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NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience, and what it means for the consumer

Anyone who uses one of NVIDIA’s GeForce graphics cards is likely familiar with the GeForce Experience software, which is available for Windows machines with one of these cards installed. With the GeForce Experience, NVIDIA has pushed the boundary of what consumers can expect to get out of their graphics cards.

In the past, upgrading from integrated graphics to a dedicated graphics card just meant learning to use the new graphics control panel, which lets the user control things like screen resolution and color vibrance. The GeForce drivers come with this control panel, of course, and buying a new NVIDIA card means you can expect to use this control panel to change graphics options.

But with GeForce experience, a separate program that sits on top of the standard NVIDIA drivers, owners of more recent GeForce graphics cards have new opportunities to get the most out of their hardware.

With its Game Ready drivers, NVIDIA looks through your game library to determine which settings are optimal for your graphics card setup. It stores your game settings with your NVIDIA account in the cloud, so you won’t have to worry anymore about how to tweak your games to run well on your graphics card.

If you have an NVIDIA Shield device, GeForce Experience lets you stream games to the NVIDIA Shield over your home LAN network through GameStream. Your PC will do all of the image processing work to render your video game, and the image is sent with high throughput to your NVIDIA Shield device. The Shield will then process your controller inputs and send them back to your computer. In this way, you can play high-quality games on a small, handheld device, no matter where you are in your house.

With a beefy enough graphics card and processor, the GeForce Experience software will let you play games with a Virtual Reality headset. If your graphics card isn’t quite good enough for this, you don’t have to fret about missing out on 3D gaming. The standard NVIDIA driver control panel includes options remote spy software to allow you to set up basic 3D rendering, no matter what setup you have. If you have a monitor with a fast refresh rate and the right glasses, you can play 3D games without Virtual Reality enhancement. Even if all you have are red-blue 3D glasses from ten years ago at the movie theater, NVIDIA has you covered.

If you like to make your gaming rig look pretty, the GeForce Experience software will offer to control the LEDs on certain GeForce GTX graphics cards. Some of NVIDIA’s higher-end GTX cards come with LED-illuminated text, and the software lets you do a few different things with the LEDs. You can animate the brightness of these LEDs across multiple graphics cards, set up the LEDs to act as an alert if your GPU activity spikes, or even set the LEDs to sync to whatever audio is playing through your speakers.

Finally, NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience software creates new opportunities for content creators using GeForce GTX graphics cards. In the past, making a video of a game meant using pricey or unstable software to record footage. Often, these lossless video files would be so large that they couldn’t be recorded to disk quickly enough, leading to solutions involving using multiple hard drives to output video quickly enough.

With NVIDIA Share, this is no longer necessary. Now, users are able to record H.264-encoded video without trouble. Anything that shows up on the screen can be recorded by the GeForce experience software, and all of the video encoding is done on the graphics card. Offloading the encoding like this lets the computer’s processor spend more time processing the game, and it means the video files will be much smaller.

NVIDIA Share can also be configured to record up to ten minutes of gameplay constantly, to be saved when something exciting happens ingame. This ensures the user can always save moments from their favorite game sessions. On top of that, NVIDIA share has Twitch streaming functionality built-in so that content creators no longer have to deal with clunky broadcasting software.

In all, NVIDIA has made a serious push to let the consumer take advantage of some of the impressive features of its graphics cards, and it shows.