The best use I have been able to give my old laptop: gaming in the cloud

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I love playing on PC and at the same time I hate it. I am one of those who think that the experience that a PC gives you is not given by any platform (yes, I know, depending on what you play and such, ok, I buy it), but the reality is that the PC, although it has a good handful of advantages (generally cheaper games, better graphics, higher FPS, the versatility of the keyboard and mouse…), it has an obvious disadvantage: practically, it ties you to the location of the PC.

If you want to play the computer, you have to be in the room where the computer is, the office in my case. And that’s a nuisance if, as a server, you make a living working in front of said computer. In the end, you spend eight hours in the office plus the hours you want to spend playing so, when you realize it, you fall into what you have spent ten hours without leaving the room.

My situation was that: I want to play my PC games without being in front of the tower. I want to be able to be lying on the couch, but playing my game on ‘Lost Ark’, ‘Guild Wars 2’ or whatever game is available at the time without having to buy a gaming laptop. And in a moment of clarity, I realized that I had my old laptop at hand, a 13.3-inch Xiaomi Mi Air that, thanks to the cloud, it has become one of my main gaming platforms.

On the cloud? Well I don’t know

GeForce Now

GeForce Now interface.

Whenever cloud gaming is discussed there is always an obvious contrast of opinions and experiences. And it’s funny because there seems to be no middle ground. Either it goes very well or it goes very badly. In my case, and someone speaks who has passed ‘Red Dead Redemption 2‘ Y ‘Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey‘ on Google Stadia and having the GeForce Now RTX 3080 subscription, the experience has always been very positive.

I have never, and when I say never I mean it literally, I have experienced latency problems, poor image quality or higher input lag than necessary. Quite the contrary. Whenever I’ve played, and I’ve spent hours on the cloud, I have come to forget that I was playing “on someone else’s computer”.

CyberPunk 2077 in the cloud

CyberPunk 2077 on GeForce Now.

It is true that the connections in which I usually play are usually decent. at home we have 1 Gbps fiberJust like at my parents house. That the connection is good is very important when playing in the cloud, but don’t worry, you don’t need 1 Gbps. Until recently I had 300 Mbps and played just as well.

But let’s talk about the laptop. The Xiaomi Mi Air 13.3 dates back to 2018, that is, four years have passed since its launch. It has 8GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD storage, an Intel i5-8250U, and an NVIDIA MX350 GPU. He made the cut when he had to give it, but now falls short for most big games. Yes, you can have a ‘LoL’ and even an ‘Overwatch’, but little else. Not to mention that it heats up like there’s no tomorrow.

One of the advantages of cloud gaming is that the laptop does not get as hot

That’s a problem, because in a laptop you always have your hands resting on the chassis, so if it’s hot (and even more so now, since it’s August and I live in Córdoba) you notice it a lot, to the point that I find it unpleasant. And it is not that it is good for an electronic device that the temperature rises more than necessary.


‘Control’ in GeForce Now.

The cloud puts an end to all those problems. I play on GeForce Now (which I personally consider to be the most complete service) and I can play in FullHD at 60 FPS stuck on the laptop, but without it suffering more than necessary or overheating. And I do it connected to WiFi (via Amazon Eero, as I mentioned in this other article).

System performance is so good that I forget I’m playing in the cloud. If I stop to look and observe the details, like the blacks or the edges of the distant areas, it is I may get out of the illusionbut normally you don’t play stopping to look so carefully, and less in games like ‘Guild Wars 2’ or ‘Lost Ark’ that eye, they have some crazy landscapes.

And the best thing is that I can do it lying on the sofa or in bed, with a more than decent quality. What’s more, if you rush me could do it even on the iPadwhere I was also able to play ‘Control’ connecting an Xbox controller via Bluetooth. In that case, I do buy that I can appreciate a little more latency, but not so high that I can’t play.

But not everything is positive

Google Stadia

For me, using the laptop to play games using the cloud has meant gaining in comfort, but the cloud, unfortunately, is not without its problems. The first and most obvious is that if the tower binds you to a location, the cloud does it to a WiFi connection in conditions. If there is no WiFi, there is no game worth.

And I speak knowingly. When I tried Google Stadia in strange places, I experienced it firsthand, and now, when I go to the countryside, where the Internet is 30 Mbps by radio frequency, playing in the cloud is practically impossible. It is something inherent to the service and it is what it is.


It’s going to be difficult…

On the other hand, while I have enjoyed and enjoy cloud gaming on both laptop and tablet a lot, I have not been able to do it on mobile. PC games are designed to work on large screens and do not scale/fit on mobile screens. That means if you play in the cloud on mobile, small texts look even smaller, some menus are hard to use… Personally, I wouldn’t play ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ on mobile.

In any case, my vision is that, not so long from now, our next console or gaming platform will be an application on TV and on the laptop. Samsung is already proving it, just like lg. GeForce Now also already offers gaming at 1440p at 120Hz and 4K HDR on some systems, and this, as they say, just getting started.

I love playing on PC and at the same time I hate it. I am one of those who think…

I love playing on PC and at the same time I hate it. I am one of those who think…

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