NVIDIA Shield vs Steam Link: Choose Your Best Game Streaming System

One of the biggest reasons you want to stream pc games on your own is that it’s fun to do it. If you’re interested in playing your PC games wirelessly in a separate television set, then a streaming media system could be the answer for you. However, which is the right method to do this work? NVIDIA Shield vs Steam Link? Today we will talk about both of these systems.

NVIDIA and Valve are the icons of the PC gaming business. They all have devices that allow you to play your PC games easily without shifting the platform. Steam Link and NVIDIA Shield TV are integrated with streaming systems that will stream to another device using your gaming PC and your local network. However, it’s kind of a dilemma for the gamers to choose between these two.

Steam Link

Valve’s Steam Link is a small case built to make everything as simple as shooting a console to play on your PC. For all of you who already have a gaming PC, it’s a kind of solution to buying a Steam Machine: add it to your home network and your TV screen, take a controller, and you can stream all the activity, including games on your PC to your TV like QLED.

The cost is around $40 when I am writing, and Steam itself designed and distributed it. This is not an inspiring instrument to look at, being a direct port in black plastic, but for those who have very professional gaming equipment should you really use it to close the distance between your gaming room and the social room.

There is no Netflix app or any other app for that matter. You can only let your games play and also try to provide your own controller or mouse or keyboard, not included. Steam offers its own controller.

NVIDIA Shield

The NVIDIA Shield Android TV is almost as identical as Steam Link. Users only require an NVIDIA Shield Android TV and an internal NVIDIA GeForce PC to use it. It’s a mix of the set-top box and the console and will bring the PC games in order by using GameStream. If you’re a media enthusiast, a gaming fanatic, or a novice streamer, the current Shield TV family will get you back.

The new Shield TV is lightweight, sturdy, and is built to hide along with your cables behind your entertainment center. Their performance is taken to the next stage by the new Shield Pro. NVIDIA seems to be using the H.

In addition to the special streaming software built into the GeForce Experience, 264 GeForce GTX 650 and higher desktop GPUs are integrated to stream games from the PC to Shield through the home Wi-Fi network with ultra-low latency.

Comparison Chart: NVIDIA Shield vs Steam Link:

 NVIDIA ShieldSteam Link
ManufacturerNVidiaValve
TypeThe set-top box, micro-consoleSet-top box
ProcessorTegra® X1+ARMv7
Operating systemAndroid 9.0 (Pie) powered by Android TV™ with Chromecast 4K built-inCustomized Linux
Memory2 GB or 3 GB512 MB
Storage8 GB or 16 GB4 GB
Graphics256-core NVIDIA GPUVivante GC1000 GPU
Connectivity802.11ac 2x2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 5.0 + LE
Captive Portal support
802.11ac Wi-Fi,
Bluetooth 4.0, 100 Mbit/s Fast Ethernet
Online servicesNVIDIA Games
Netflix
YouTube
Amazon Prime Video
Google Play Movies & TV
Vudu
Amazon Music
Google Play Store
Google Play Music
PLEX
Google Play Games
Steam
Weight0.3lbs1.9lbs
Dimensions1.57 in (4 cm) H
1.57 in (4 cm) W
6.5 in (16.5 cm) D
0.59 in (15 mm) H
4.85 in (123 mm) W
3.53 in (90 mm) D

The Basic: NVIDIA Shield vs Steam Link

Both the Steam link and NVIDIA work precisely the same. You can stream games onto another device through the network from a strong Windows gaming PC. Streaming never functions as well as attaching a strong PC to your TV directly.

A small input lag and maybe some graphical objects will always exist because of the encoding, with a reliable enough network link and a powerful enough device.

Like the Steam Link, Shield also allows you to stream the excellent Steam Library. Whereas Steam Link only streams your games on Steam, NVIDIA GameStream has a wider range and supports Windows games like Forza Horizon 3, Age of Empires, Grand Theft Auto V, Resident Evil, and many more. Steam Link can minimize the personal computer, and non-steam games can be used, but that’s somewhat chaotic.

