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

Shadow Power’s new offering, the cloud PC, has caused debate. Are you ready to spend 44.98 euros per month for a modern and complete cloud PC? This is one of the questions we try to answer.

The Shadow teams // Source: Shadow

Shadow is organizing the first major conference since Octave Klaba / OVHCloud’s acquisition. The conference is very rich in innovations. They confirmed their desire to sell a more efficient offer this year, which is a good thing, as the standard offer reflects a certain age. They update 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 launched an offer dedicated to professionals.

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The new Shadow client is available on multiple platforms

Here, we want to compare the offer of consumers of the same solutions. Will Shadow be financially attractive? This is one of the questions we try to answer.

Comparing to conventional PCs

Like any consumer, we want to compare Shadow’s offerings to more traditional equivalent solutions, and therefore a desktop PC and laptop PC with Windows. Our choice did not fall on a specific model, we compared the average rates in May 2022 of different traders. We chose the assurances that were closest to the Shadow Option Power offer that was just announced.

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

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

drama Full-HD 4K UHD, VR and ray tracing 4K UHD, VR and ray tracing 4K UHD, VR and ray tracing
Modular yea yea not yea
Cost 1 month € 29.99 € 44.98 2000 € 2000 €
Cost 6 months € 179.94 € 269.88 2000 € 2000 €
Cost 12 months € 359.88 € 539.76 2000 € 2000 €
Cost 24 months € 719.76 € 1079.52 2000 € 2000 €
Cost 36 months € 1079.64 € 1619.28 2000 € 2000 €

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

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Our target laptop can’t be upgraded, but it does have a 17.3-inch 144Hz screen

What else does Shadow have to offer

It’s hard to compare a cloud computing offering to a classic PC. First, they are two very different philosophies, with dematerialized offerings on one side and hardware on the other.

The Shadow offer makes it possible to run its virtual PC on all screens, including iOS / Android smartphone, tablet, old PC or TV. The Shadow client is ported to many systems, including Linux or macOS.

So it gives freedom of movement, as long as you have access to enough connection to run Shadow (at least 15 Mbps download and stable latency).

shadow

In addition, the Shadow offer clearly includes maintenance in case of damage. If your PC crashes, you need to fix it. On the other hand, if your Shadow subscription does not work, the technical service team will fix the failures observed.

Another advantage 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 put a strong argument to its offer: the configurations will change over time without specifically asking for it. Shadow hopes to get all GeForce GTX 1080s by 2024.

In the end, you benefit from huge bandwidth in your virtual machine. This means that if you have an ADSL-type broadband connection at home, you can download your games and content at higher speeds. It may meet certain needs.

The weak points of the Shadow offer

Cloud computing, despite its few years of existence, is still a relatively new field in the era of consumer computing. This is why not everything works perfectly. You can suitability issuesit ranges from installing Windows 11 to some games that can mistakenly ban you from thinking you are using cheat software.

The shadow groups worked closely with the publishers to avoid disappointment, but they could not solve everything. Among other things, the graphic cards used by Shadow are often cards designed for data centers, leading to delays in the availability of drivers. Which can be a problem when launching new games.

That is also known you depend on good connection, we recommend a very high speed offer, even if the standard Shadow offer runs pretty much of course on an ADSL connection. If you move into a new home that is not equipped with a good connection, there is at least a possibility that your subscription will be terminated quickly.

It depends on you the correct operation of the Shadow data centers. If there is any problem, you will not be able to connect to your PC. Today, this kind of frustration happens more often than with other streaming services (Netflix, Disney +, Nvidia GeForce Now, etc.).

The cost of base storage is very fair, especially when installing the required AAA games. Shadow offers optional additional storage. You can order up to 2 TB of storage in upgrades to 256 GB. The price for additional storage is 2.99 euros / month for 256 GB.

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In the end, Shadow immediately activated the basic offer, which was a positive point, but the Power option was announced for this fall. The shadow relies on stocks of available components, which is further complicated by current shortcomings. As for fixed and portable PCs, the situation is improving, making it easier to find a viable product. Keep in mind, though, that a new generation of graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD, are lowering the prices of the current generation.

What is not said on the table

We would like to add some comments to the table. First, this table does not take into account the cost of electricity. The latter does not matter, a fixed PC will consume approximately 1,000 kWh / year, or about 150 to 180 euros per year. With Shadow, you consume electricity, but that obviously depends on your engine. For example, the Mac Mini M1 (about 800 euros) uses 6.8 W at rest, 39 W under full load, which is not comparable in terms of cost. The remaining electricity costs are mixed with your Shadow subscription, these are the infrastructure costs.

In the end, you can sell your PC, which is not the case with the Shadow offer, which can be compared to a rental or lease offer. This sale can be used to estimate in the current context, but it can never be neglected. In general, it is considered that a computer, smartphone or tablet is capitalized on within 3 years. But in reality, the value of your PC is not zero after 3 years of use.

Other possible alternatives

We compared Shadow to complete PC offerings, using it more than gaming. But if this is the game that interests 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 1440p meaning 120 IPS for 100 euros / 6 months (ie approximately 17 euros / month). However, GeForce Now’s offering does not offer access to a complete PC, but to a list of PC games to play in the cloud.

Part of the popular Xbox Game Ultimate Pass, it provides access to the entire Game Pass catalog, but also the possibility to play in the cloud via the Xbox application. It offers a subscription of 12.99 euros per month and is presented as a true Netflix video games with its own catalog of games. It is possible to subscribe at half price. There are nearly a hundred titles, whether successful series from Microsoft (Gears of War, Forza, Halo, etc.), games from third-party studios or even independents.

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9 /10

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