Month: March 2018

Cloud gaming. State of the Cloud – 19/03/2018

This will be a very tl;dr post.

What is cloud gaming?

Basically you have a full virtual computer running ‘in the cloud’. Which simply means it’s on a remote location. You can use it, game on it, everything. You pretty much only need internet speed, and a good ping. And a h264-decode capable hardware.

What providers are out there?

Shadow.tech (unlimited)

Pros:
– Dedicated GTX 1080 or Quadro P5000 GPU
– Unlimited flat-rate usage
– 1gbps/100mbps speed
– Very good quality client that can push up to 50mbps AND 70mbps (with Shadow Box).
– Windows 10 Home (licensed) with Store OS.
– They offer a “Shadow Box” thin client for EU customers (for now, expansion soon).

Cons:
– The CPU has speed issues. It’s being worked at according to the team. AAA games still work fine that can scale out – most of the time. But if the bug hits real hard, even Ghost Recon can dip to unplayable 5FPS.
– RAM amount is only 12GB.
– Storage is only 256GB but this is being worked at, paid expansion will be introduced “soon”.

What is it for?
Gamers, work folks, everyone. They pretty much intend to replace your laptop/PC with Shadow.

Location:
EU (France (Paris)), US (California) – expansion is on the way.

Paperspace + Parsec (pay / hour)

Pros:
– Tons of resources. Like 30GB of RAM.
– Can have P6000 Quadro GPU.
– You can add tons of storage, up to 1TB (or even more, did not check).
– Parsec is an OKAY client. Not the best, but it’s OK.

Cons:
– GPU performance is like a rollercoaster. It has serious dips, making it very bad for gaming.
– CPU performance is very mediocre. Just bad in general.

What is it for?
3D work, CAD usage, game development. Work basically.

Location: Europe (Netherlands (Amsterdam)), worldwide.

Simplay (unlimited)

Pros:
– Strong CPU. Strong as Geforce Now.
– Up to 512GB of storage.
– Fast SSD storage.

Cons:
– Worse client than Shadow. And Parsec also is “meh”.
– GPU is worse than Shadow.
– Just 12GB of RAM, like Shadow.

What is it for?
Games, work, anything. Like Shadow.

Location: several, but currently undergoing heavy restructure.

Geforce Now (pay / hour, currently free in Beta)

It’s just crap. It’s a locked down DRM hell. You log in to GFN, and you can access a few pre-installed titles. That’s it. That’s PC gaming for you, in 2018, by Nvidia. Thank you Nvidia for destroying what PC gaming is about. The mods. The freedom. The openness.

Thankfully the service costs a fortune according to press news and leaked information, so it will not pose a long-term risk. But still, this service needs to die. Real fast.

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How to use Intel Extreme Tuning Utility in Task Scheduler

First of all, make sure you test your values and settings for a week at least. Try it under Prime95, try it with Blender, try it with Office work, try compiling, try idle state (yes, that too). You have to practically test every workload, because each behaves different and any can result in a BSOD.

Now, once you have your rock-solid values…

Why do I have to put it in Task Scheduler?

Intel’s tool has dementia. It will apply the values and keep them. For some time. Then it randomly reverts them. No, not only when there is a BSOD – which is a very cool and awesome failsafe mechanism. But just randomly.

Why use Intel Extreme Tuning Utility?

Well, you can undervolt the CPU for example. I use it for that. My CPU can do -0,45mV stable (which is not a whole lot, but it helps a lot.) You can see my values in the example script.

Okay, shut up, give me my script…

Save the following code into a .bat, and set Task Scheduler to apply it.
– MAKE SURE to check “Delay task for:” and set it to at least 1 minute. (this provides you a safe window. if you ever decide to go full retard, you have 1 minute to save your PC at each reboot. godspeed.)
– At log in
– Kernel-Power event 507 (this is from waking up from hibernate)
– Wherever/whenever else you would like to run this
– Make sure to check “Run with highest privileges”
(Yes, I used a now outdated Reddit post for the kernel power event and delay tip.)

REM INFO
REM find IDs by using
REM "C:\Program Files (x86)\Intel\Intel(R) Extreme Tuning Utility\Client\XTUCli.exe" -i tuning xml

REM Source: https://blog.brankovucinec.com/2017/07/04/check-if-service-is-running-and-start-it-when-it-is-not-running/
REM Check if XTU service is running and start if not
@ECHO OFF
SET SvcName=XTU3SERVICE

SC QUERYEX "%SvcName%" | FIND "STATE" | FIND /v "RUNNING" > NUL && (
ECHO %SvcName% is not running
ECHO START %SvcName%

NET START "%SvcName%" > NUL || (
ECHO "%SvcName%" wont start
REM EXIT /B 1
)
ECHO "%SvcName%" is started
REM EXIT /B 0
) || (
ECHO "%SvcName%" is running
REM EXIT /B 0
)

REM -45 mV undervolt for Core + Cache
cd "C:\Program Files (x86)\Intel\Intel(R) Extreme Tuning Utility\Client\"
XTUCli.exe -t -id 34 -v 45
XTUCli.exe -t -id 79 -v 45

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