NVIDIA GeForce NOW Mac Beta

I was on the phone with Alice last night when I decided to check out the NVIDIA GeForce NOW beta for MacOS. I’d seen it in a promoted post on Facebook when I was going through my feeds earlier in the day, and was immediately interested.

I installed the beta and fired up Diablo III. I proclaimed “The future is here!” as I made my way past the login screen, which I’d last seen as far back as 2013. My mid-2011 MacBook Air ran the game at all low settings when it first came out, but I was now looking at it in its full glory, made possible by GPUs in the cloud.

I set out to see how I might tie my Mac into my streaming setup. I grabbed the mini-DisplayPort to HDMI adapter that I had left laying around ever since I began leveraging DLNA, and used it to connect my MacBook Air to my AVerMedia Live Gamer HD. OBS displayed “HDCP,” but passthrough functionality was unaffected.

I played Fortnite, a title I knew that my workstation could run passably at low settings at 1280×720. The image was obviously being scaled up from whatever GeForce NOW decided was suitable for my MacBook Air. I noticed occasional input lag, which I am assuming is because I was running off of WiFi. It would be nice to tie my MacBook Air more neatly into my workstation setup through a Thunderbolt hub (Amazon.com), but most importantly, I need to hardwire it to my LAN. While a USB ethernet adapter (Amazon.com) would do the trick, I would be better served by a combination USB hub ethernet adapter (Amazon.com).

What really turns me on to NVIDIA GeForce NOW’s technology:

  • It allows users to prioritize investments into infrastructure over amassing local processing power. Investments into infrastructure are long-lasting, whereas Moore’s Law makes keeping up with the latest processors costly.
    • Reduces barriers to entry for modern AAA titles, allowing in users on long upgrade cycles

Next steps:
Before I make the investment into bypassing HDCP (either on the AVerMedia Live Gamer HD or before the signal hits it), I would like to learn how to force NVIDIA GeForce NOW to output to the external display at its native resolution instead of selecting the optimal resolution for my MacBook Air’s display.