How much bandwidth does Shadow use?

How much bandwidth does Shadow use?

This question comes up a lot, especially for those who have data caps.

Shadow uses a decent amount of bandwidth. The higher the resolution/refresh rate you want to stream at, the more bandwidth you will use.

Today, I will be discussing the math and giving some quick numbers of how much bandwidth you can expect to use while using your Shadow.

Bandwidth Usage

Shadow is able to stream using up to 70 mbps of bandwidth. The higher your resolution, the more bandwidth you need.

Recommended Resolutions are estimates and are not guarenteed. Test with the different bandwidth levels to find the bandwidth that works best with your resolution. Use these as a baseline/estimate.

15 mbps

Recommended Resolution H.264: 1080p at 30Hz
Recommended Resolution H.265: 1080p at 60hz

Bandwidth usage per hour: 6.75 GB/h

Hours of game time for a 500GB Data Cap: 74 hours
Hours of game time for a 1TB Data Cap: 148 hours

15 mbps is the minimum recommendation for bandwidth to use Shadow. You can go lower, but quality will suffer, unless you are streaming at resolutions below 1080p. At 15mbps, you should be able to stream 1080p at 30hz with devices that stream with H.264, but if your device is able to stream with H.265, you can run 1080p at 60hz with few hiccups.

30 mbps

Recommended Resolution H.264: 1080p at 60hz or 1440p at 30hz
Recommended Resolution H.265: 1080p at 100hz or 1440p at 60hz

Bandwidth usage per hour: 13.5 GB/h

Hours of game time for a 500GB Data Cap: 37 hours
Hours of game time for a 1TB Data Cap: 74 hours

30 mbps is where you can start streaming at bigger resolutions. You should easily be able to handle 1080p at 60hz with H.264, and can probably push 1440p at 30hz, though quality may suffer periodically. With H.265, you can reliably stream near 1080p at 100hz or 1440p at 60hz.

45 mbps

Recommended Resolution H.264: 1080p at 90hz or 1440p at 60hz
Recommended Resolution H.265: 1440p at 100hz or 2160p at 60hz

Bandwidth usage per hour: 20.25 GB/h

Hours of game time for a 500GB Data Cap: 24 hours
Hours of game time for a 1TB Data Cap: 48 hours

At 45 mbps you can start reliably streaming 1440p at 60hz for both H.264 and H.265. With H.265, you can get into the 2160p(4k) realm of resolutions.

60 mbps

Recommended Resolution H.264: 1080p at 100hz or 1440p at 60hz
Recommended Resolution H.265: 1440p at 100hz or 2160p at 60hz

Bandwidth usage per hour: 27 GB/h

Hours of game time for a 500GB Data Cap: 18 hours
Hours of game time for a 1TB Data Cap: 37 hours

At 60 mbps, although the recommended resolutions are the same as the 45 mbps, you will be able to do it without any issue. You can even start pushing the 70 mbps recommended resolutions.

70 mbps

Recommended Resolution H.264: 1440p at 100hz or 2160p at 60hz
Recommended Resolution H.265: 1440p at 144hz or 2160p at 75hz

Bandwidth usage per hour: 31.5 GB/h

Hours of game time for a 500GB Data Cap: 15 hours
Hours of game time for a 1TB Data Cap: 31 hours

Congrats! You are at the bandwidth cap of Shadow! Enjoy some sweet resolutions and refresh rates :). As Shadow's technology continues to grow, I hope that 70 mbps will be half or even a fourth of what is available to stream at. Though I do not expect it any time soon!

Final Thoughts

One thing to realize about Cloud Gaming is the bandwidth usage. If you have a Data Cap, and you are not careful, you may end up racking up some hefty overage charges.

Optimizing your bandwidth settings will not only decrease your bandwidth usage, but it will also improve your Shadow's overall performance!

Thank you for reading! Until next time :).


Did I miss anything, or want to add to this post? Feel free to comment below!

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