Stadia may be getting an Nvidia GPU upgrade

green stadia
(Image credit: Stadia)

It's taken a bit of a run up but gaming using a streaming service to handle the hardware side of things is becoming more viable, and thus more popular. This shift in the climate has come with more support from the big companies. Microsoft, for example, is really pushing forward its Edge browser as a game streaming platform, and Google looks to be getting back into the game with Stadia, or whatever that's called now.

An anonymous source revealed a potential upcoming change for Google's streaming hardware. The information shared with 9to5Google points to the megacorp integrating Nvidia technologies into its streaming, which is a new change for the platform. 

Stadia was powered by custom built AMD GPUs specifically for the game streaming job. Thanks to its open source nature, a modified version of Stadia's Linux Kernel has given an extra clue to these changes. The automated builder has been set to include support for the use of Nvidia GPUs.

It's impossible to say what exactly this means for Google's streaming service, but implementing a change to work with totally different hardware does feel like a significant one. Unfortunately there are no clues as to which Nvidia GPUs are being supported, but there's still plenty of speculation as to what's going on here to be had.

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Given the current purpose built nature of Stadia's setup, it's very unlikely Google is tossing out the AMD systems in favour of switching to Nvidia. That would be a huge undertaking and there's no way it's worthwhile in the long-term with everything the company has likely already built. Instead, this is likely an addition rather than a straight change.

It could be Google is looking to expand its server capabilities by adding more machines, and supporting Nvidia hardware allows them greater access to more options. If Stadia is looking to ramp itself back into relevance, Google could just be looking for any boost to the performance of the platform.

Adding Nvidia could also be a push from developers or players who want the platform. Some people may simply want the option of being able to play on different machines. Be it to compare performance or try out different specific hardware, having more options available to people could make Stadia a more powerful development and hardware trial tool.

Or this could be the first step in Stadia doing a fairly large upgrade. Google could be going after the next step up in GPUs and banking on Nvidia to provide. No matter the reason it's sure to make the tech more appealing when licensed out, which seems to be a big part of Google's current plan.

Given we don't know what cards Google is targeting with this update, it's impossible to say for sure, but it's nice to see the updates coming. If you haven't in a while, you can try out Stadia's games with free 30-minute demos, though It could definitely still do with a better library of games, maybe a few more signature Stadia releases.

Hope Corrigan
Hardware Writer

Hope’s been writing about games for about a decade, starting out way back when on the Australian Nintendo fan site Since then, she’s talked far too much about games and tech for publications such as Techlife, Byteside, IGN, and GameSpot. Of course there’s also here at PC Gamer, where she gets to indulge her inner hardware nerd with news and reviews. You can usually find Hope fawning over some art, tech, or likely a wonderful combination of them both and where relevant she’ll share them with you here. When she’s not writing about the amazing creations of others, she’s working on what she hopes will one day be her own. You can find her fictional chill out ambient far future sci-fi radio show/album/listening experience podcast right here. No, she’s not kidding.