The battle lines between AMD and Nvidia are clearly drawn. The new series of Radeon Sky Graphics cards from AMD take it a step further in the booming world of cloud gaming, bringing it shoulder to shoulder with Nvidia. The Radeon Sky series will make it easy for up to six players to stream from a single high end card and play graphics heavy games like Far Cry 3 to be played at 720p, 30 fps.
NVidia and AMD are keen rivals in graphics hardware sphere, both building graphics hardware aimed at cloud service providers, each one trying to go one up with the current war taking place in the cloud. Expectations of gamers have been raised since long with promises that cloud gaming would let them indulge in high end games like The Witcher and Battlefield 4 without having a high end computer. There are hopes that the hardware from both will translate to improved performance for games on demand streaming services. However, this has not become a reality. AMD have not exactly clarified how the Radeon Sky will go towards making it easier to stream and play such streaming games.
The war is not limited only to raising the bar on high end graphics hardware. Since hardware from both Nvidia and AMD is used in servers to stream content to players, it is necessary for a strategic alliance and thus AMD is covertly targeting Nvidia’s cloud gaming partners in an effort to woo them to accept their hardware. It has approached GCluster as well as Ubitus both having a healthy relationship with Nvidia. AMD already has managed to lure Otoy and CiiNow, two of Nvidia’s six partners but we have yet to know when and how the alliance will translate to making it easy to play streaming games.
It is only a year since Nvidia announced a Kepler GPU for the clouds and an alliance with online cloud gaming service Gaikai. Nvidia claimed that the GeForce Grid GPU had reduced latency times to ten milliseconds which would enable high speed streaming of graphics heavy games by capture and encoding of frames in a single pass. This was followed in January 2013 by an announcement that GeForce Grid cloud architecture has been upgraded to a rack based server with support for 24 racks including 240 GPUs with a total processing power of 200 teraflops.