How Shadow PC changed my life and saved me thousands of dollars.
It all started one night after watching some gameplay videos of Squad on my MacBook Pro. I’m a sucker for realism and this game really had seemed to “hit the nail on the head” for me. I had tried two streaming services before this experience, but they just didn’t offer the flexibility or fluidity that I was hoping for. I had to play whatever they had compatible at the time, going through the services redesigned and “minimalist" launcher. At the same time, I had to deal with limited general capability, such as downloading additional software to enhance my gaming experience.
Casually, I told myself that I’m going to go shopping for a gaming PC. The search began where I found sites like PCPartPicker and iBuyPower, (Not affiliate links) looking for a sub $1000 PC that was truly a powerhouse. This was a fun challenge at first, which later became nothing but a daunting task. The most affordable PC that I was able to find was $959, and came equipped with:
- Intel Core i3-10100 Processor
- GeForce GTX 1660–6GB Video Card
- 8GB DDR4 3200MHz G.SKILL RAM
- 512 GB SSD Storage
- Stock iBuyPower PC Casing
For the non-geeks: To put it in Lehman's terms, this is not a terrible PC setup by any means, and should be able to run popular games like Call of Duty: Warzone without putting any pressure on the system.
The problem at hand: I still did not really want to spend $1000 buckaroos upfront for a PC that I would predominantly only get to use on the weekends, as I have a demanding schedule during the week. Plus, I knew this still wasn’t a true powerhouse gaming PC that I had envisioned. Even if I had financed it, I would be spending about $85/month to own the damn thing.
“There must be a more affordable way to experience high-end PC gaming, it’s 2020” — Me
My mind continued to think and my fingers continued to type in the Google search bar — and that’s when I stumbled upon Shadow.
What did they promise?
I was skeptical at first. Forgive me, but for the sake of marketing — which company is going to tell you that their service doesn’t give you the best streaming quality, along with ultra-low latency?
What caught my eye, was the fact that the service “forwarded” your connected devices so that you could, apparently, use virtually any controller, mouse, keyboard, or headset that you already had! Pretty cool, as the previous services didn’t offer full support for the same.
Worth a shot.
For $15/month, they provided me with a PC that came equipped with:
- Intel Core i7 Processor @ 3.6 GHz (Boosted to 4.2 GHz)
- GeForce GTX 1080 Video Card
- 12GB DDR4 RAM
- 256GB SSD Storage
- Cross-system compatibility — I even tried playing my favorite games on my iPad through their app, which worked flawlessly, to my surprise.
For $2.99 — I can also add additional storage to my Shadow PC, 256 GB at a time, which becomes available immediately. I haven't done this as yet, however, I can do this whenever I want and it definitely can’t hurt to spend an extra $3 per month on 256GB more storage.
Another benefit of this service is that, as they upgrade their hardware that’s inside, you immediately gain the benefits. No need to worry about discarding the outdated hardware, looking for a sale, or putting it aside, along with the headache of taking apart your PC and connecting the new hardware that you just bought.
Now, let’s do some math:
“Budget” PC from iBuyPower: $959
Shadow PC services: $14.99/month. As a matter of fact, let’s pretend that I decided to add 256GB more of storage — $17.98/month.
$17.98 x 12 = $215.76 — per year.
$215.76 x 4 = $863.04 — The total amount I would spend on Shadow services over a 4-year time span.
My MacBook Pro utilizes USB-C Thunderbolt technology, which I utilize to connect an ethernet cable for a direct internet connection, so let’s add that into the mix: $25
Total: $888.04 after 4 years of using Shadow’s services.
Pros: Cross Compatability — I can download their streaming app on any platform, including iOS and Android devices, connect my PS4 controller via Bluetooth and go!
Cost-Efficient — Once again, it will take me 4 Years to ALMOST get to the cost of a “Budget” PC from iBuyPower. Hardware is updated as time passes as well so that you don’t have to be worrying about additional costs down the road for the latest and greatest video cards. Even if you would like to upgrade your entire system on Shadow to a more powerful system, you can do that for as little as an additional $9.99/month.
Cons: Internet Speed — This is the one and only con that I’m able to point out. If you have a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection or a sub-50mbps internet connection in general, then you’ll probably experience occasional packet loss or lag. This is where the ethernet cable comes into play, as Wi-Fi capabilities in Jamaica are not the greatest. Since I’ve connected via ethernet, my experience has been great. Better yet, it has been more or less flawless.
For the record, I am in no way affiliated with Shadow! I simply wanted to share my experience, as it has truly changed my life, allowing me to enjoy the games I’ve always wanted to play while saving me thousands of dollars.
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