That's where ray-tracing comes in. Light rays are projected from pixels or light sources, depending on the algorithm, and then bounce around the scene until they hit the camera or light source. This is exactly how we see things – photons jumping off and through objects, their wavelengths have changed and eventually our eyes hit. As we explained earlier this year, dedicated ray-tracer VFX scenes realistically provide for live-action movies.
However, all of these feet are jumping around, your GPU pretty fast. Ray tracing is good for movie after-production, which has hundreds of servers to reproduce things. It's not ideal for games, but how limited hardware must make a frame in 1
Ray tracing will not take over how your games do graphics anytime soon. Making full beam tracking is still far beyond a graphics card, even NVIDIA's $ 10,000 Quadro RTX 8000. They will most be used with existing radar engines to enhance certain effects, such as reflections and shadows.
Giga Radars and RTX-OPS
To add a number to these new specialized kernels, NVIDIA now emphasizes gigastrays and RTX-OPS. While the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti only releases only 1.21 gigabytes per second, Turing GPUs can flow through 10 gigabytes per second – up to eight times faster.
At the same time using a hybrid measurement that combines beam tracking and floating point operations, the Turing-powered GTR 2080 Ti can handle 78 RTX-OPS compared to 12 RTX-OPS for the 1000 Series Pascal generation. It is the six-fold increase we have seen the trumpet on the internet.
Jensen Huang said such advances "simply never happened before, a supercomputer replaced by a GPU in a generation." The demos he showed up on Gamescom, especially Project Sol (over) who showed robots and an Iron Man-like dress were the most impressive real-time raytracing videos we've ever seen when they ran on a single GPU ($ 6,300 Quadro RTX 6000).
Demos to the Real World
Do not expect games to look better with RTX cards. To see some advantage over the theoretical 30-40 percent increase, the games must be designed specifically to utilize ray tracing. No one is available at the moment, and only two as we know come down the tube – Battlefield V and Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
NVIDIA's RTX uses Microsoft's new DirectX feature called DXR, also supported by AMD via its Radeon beam feature. And Microsoft has said that DXR will work well on current generation and older graphics cards. However, NVIDIA has strongly suggested that it will not be very useful without its next short-term, and previous models, even GTX 1080 Ti, will slow down the operation.
NVIDIA also said that the DLSS AI feature will increase game speeds by up to two times. To do that, the RTX tensor cores will take anti-aliasing (AA), which usually uses a lot of GPU cycles and memory resources. DLSS is a specific NVIDIA feature that may be called game-by-game, but NVIDIA will do it free if developers send them the code.
GameWorks and Cemeteries of Lost GPU Tech
There has been a lot of hype over GPU technology that never turned out as it should. Take AMD's Mantle and last, GameWorks. Much of this technology did not break the promised game speeds or quality improvements, but the cards were sold partly on these features.
Any game enhancement features are especially suspicious if they are limited to one brand or another, which appears to be the case with NVIDIA's DLSS and some RTX features. The reason is obvious. Game developers do not want to favor a GPU platform over another, as they range from their already thin resources and often result in bad press and unhappy buyers if it does not deliver.
For example, NVIDIA introduced GameWorks middleware to help developers create better hair, fur, physics and other effects. However, the features were optimized for NVIDIA cards, and running them on an AMD GPU often leads to poor or unpredictable performance – and GameWorks proved to be problematic even on NVIDIA's own cards. NVIDIA picked it up during the RTX launch earlier this year, but we have not heard much about GameWorks for the RTX 2000 series cards.
spend or wait?
Buying into a new graphics system based on untested technology, especially as complex as ray tracing, is quite a big risk. It does not help that the new RTX 2080 Ti card is expensive and heavily hungry, and does not provide amazing speed enhancements on paper. It can actually have a superior architecture that overcomes specifications, but it's worrying that NVIDIA spent so much time describing ray tracing tech and very little that shows how it improves the games you can play right now.
It would be good if RTX ray tracing and AI improves future games as promised, but considering the upgrade cycle of two years or so, NVIDIA may have moved to other things when they arrive. All we have to continue right now are the specifications and NVIDIA's words of performance.
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