Nvidia recently introduced a new, RTX 3080-powered tier onto their GeForce Now game streaming service (plot twist: it's not actually an RTX 3080 that's powering your experience). Subscribers of the GeForce Now Priority Tier, a step below the RTX 3080 tier are meeting a hard cap on their maximum framerate.
Users of Nvidia's Priority Tier ($49.99 per six months or $8.33 monthly) have discovered that some games have hard caps enabled while playing via GeForce Now. A Redditor and GeForce Now subscriber was the first to receive an official email confirmation from Nvidia that these caps exist after they noticed that despite the "up to 60 FPS" description for the service, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy featured a fixed in-game framerate cap set to 50 FPS. Nvidia has since then shared a list of 12 games that currently feature hard framerate caps.
|Game||OPS (Max FPS)|
|Immortals Fenyx Rising||48|
|Assassin's Creed Odyssey||45|
|Jurassic World Evolution||50|
|Dyson Sphere Program||50|
|Path of Exile||50|
Nvidia describes the Priority Tier as offering "premium rigs" with ray tracing support, and up to 1080p 60 fps gameplay. The "up to" is the important bit here; and it's this one important bit that allows Nvidia to cap maximum framerates in select titles. Nvidia has now published a full list of the GeForce Now games that do feature a capped framerate - supposedly, because the hardware doesn't adequately support 60 FPS rendering at the quality and consistency that Nvidia is looking to offer via its streaming service.
As such, the company introduced what it calls Optimal Playable Settings (OPS), which automatically mixes and matches render options to fit the desired performance output. While this OPS setting can usually be overridden, some GeForce Now games don't feature that option, locking players into what Nvidia considers to be the optimal playing experience.
In a blog post, Nvidia explained what's happening behind the scenes of its OPS settings:
"For our Priority Members, the maximum frames rendered per second is generally set to 60, or higher, for most of the 1,100+ games we’ve onboarded so far. There are some exceptions that we determined do not run well enough at 60 fps on the GPUs used by Priority members. So the default OPS for these specific graphics-intensive games cannot be overridden. This is to ensure all Priority members are running a consistent, high-quality experience. However, we do continue to stream these games at 60 fps."
That does clarify some of the elements around this issue and it also shows just how careful one has to be with language of terms and conditions. Of course, Nvidia may be rendering the games at lower framerates for them to fit into the performance budget of its Priority tier. However, the stream itself is still distributed at 60 fps.
It's currently unclear whether Nvidia also applies its OPS settings for the RTX 3080 subscription tier on GeForce Now, which goes for $199 yearly. While that may sound like a lot - especially when you consider that you also have to acquire a license for the game you want to play via GeForce Now - it's still much, much less than you'd be paying for an RTX 3080 graphics card. And since you'd never have to retire a graphics card again in your life, there's definitely an appeal to that idea - especially in the absence of decent pricing on any of our picks for best gaming GPUs.