Upgrade your PC for a better gaming experience
Have you heard of GeForce Experience? Whether you are a hardcore PC gamer, or you dabble in an occasion online session, keep reading. GeForce Experience is software developed by graphics legends NVIDIA that allows you to automatically optimize your games, update your drivers and most impressively, record and live-stream your legendary gaming moments. It is bundled into the installation process of the GeForce GTX graphics card or can be downloaded separately onto a Windows PC. In addition, if you have the NVIDIA Shield TV you can stream your game in HD directly onto the big screen! If you already use a GeForce Graphics card, then this all-in-one optimization software could save you time manually tweaking your settings or recording your gaming with a third party. It is an indispensable add-on however? Read on and find out.
GeForce Experience: all-in-one optimization software
The GeForce Experience: creative control and easy optimization
Some players take great pleasure in updating their games, and fine tuning the settings to their optimum experience. If this doesn’t float your boat, then the GeForce Experience one-click optimization tool will navigate the maze of potential setting and cryptic console controls for you. If you are new to PC gaming or you simply want to skip straight to the virtual scene, then this software could save you precious gaming minutes (or hours). GeForce Experience will use the Nvidia cloud data center to automatically optimize the settings for your game. That means improved performance, better graphics and it will configure personalized graphics settings based on the GPU, CPU and display of your PC. This does mean an easy balance of eye-candy graphics and speed without eating into your precious gaming time. Is this as good as choosing your own settings? That is at your discretion, but it is definitely faster.
You can automatically download Game Ready Drivers, your settings will be optimized per game and you can try out the much-lauded ShadowPlay to record your game. This is where the advantage of GeForce Experience being Nvidia software comes in. Nvidia partners with the major game developers to create the 'Game Ready' drivers. According to Nvidia, these drivers will 'boost performance, fix bugs and improve your gaming experience'. While you don’t need to download GeForce Experience to take advantage of these, the advantage of having it installed is that you will get automatic updates when these drivers are ready (often up to a week before the game is even released). Another crucial time-saver, you can prep your system and get ready to launch yourself into the game smoothly.
Seasoned gamers who prefer to calibrate their settings solo will love ShadowPlay. You can choose not to have GeForce Experience 'automatically optimize newly added games' and just use the other features like ShadowPlay. This is the in-built photo and video recording tool that will allow you to broadcast your gaming sessions, share videos and screenshots and easily upload those immortal moments to YouTube. It will record the last 20 minutes of your game (if you think you’re about to do something mega cool, hit alt+F10 to record and save it to the disc).
GeForce Experience 3.19 is the latest version which was released on June 24. The much-anticipated Ansel and Freestyle features are included. If you have a 680m GeForce Graphics card or even more recent model, then you can use this in-built screenshot tool for 360 panoramas for VR or dramatic free rotation shots in 'super resolution'. With Freestyle you can apply Instagram-style filters to your game as you play, just press Alt+F3.
Where can you run this program?
At the moment, it is for PC gamers only. You can run it on Windows operating systems 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 and you will need at least 2GB of RAM and 20 MB of disc space. For you computer processing units, supporting hardware includes the Intel Pentium G Series, Core 2 Duo, and Quad Core i3, i5, i7, or higher. Also supported by AMD Phenom II, Athlon II, Phenom X4, FX, or higher. For GameStream you’ll need a GeForce GTX 650 or higher graphics card installed on your desktop. You can also use a non-Optimus Notebook with GeForce GTX 660M or higher graphics.
Is there a better alternative?
Installing GeForce Experience is a pain-free process. It comes as part of the package when you download your Nvidia GeForce Graphics card, giving you the option of with or without GeForce Experience. This is a real fork in the road for gamers. Is GeForce Experience an awesome add-on that will automatically optimize your games and allow you to record the highlights? Or is it bloatware that will slow your system down by running background processes and eating up the bandwidth? There are plenty of alternatives to GeForce Experience on the market. Razer Cortex is a well-known and comprehensive toolbox of gaming tips and tricks. A nifty package of recording software, optimization features and it will back up your games in the cloud. Then you have RadeonPro: efficient freeware that enhances Radeon video graphics cards. Of course, the obvious alternative to automated optimizing is to tune up your system and choose your individual game settings yourself.
Some gamers will argue that Geforce Experience is unnecessary, and it is easy and better to install updates and tweak the settings yourself. Before writing off the program however, remember one word: ShadowPlay. This state-of-the-art recording software will not only automatically record 20 minutes of each session in HD, but with the hot keys you can grab the epic moments yourself, edit them and upload them instantly to share the glory.
The latest version of GeForce Experience also comes with the new features Ansel and Freestyle, also more than nifty tools for quality images and filters. One downside is that the only way to access these features is to create a Nvidia, Facebook or Google account.
Should you download it?
It’s a totally personal choice. If you are a seasoned PC player and you’re a deft hand under the bonnet of your system settings, then by all means DIY. If you are happy to take a back seat and use automated optimization for each game, then GeForce Experience does a neat job. Also, ShadowPlay is an awesome extra!
- Easy optimization
- Social sharing
- Screenshots tool
- Automatic updates
- Requires an account
- Settings not always optimum for game