Getting your hands on a physical RTX 3080 GPU is still difficult. Like other in-demand electronics such as the Playstation 5, production capabilities for these devices cannot match the demand at the moment. However, accessing a gaming server that is powered by the 3080 is now a possibility. Per Nvidia’s official blog — the company is offering a new membership for its cloud gaming service, GeForce NOW, appropriately titled the RTX 3080 membership. Interested parties can put in pre-orders for this membership (limited to founders and priority members in North America and Western Europe), which will start out at $99.99 for six months, but keep in mind that the service will be available in limited quantities.
In order to transform even the most innocuous device, like an older MacBook Air (or a PC for that matter, Nvidia specified anything with four-year-old integrated graphics), into a high-powered rig, Nvidia has created something called a SuperPod. This new type of server is filled with stacks of RTX 3080 GPUs, effectively giving people who purchase a GeForce NOW RTX 3080 membership with a dedicated 3080 GPU in the cloud. Here’s a spec breakdown:
GeForce NOW RTX 3080 members will have exclusive access to the new servers, streaming at up to 1440p at 120 FPS on PC, 1600p at 120 FPS on most MacBooks, 1440p at 120 FPS on most iMacs, 4K HDR at 60 FPS on NVIDIA SHIELD TV and up to 120 FPS on select Android devices.
While pre-orders may be limited to founders and priority members at the moment, the memberships will become available to all gamers next week, pending availability. Pre-orders will not be charged until the RTX 3080 membership actually goes live.
Nitty Gritty— Comparing the RTX 3080 membership with common hardware is pretty startling: The cloud service gives users a big jump in performance that includes a 70x increase for the average laptop on Steam, 13x for an M1-based MacBook Air and 7x for the most popular desktop configuration on Steam.
As pointed out by Gizmodo, GeForce NOW’s highest-tier membership provided performance that capped out at 1080p at 60fps. With the introduction of the RTX 3080 membership, Mac and PC users will receive quite the jump in power — streaming at up to 1600p at 120 FPS and 1440p at 120 FPS, respectively.
If you can stomach shelling out $200 over the course of a year for the service, it will certainly add some nitrous to whatever your non-rig set-up might be at the moment.