 is an outstanding value for money. The performance and experience of playing on the cloud is beyond any of their main rivals, and the games offered on GFN suit the preferences of myself and many players. The service allows players to forget that they are playing on the cloud, and that they are getting the same performance they would expect from a high-end gaming PC. 

The power and performance GeForce NOW service is truly impressive, however, to fully experience the capabilities of this, it is important to have the right equipment. The entry level is to have a 4K monitor or TV with 4k, will allow players to see the difference in performance and experience the full potential of the RTX 4080. 

The priority offering on the GeForce NOW service is a great option for gamers. It is perfect for people who have 1080p screens or want to game on the go on their mobile devices and Ultimate upgrade maybe overkill unless you want rid of the black boxes around the game. 

GeForce NOW Ultimate is the gold standard in cloud gaming, offering gamers the ability to access the latest games and hardware without the need for expensive equipment. With the addition of the powerful RTX 4080 graphics card, the platform has taken its performance to a new level. The service is so far ahead of the competition in terms of specs, performance, and pricing, it’s hard not to be impressed. It’s clear that NVIDIA is not only competing with others, but they are setting the standard for the industry and making cloud gaming more accessible to a wider range of gamers. 

By constantly updating the hardware, Nvidia is ensuring that its customers have access to the latest and most powerful technology. This allows gamers to play the latest and most demanding games on a wide range of devices, without the need to invest in expensive hardware. The 4080 also brings new features such as ray tracing, which significantly enhances the visual realism of games, and other performance, latency and quality of life improvements. 

The upgrade to the RTX 4080 is a prime example of NVIDIA’s commitment to providing the best cloud gaming experience possible. With this powerful graphics card, players can expect smooth and seamless gameplay, with high frame rates and incredible visual quality. The platform has now lifted the standard for cloud gaming, making it a viable option for local performance for a large amount of people. 

If you have the necessary hardware and the pricing is within your budget, it’s a no-brainer to upgrade to the GeForce NOW Ultimate subscription with the RTX 3080. The platform is delivering on what cloud gaming is meant to be, and NVIDIA is setting the standard for the industry 

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