Rainway is becoming known for their dedication to improving their product. It feels like a substantial update is released almost every day. This week, the team focused on optimizing the client for low-end hardware. During the first few weeks of beta, Rainway worked decently on high-end hardware, but struggled on lower-powered systems.
One of the best things about game streaming is the ability to play games on hardware that otherwise wouldn’t support them. Rainway is aware of this, and they have taken steps to ensure that their product works well on under-powered machines. With the release of update 0.2.20, Rainway’s CEO talked about the ability to run games at 60 fps on an older Netbook. He specifically challenged the community to test Rainway on low-end hardware. We decided to take him up on that challenge.
Our test unit is an Acer C720 Chromebook from 2013. It boasts a 1.4 Ghz Celeron Processor, 2 GB of RAM, and a 16 GB SSD. It’s pretty much scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of raw power. We paired this with a Logitech F310 Controller to ensure compatibility with ChromeOS. Thankfully this older Chromebook supports Dual-Band Wifi, and we were able to connect it to our 5 Ghz Network at home. The Gaming PC that is hosting our games is connected to the same network with an ethernet cable.
We played around with the settings in the Rainway Client, and found that streaming at a constant bitrate of 10 Mbps achieved the best results. While we were able to play Destiny 2 at 60 fps, we did encounter a few stutters and dropped frames. Thankfully they didn’t happen often, and they didn’t interfere with gameplay.
It would be an understatement to say that Rainway feels like a new product compared to what they released at the start of beta. Rainway has reached the point of feeling playable in most conditions. We confirmed that they do indeed work well on low-end hardware. That’s not to say that Rainway is ready for release. They still have a few bugs to work out, and there is still room to improve on the overall streaming experience. However, it is encouraging to see them make so much progress in such a short time. Hopefully we will be able to test Rainway on more platforms in the near future.
Josh is a long-time Gamer and Technology Guru. He is known for his writing and troubleshooting skills. Josh can solve just about any problem, and is especially good at getting to the bottom of technology challenges. He has a background in Networking and holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree. When he’s not gaming, Josh can be found blogging, testing new tech, and interacting with Flickstiq’s social media following. He lives in Ohio with his wife and children.