How can I set up my macOS with my GeForce NOW Ultimate Membership?

Updated 02/03/2023 11:27 AM
How can I set up my MacOS with my GeForce NOW Ultimate Membership?

This article is a guide to help GeForce NOW Ultimate members set up their macOS for the best streaming experience.
 
For other platforms, please view these other guides:
Windows https://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5223 
 
MACOS
 
Regional Availability
Before you get started, make sure to check the Service status website to ensure GeForce NOW Ultimate memberships are available in your region. Note that we also require your latency to be less than 80ms from an NVIDIA data center, but we recommend less than 40ms. Please make sure you have run our in-app network test to measure your latency. We do not recommend using Speedtest, or other internet speed test services, as they do not test your speed to our data centers. 
 
Internet Speed Requirements 
GeForce NOW requires at least: 
  • 45 Mbps for 4K resolutions at 120 FPS (i.e. 3840x2160)
  • 35 Mbps for UW QHD & QHD resolutions at 120 FPS (i.e. 3840x1440 or 2560x1440)
  • 35 Mbps for FHD resolutions at 240 FPS (i.e. 1920x1080)
  • 25 Mbps for FHD resolutions at 60 FPS 
  • 15 Mbps for HD resolutions at 60 FPS
We also recommend a hardwired Ethernet connection, or a router with a 5 GHz WiFi connection.

Hardware Requirements
Any Mac system introduced in 2012 or later. Although you will need a GPU with decoding performance to support the highest resolutions and frame rates available with the Ultimate membership.
 
Note: Some of these settings are only available on the native macOS app and are not supported when streaming directly from a Chrome or Microsoft Edge browser on play.geforcenow.com.

Streaming Resolution

Frame Rate

Mac

3840 x 2160 (16:9)

3456 x 2160 (16:10)

3440 x 1440 (21:9)

3840 x 1600 (24:10)

120 FPS

MacBook 2017 or later

MacBook Air 2018 or later

MacBook Pro 2016 or later

iMac Retina 5K Late 2015 or later

Mac mini 2018 or later

Mac Studio (all)

3840 x 2160 (16:9)

3456 x 2160 (16:10)

3440 x 1440 (21:9)

3840 x 1600 (24:10)

60 FPS

MacBook 2017 or later

MacBook Air 2018 or later

MacBook Pro 2016 or later

iMac Retina 5K Late 2015 or later

iMac Pro (all)

Mac mini 2018 or later

Mac Pro 2019 or later

Mac Studio (all) 

2560 x 1440 (16:9)

2560 x 1600 (16:10)

3840 x 1080 (32:9)

2560 x 1080 (21:9)

1920 x 1200 (16:10)

1920 x 1080 (16:9)

120 FPS

60 FPS

MacBook Pro 2016 and later

MacBook 2016 and later

MacBook Air 2018 and later

iMac 2017 and later

iMac 27" Late 2015 or later

Mac Mini 2018 and later

Mac Pro 2019 and later

iMacPro1,1

Mac Studio (all)

1920 x 1080 (16:9)

1920 x 1200 (16:10)

240 FPS

MacBook 2017 or later

MacBook Air 2018 or later

MacBook Pro 2016 or later

iMac Retina 5K Late 2015 or later

Mac mini 2018 or later

Mac Studio (all)

 
HDR Support
To enable HDR streaming with the GeForce NOW Ultimate membership, you need a display that supports the HDR10 format and one of following:
  • MacBook 2017 or later
  • MacBook Air 2018 or later (HDR on external displays requires a MacBook Air with Apple Silicon)
  • MacBook Pro 2018 or later
  • iMac 2020 or later
  • iMac Pro (all)
  • Mac mini 2018 or later
  • Mac Pro 2019 or later
  • Mac Studio (all)
 
Monitor, Port and Adapter Requirements
Members with any type of monitor or notebook will immediately see performance and latency reductions with the Ultimate membership.  However, if you would like to experience 120 FPS or 240 FPS for ultra smooth streaming with the lowest latency on GeForce NOW, we recommend a monitor with a 120Hz refresh rate, or higher, such as an NVIDIA G-Sync monitor or MacBook Pro’s with ProMotion 120Hz refresh rate.
 
Next, check your Mac for a compatible video port to output to your 120Hz or better monitor. You must connect to the monitor using HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, Thunderbolt 1/2/3, USB-C, or USB 4 port. This article will help you identify which types of video ports are on your Mac. 
 
If you have a monitor that runs at a refresh rate higher than 60Hz, you will need to adjust your refresh rate to take advantage of the higher FPS. There is an Apple support article that covers how to change monitor refresh rate.
 
In general, we recommend you select the maximum refresh rate that your monitor supports, even if it is more than 120Hz. For instance, if you have a 144Hz monitor, set the desktop refresh rate to 144Hz.  We also recommend enabling variable refresh rate in system settings if your monitor and system supports it.
 
