gaming

Shadow Power: The cloud gaming offering that wants to make PC gaming obsolete

Power rendering is Shadow’s most advanced option. Allows to have a real computer in a file Zipper, with Windows 10 and dedicated video game components. However, Shadow had to make compromises because the components aren’t quite the same as those in our home PCs. Thus, the processor is server model, AMD Epic 7543P has 32 meshed cores. These are thus the 4 processor cores that are assigned to each virtual PC for a Power session, with an additional 16GB of RAM, an RTX A4500 (professional model of the RTX 3070) and a 256GB SSD.

Shadow power cpu-z gpu-z

AMD Epyc processor with 4 cores and RTX A4500 account is good.

© The Digital

This configuration is on paper enough to run the majority of games in Full HD, or even in 4K if you reduce the amount of detail while DLSS is active. And that for 44.90 euros per month. A high price at first glance, especially if we compare it with its direct competitor, GeForce Now, which offers a GeForce RTX 3080 (soon RTX 4080) for € 19.99 per month. However, Shadow’s offering stands out by providing a full PC where you can install all of your software library while accessing gaming platforms (Epic, Ubisoft, Steam, GoG, etc.).

Half grape half fig offers

To evaluate the performance of the Shadow Power rendering, we subjected it to the same protocol as the laptops the games that we are testing. So we measured the performance of the processor and graphics card delivered to our gamepad.

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CPU Shadow power Epyc 7543P processor performance

In terms of pure performance, the Epyc 7543P’s four super-threaded cores aren’t a bolt of lightning.

© The Digital

The performance index of the Epic 7543P processor with 4 staggered cores in our session is 78. So it is at the level of a low-power Intel processor and is very far from the Core i7-12700H that is in the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro (index 189).

Inevitably, with only 4 staggered cores, the Power Shadow offering can’t compete with PC processors that are now equipped with far more cores. However, the power needed to properly run video games needs to be put into perspective, since it’s the graphics card that does most of the work.

Steam shadow power

Simply installing a game can put more CPU pressure on the Shadow session.

© The Digital

Shadowpower A4500

With that, the Shadow Power delivers performance similar to that of a laptop with a portable GeForce RTX 3070 Ti.

© The Digital

In terms of graphics performance, the Shadow Power and RTX A4500 20GB get an index of 225, which more or less matches the performance of Lenovo Legion 5 Pro It features a GeForce RTX 4070 Ti (150W) which scores a benchmark of 234.
Thus, the Shadow Power offering is slightly less efficient than the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro, which is a bit surprising since the RTX A4500 is a desktop format card with a 200W heatsink that is supposed to be as efficient as a desktop GeForce RTX 3070.
We will especially remember that in the end it was not particularly helped by the processor, which seems to be a bit limited in order to be able to fully express itself with only 4 interlaced cores, while today 6 interlocking cores are the norm for gaming. In addition, the RTX A4500 is also responsible for encoding the video stream to send it through a file Zipper In order to get it at home via fiber.

To play in Full HD

Shadow Force full HD

Full HD frame rate with maximum detail.

© The Digital

In practice, Shadow Power rendering allows you to play all games with detail set to maximum at over 60 frames per second. Only activate raytracing reduces frame rate Less than 60fps metro exodus And Cyberpunk 2077. In any case, in Full HD, the Power Display is enough to play in optimal conditions.

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Play in 4K with some compromises

Since Shadow’s Power rendering is also intended for use on TV, we pushed the definition up to 4K, while maintaining the same rendering quality settings.

Shadow Force 4K UHD

4K frame rate with maximum detail.

© The Digital

At 4K definition it is quite possible to play in good conditions. However, we will avoid activating effects in raytracing. For those who want to get closer to the 60fps mark, it will also be necessary to compromise on the detail displayed by lowering its requirements and activating either DLSS or FSR, depending on the game. for example , Assassin’s Creed Valhalla It goes from 49fps to 63fps with FSR in “Quality” mode and improves fluidity. to Cyberpunk 2077 movieWe were able to hit 69fps with the “SteamDeck” preset and DLSS enabled in “Quality” mode. So if you absolutely want to play in 4K, you’ll have to make some sacrifices on the amount of detail and on Raytrack.

cyberpunk 2077 shadow force

How fun to stroll through the Night City and enjoy the sounds of the city.

© The Digital

A convincing experience and some disappointments

Shadow force for mac

The main window for the client to access Shadow Power.

© The Digital

To access the Shadow Power demo, the client must be installed on the gaming console. An app is available for iOS and Android, as well as for macOS and Windows. It is therefore possible to play on a MacBook Air and enjoy its silent operation or on an Android tablet. Shadow covers the majority of devices, from connected TVs to RaspBerry Pis and Chromebooks.

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A prerequisite for using Shadow is of course that you have a good internet connection, ideally fiber and a solid local area network (Ethernet or wifi 6). The client software runs a test first time to measure throughput and adjusts accordingly.

And here you are on the desktop for your Shadow Power session under Windows 10. If you’re used to using services like TeamViewer, you won’t be out of place. However, drag and drop doesn’t work and file transfers are particularly slow. It will be necessary to get used to using the storage service in Zipper To transfer files between your devices and a Shadow Power session – Shadow also provides a Shadow Drive.

Shadow Force interface

The shortcut Alt + Win + O gives access to the game interface.

© The Digital

While in use, the response time is somewhat noticeable. It requires a slight adjustment period, especially in neurotic games. You should also be careful not to add too many elements which can add latency. Thus, when using an entry-level computer connected to wifi and hooked up to 4K on our TV with a Bluetooth controller, our car is in Forza 5 It proved particularly difficult to control. Aside from this particular case, Shadow Power’s offering proves compelling as long as we’re not aiming for an FPS rating. It’s also fun to play with the MacBook Air M1 on battery power in silence, which lets you enjoy the soundtrack without having to suffer from roaring fans.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla Shadow Power

We did not detect any defects due to pressure.

© The Digital

However, not everything is perfect. And so we were victims of a few blue screens due to graphics drivers and rare connection difficulties. It is also necessary to take care that Shadow is allowed to manage the graphics card drivers, which can exacerbate the situation. It can also happen that the game crashes without causing a blue screen; In this case, the session must be restarted through the client and wait for a reboot, as is the case with a regular computer.

Shadow force bug

It happens from time to time that some errors pollute the experience and generate some frustration.

© The Digital

Shadow Power vs. GeForce Now

The Shadow Power demo delivers a compelling experience with a few small flaws inherent in the technology. We’re sorry for the low storage required juggling game installs and some frustrations with session startup or minor crashes. Shadow will have a particularly difficult time dealing with Nvidia. The Santa Clara green giant’s GeForce Now offering certainly doesn’t have a huge catalog of gaming and power-usage versatility, but it’s more attractive at a price point.

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