TensorDock
Search…
⌃K

Gaming via Parsec

After someone mentioned on Reddit that gaming on our servers is possible, we encountered a surge in cloud gaming customers. However, this doesn't work out-of-the-box. The following guide should help make the initialization process easier.
Do not use the Parsec Cloud Preparation Tool here. Parsec functionality will not survive after a reboot.

What is Cloud Gaming? Why?

Cloud gaming is when gamers remotely connect to a GPU server and stream the content to their own devices. From our data centers located in Boston, New York, Chicago, and Las Vegas, gamers through almost all of the continental United States can access a TensorDock server in under 30 milliseconds. Even Western European gamers can theoretically game on TensorDock.
By gaming on our servers and streaming the content, you can game on an old desktop, a laptop, a Macbook, or even a Chromebook!
Cloud gaming lets you save money by using your existing hardware and streaming gaming sessions from our servers rather than spending a lot on an expensive new PC. Because we're always introducing newer GPUs and lowering prices of older generations, your gaming experience will only improve over time. You can start cloud gaming on us for less than $0.40/hour when your gaming server is on ("Running mode") and $0.01/hour when you're only storing data on our infrastructure ("Stopped mode").

Cost of Cloud Gaming on TensorDock

Let's assume that a month has 730 hours, and you spin up a server with 16 GB of RAM, 8 vCPUs, 100 GB of NVMe SSD storage, and a Quadro RTX 4000. This server costs $0.44/hour when it is on and $0.01/hour when it is off.
If you game for 30 hours in this month:
730 hours in a month - 30 hours running mode = 700 hours stopped mode
Mode
Hours
Cost/hr
Cost
Running mode
30
$0.44
$13.20
Stopped mode
700
$0.01
$7.00
$20.20 Total
At TensorDock, we have thousands of GPUs available, running from secure data centers. We enable AI startups, cloud gamers, and VFX studios compute on our huge pool of resources. By doing this, each customer saves money compared to if they purchased their own hardware, as they only pay for the hours that they use. It's truly a win-win situation for everyone.
You can compare cloud gaming on TensorDock with other providers based on your own expected usage. TensorDock servers are fully customizable, and you only pay for the resources that you are allocated. You can compare graphics card performance on this website.

Parsec

Parsec lets you remotely connect to another computer. Unlike remote desktop, which captures shapes and pixels, Parsec encodes the remote screen as a video and streams that to your computer!
This lets you game with almost zero jitter. You might even forget that you're cloud gaming.
You'll need to install Parsec on the cloud server, which will encode the video and act as the host. You'll also need to install Parsec on your client, whether it be a Chromebook, Macbook, or PC. An alternative to running the Parsec client is to simply access the Parsec Web Client.
Many of the steps described below are required because the virtual desktop driver is not officially included with Parsec free version. If you use Parsec Warp, your setup experience will be a lot smoother. In addition, Parsec Warp comes with 4:4:4 color, which makes the experience much smoother. Learn more about Parsec Warp here.

Get Started

1. Get started on Parsec

Create an account on Parsec here.

2. Install Parsec on the client device

To connect your GPU server to cloud game, you'll need a client to run on the device that you are connecting from.
You can install the Parsec application on your own computer, or you can simply open the web client.
To install the Parsec application, go onto the Parsec website to download the software on your local computer. Then, install Parsec.
An alternative to running the Parsec client is to simply access the Parsec Web Client. However, for the best performance, it's a good idea to install the Parsec application locally instead of using the website.
You can visit the Parsec website to download the client software

3. Get started on TensorDock

Create an account on TensorDock if you don't already have one here.
Then, deposit funds into your account. $5 is the perfect starting amount to test us out.

4. Deploy your TensorDock instance

Select a graphics-enabled GPU (RTX 4000, RTX 5000, A4000, A5000, A6000). NVIDIA Tesla cards and NVIDIA A40s will be detected as 3D Accelerators instead of graphics cards, so they will not work well with Parsec.
Select sufficient specifications (4 vCPUs and 8 GB of RAM to accompany your GPU is a good start), and have enough storage. We require 80GB of storage for your Windows instance, but our base operating system takes up 30GB. E.g. if you need to store 65GB of storage, you'll need to select 100GB of storage.

5. Wait for your machine to start

Once your server is deployed, you'll need to wait a few minutes until you can RDP into it. This is because Windows needs to spend some time getting ready. It'd be a good time to get another coffee.
Your servers will take a few minutes to initialize. Contact us if you can't RDP into your instance after 10 minutes.

