What is LiquidSky

Liquidsky put to the test: high-end gaming on every PC

Panagiotis Kolokythas

Play the latest games with a weak PC? With Liquidsky, that's not a problem. I tried the new service.

EnlargeTried Liquidsky - the gaming PC from the cloud is good for it

My office computer has little memory, only a graphics unit integrated in the CPU, and the bottom line is that it is hardly usable as a gaming PC. Nevertheless, I have played Black Mesa, The Witness, Dark Souls 2, The Witcher 3 and various other older and current games in 1080p and up to 60 frames per second on the weak mill for several hours. Thanks to Liquidsky.

Liquidsky is a service that is still in beta and offers subscribers a gaming PC in the cloud. I am one of the few German testers who are allowed to extensively test Liquidsky before its official launch - sometime in 2017. The Liquidsky developers are working diligently in the background to complete it, and update the service almost daily. In addition to Microsoft, Liquidsky’s partners also include Samsung, AMD, Nvidia and IBM.

EnlargeThe Witness is currently running on the virtual gaming PC

Liquidsky: Remote computer with pre-installed Steam

Computers in the cloud are old hat. The computers can always be reached via remote access, but then usually work rather slowly and react with a long delay. A gaming PC in the cloud sounds like a contradiction in terms. After all, when I give a command using the keyboard or controller in a game, I want the command to be implemented immediately. Otherwise the fun of the game is quickly in the bucket.

I was accordingly skeptical before the Liquidsky test. Similar services, such as Geforce Now or Playstation Now, are only available for a manageable number of games and / or target groups. Nvidia announced the launch of Geforce Now for PCs at CES 2017, but at the same time also stated that the fun should cost around 25 US dollars per 20 hours of playtime. Not exactly cheap ...

Liquidsky, on the other hand, is completely open. This means that any Windows games can be installed on the computer. Conveniently, for example, Steam is already preinstalled. All you have to do is log into your Steam library with your Steam credentials. In addition, games from all other sources can of course be installed on the gaming PC - only the installation of games from the Windows Store is currently (as of April 20, 2017) not yet possible. But this should change in the near future.

➤ Steam prepaid cards from 10 to 100 euros in the PC-WELT price comparison

A specially configured version of Windows 10 that cannot be destroyed by the user is installed on the Liquidsky computer itself. In addition to Steam, Chrome is also preinstalled.

Only moderate system requirements

The system requirements for Liquidsky on your own PC are moderate. At least Windows 7 should be installed on the computer. It also requires 2 gigabytes of RAM, any graphics solution, and 250 MB of free hard disk space. Liquidsky versions for Android, iOS and macOS will also be available later. Windows games will then also be playable on these platforms (via Liquidsky). At this point in time, I couldn't test that.

The internet connection is much more important. Liquidsky recommends connecting the PC directly to the router via an Ethernet cable. Alternatively, a 5 GHz WiFi connection should also be sufficient. A 2.4 GHz connection, on the other hand, is not recommended because the probability of interference and packet loss is too high here. Alternatively, you can also switch to 4G (LTE), although you should of course have a tariff with sufficient data volume. Otherwise it will be expensive fun.

In order to be able to play games with 1080p and 60+ FPS via Liquidsky, the Internet line should be around 20 Mb / s fast. If you are satisfied with 720p and 30+ frames per second, a 5 Mb / s internet connection is sufficient.

Downloads of up to 1 GB / s are possible

The servers for German Liquidsky users are in Frankfurt. This ensures that gaming latency is as low as possible. The beta testers cannot currently decide which server location will be used. That will only be possible later. After logging in, I was automatically assigned to the servers in Frankfurt. There are currently 13 server locations worldwide.

The location of the servers in Germany also affects the download speed. Liquidsky itself promises a lightning-fast Internet connection with up to 1 gigabit per second in download and 100 megabit per second in upload.

I want to know exactly. And start Chrome in my Liquidsky machine. According to Netflix's Fast.com speed test, our corporate Internet line is 91 megabits per second.

EnlargeInternet is really fun at this speed ...

And how fast can I surf on the Liquidsky PC? According to Fast.com with a whopping 940 megabits per second! That is of course in the mood and I turn on Steam to download the first games to the cloud PC. The Witness download is around 4.5 gigabytes. On the Liquidsky PC, the game is completely downloaded just a few minutes after the download has started.

The download of Black Mesa (13 GB) only takes slightly longer. Or expressed in numbers: In my tests, the Liquidsky PC downloaded the games via Steam at a maximum speed of 72 MB / s (on average around 50 MB / s).

EnlargeIn Liquidsky, the 6GB download of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive only takes 3.5 minutes

On the office computer, I also have Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, initially downloaded locally via Steam. The almost 6 gigabyte download took about 25 minutes, with the game being downloaded at an average of 11.4 MB / s. The same download took place on the Liquidsky computer within 3 minutes and 30 seconds and an average speed of around 40 MB / s.

Or to put it another way: If you are on the go, you can not only use Liquidsky for gaming, but ultimately also to surf the Internet faster. This is of course only a minor aspect. But (almost) nothing is nicer than fast internet ...

Liquidsky: Pricing and Performance Packages

The beta testers can currently try out the gaming PCs from the cloud in two performance packages. It is billed in so-called SkyCredits. Depending on the service selected, there are different numbers of SkyCredits per hour of use. The following performance packages are available:

Performance package

GAMER

PER

CPU cores