March 19, 2018
Testing Siege was a bit of a nostalgia experience for me as I saw glimpses of the Rainbow Six I played when I was much younger. Rainbow Six over the years, but it's still a great series. I have some complaints such as the sheer game time required to unlock operators unless you pay to unlock them is quite annoying, but that's not the point of today's post. The goal today is to benchmark Rainbow Six: Siege to determine how well it runs on the various cloud gaming services.
Graphical Quality Settings
For today's benchmarks I used the Ultra Preset but I did turn the render scaling to 100. As you can see in the bottom right, these settings require ~4.3 GB of VRAM. I believe this requirement is what kept crashing the Gamer tier from LiquidSky and resulted in this tier not being benchmarked today. In addition, the sharp eyed among you may notice these settings show the P6000 which isn't included in today's benchmarks. After seeing the results from the P5000 tier I was impressed enough that I didn't see the point in testing the P6000 tier from Paperspace for Siege.
I do want to note that the LiquidSky machine did have a mouse issue which I've covered in a previous video. In short, prior to launching Siege, have Chrome for instance open in the background. After launching Siege Alt-Tab to Chrome and hit F12 to engage Gamer Mouse Mode. You can then Alt-Tab back to Siege and for the remainder of your gaming session, the F12 key will properly engage and disengage Gamer Mouse Mode.
Siege marks the first video that I've started testing Shadow with, which is a newer streaming service that launched in the U.S. about a month ago. With Shadow I also benchmarked the LiquidSky Pro tier, and the GPU+ and P5000 machines from Paperspace. For these benchmarks I took the average of one round from three different matches to get an accurate view of what you would experience. This method should capture any fluctuations from different maps.
Both the Shadow machine and the P5000 machine from Paperspace run very similar specs as the scores indicate. The major difference is the Paperspace P5000 option does have quite a bit more ram at 30 GB versus the 12 GB from the Shadow machine. In addition the Paperspace machine does run at a higher base clock of 2.6 GHz compared to the 2.1 GHz base clock of the shadow machine. With these small benefits, primarily the higher base clock, I expected the Paperspace machine to score marginally better in the benchmarks. This was true for the minimum benchmark but we saw the opposite effect in regard to the maximum and average FPS results.
Going down a performance category we, have the GPU+ machine from Paperspace and the LiquidSky Pro tier. At the Ultra preset, both of these cloud pcs performed decently. However, we still fell short of the goal of 1080P at 60 FPS. Despite this, the experience was still playable and with some relatively minor tweaks this should be easily achievable.
What remains are the two tiers I didn't benchmark for today's article and the upcoming video, the Gamer tier from LiquidSky and the P6000 machine from Paperspace. As mentioned earlier in the article, the P5000 tier performed well enough that I didn't see the need to pull out the big gun with the P6000! With an average FPS of nearly 100 FPS, the P5000 tier is more than sufficient for the current state of cloud gaming. On the opposite side of the spectrum we have the Gamer tier from LiquidSky which kept crashing when attempting to play with the Ultra preset. A quick note here, I did reduce settings to quickly test the Gamer tier and did end up getting it to work. I'll do a follow up post and video covering optimizing the quality settings for the lower end machines.
One last point, that I wanted to cover is high refresh rate gaming and the P6000 machine from Paperspace. Parsec does have the capability to support high refresh rate gaming, and if you have a compatible monitor then you'll want to make the jump to the P6000 machine from Paperspace. Do note that going from a refresh rate of 60 to 144 or even 120 will also have an associated bump in the bandwidth required. In addition, the latency between you and the cloud gaming server will also play a larger role!
So we've reached the end! As the benchmarks indicated the P5000 machine from Paperspace and the Shadow machine are the performance kings are deliver a very solid experience. My suggestion for what option is best for you actually depends on how many hours per month you generally game. If you're a hardcore gamer who generally games at least a couple hours every night, then the Shadow machine is the option for you! If you're a casual gamer like me who may game a couple hours per night, but only a couple days during the week, then the P5000 machine from Paperspace makes much more sense. Finally my budget recommendation is the Pro tier from LiquidSky. However, I personally recommend using Parsec to stream LiquidSky.
LiquidSky does offer great performance per dollar with the Pro tier but their streaming software leaves much to be desired. Using Parsec software in conjunction with LiquidSky software adds a great budget option! This does come with one disadvantage and that is that to start your LiquidSky machine you first have to load their app and you have to turn the timeout to unlimited. If you forget to shutdown your machine though, it will continue to burn through credits! That's it for today's post. Thanks for reading!
Rainbow Six: Siege
Average FPS: ---
Min FPS: ---
Max FPS: ---
Average FPS: 53.9
Min FPS: 39.3
Max FPS: 67.7
Average FPS: 50.8
Min FPS: 33
Max FPS: 64.3
Average FPS: 98.9
Min FPS: 68
Max FPS: 141.3
Average FPS: 101.4
Min FPS: 62.7
Max FPS: 147.4