Thursday, October 17th 2019

Intel and Wargaming Join Forces to Deliver Ray Tracing to World of Tanks

Intel has been very serious about its efforts in computer graphics lately, mainly because of its plans to launch a dedicated GPU lineup and bring new features to the graphics card market. Today, Intel and Wargaming, a maker of MMO titles like World of Tanks, World of Warships, and World of Warplanes, partnered to bring ray tracing feature to the Wargaming's "Core" graphics engine, used in perhaps one of the best-known MMO title - World of Tanks.

Joint forces of Intel and Wargaming developers have lead to the implementation of ray tracing, using only regular software techniques without a need for special hardware. Being hardware agnostic, this implementation works on any graphics card that can run DirectX 11, as the "Core" engine is written in DirectX 11 API. To achieve this, developers had to make a solution that uses CPU's resources for fast, multi-threaded bounding volume hierarchy which then feeds the GPU's compute shaders for ray tracing processing, thus making the ray tracing feature entirely GPU shader/core dependent. Many features are reworked with emphasis put on shadow quality. In the images below you can see exactly what difference the new ray-tracing implementation makes, and you can use almost any graphics card to get it. Wargaming notes that "some FPS" will be sacrificed if ray tracing is turned on, so your GPU shouldn't struggle too much.
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72 Comments on Intel and Wargaming Join Forces to Deliver Ray Tracing to World of Tanks

#1
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
IMO, raytracing off looks better in both samples. Their raytracing method isn't taking into account that sunlight isn't lasers. The original algorithm does a better job at reflecting that.
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#2
INSTG8R
My Custom Title
FordGT90Concept
IMO, raytracing off looks better in both samples. Their raytracing method isn't taking into account that sunlight isn't lasers. The original algorithm does a better job at reflecting that.
I’ll be honest I ran it maxed out at my native res and just couldn’t see it. I even watched. side by video ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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#3
Jozsef Dornyei
intel has helped WG already with enabling full multi CPU use in the graphics engine.
The result was significantly better graphics on my PC however now I have to clean the CPU cooler every 6 months otherwise the CPU will overheat.
WoT is the only game or program what overheats my CPU (if cooler is not cleaned properly)...
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#4
Voluman
Practically halves the performance with my rx 580 (4gb) and a10-6700 on ultra.
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#5
64K
Looks like they mostly applied RT to the shadows much like the upcoming COD Modern Warfare will.

Look at the first set of pictures. Notice the shadows from the grill are blurry with RT off and sharp with RT on.

Look at the back of the tank in the 2nd set of pictures. The shadows on the 2 metal plates that are sticking out are blurry and with the RT on the shadows are sharp and distinct.
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#6
londiste
What is with attempts to implement performance-expensive ray tracing effects in multiplayer games?

64K
Look at the first set of pictures. Notice the shadows from the grill are blurry with RT off and sharp with RT on.
Look ate the back of the tank in the 2nd set of pictures. The shadows on the 2 metal plates that are sticking out are blurry and with the RT on the shadows are sharp and distinct.
RT does not necessarily make shadows sharp. Often enough soft shadows is exactly what RT is good for. Look at the shadow of the tank on the second comparison picture and that is definitely softer.
What RT helps with here is to make shadows optically/physically correct and that definitely includes soft shadows that are still not very good(/easy/fast) with traditional methods.
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#7
john_
I wonder how they will manage to make it slower on AMD CPUs with more cores, compared to Intel CPUs.

At least Intel is not playing it like Nvidia here and goes with a solution that can(?) run in any hardware.
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#8
Voluman
john_
I wonder how they will manage to make it slower on AMD CPUs with more cores, compared to Intel CPUs.

At least Intel is not playing it like Nvidia here and goes with a solution that can(?) run in any hardware.
It uses Intel Embree and loves many cores, so Amd should be fine too.


In medium settings, things are more interestings, almost third performance for me with rt off-on.
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#9
PerfectWave
really difficult to find the difference yeah rtx on only on shadows. thi generation of gpu cant handle rtx at all
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#10
lewis007
I'm sure Digital Foundry will get a hard on over this..(eyeroll)
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#11
lynx29
I can't even really tell a difference in the pics... useless nonsense.
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#12
londiste
john_
At least Intel is not playing it like Nvidia here and goes with a solution that can(?) run in any hardware.
DXR is part of DX12 standard. As evidenced by drivers providing DXR support on Pascal cards, it can run on any hardware. AMD is rumored to have DXR implementation ready in drivers as well.

Edit:
Developer's video about RT for vehicle shadows in World of Tanks:
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#13
INSTG8R
My Custom Title
londiste
DXR is part of DX12 standard. As evidenced by drivers providing DXR support on Pascal cards, it can run on any hardware. AMD is rumored to have DXR implementation ready in drivers as well.
Yes rumour has it December they’ll let the DXR loose for AMD
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#14
tvamos
FordGT90Concept
IMO, raytracing off looks better in both samples. Their raytracing method isn't taking into account that sunlight isn't lasers. The original algorithm does a better job at reflecting that.
I think the opposite, as closer shadow should be sharp, and shadows farther away become blurry, representing real life. If You take another look at desert scene, shadow across sand became blurry with rt on.
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#15
Recus
Wargaming notes that "some FPS" will be sacrificed
100 fps.

