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AMD RDNA 2 GPUs to Support the DirectX 12 Ultimate API

AMD today announced in the form of a blog post that its upcoming graphics cards based on RDNA 2 architecture will feature support for Microsoft's latest DirectX 12 Ultimate API. "With this architecture powering both the next generation of AMD Radeon graphics cards and the forthcoming Xbox Series X gaming console, we've been working very closely with Microsoft to help move gaming graphics to a new level of photorealism and smoothness thanks to the four key DirectX 12 Ultimate graphics features -- DirectX Raytracing (DXR), Variable Rate Shading (VRS), Mesh Shaders, and Sampler Feedback." - said AMD in the blog.

Reportedly, Microsoft and AMD have worked closely to enable this feature set and provide the best possible support for RDNA 2 based hardware, meaning that future GPUs and consoles are getting the best possible integration of the new API standard.
AMD RDNA 2 supports DirectX12 Ultimate AMD RDNA 2 supports DirectX12 Ultimate AMD RDNA 2 supports DirectX12 Ultimate AMD RDNA 2 supports DirectX12 Ultimate

Microsoft DirectX 12 Ultimate: Why it Helps Gamers Pick Future Proof Graphics Cards

Microsoft Thursday released the DirectX 12 Ultimate logo. This is not a new API with any new features, but rather a differentiator for graphics cards and game consoles that support four key modern features of DirectX 12. This helps consumers recognize the newer and upcoming GPUs, and tell them apart from some older DirectX 12 capable GPUs that were released in the mid-2010s. For a GPU to be eligible for the DirectX 12 Ultimate logo, it must feature hardware acceleration for ray-tracing with the DXR API; must support Mesh Shaders, Variable Rate Shading (VRS), and Sampler Feedback (all of the four). The upcoming Xbox Series X console features this logo by default. Microsoft made it absolutely clear that the DirectX 12 Ultimate logo isn't meant as a compatibility barrier, and that these games will work on older hardware, too.

As it stands, the "Navi"-based Radeon RX 5000 series are "obsolete", just like some Turing cards from the GeForce GTX 16-series. At this time, the only shipping product which features the logo is NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 20-series and the TITAN RTX, as they support all the above features.

Complete Hardware Specs Sheet of Xbox Series X Revealed

Microsoft just put out of the complete hardware specs-sheet of its next-generation Xbox Series X entertainment system. The list of hardware can go toe to toe with any modern gaming desktop, and even at its production scale, we're not sure if Microsoft can break-even at around $500, possibly counting on game and DLC sales to recover some of the costs and turn a profit. To begin with the semi-custom SoC at the heart of the beast, Microsoft partnered with AMD to deploy its current-generation "Zen 2" x86-64 CPU cores. Microsoft confirmed that the SoC will be built on the 7 nm "enhanced" process (very likely TSMC N7P). Its die-size is 360.45 mm².

The chip packs 8 "Zen 2" cores, with SMT enabling 16 logical processors, a humongous step up from the 8-core "Jaguar enhanced" CPU driving the Xbox One X. CPU clock speeds are somewhat vague. It points to 3.80 GHz nominal and 3.66 GHz with SMT enabled. Perhaps the console can toggle SMT somehow (possibly depending on whether a game requests it). There's no word on the CPU's cache sizes.

AMD RDNA2 Graphics Architecture Detailed, Offers +50% Perf-per-Watt over RDNA

With its 7 nm RDNA architecture that debuted in July 2019, AMD achieved a nearly 50% gain in performance/Watt over the previous "Vega" architecture. At its 2020 Financial Analyst Day event, AMD made a big disclosure: that its upcoming RDNA2 architecture will offer a similar 50% performance/Watt jump over RDNA. The new RDNA2 graphics architecture is expected to leverage 7 nm+ (7 nm EUV), which offers up to 18% transistor-density increase over 7 nm DUV, among other process-level improvements. AMD could tap into this to increase price-performance by serving up more compute units at existing price-points, running at higher clock speeds.

