Shadow Power’s new offering, the PC in the cloud, is generating debate. Are you ready to spend 44.98 euros per month on a modern and complete PC in the cloud? This is one of the questions we are trying to answer.
Shadow organized its first major conference since the acquisition by Octave Klaba / OVHCloud. The day was very rich in novelties. They have confirmed their desire to market a more efficient offering this year, which is good, because the basic offering is showing some age. They have updated the clients that allow you to connect to your virtual machine from various platforms. They also announced the arrival of a Shadow Drive offer, which replaces the old OVH Cloud Hubic offer. Finally, they launch an offer dedicated to professionals.
Here, we wanted to compare the consumer offering with comparable solutions. Is Shadow financially attractive? This is one of the questions we are trying to answer.
Comparison with conventional PCs
Like any consumer, we wanted to compare Shadow’s offerings to more traditional equivalent solutions, and thus a desktop PC and a Windows-powered laptop. Our choice did not fall on a specific model, we compared the average fees at various merchants in May 2022. We chose the configurations closest to the Shadow Option Power offer that was just announced.
|Basic Shade Offer||Shadow Option Power Offering||portable target||destination PC|
|Setting||4-core Intel Xeon CPU
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU
256GB of storage
|AMD Epyc 7543P processor
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU or equivalent
256GB of storage
|Intel Core i7-11800H processor
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 mobile GPU or equivalent
512GB of storage
Example: MSI GP76 Leopard 11UH-681FR
|Intel Core i7-12700 processor
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU or equivalent
Example: Asus ROG Strix GT15CF
|Gaming||Full HD||4K UHD, VR and ray tracing||4K UHD, VR and ray tracing||4K UHD, VR and ray tracing|
|Cost 1 month||€29.99||€44.98||€2,000||€2,000|
|Cost 6 months||€179.94||€269.88||€2,000||€2,000|
|Cost 12 months||€359.88||€539.76||€2,000||€2,000|
|Cost 24 months||€719.76||€1079.52||€2,000||€2,000|
|Cost 36 months||€1079.64||€1,619.28||€2,000||€2,000|
As you can see from the table below, the Shadow Power offering is financially attractive. It costs €1,620 for three years, compared to €2,000 for target PCs that we have chosen. Obviously, you can resell your PC after three years, but cloud computing has other benefits.
What Shadow offers more
It’s hard to compare a cloud computing offering to a classic PC. First, they are two very different philosophies, with a dematerialized offer on one side and hardware on the other.
The Shadow offer allows you to run your virtual PC on all screens, including a smartphone, tablet, old PC, or TV running iOS/Android. The Shadow client has been ported to multiple systems, including Linux or macOS.
So this offers freedom to roam, as long as you have access to a sufficient connection to run Shadow (at least 15Mbps download and stable latency).
Also, Shadow’s offer obviously includes maintenance in case of breakdown. If your PC crashes, you’ll have to fix it. On the other hand, if your Shadow subscription does not work, it is the technical teams of the service who will repair the observed failures.
Another advantage of the Shadow offer is the ability to stop your subscription whenever you want. If you no longer need your subscription, you can stop it whenever you want, you can also resume it whenever you want.
Furthermore, Shadow continues to make a strong case for his offer: settings change over time without specifically asking for it. Shadow hopes to get rid of all of its GeForce GTX 1080s in 2024.
At the end, you benefit from high bandwidth on your virtual machine. This means that if you have an ADSL-type broadband connection at home, you will be able to download your games and content at a much higher speed. This may satisfy some needs.
The weak points of the Shadow offer
Cloud computing is, despite several years of existence, still a very young field in the age of consumer computing. That is why not everything works perfectly. You can have compatibility issuesThis ranges from installing Windows 11 to certain games that may falsely ban you thinking you are using cheat software.
Alternative teams work closely with publishers to avoid disappointment, but they can’t fix everything. Among other things, the graphics cards used by Shadow are often cards designed for data centers, which causes delays in driver availability. Which can be a problem when launching new games.
I also know that you depend on a good connection, we recommend a very high-speed offering, even if Shadow’s basic offering runs relatively, of course, on an ADSL connection. If you ever move to a new home that isn’t equipped with a good connection, at least you’ll have the ability to easily stop your subscription.
you are also dependent the proper functioning of shadow data centers. If there is any problem, you will not be able to connect to your PC. Today, this kind of disappointment happens more often than on other streaming services (Netflix, Disney+, Nvidia GeForce Now, etc.).
The base amount of storage is very fair, especially when installing demanding AAA games. Shadow offers optional additional storage. You can order up to 2TB of storage in 256GB increments. The price for additional storage is €2.99/month for 256GB.
Finally, Shadow immediately activates the basic offer, which is a positive point, but the Power option is announced for this fall. Shadow relies on stocks of available components, which is very difficult with the current shortage. As for fixed and portable PCs, the situation has stabilized, it is easier to find an available product. Keep in mind, however, that a new generation of graphics cards is coming from Nvidia and AMD, which is driving prices down from the current generation.
What the table does not say
We wanted to add some comments to the table. First, this table does not take into account the cost of electricity. The latter is not negligible. a fixed PC will consume approximately 1,000 kWh/year, or about 150 to 180 euros a year. With Shadow, you consume electricity, but that obviously depends on your machine. For example, the Mac Mini M1 (about 800 euros) consumes 6.8 W at idle, 39 W at full load, which is incomparable in terms of cost. The rest of the electricity costs are built into your Shadow subscription, these are the infrastructure costs.
At the end, you can resell your pc, which is not the case with the Shadow offer, which can be compared to a rental or lease offer. This resale is available to estimate in the current context, but it is not negligible. In general, it is considered that a computer, smartphone or tablet is capitalized over 3 years. But in reality, the value of your PC is not zero after 3 years of use.
Other possible alternatives
We compare Shadow to full-fledged PC offerings, the use of which goes far beyond gaming. But if you are interested in games, there are other alternatives.
Nvidia has launched its new offer geforce now with the equivalent of a GeForce RTX 3080 GPU. This offer allows you to play in 1440p definition at 120 IPS for 100 euros/6 months (that is, about 17 euros/month). However, the GeForce Now deal doesn’t offer access to a full PC, but instead to a list of PC games in cloud gaming.
Regarding the offer Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, gives access to the entire Game Pass catalog, but also the possibility of playing in the cloud through the Xbox application. The subscription is offered at 12.99 euros per month and is presented as an authentic Netflix of video games with its own catalog of games. It is possible to subscribe for half the price. There are hundreds of titles, whether they are successful series from Microsoft (Gears of War, Forza, Halo, etc.), games from third-party studios, or even independent ones.
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