6. RDP into your instance

Use the IPv4 address provided in the metadata section and open your remote desktop client. Enter the username user and the password you had previously set. You should be able to connect! If you still can't RDP into your instance after 10 minutes, turn off your VM and contact us for support.
Your IPv4 address to RDP into is found under the "Metadata" section of the overview page

7. Change your server's password

We save the password that you set during the provisioning process, which is a security risk. Hence, you should always use a temporary one and change your virtual machine's user password as soon as you sign in.
Please note: while the use of a hashed password is better than plain text, the use of this feature is not ideal. Also, using a high number of salting rounds will help, but it should not be relied upon
You can change your password from the Windows' settings application

8. Connect!

Note: If you are viewing these instructions on/after 8/25/2022, your Windows VM will most likely have Parsec already installed. If it is not there, refer to these instructions.
First, RDP into your VM. Open the Parsec app and log in if needed. Click on reload if you don't see your VM as one of your computers on your Parsec account (if reloading doesn't make your VM show up on the list, reboot your VM and then try again). Once you see your VM displayed as one of the computers, you can close the RDP connection.
What you should see on your VM's Parsec
Open Parsec on your own computer, log in, and press connect!
Note: Press reload if your VM isn't in the list.
What you should see on your computer's Parsec
We've connected!
Now, you can download whatever software and games you want on your cloud server.
Demo of a silly online game, ShellShock.io
That's it! Now, we are up and running
🎉
Note: If connecting with Parsec just brings up a black screen with no error message, you can fix it with these steps.
  1. 1.
    Make sure the Parsec window is focused
  2. 2.
    Press CTRL + SHIFT + I (Parsec will go into Interactive Mode, which traps the mouse inside the window, once connected, you can leave interactive mode by doing CTRL + SHIFT + I)
  3. 3.
    Press the Windows Key + P
  4. 4.
    Press the Down Arrow, then the Down Arrow again, then Enter
  5. 5.
    Now the VM's screen should pop up on Parsec
Note: If Parsec does not work (e.g. error 15000), reboot the VM. If the issue still persists, email us at [email protected] Sometimes, a user with a Parsec Warp subscription logging in (which we have) can set up Parsec's remote display driver correctly if it isn't already done.

Additional Steps

When you're done, log out of Parsec, and press the "stop" button on our console to turn off the server. If you turn off the server from within the server, you'll need to remember to still press the "stop" button on our console.
You'll only be billed from the stop rate from hereon.
Remember that whenever you want to connect again with Parsec, RDP into your VM and make sure the Parsec app is open and running. Then you can disconnect from RDP and use Parsec to connect.
Remember to consider upgrading to Parsec Warp for 4:4:4 color and its other benefits!
That's it! Email us at [email protected] if you need any help!

Installing Parsec

If you created a windows VM before 8/25/2022, it will likely not have Parsec already installed. If that's the case, follow these instructions so that it is installed correctly.
Locate the "Downloads" folder in the virtual machine. There should be an installer for Parsec already present (parsec-windows.exe). Run that. If not, Download Parsec from the website.
Parsec setup instructions will pop up. First, you will choose which components of Parsec to install. Make sure both the Parsec App and Virtual Display Driver are selected then press Next.
Make sure the Virtual Display Driver is also going to be installed
Second, you will choose an installation type. Choose to download Parsec in "Per User mode" and press Next.
Download Parsec in Per User Mode
Parsec will begin downloading, wait for this to finish. Note: Once downloaded, there may be a message saying that a reboot is required, you can ignore this for now as we are doing that in a later step.
Now login with your Parsec account and click on the settings tab. Scroll down until you see "edit configuration file" at the bottom. Then, click on the "edit configuration file" link.
Paste in the following lines, if they don't exist already:
host_virtual_monitors = 1
host_privacy_mode = 1
The Parsec config file with the pasted lines
Save the file and then quit Parsec from the system tray (quitting from within Parsec sometimes fails to save the configuration file).
Open Parsec again and verify that the two lines are in the configuration file. If not, add them again, save, quit Parsec, and check. When it persists, reboot the VM. Now you can follow these steps.

Common Issues and Fixes

If connecting with Parsec just brings up a black screen with no error message, you can fix it with these steps.
  1. 1.
    Make sure the Parsec window is focused
  2. 2.
    Press CTRL + SHIFT + I (Parsec will go into Interactive Mode, which traps the mouse inside the window, once connected, you can leave interactive mode by doing CTRL + SHIFT + I)
  3. 3.
    Press the Windows Key + P
  4. 4.
    Press the Down Arrow, then the Down Arrow, then Enter
  5. 5.
    Now the VM's screen should pop up on Parsec
If Parsec does not work (e.g. error 15000), reboot the VM. If the issue still persists, email us at [email protected] Sometimes, a user with a Parsec Warp subscription logging in (which we have) can set up Parsec's remote display driver correctly if it isn't already done.
If none of these fixes the issue, uninstall Parsec and the Parsec Virtual Display driver. Then, reinstall both. You can find download links for Parsec on their website and the Parsec Virtual Display driver can be added as an addition during Parsec's installation process.