AMD has two key design goals with RDNA2 that helps it close the feature-set gap with NVIDIA: real-time ray-tracing, and variable-rate shading, both of which have been standardized by Microsoft under DirectX 12 DXR and VRS APIs. AMD announced that RDNA2 will feature dedicated ray-tracing hardware on die. On the software side, the hardware will leverage industry-standard DXR 1.1 API. The company is supplying RDNA2 to next-generation game console manufacturers such as Sony and Microsoft, so it's highly likely that AMD's approach to standardized ray-tracing will have more takers than NVIDIA's RTX ecosystem that tops up DXR feature-sets with its own RTX feature-set.
AMD GPU Architecture Roadmap RDNA2 RDNA3 AMD RDNA2 Efficiency Roadmap AMD RDNA2 Performance per Watt AMD RDNA2 Raytracing

AMD Financial Analyst Day 2020 Live Blog

AMD Financial Analyst Day presents an opportunity for AMD to talk straight with the finance industry about the company's current financial health, and a taste of what's to come. Guidance and product teasers made during this time are usually very accurate due to the nature of the audience. In this live blog, we will post information from the Financial Analyst Day 2020 as it unfolds.
20:59 UTC: The event has started as of 1 PM PST. CEO Dr Lisa Su takes stage.

Ray Tracing and Variable-Rate Shading Design Goals for AMD RDNA2

Hardware-accelerated ray tracing and variable-rate shading will be the design focal points for AMD's next-generation RDNA2 graphics architecture. Microsoft's reveal of its Xbox Series X console attributed both features to AMD's "next generation RDNA" architecture (which logically happens to be RDNA2). The Xbox Series X uses a semi-custom SoC that features CPU cores based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture and a GPU based on RDNA2. It's highly likely that the SoC could be fabricated on TSMC's 7 nm EUV node, as the RDNA2 graphics architecture is optimized for that. This would mean an optical shrink of "Zen 2" to 7 nm EUV. Besides the SoC that powers Xbox Series X, AMD is expected to leverage 7 nm EUV for its RDNA2 discrete GPUs and CPU chiplets based on its "Zen 3" microarchitecture in 2020.

Variable-rate shading (VRS) is an API-level feature that lets GPUs conserve resources by shading certain areas of a scene at a lower rate than the other, without perceptible difference to the viewer. Microsoft developed two tiers of VRS for its DirectX 12 API, tier-1 is currently supported by NVIDIA "Turing" and Intel Gen11 architectures, while tier-2 is supported by "Turing." The current RDNA architecture doesn't support either tiers. Hardware-accelerated ray-tracing is the cornerstone of NVIDIA's "Turing" RTX 20-series graphics cards, and AMD is catching up to it. Microsoft already standardized it on the software-side with the DXR (DirectX Raytracing) API. A combination of VRS and dynamic render-resolution will be crucial for next-gen consoles to achieve playability at 4K, and to even boast of being 8K-capable.

Quake II RTX Updated with More Sharper Textures and Better Lighting Effects

NVIDIA today released a major update to Quake II RTX that add even more eye-candy to the game, leveraging RTX. Quake II RTX, promoted by NVIDIA, is a playable tech-demo for its RTX real-time ray-tracing technology that's based on a classic 3D game so it runs on nearly all DXR-compatible graphics cards (GeForce GTX 10-series, 16-series, and RTX 20-series). It comes with id Software's shareware 1st episode content, although you can add your own licensed game data for the full game.

With version 1.2, NVIDIA added support for a boatload of modern technology, beginning with support for dynamic resolution scaling. Much like watching online videos with resolution toggle set to "auto" (which adjusts resolution based on your Internet bandwidth), dynamic resolution scaling adjusts the rendering resolution of your game on the fly in pursuit of a frames-per-second target. NVIDIA also remastered several textures of the game, increasing texture detail. Over 400 textures have been redone by NVIDIA, adding detail. Support is added for multiple reflection/refraction bounces, which makes it possible to create a "hall of mirrors" effect. NVIDIA implemented light shafts or god rays throughout the game, including underwater light shafts. Light shafts also get reflected off certain metal or glass surfaces. NVIDIA also improved the AI denoiser for the game. Metal and glass surfaces are made to appear more photo-real thanks to denoiser improvements. Find many other technical changes in the official change-log below.
DOWNLOAD: Quake II RTX v1.2

Microsoft Details DirectX Raytracing Tier 1.1, New DirectX 12 Features

Microsoft detailed feature additions to the DirectX 12 3D graphics API, and an expansion of its DirectX Ray-tracing (DXR) API to Tier 1.1. The updated APIs will be included with the Windows 10 major update that's scheduled for the first half of 2020 — the features are accessible already for developers in Windows Insider preview builds. DXR 1.1 is the first major update to the API since its Q4-2018 launch, and adds three major features. To begin with, it brings support for extra shaders to an existing ray-tracing PSO (pipeline-state object), increasing the efficiency of dynamic PSO additions. Next up, is ExecuteIndirect for Raytracing support, described by Microsoft as "enabling adaptive algorithms where the number of rays is decided on the GPU execution timeline." This could be a hint what to expect from NVIDIA's next-generation GPUs that are expected for next year. Lastly, the API introduces support for Inline Raytracing, which gives developers more control over ray traversal and scheduling.

