Cheap Gaming PC? Under £30 to you

#1
For the past few months I've been using a gaming PC I'll never own. The spec is not too shabby:

High-end dedicated NVIDIA graphics
GTX 1080 equivalent: up to 60Hz in 4K UHD and 144Hz in Full HD

12GB of RAM
DDR4 - 2400 MHz

256GB dedicated SSD storage

1 Gb/s download
100 Mb/s upload

Windows 10
64 bits

It's called Shadow and it does this:


In practice it does pretty much what it says it will do. Provided you have a device from the past five years, you can download the client, log in and connect to your Shadow PC. Set up Steam, GoG, Epic or any other game delivery platform and download your registered game to the remote VPC.

From that point you're running the game on a mid to high spec game PC with a 1Gb uplink but the screen output and control input is right in front of you.

And, despite my initial scepticism, it works. Better than that, it works well. I mean rock solid 60fps gaming on an old laptop

It's not flawless - I've had a couple of lockups and needed to restart, and it doesn't cope well with shonky internet connections - 15Mb/s download at your end is the least you can get away with but anything above that will work.

You'll also have to manage your games - 256GB is good for around 10 games, so you may need to install/uninstall if you play a lot of different ones. The 1Gb link takes the sting out of big downloads though.

The Cost

Currently, the Shadow costs £26.95 per month (due to go up shortly), but there's no contract or minimum rental period. You can just cancel the service online when you want to stop. If you add up the cost, it works out at roughly £650 over two years, which is what a broadly equivalent PC would cost - plus you get (from time to time) hardware upgrades such as graphics at no extra cost cost.

There's also the added benefit that Apple users can use the client to play PC games on their own Mac/iPad etc.

There is also a hardware device called the Shadow Ghost (£110-ish) you can plug into your TV and connect to your Shadow for PC gaming console style. Availability of this is somewhat patchy in its early stages though.



My seedy motivation for posting this review is simple; in return for signing up to a month of Shadow gaming you get a £10 reduction for your first month, after that it's full price. There's also the small matter of me getting various incentives*, but I'm sure you're not interested in that.

You can get more information and sign up here: My Shadow sponsor code : BARLAUQP

There's no obligation to use my referral code - other than to save yourself a tenner to try out Shadow for yourself.

I'm not affiliated with the company, nor do I do their tech support, but if you decide to give it a go, post on here if you have any experience you think others might find useful - good or bad. I may be able to answer simple questions.

MOD EDIT - We really don't like underlying code covering up stuff. Be honest that you are trying to gain from others.

The vast hoard of loot I make off unsuspecting punters:
1 referral An exclusive 4K desktop background
2 referrals An Xbox One controller clip for to use Shadow on Smartphone
3 referrals A bunch of Shadow goodies. What's inside is a surprise!
4 referrals Another £10 off your next bill (that's £20 total for this threshold you've got it right!)
5 referrals An exclusive Shadow Mousepad
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#2
Does your £26.95 allow you to install the client on multiple devices or is it limited to one machine?
 
#3
Does your £26.95 allow you to install the client on multiple devices or is it limited to one machine?
Multiple machines. You can pause a game on your PC/Mac, close the client, then open the client on a laptop, unpause and continue gaming.

I lol'd the first time I did that.

Caveat - but only 1 device at a time, so if you connect again from the PC, the laptop client will close.
 
#4
Multiple machines. You can pause a game on your PC/Mac, close the client, then open the client on a laptop, unpause and continue gaming.

I lol'd the first time I did that.

Caveat - but only 1 device at a time, so if you connect again from the PC, the laptop client will close.
You might want to mention that they have a Ubuntu client...

Do you know anything about them apart from being an end user?
 
#5
You might want to mention that they have a Ubuntu client...

Do you know anything about them apart from being an end user?
Unfortunately, I can't vouch for the Ubuntu client other than it doesn't work with Mint.

The company is French, I believe, and expanded their service to the US at the end of last year. They are very active with their users on social media/email/Discord etc. The one time I used their Tech Support was (for me) frustrating, but ultimately they sorted the issue so I can't be too critical.
 