RTX performance hit can be justified by increased visual fidelity.

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#16
Vya Domus
john_
I wonder how they will manage to make it slower on AMD CPUs with more cores, compared to Intel CPUs.
It can choose a different code path without AVX, can't think of anything else. Though it would be too obvious, thing is I am unsure it will scale that well with cores I watched a presentation a long time ago and they were focused primarily on SIMD.

INSTG8R
Yes rumour has it December they’ll let the DXR loose for AMD
A bad idea. AMD mostly managed to successfully avoid this RT thing, now they'll be proudly displayed at the bottom of the charts by sites and blamed for not being up to par.
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#17
kings
Recus
100 fps.
RTX performance hit can be justified by increased visual fidelity.
And these are just shadows.

Maybe now the conspiracy theorists can stop the nonsense that RTX cards are a scam and we don't need dedicated RT hardware for anything.

Without dedicated Ray Tracing hardware, the performance loss is even more depressing.
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#18
Vya Domus
kings
And these are just shadows.

Maybe now the conspiracy theorists can stop the nonsense that RTX cards are a scam and we don't need dedicated RT hardware for anything.

Without dedicated Ray Tracing hardware, the performance loss is even more depressing.
What's the depressing is that you should be aware that this level of performance hit is generally the same on most other DXR enabled games with RTX cards. Which means, at least compared to this game, the dedicated hardware makes almost no difference. People have all the rights to question how much of a difference these things really make.
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#19
londiste
RT hardware (in this case think ray intersection testing) makes a huge difference. Problem is that these are not the bottleneck right now. BVH generation (or similar data setup) seems to be a pretty big problem across the board right now. If you watch the video, this is also the part where Wargaming struggled and found help from Intel's Embree libraries.

I am willing to bet Wargaming takes is very easy with the amount of rays as they do need to get this running on as wide install base as possible. And without hardware support at this point.
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#20
kings
Vya Domus
What's the depressing is that you should be aware that this level of performance hit is generally the same on most other DXR enabled games with RTX cards. Which means, at least compared to this game, the dedicated hardware makes almost no difference. People have all the rights to question how much of a difference these things really make.
Losing 50%~60% of performance is very different from losing more than 120%.

Two of the latest RT games:



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#21
TheUn4seen
This might be a personal preference, but since I got the 2080ti I tried raytracing in a few games and, quite honestly, I'm hard pressed to justify the performance cost. It sometimes looks better, but the improvement isn't earth shattering. The only game in which I found RTX to make a huge difference is... Quake II. In WoT I really think the non-raytraced light scattering looks more natural.
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#22
IceShroom
lynx29
I can't even really tell a difference in the pics... useless nonsense.
Nowdays raster graphics is so good that, raster image looks as good as ray traced image without any performence hit.
Intel's ray tracing looks much better than those fake reflection used by nvidia.
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#23
Vya Domus
kings
Losing 50%~60% of performance is very different from losing more than 120%.
Nah mate, don't get sneaky on us trying to pass those "medium settings" as the real comparison here. This implementation doesn't suffer from the massive loss in performance other DXR games have when you try and max out the RT effects. That being said, in those charts the maximum settings can indeed cause 100% of the performance to be lost as well. In other words in the worst case scenarios you lose about the same amount of FPS in %.

So in absolute terms they are both just as good, or just as horrible, whichever way you want. Nice try though.
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#24
kings
Vya Domus
Nah mate, don't get sneaky on us trying to pass those "medium settings" as the real comparison here.
You are joking right? The charts have DXR High and even DXR Ultra settings!
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#25
john_
kings
And these are just shadows.

Maybe now the conspiracy theorists can stop the nonsense that RTX cards are a scam and we don't need dedicated RT hardware for anything.

Without dedicated Ray Tracing hardware, the performance loss is even more depressing.
Why do you believe that RTX is something more than hardware PhysX? Nvidia was always trying to create proprietary standards to lock it's customers in it's own products. They did it with PhysX they are also trying to do it with RTX.

So, what is the status of PhysX 10 years latter? Everyone seems to be using software PhysX and no one is using hardware PhysX. Also I was surprised to see last week, probably with a few years delay, that Nvidia has unlocked PhysX. Epic store was giving older Batman titles that support hardware PhysX for free, so I had the chance to revisit those games. And guess what. With primary card an HD 7870 and secondary card a GT 620, I have hardware PhysX unlocked and fully functioning. 10 years ago Nvidia was locking it. They would have been selling much more low end GPUs today and all those years, if they haven't been so arrogant. Or maybe not if software PhysX is as good as hardware PhysX, or at least good enough.

Nvidia is trying to find uses for it's tensor and RT cores, while locking it's customer base to it's products and ray tracing is a good excuse. That doesn't mean that Nvidia's hardware implementation is a necessity. Maybe ray tracing will end up being the best selling point for HEDT and hi end mainstream processors. Because why buy an ultra expensive 2080 Ti, if you can have the same performance at RT with a simple RTX 2070 and a 12-16 core CPU that uses Intel's solution?
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