GeForce Experience - New Beta Update and Upcoming Driver Lockdown
After last month’s Share beta has introduced some interesting new functionality. This month, the new beta release mostly focuses on improving what GFE already does. The streaming support has been added for Youtube Gaming, in addition to an existing Twitch support. Both also benefit from increased streaming quality, as GFE now supports streaming at 1920x1080 60FPS. Owners of Shield TV and Maxwell 2 cards (GTX 950 and higher) can also enjoy 4K streaming over wired local network. The restrictive hardware requirements are there because of the need of hardware 4K encoding/decoding and 100 Mbps bandwidth.
While having new and improved features in GeForce Experience are welcome news, having it practically forced on us is not. Starting this December, Nvidia plans to distribute new Game Ready drivers only though GeForce Experience. Additionally, GFE alone will not be enough – you will have to register an Nvidia account with a verified e-mail to get fresh drivers for the major game releases. There will still be drivers available via Windows Update and Nvidia’s website, but those will be more rare quarterly releases. While Nvidia claims that this change will benefit the gamers, it is hard to see any advantages of having less choice. The disadvantages are clearer – GFE is not the most reliable application, especially when it tries to update drivers on its own. Hopefully, Nvidia will put some more effort into improving GFE stability and performance before forcing it on every gamer using their cards, but it is hard to be optimistic.