Over in the main DirectX 12 API, Microsoft is introducing support for Mesh Shaders, which brings about systemic changes to the graphics pipeline. "Mesh shaders and amplification shaders are the next generation of GPU geometry processing capability, replacing the current input assembler, vertex shader, hull shader, tessellator, domain shader, and geometry shader stages," writes Microsoft in its blog post. DirectX Sampler Feedback contributes toward memory management by allowing games to better understand which texture assets are more frequently accessed and need to remain resident.

NVIDIA Also Releases Tech Demos for RTX: Star Wars, Atomic Heart, Justice Available for Download

We've seen NVIDIA's move to provide RTX effects on older, non-RT capable hardware today being met with what the company was certainly expecting: a cry of dismay from users that now get to see exactly what their non-Turing NVIDIA hardware is capable of. The move from NVIDIA could be framed as a way to democratize access to RTX effects via Windows DXR, enabling users of its GTX 1600 and 1000 series of GPUs to take a look at the benefits of raytracing; but also as an upgrade incentive for those that now see how their performance is lacking without the new specialized Turing cores to handle the added burden.

Whatever your side of the fence on that issue, however, NVIDIA has provided users with one more raytraced joy today. Three of them, in fact, in the form of three previously-shown tech demos. The Star Wars tech demo (download) is the most well known, certainly, with its studies on reflections on Captain Phasma's breastplate. Atomic Heart (download) is another one that makes use of RTX for reflections and shadows, while Justice (download) adds caustics to that equation. If you have a Turing graphics card, you can test these demos in their full glory, with added DLSS for improved performance. If you're on Pascal, you won't have that performance-enhancing mode available, and will have to slog it through software computations. Follow the embedded links for our direct downloads of these tech demos.

NVIDIA Extends DirectX Raytracing (DXR) Support to Many GeForce GTX GPUs

NVIDIA today announced that it is extending DXR (DirectX Raytracing) support to several GeForce GTX graphics models beyond its GeForce RTX series. These include the GTX 1660 Ti, GTX 1660, GTX 1080 Ti, GTX 1080, GTX 1070 Ti, GTX 1070, and GTX 1060 6 GB. The GTX 1060 3 GB and lower "Pascal" models don't support DXR, nor do older generations of NVIDIA GPUs. NVIDIA has implemented real-time raytracing on GPUs without specialized components such as RT cores or tensor cores, by essentially implementing the rendering path through shaders, in this case, CUDA cores. DXR support will be added through a new GeForce graphics driver later today.

The GPU's CUDA cores now have to calculate BVR, intersection, reflection, and refraction. The GTX 16-series chips have an edge over "Pascal" despite lacking RT cores, as the "Turing" CUDA cores support concurrent INT and FP execution, allowing more work to be done per clock. NVIDIA in a detailed presentation listed out the kinds of real-time ray-tracing effects available by the DXR API, namely reflections, shadows, advanced reflections and shadows, ambient occlusion, global illumination (unbaked), and combinations of these. The company put out detailed performance numbers for a selection of GTX 10-series and GTX 16-series GPUs, and compared them to RTX 20-series SKUs that have specialized hardware for DXR.
Update: Article updated with additional test data from NVIDIA.

NVIDIA to Enable DXR Ray Tracing on GTX (10- and 16-series) GPUs in April Drivers Update

NVIDIA had their customary GTC keynote ending mere minutes ago, and it was one of the longer keynotes clocking in at nearly three hours in length. There were some fascinating demos and features shown off, especially in the realm of robotics and machine learning, as well as new hardware as it pertains to AI and cars with the all-new Jetson Nano. It would be fair to say, however, that the vast majority of the keynote was targeting developers and researchers, as usually is the case at GTC. However, something came up in between which caught us by surprise, and no doubt is a pleasant update to most of us here on TechPowerUp.