Winner: Tie

Hardware Requirements: NVIDIA Shield vs Steam Link

Steam Link’s hardware requirements are very flexible compared to other devices. Valve recommends that you have an H.264 hardware decoding system for the personal computers from which you stream. This functionality should be available on practically every new PC, like MacBook or Linux.

The requirements of NVIDIA’s GameStream are stricter. NVIDIA must have a graphics processor; AMD or graphics Intel will not work in his case. Either a GTX 600 series or higher or a notebook-class GTX 660 M or higher GPU must be the NVIDIA graphics hardware.

By opening the NVIDIA GeForce Experience application and looking at My Rig > GameStream, you can check if your PC is supporting this feature or not.

Also check out these Best remotes for NVidia Shield.

There’s another factor where you can differentiate both of these devices is how much detail you can stream. The NVIDIA Shield will make you stream 4 K for your games if you have a PC for 4 K HDR gaming and a killer local network connectivity.

The Steam Link is limited to 1080p with 60fps, which is still really decent since you’re not right outside your PC.

Winner: Steam Link

PC Gaming: NVIDIA Shield vs Steam Link

Steam Link lets you stream to every Steam device. You can stream from a Windows gaming computer to a PC that runs Windows, Mac, or Linux, or to a Steam machine that runs SteamOS. However, there is no way of streaming to a Chrome OS device.

Saying that the Steam Link is just as strong as your PC and local network. If you’re rocking a GTX 1080-powered machine with a top-of-the-line connection point, you’ll have excellent gaming experience. Anything less than that means that, based on the title, you would lose consistency somehow.

NVIDIA, on the other hand, is only meant to stream games to NVIDIA’s Shield devices. But now you can use NVidia GameStream to stream to a computer that runs Windows, Mac, and Linux, or even a Chrome OS computer through an official, open-source project called Moonlight.

Anyway, it may contain bugs or be abandoned any day, because it is unofficial.

Winner: Steam Link

Compatibility: NVIDIA Shield vs Steam Link

Steam Link doesn’t offer a way to play games on Android, an iPad, or an iPhone. But the new Steam Link app can be downloaded on mobile, tablets, and TV for free, streaming your Steam games. There are no costs for downloading or operation.

This NVIDIA Shield provides Android and IOS users, so you can play Android games on smartphones, iPhones, and iPads. For GameStream, it is undoubtedly a particular feature, but still unofficial. And let’s be honest, although it sounds sort of fun, most PC games on your phone you definitely would not play.

Only your local network will operate in Steam Link. In other words, it runs only on behalf of your home. Without playing with VPNs, you can’t stream games remotely, and it can’t work correctly even then. And obviously, you need to spend money to buy VPNs legally.

NVIDIA Shield offers remote viewing support, meaning you can leave your gaming PC at home and play games from it over the Internet to any device. Of course, it won’t work correctly, but this is still a useful function for this kind of device.

Winner: NVIDIA Shield

How to stream PC games to your living room TV with NVIDIA Shield

You have to follow these steps in order to stream PC games to your living room:

  • Login to GeForce Experience with an NVIDIA account or use Google or Facebook to create one.
  • Made sure that your PC is installed with the newest drivers.
  • Go to settings once you’re up-to-date.
  • Pick Shield.
  • Make sure you allow GameStream.
  • Boot the television Shield on.
  • Go to GameStream that should be located on the home screen automatically.
  • Log in to the same account in stage one as you did.

That’s all you have to do. The device automatically detects and enables you to play GameStream-supported games with NVIDIA GameStream. You will start playing with the stock NVIDIA Shield controller with your package if they support the controller.

The Shield supports both wired and wireless solutions if you require a mouse and keyboard. Either hook backward to USB ports or via the Shield configuration menu using Bluetooth. That being said, you’re likely to do so in front of your PC if you are using the mouse and the keyboard, right? Find out about RTX 3080 and Xbox Series X here if you’re into gaming.

How to stream PC games to your TV with Steam Link

Each game can be streamed in the Steam library via Steam Link to build your own virtual game console. You can stream games if Steam runs on your PC and Home Streaming is activated.

