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Wed, 21 Feb 2018 12:00:00 -0500

Shadow virtualizes a high-end gaming PC on your desktop clunker

In the early days of computing, local storage and processing weren't actually a thing. Instead, your individual computer acted as a terminal, pulling data from a central processing server. Well, the French startup Blade likes it that way and has released a similar system but with a 21st-century twist. Its cloud-computing system, dubbed Shadow, can impart the performance of a $2,000 high-end gaming rig onto any internet-connected device with a screen. And now the company is bringing Shadow to California.

The Shadow system has already found widespread adoption throughout France and most recently made its US debut at CES last month. The idea is relatively simple: instead of having to buy, maintain and upgrade your own hardware, you pay Blade a monthly subscription to use theirs. It's a concept similar to what NVIDIA did with its GeForce NOW cloud service, Parsec or HP's Omen PCs, save for the fact that those three are dedicated to gaming while Shadow enables users to run everything from Steam to Photoshop to a host of other business-related applications.

The company has partnered with Microsoft, NVIDIA, AMD and Equinix to create a remote Windows 10 PC that you can access over the internet. At the remote server farm, each of these systems boasts a dedicated NVIDIA graphics card capable of handling 1080p at 144Hz or 4K at 60Hz. For processing, the system relies on eight dedicated threads on an Intel Xeon processor (the equivalent of an Intel Core i7) as well as offering 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

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