Following AMD's claims on software-based real-time ray tracing in games, and Crytek's Neon Noir real-time ray tracing demo for both AMD and NVIDIA GPUs, it makes sense in hindsight that NVIDIA would allow rudimentary DXR ray tracing support to older hardware that do not support RT cores. In particular, an upcoming drivers update next month will allow DXR support for 10-series Pascal-microarchitecture graphics cards (GTX 1060 6 GB and higher), as well as the newly announced GTX 16-series Turing-microarchitecture GPUs (GTX 1660, GTX 1660 Ti). The announcement comes with a caveat letting people know to not expect RTX support (think lower number of ray traces, and possibly no secondary/tertiary effects), and this DXR mode will only be supported in Unity and Unreal game engines for now. More to come, with details past the break.

Unreal Engine Gets a Host of Real-Time Raytracing Features

Epic Games wants a slice of next-generation NVIDIA GameWorks titles that are bound to leverage the RTX feature-set of its hardware. The latest version of Unreal Engine 4, released as a preview-build, comes with a host of real-time ray-tracing features. In its change-log for Unreal Engine 4.22 Preview, Epic describes its real-time ray-tracing feature to be a "low level layer on top of UE DirectX 12 that provides support for DXR and allows creating and using ray tracing shaders (ray generation shaders, hit shaders, etc) to add ray tracing effects."

The hardware being reference here are the RT cores found in NVIDIA's "Turing RTX" GPUs. At the high-level, Unreal Engine 4 will support close to two dozen features that leverage DXR, including a denoiser for shadows, reflections, and ambient occlusion; rectangular area lights, soft shadows, ray-traced reflections and AO, real-time global illumination, translucency, triangular meshes, and path-tracing. We could see Unreal Engine 4.22 get "stable" towards the end of 2019, to enable DXR-ready games of 2020.

Battlefield V Gets NVIDIA DLSS Support

Battlefield V became the first AAA title to support NVIDIA Deep-learning Supersampling or DLSS, a new-generation image-quality enhancement feature exclusive to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards, since it requires tensor cores. The feature was introduced as part of its comprehensive Battlefield V Chapter 2: Lightning Strikes Update late Tuesday. To use it, DXR must be enabled in the game. In its release notes for the update, EA-DICE describes DLSS as a feature "which uses deep learning to improve game performance while maintaining visual quality." The developers also improved the way the deploy screen displays on ultrawide monitors on the PC, particularly with the "Rotterdam" map.

Update: We have posted an article, taking a closer look at the DLSS implementation in Battlefield V.

AMD Radeon VII Detailed Some More: Die-size, Secret-sauce, Ray-tracing, and More

AMD pulled off a surprise at its CES 2019 keynote address, with the announcement of the Radeon VII client-segment graphics card targeted at gamers. We went hands-on with the card earlier this week. The company revealed a few more technical details of the card in its press-deck for the card. To begin with, the company talks about the immediate dividends of switching from 14 nm to 7 nm, with a reduction in die-size from 495 mm² on the "Vega 10" silicon to 331 mm² on the new "Vega 20" silicon. The company has reworked the die to feature a 4096-bit wide HBM2 memory interface, the "Vega 20" MCM now features four 32 Gbit HBM2 memory stacks, which make up the card's 16 GB of memory. The memory clock has been dialed up to 1000 MHz from 945 MHz on the RX Vega 64, which when coupled with the doubled bus-width, works out to a phenomenal 1 TB/s memory bandwidth.

We know from AMD's late-2018 announcement of the Radeon Instinct MI60 machine-learning accelerator based on the same silicon that "Vega 20" features a total of 64 NGCUs (next-generation compute units). To carve out the Radeon VII, AMD disabled 4 of these, resulting in an NGCU count of 60, which is halfway between the RX Vega 56 and RX Vega 64, resulting in a stream-processor count of 3,840. The reduced NGCU count could help AMD harvest the TSMC-built 7 nm GPU die better. AMD is attempting to make up the vast 44 percent performance gap between the RX Vega 64 and the GeForce RTX 2080 with a combination of factors.

3DMark Port Royal Ray-tracing Benchmark Release Date and Pricing Revealed

UL Benchmarks released more information on pricing and availability of its upcoming addition to the 3DMark benchmark suite, named "Port Royal." The company revealed that the benchmark will officially launch on January 8, 2019. The Port Royal upgrade will cost existing 3DMark paid (Advanced and Professional) users USD $2.99. 3DMark Advanced purchased from January 8th onward at $29.99 will include Port Royal. 3DMark Port Royal is an extreme-segment 3D graphics benchmark leveraging DirectX 12 and DirectX Raytracing (DXR). UL Benchmarks stated that Port Royal was developed with inputs from industry giants including NVIDIA, AMD, Intel, and Microsoft.