  • Switch on your home PC, start Steam, and log in.
  • Power your Steam Connection with the power adapter, connect to the monitor system (HDMI), and connect to your home network. Connect is capable of wireless or wired 802.11ac networking. We recommend using a wired connection for the best experience.
  • Connect the controller, mouse, or keyboard to any available USB port on your Connection. Follow the on-screen instructions to find computers running Steam on your home network, then pick one and start streaming games on your TV.
  • As long as you remain logging in to the two Steam users, whether you’re using your own local network or on the public Internet, you can easily use Steam Link streaming from your computer. Also find out What size of tv is preferable for playing game

NVIDIA Shield

Pros:

  • Impressive 4K upscaling
  • Blazing fast performance
  • Fantastic Android TV experience
  • Smooth UX
  • Useful new features
  • Most affordable SHIELD TV so far
  • GeForce Now Cloud Streaming is a huge success.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t do HDR for YouTube
  • Expensive
  • No USB ports
  • GeForce Now still in beta
  • Not super friendly to the newbies, out of the box
  • No bundled gamepad can require additional transactions.
  • AI upconversion wouldn’t do anything less than 1080p for live streaming or animation.

Steam Link

Pros:

  • Extremely responsive
  • Easy to set up
  • Wired 100 Mbit/s Fast Ethernet and Wireless 802.11ac 2×2 (MIMO) networking abilities
  • 3 USB 2.0 ports
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • HDMI out
  • Supports Steam Controller, Xbox One or 360 Wired Controller, Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows, Logitech Wireless Gamepad F710, or keyboard and mouse

Cons:

  • Needs a fast router, preferably with your PC or Steam Connection connected via Ethernet.
  • Requires a separate controller.
  • Screen scaling and heat issues can occur

Verdict: NVIDIA Shield vs Steam Link

Now the question is, which one of them is the best? The output would mostly rely on your network and the hardware you’re streaming from on your PC. To boost your streaming performance, we suggest a fast wired Ethernet network.

Steam Link is inexpensive, robust, and not at all disruptive to your home entertainment system. NVIDIA Shield TV is a bit more seriouw device, mainly because it’s not just a streaming box.

The alternative is whether you want Steam gaming or gaming, plus something else (Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.). NVIDIA Shield is the best box in the region, but you can get Steam Connection at a quarter of NVIDIA’s price. The price is the downside to the additional features.

The best choice could be to follow the operating systems and devices you use.

Author’s Pick: NVIDIA Shield

Also, check out Fire Stick and Smart TV.

FAQs: NVIDIA Shield vs Steam Link

This FAQ is going to solve some of your problems. Well, these questions are not only from you, these are most asked from all over the internet.

Will Steam Link Run Non-Steam games?

Steam Link will be able to stream every video game until you add it to the Steam library. Retail games and non-Steam games can be added to your Steam library from the Steam client by clicking on “+ ADD A GAME.” You should start the Steam game instead of using a shortcut on your desktop.

Can I play Steam Link and my computer at the same time?

You can control games from either the Steam Link or your host machine when streaming, but not all at once. If you want to play on your host computer while streaming to another TV, be aware that screen tearing may occur on your computer monitor as V-sync is disabled while streaming.

If you’re looking to play local multiplayer when streaming to the Link, you’re going to want both players to be hooked into the Link.

Where’s the safest place to put my Shield TV on?

The new SHIELD TV is built to hide behind your entertainment center. It and your other cables will rest safely on the floor and off-site. One end does have a line that connects to the power outlet, and the other end seems to have a cable that connects to your HDMI port on your TV.

How can I upgrade Shield TV?

The SHIELD TV is upgraded by NVIDIA to all device patches. When an upgrade is available, you’ll see a note on your home screen. If you want SHIELD to keep up to date automatically without warning, you can allow Auto-Upgrade. Go to Settings > Device Preferences > About > System Upgrade and allow Auto-Upgrade. You can also pick the time of day you want the changes to take place.