Why Shadow has a hibernation timer

Last updated on May 11, 2021

Posted on Jan 15, 2020

You may have experienced your Shadow going into hibernation mode, either when disconnecting from the client, or leaving your client open for a long period of time, without any human interaction.

Depending on what you were doing, this may just be a nuisance, or this could upset you because it ruined the process of something you were doing.

Well, unfortunately, Shadow has this hibernation timer in place for a reason, and this is my thoughts why.

What is the hibernation timer?

The hibernation timer is a timer put in place by Shadow that will automatically hibernate your Shadow PC when not in use. The timer is shorter when you disconnect from your Shadow Client, and longer if you leave your Shadow Client active.

There is no way to turn off the hibernation timer, and any attempts at disabling, bypassing, spoofing, tricking, etc could result in account termination per Shadow's Terms of Use.

Why is there a hibernation timer?

First, let us look at what your Shadow PC actually is. Shadow is marketed as a Cloud Gaming Computer, with a focus on Gamers using Shadow to play the game of their choice at high to maximum graphics settings.

When a user logs into their Shadow, it is getting auto-assigned a Graphics Card and a portion of a processor to use. For Shadow, they make money renting out the hardware to their users for $XX amount per month.

However, running all this hardware in a data center is not cheap. When a graphics card is in use while gaming, it is using quite a bit of power. For the example I am about to give, it will be based on the Quadro P5000, and electricity costs in Chicago where the Datacenter is housed. These are estimates, and should not be taken for face value!

The Quadro P5000 has a max power consumption of 180 W. The Quadro P5000 idles at around 30 W.
The average cost of electricity in Chicago, IL is $0.045 per kWh.

The cost to run a Quadro P5000 under full load comes to $0.0081 per hour. For Idle load, it comes too $0.00135 per hour.

The cost for 8 hours of usage + 16 hours of idle = $0.0864 per day
The cost for 16 hours of usage + 8 hours of idle = $0.1404 per day
The cost for 24 hours of usage + 0 hours of idle = $0.1944 per day

If Shadow charges a flat rate of, for this example, we will be using the yearly cost, $25 a month. That comes to $0.0347 per hour or $0.833 per day.

Add in Datacenter rental costs, power usage of other hardware parts (processor, motherboard, memory, storage), labor costs, cost of hardware, and any other costs that Shadow endures, the profit Shadow makes per user starts to dwindle.

So what can Shadow do to help maximize profit, while not disrupting the majority of users that use Shadow? They can prevent users from idling on their Shadow via a hibernation timer.

This timer will put the Shadow into hibernation, freeing up the resources to either be used by another Shadower or go idle to save on energy cost. This can also extend the life of hardware as well.

This is stupid!

You may ask, but is it? There are only a few reasons why you need to run your Shadow for long periods of time.

You are gaming for a long session.
You are AFK in a game.
You are doing some sort of Machine Learning or similar that requires the PC running.
You are torrenting or doing other things that you probably shouldn't be doing on your Shadow.

Only one of these is considered actively using your Shadow for what it is advertised for. Gaming.

You should not need to AFK in a game, except for a few reasons (long queue times, etc). However, the timer for hibernation while the Shadow client is open should be more than long enough. You will probably run into it if you leave it open while going to sleep or going to work for long periods.

If you require a machine to do Machine Learning or similar professional work, it is best to look into solutions that are designed specifically for that type of work.

If you require a machine to torrent or do other similar things. Their are other VPS services out there or purchase a cheap computer to run at home.

Final Thoughts

Your Shadow is meant to be a Gaming PC that could replace your home PC. There are some limitations and special circumstances where this may not be the case.

For someone like me, who games, does standard web surfing, and writes blog posts, Shadow can be my PC replacement. And it is.

However, I also have a computer on the side that I do all my home lab testing on for work-related things that will not, or should not be run on my Shadow.

This is just my overall thoughts on this subject.

Until next time!

Feel like the information in this post is inaccurate or does not make sense? Feel free to comment below :)!

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