Once you have selected the video port to use, you may need to purchase an adapter to connect your Mac to your monitor via DisplayPort 1.2 or HDMI 2.0, or better. 
 
Most MacBook or iMac users will find that using a USB-C (Thunderbolt) adaptor with a Thunderbolt to DisplayPort connection will deliver the best 120 FPS experience. Some notebook users might want to use a docking station, or a hub, to connect to their notebook. Make sure you check the specifications of those devices, as not all of them are capable of outputting at 4K, UW QHD and/or 120Hz.
 
Here are some examples of other video ports and adapters you may need:
  • Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C: Thunderbolt 3 to DisplayPort adapter, or a Thunderbolt 3 to HDMI 2.0 adapter
  • Mini DisplayPort, Thunderbolt 1, and Thunderbolt 2: Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort adapter 
  • HDMI: Most users will not need an adapter to output HDMI from a Mac to a monitor as long as the cable supports HDMI 2.0 or higher. For instance, Mac Minis with Apple M1 have a HDMI 2.0 port that can support 120Hz monitors with standard HDMI cables. Mac M2 Pro/Max based systems (M2 Pro Mac Mini, M2 Pro MacBook Pro, M2 Max MacBook Pro) have HDMI 2.1 ports.
 
GeForce NOW Streaming Settings
You have the option of adjusting your streaming quality settings from the GeForce NOW menu. To access these settings, launch the app and go to Settings > Streaming Quality.
 
Balanced mode
The built-in network test will automatically detect the best streaming resolution, based on your device hardware and network environment. NOTE: 4K, UW QHD, and QHD resolutions streaming at 120 FPS or any resolution at 240 FPS requires a wired Ethernet connection to work in balanced mode. If the network test determines that your connection is unable to maintain streaming at your display’s resolution, it may automatically adjust to lower streaming settings.
 
Competitive mode / Reflex 240 FPS Streaming Mode
Select this option to turn on Reflex 240Hz mode and enable game rendering and streaming at up to 240 FPS for competitive gamers who demand responsive and smooth visuals.  For the best experience, pair this mode with:
  • 240Hz or ultra high refresh rate NVIDIA G-Sync or G-Sync compatible monitor which will vary the rendering and streaming rate to your display.  We also recommend enabling variable refresh rate in system settings if your monitor and system supports it.
  • Select a Reflex enabled game that supports 240 FPS streaming by using the Search Filter => “Feature” => “Reflex” when selecting a game to play in the GeForce NOW app.
  • Mac device that meets the minimum requirements (see above “Hardware Requirements”)
  • A wired Ethernet connection with at least 35 Mbps download speed.
 
Custom mode
If you wish to override the automatically detected streaming settings, or to enable 120 FPS streaming on a Wi-Fi network, you can do so by adjusting values in Custom mode: 
  • Max bit rate. We recommend Auto, but you can select whatever value your network can support.
  • Resolution. This should match the maximum allowed by your monitor or notebook, but make sure it’s set to your desired resolution.  Some resolutions will not be visible if your device does not meet the hardware requirements. 
  • Frame rate. You will need to set this to 120 FPS if you wish to see the full benefit from your Ultimate membership on 120Hz or faster refresh rate monitors or notebooks.  We recommend users with 60Hz monitors set the streaming frame rate to 60 FPS and Vsync to Adaptive. Setting the streaming frame rate to 120 FPS can reduce latency, but will result in tearing on screen.  If you wish to use the new Reflex mode, set this to 240 FPS.
  • VSync. We recommend Adaptive for the best latency and smoothest streaming experience. You can try turning Vsync off to achieve the lowest latency, but you may experience some video tearing during gameplay.  
  • Reflex. Select this option to turn on Reflex 240 FPS streaming mode and enable game rendering and streaming at up to 240 FPS for competitive gamers who demand responsive and smooth visuals.  For the best experience, pair this mode with a compatible monitor and a Reflex supported game. 
 
Customized In-Game Graphics Setting
NVIDIA has optimized our most popular games for streaming at all GeForce NOW streaming resolutions. For these games, we automatically set the best in-game graphics settings. You should not need to change any settings in-game to get the best experience.  
 
However, you are free to change these settings if you feel doing so provides you with a better streaming experience. We have provided a feature that lets you save your own in-game graphics settings for each game. If you disable it, our recommended values will be applied.
 
NOTE:  this settings will apply in-game settings across ALL GeForce NOW devices used with your NVIDIA account.
 
 
Record/Instant Replay
GeForce NOW Ultimate members can access many GeForce RTX GPU features like NVIDIA Highlights, Record, and Instant Replay by bringing up the in-stream overlay by pressing Ctrl+G.
 
Note:  When using NVIDIA Record or Instant Replay, GeForce NOW can capture at resolutions up to 2560x1440 or 2560x1600 on the MacOS app.  If your local device has a GPU that meets the minimum hardware requirements for higher resolution streaming, you can capture at resolutions up to 3840x2160. Record/instant replay is not supported for 120 fps and 240 fps streaming modes.

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