DICE Prepares "Battlefield V" RTX/DXR Performance Patch: Up to 50% FPS Gains

EA-DICE and NVIDIA earned a lot of bad press last month, when performance numbers for "Battlefield V" with DirectX Raytracing (DXR) were finally out. Gamers were disappointed to see that DXR inflicts heavy performance penalties, with 4K UHD gameplay becoming out of bounds even for the $1,200 GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, and acceptable frame-rates only available on 1080p resolution. DICE has since been tirelessly working to rework its real-time raytracing implementation so performance is improved. Tomorrow (4th December), the studio will release a patch to "Battlefield V," a day ahead of its new Tides of War: Overture and new War Story slated for December 5th. This patch could be a game-changer for GeForce RTX users.

NVIDIA has been closely working with EA-DICE on this new patch, which NVIDIA claims improves the game's frame-rates with DXR enabled by "up to 50 percent." The patch enables RTX 2080 Ti users to smoothly play "Battlefield V" with DXR at 1440p resolution, with frame-rates over 60 fps, and DXR Reflections set to "Ultra." RTX 2080 (non-Ti) users should be able to play the game at 1440p with over 60 fps, if the DXR Reflections toggle is set at "Medium." RTX 2070 users can play the game at 1080p, with over 60 fps, and the toggle set to "Medium." NVIDIA states that it is continuing to work with DICE to improve DXR performance even further, which will take the shape of future game patches and driver updates.
A video presentation by NVIDIA follows.

Battlefield V with RTX Initial Tests: Performance Halved

Having survived an excruciatingly slow patch update, we are testing "Battlefield V" with DirectX Ray-tracing and NVIDIA RTX enabled, across the GeForce RTX 2070, RTX 2080, and RTX 2080 Ti, augmenting the RTX-on test data to our Battlefield V Performance Analysis article. We began testing with a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card with GeForce 416.94 WHQL drivers on Windows 10 1809. Our initial test results are shocking. With RTX enabled in the "ultra" setting, frame-rates dropped by close to 50% at 1080p.

These may look horrifying, given that at its highest setting, even an RTX 2080 Ti isn't able to manage 1080p 120 Hz. But all is not lost. DICE added granularity to RTX. You can toggle between off, low, medium, high, and ultra as "degrees" of RTX level of detail, under the "DXR ray-traced reflections quality" setting. We are currently working on 27 new data-points (each of the RTX 20-series graphics cards, at each level of RTX, and at each of the three resolutions we tested at).

Update: Our full performance analysis article is live now, including results for RTX 2070, 2080, 2080 Ti, each at RTX off/low/medium/high/ultra.

Battlefield V System Requirements Outed: Ryzen 7 2700 or i7 8700 as Recommended CPUs

The official system requirements for the upcoming Battlefield V game have been outed, and there are three categories of such requirements now: Minimum, Recommended, and DXR. The minimum requirements are pretty steep as they are: DICE say at least an AMD FX-8350 or an i5 6600K CPU are required, alongside 8 GB of system RAM (on the graphics front, a GTX 1050 / RX 560 are mentioned).

The recommended system requirements do bring some interesting tables to the mix, though, with AMD's Ryzen 3 1300X and Intel's i7 4790 being hailed as good CPUs for the configuration. This is in stark contrast with the minimum requirements, but here's the gist: it appears that Battlefield V will be a well-paralellized game, though it will also require strong per-core performance (hence why the FX-8350 doesn't make the cut, and why a previous-gen i7 is higher on the list than the 6000 series i5 from Intel). Minimum RAM for the Recommended spec stands at a whopping 12 GB, though - I believe this is the highest I've ever seen for a game release. An RX 580 or a GTX 1060 round out the specs.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 416.16 WHQL Drivers

NVIDIA released its first GeForce software suite since Windows 10 October 2018 went official. The new GeForce 416.16 WHQL drivers add full support for the new operating system, including WDDM 2.5, and DirectX Ray-Tracing (DXR), which are essential for NVIDIA RTX to work. The drivers also add SLI profiles for a large number of games, including "Battlefield V," "Basingstroke," "Divinity: Original Sin II," "Immortal: Unchained," "Jurassic World Evolution," "Phoenix Point," and "Seven: The Days Long Gone." 3DVision profiles are added for "The Elder Scrolls: Online."