#6
Unfortunately, I can't vouch for the Ubuntu client other than it doesn't work with Mint.

The company is French, I believe, and expanded their service to the US at the end of last year. They are very active with their users on social media/email/Discord etc. The one time I used their Tech Support was (for me) frustrating, but ultimately they sorted the issue so I can't be too critical.
Ta, interested for commercial use, dunno if they'll cope - Z840/Z8 with P5000/6000 cards. I'll get them on twitter anyhoo.
 

JNM

Old-Salt
#7
Streaming games has never grabbed me. Tried Sony’s PS now? Whatever it’s called on great internet and it was ******* horrendous. Latency is just something that will never be fixed.
 
#8
Streaming games has never grabbed me. Tried Sony’s PS now? Whatever it’s called on great internet and it was ******* horrendous. Latency is just something that will never be fixed.
Thanks for letting me know how something completely different from another company performed.
 

JNM

Old-Salt
#9
Thanks for letting me know how something completely different from another company performed.
Latency is latency. Doesn’t matter who it is it’s an industry wide problem. Also if anything sony is a bigger company with more access to servers and equipment plus the data is stored on their end so they should have a BETTER experience.
 
#10
Latency is latency. Doesn’t matter who it is it’s an industry wide problem. Also if anything sony is a bigger company with more access to servers and equipment plus the data is stored on their end so they should have a BETTER experience.
I'm grateful for your valuable insight into something you've never used.
 
#11
My £10 is on dogmeat being a rep for shadow.
 

JNM

Old-Salt
#12
I'm grateful for your valuable insight into something you've never used.
Mate you’re just trying to make money. The tech for all of these things are basically the same and the reason you’re not defending anything is that you know it’s true. Instead of the data going through Storage, RAM, CPU/GPU, display it’s going Storage, RAM, CPU, Internet Hub, network switches (number depending where you are), data centre, PC, RAM, CPU/GPU then reversed back to the GPU for output. There’s a lot more time there. Instead of having a 1-5ms delay from the panel you’re getting 10s of ms if not approaching 100.
 
#15
Yeah, you sign people up and get money. Kinda like how being paid on commission works.
I clearly mentioned it in the OP. You get a referral link when you sign up.

It's posted here for the benefit of Arrse members who might want to give it a go for the price of a few beers.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience with whatever 10Base T/Gameboy lashup you're wibbling about, but time moves on, gramps. So should you.
 
#18
I'm lost. I'm no gamer, but surely, 60FPS (or 60 million FPS for that matter) is on the graphics card in the server in the datacenter. Your interface to it is running on some kind of remote display tunneling technology. Unless your local computer has a similarly specced graphics card and the connection is low-latency, high bandwidth, you're only going to see a facsimile of the 60fps 4K glory.

In which case, I don't see the advantage of having (read paying for) a high-spec graphics card that you can't see properly.

Maybe I'm missing something. As I said, gaming not my thing, so it's quite possible. It seems to me the advantage is primarily in the network performance between your hosted instance in the datacenter, and the game server. You're not already dead, which is what I understand is the problem with many games, you've already been shot before you even see the enemy on your local Xbox/PS/PC due to some players having vastly superior network performance vs others.
 
#19
not a gamer, never have been.
after a day sorting out meraki issues the last thing i want to do is look at a pc screen at home.
i have a lovely wife to nag me, diy to do and get drunk
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
well, without even trying too hard I've just specced a machine on Amazon that in pretty much all cases apart from the graphics card exceeds the spec on this. (I had to pick a 1070 8gb gfx card to keep the price down.)

total? £715. that's with 16gb of ram and a 480gb ssd as well. 10 games on a 256? you'll be lucky. the install on GTA V (admittedly an extreme case, but games aren't going to get smaller in the future) run to over 80gb. so no lag and a better spec for kit you'll actually own? plus what if the spec they list doesn't meet the requirements of a future release? have they said what will happen then? I can either see them saying 'meh, there's not enough demand' or 'oh sure, it'll be an extra £10 a month please.' I know what my choice will be.

and like I say, that £715 is what I got after five minutes or so...I bet you could easily dig out better prices than that after trawling round the usual supsects for an afternoon...
 

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