GeForce Grid will let you stream games on a Kepler-based GPU

By on May 15, 2012, 7:11 PM

We've already seen Nvidia's latest graphics architecture in action on standard gaming rigs, but the company shared some of Kepler's cloud-centric benefits during the GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California today. Nvidia says that first-generation Fermi-based game servers, such as those run by Gaikai, only have one GPU per server or 28 GPUs per rack. One GPU is allocated to a game stream and each chugs 150W.

As part of Nvidia's cloud solution, called GeForce Grid, Kepler allows four GPUs per server or 84 per rack at 75W each. That should result in major savings for server operators and assuming they pass that on to gamers, Nvidia says it's possible for a streaming service to offer bundles of games for about $10 a month -- akin to video streaming outifts like Netflix. OnLive currently offers 200+ titles (not new releases) for $9.99 a month.

Besides being more economical, GeForce Grid is reduces server-side latency by up to 30ms. Lag is a common concern about existing server-based gaming services, but GeForce Grid purportedly offers latency on par with and potentially better than local consoles. Nvidia chalks that improvement up to its fast and concurrent game capture APIs, strategic geographic server placement, and better input lag on Smart TV Ethernet ports.

Gaikai, an upcoming OnLive competitor, has announced that it will upgrade all of its data centers with GeForce Grid in August. Gaikai has largely been used to stream demos, but it's been working toward serving full games. Free-to-play mech shooter Hawken is expected to appear on the service shortly after its launch on December 12. Nvidia also has partnerships with Ubitus and Playcast, two lesser-known game streaming services.

User Comments: 1

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EEatGDL said:

I was reading a first part some hours ago at NVIDIA's website about both VGX and grid, now that I finished reading I had the curiosity to look for a recent new published here about some patents NVIDIA had bought to see if it had any relation with these announcements [I read about NVIDIA's adquiring of Physix time ago], and I thought "maybe this is a new specialization area" [Tegra, Quadro, Tesla, GeForce...]. I don't quite see the potential yet of that for gamers in general -tryed OnLive months ago-, maybe for casual gamers who want a decent and cheap service for playing, but I don't know about how many are we talking about.

I just wish them luck with their new implementations for the cloud-based growing industry. It's almost a fact that's the future -not my opinion, but companies keep pushing into the idea- and let's see just how much potential it has in terms of experience and cost, if it's really worth it in some scenarios, or definitely there's nothing like paying a premium price for the "full experience" (you know: your own rig, bought games either online or physically, and whatever you wanna add to your experience -multi-displays, 3D, etc.).

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