Is the new Shadow Power offer economically attractive compared to a classic PC?

The new Shadow Power offering, the PC in the cloud, is creating debate. Are you ready to spend 44.98 euros a month for a modern and complete PC in the cloud? This is one of the questions we are trying to answer.

The Shadow Teams // Source: Shadow

Shadow organized its first major conference since the acquisition of Octave Klaba / OVHCloud. The conference was very rich in news. They have confirmed their desire to market a more effective offer this year, which is a good thing, because the basic offer shows a certain age. They have updated the clients that allow you to connect to your virtual machine from multiple platforms. They also announced the arrival of a Shadow Drive offering, which replaces the old OVHCloud Hubic offering. Finally, they are launching an offer dedicated to professionals.

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The new Shadow client available on many platforms

Here we have wanted to compare the consumer offer 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 with more traditional equivalent solutions, and therefore a desktop PC and a laptop equipped with Windows. Our choice did not fall on a particular model, we compared the average prices at different dealers in May 2022. We chose the configurations that were closest to the Shadow Option Power offer that has just been announced.

Basic Shadow Deals Shadow Option Power Offer target laptop Target PC
Configuration 4-core Intel Xeon CPU
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU
12 GB RAM
256 GB storage space
AMD Epyc 7543P CPU
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU or equivalent
16 GB RAM
256 GB storage space
Intel Core i7-11800H CPU
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 mobile GPU or equivalent
16 GB RAM
512 GB storage space

Example: MSI GP76 Leopard 11UH-681FR

Intel Core i7-12700 CPU
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU or equivalent
16 GB RAM
512 GB SSD

Example: Asus ROG Strix GT15CF

Game Full HD 4K UHD, VR and ray tracing 4K UHD, VR and ray tracing 4K UHD, VR and ray tracing
Modular Yes Yes Nix Yes
Costs 1 month € 29.99 € 44.98 2000 € 2000 €
Costs 6 months € 179.94 € 269.88 2000 € 2000 €
Costs 12 months € 359.88 € 539.76 2000 € 2000 €
Costs 24 months € 719.76 € 1079.52 2000 € 2000 €
Costs 36 months € 1079.64 € 1619.28 2000 € 2000 €

As you can see in the table below, the Shadow Power offer is financially attractive. It costs 1,620 euros over three years, compared to 2,000 euros for target PCs which we have chosen. Obviously, you can resell your PC after three years, but there are other benefits to cloud computing. Note that we made this calculation for a maximum of three years, but a PC can last much longer than three years.

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Our target laptop can not be upgraded, but it comes with a 17.3-inch 144Hz screen

What Shadow offers more

It is difficult to compare a cloud computing offer with a classic PC. First, there are two very different philosophies, with a dematerialized offering on the one hand and hardware on the other.

The Shadow offer makes it possible to run its virtual pc on all screens, including an iOS / Android smartphone, tablet, old PC or TV. The Shadow client has been transferred to several systems, including Linux or macOS.

This therefore gives the freedom to roam as long as you have access to a sufficient connection to run Shadow (at least 15 Mbps download and stable latency).

Shade

In addition, Shadow includes the offer of course maintenance in the event of a breakdown. If your PC crashes, fix it. On the other hand, if your Shadow subscription does not work, it is the technical teams in the service that will repair the observed errors.

Another benefit 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.

In addition, Shadow goes on to make a strong argument for its offering: configurations change over time without asking specifically about it. Shadow hopes to get rid of all its GeForce GTX 1080s by 2024.

Finally, you benefit from a large bandwidth on your virtual machine. This means that if you have an ADSL-type broadband connection at home, you can download your games and content at a much higher speed. This may meet some needs.

Weak points of the Shadow offer

Cloud computing, despite several years of existence, is still a very new field in consumer computers. That’s why everything does not work perfectly. You can have compatibility issuesThis ranges from installing Windows 11 to certain games that may mistakenly ban you if you think you are using cheat software.

Shadow teams work closely with publishers to avoid disappointment, but they can not fix everything. Among other things, the graphics cards that Shadow uses are often cards designed for data centers, leading to delays in the availability of drivers. Which can be a problem when launching new games.

Know that too you are dependent on a good connection, we recommend a very high speed offer, although the basic Shadow offer runs relatively obviously on an ADSL connection. If you ever move to a new home that is not equipped with a good connection, you at least have the option to easily stop your subscription.

You are also addicted the proper functioning of Shadow data centers. If there is a problem, you will not be able to connect to your PC. Today, this type of disappointment happens more often than on other streaming services (Netflix, Disney +, Nvidia GeForce Now, etc.).

The amount of base stock is very reasonable, especially when installing demanding AAA games. Shadow offers optional extra storage. You can order up to 2 TB of storage at 256 GB intervals. The price for additional storage space is 2.99 euros / month for 256 GB.

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Finally, Shadow immediately activates the basic offer, which is a positive point, but the Power option will be announced in the autumn. Shadow is dependent on the stock of available components, which is very complicated with the current shortage. As for fixed and laptops, the situation is stabilized, it is easier to find an available product. Note, however, that a new generation of graphics cards is coming from Nvidia and AMD, which brings prices down on the current generation.

What the table does not say

We wanted to add a few comments to the table. First, this table does not take into account the cost of electricity. The latter is not insignificant, a fixed PC will consume approximately 1,000 kWh / year, or about 150 to 180 euros a year. With Shadow, you consume power, but of course it depends on your machine. For example, the Mac Mini M1 (approx. 800 euros) consumes 6.8 W at rest, 39 W under full load, which is incomparable in terms of cost. The rest of the electricity costs are integrated into your Shadow subscription, that is the infrastructure costs.

Finally, you can resell your pc, which is not the case with the Shadow offer, which is comparable to a rental or leasing offer. This resale is available to estimate in the current context, but it is not insignificant at all. It is generally estimated that a computer, smartphone or tablet is activated over 3 years. But in reality, the value of your PC is not zero after 3 years of use.

Other possible alternatives

We compared Shadow with complete PC offerings whose use extends far beyond games. But if it’s games that interest you, there are other alternatives.

Nvidia has launched its new offering 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 (ie around 17 euros / month). However, the GeForce Now offer does not provide access to a complete PC, but to a list of PC games in the field of cloud games.

In terms of the offer Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, it provides access to the entire Game Pass catalog, but also the ability to play in the cloud via the Xbox application. The subscription is offered for 12.99 euros a month and is presented as a real Netflix of video games with its own game catalog. It is possible to subscribe at half price. There are about a hundred titles, whether they are successful series from Microsoft (Gears of War, Forza, Halo, etc.), games from third-party studios, or even independent.

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9 / 10

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