A small number of bugs are also fixed with this release. "Pascal" GPUs running "Quake HD remix" no longer experience black square glitches. Temporal AA sharp drops in performance with GeForce GTX 1060 running "Rainbow 6: Siege" has been fixed. Driver errors on TITAN Xp when waking up from S4 sleep have been fixed. Lastly, an issue found with "Turing" GPUs not exposing Netflix 4K mode to displays connected over USB-C, has been fixed. Grab the driver from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 416.16 WHQL

The change-log follows.

Windows 10 October 2018 Update Starts Rolling Out

Microsoft began rolling out Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) through its regular update channels. The update introduces several improvements to the operating system's user interface, expand on its Timeline features that let you pick up your work where you left off, and comes with a boatload of under the hood performance improvements relevant to PC enthusiasts and gamers. These include the latest update to DirectX that adds DirectX Ray-tracing API features (DXR), the latest version of WDDM, and native HDR standards management settings via Display Settings. To get it, simply make Windows check for updates.
The change-log follows.

NVIDIA's 20-series Could be Segregated via Lack of RTX Capabilities in Lower-tier Cards

NVIDIA's Turing-based RTX 20-series graphics cards have been announced to begin shipping on the 20th of September. Their most compelling argument for users to buy them is the leap in ray-tracing performance, enabled by the integration of hardware-based acceleration via RT cores that have been added to NVIDIA's core design. NVIDIA has been pretty bullish as to how this development reinvents graphics as we know it, and are quick to point out the benefits of this approach against other, shader-based approximations of real, physics-based lighting. In a Q&A at the Citi 2018 Global Technology Conference, NVIDIA's Colette Kress expounded on their new architecture's strengths - but also touched upon a possible segmentation of graphics cards by raytracing capabilities.

During that Q&A, NVIDIA's Colette Kress put Turing's performance at a cool 2x improvement over their 10-series graphics cards, discounting any raytracing performance uplift - and when raytracing is indeed brought into consideration, she said performance has increased by up to 6x compared to NVIDIA's last generation. There's some interesting wording when it comes to NVIDIA's 20-series lineup, though; as Kress puts it, "We'll start with the ray-tracing cards. We have the 2080 Ti, the 2080 and the 2070 overall coming to market," which, in context, seems to point out towards a lack of raytracing hardware in lower-tier graphics cards (apparently, those based on the potential TU106 silicon and lower-level variants).

DICE to Dial Back Ray-tracing Eye-candy in Battlefield V to Favor Performance

EA-DICE, in an interview with Tom's Hardware, put out some juicy under-the-hood details about the PC release of "Battlefield V." The most prominent of these would be that the commercial release of the game will slightly dial back on the ray-tracing eye-candy we saw at NVIDIA's GeForce RTX launch event demo. DICE is rather conservative about its implementation of ray-tracing, and seems to assure players that the lack of it won't make a tangible difference to the game's production design, and will certainly not affect gameplay (eg: you won't be at a competitive disadvantage just because a squeaky clean car in the middle of a warzone won't reflect an enemy sniper's glint accurately).

"What I think that we will do is take a pass on the levels and see if there is something that sticks out," said Christian Holmquist, technical director at DICE. "Because the materials are not tweaked for ray tracing, but sometimes they may show off something that's too strong or something that was not directly intended. But otherwise we won't change the levels-they'll be as they are. And then we might need to change some parameters in the ray tracing engine itself to maybe tone something down a little bit," he added. Throughout the game's levels and maps, DICE identified objects and elements that could hit framerates hard when ray-tracing is enabled, and "dialed-down" ray-tracing for those assets. For example, a wall located in some level (probably a glass mosaic wall), hit performance too hard, and the developers had to tone down its level of detail.

UL's Raytracing Benchmark Not Based on Time Spy, Completely New Development

After we've covered news of UL's (previously known as 3D Mark) move to include a raytracing benchmark mode on Time Spy, the company has contacted us and other members of the press to clarify their message and intentions. As it stands, the company will not be updating their Time Spy testing suite with Raytracing technologies. Part of the reason is that this would need an immense rewrite of the benchmark itself, which would be counterproductive - and this leads to the rest of the reason why it's not so: such a significant change would invalidate previous results that didn't have the Raytracing mode activated.

As such, UL has elected to develop a totally new benchmark, built from the ground up to use Microsoft's DirectX Raytracing (DXR). This new benchmark will be added to the 3D Mark app as an update. The new test will produce its own benchmarking scores, very much like Fire Strike and Time Spy did, and will provide users with yet another ladder to climb on their way to the top of the benchmarking scene. Other details are scarce - which makes sense. But the test should still be available on or around the time of NVIDIA's 20-series launch, come September 20th.
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