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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.

System Requirements for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Released

The official system requirements for the Call of Duty: modern Warfare Beta have been outed, and these should remain pretty close to the final release version requirements. If you want to enjoy the game's implemented NVIDIA RTX features, you know you'll have to have an NVIDIA RTX graphics card - that part is pretty straightforward.

Luckily, the system requirements for non-RTX gameplay aren't too steep; this is a Call of Duty game we're talking about, after all. Even though these games usually offer more than adequate graphics, this is a twitch shooter; the better frame rates players can have, the better and more fluid the action is; and hence, an optimized game engine is key. For the minimum system requirements, a Core i5 2500K "or AMD equivalent" is required, paired with an NVIDIA GeForce 670 2 GB (jeez, they really went into their dust bin for this one) or, puzzlingly, a GTX 1650 4 GB; for the AMD camp, a Radeon HD 7950 is all that's necessary. The recommended specs call for an Intel Core i7 4770K "or AMD equivalent" paired with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 4 GB / GTX 1660 6 GB or an AMD Radeon R9 390 / RX 580. The games' beta will be available for all players tomorrow, September 21st.

AORUS Announces the All-New AORUS 17 Flagship Laptop

Top-of-the-line gaming brand AORUS, reveals itself at the 2019 GAMESCOM trade show in Germany Cologne, in which the spotlight shines at the all-new 17 inch flagship gaming laptop, the AORUS 17. AORUS takes the lead yet again through the co-op with world renowned switch manufacture OMRON to innovate and develop a set of unique mechanical switches that is tailored for the AORUS 17, not only does the keys offer exceptional durability, it also offers one of the best feeling keys that gamers can find on a laptop. The AORUS greatness continues through the combination of the brand new Intel 8-core CPU, NVIDIA RTX graphics chip with Ray Tracing technology and an exclusive WINDFORCE INFINITY cooling system, the AORUS 17 steadily sits on the high-end gaming thrown with these specs.

AORUS leads the industry again by working with world renowned mechanical switch manufacture, OMRON in order to create a unique set of mechanical keys for the AORUS laptop, with gamer oriented design details, including an optimal 2.5 mm key travel and an actuation point of 1.6 mm, giving gamers both the sensational touch and sound of a crisp blue switch, which gamers can now enjoy the qualities of a full mechanical keyboard right on their AORUS laptop. AORUS pursues further by redesigning the key caps to produce stunning backlit keys with unique "concentric" keycaps, letting the LED underneath the keycap shine though evenly, increasing the overall lighting intensity by 27%, in addition to the AORUS exclusive FUSION 2.0 keyboard customization software, gamers can truly create a unique personal style.

NVIDIA CEO Says Buying a GPU Without Ray Tracing "Is Crazy"

During NVIDIA's second quarter earnings call, the company's co-founder and CEO, Jensen Huang, talked about earnings and what drives demand. When talking about sales, Huang noted a few things about NVIDIA's RTX lineup of graphics cards and why buying one is the only reasonable thing to do.

Specifically, Huang said that "SUPER is off to a super start for and at this point, it's a foregone conclusion that we're going to buy a new graphics card, and it's going to the last 2, 3, 4 years to not have ray tracing is just crazy. Ray tracing content just keeps coming out. And between the performance of SUPER and the fact that it has ray tracing hardware, it's going to be super well positioned for throughout all of next year."

MSI Announces New GeForce RTX 2060/2070/2080 SUPER Series Graphics Cards

As the world's most popular GAMING graphics card vendor, MSI is proud to introduce its full line up of graphics cards based on the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX SUPER GPUs. Equipped with exceptional thermal design, MSI GeForce RTX 2060/2070/2080 SUPER series are optimized for higher core and memory clock speeds for increased performance in games. The GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER will be available as GAMING, ARMOR, VENTUS and AERO ITX, while the GeForce RTX 2070/2080 SUPER will be limited to GAMING TRIO and VENTUS.

Ray Tracing, which has long been used for rendering in movies, provides realistic environments by simulating the physical behavior of light. The application of this technology will be even more widespread in the future, as many of the most highly-anticipated blockbuster games have announced support for real-time ray tracing, a next-gen feature only available on GeForce RTX GPUs.

AMD Patent Shines Raytraced Light on Post-Navi Plans

An AMD patent may have just shown the company's hand when it comes to its interpretation of raytracing implementation on graphics cards. The patent, titled "Texture Processor Based Ray Tracing Acceleration Method and System", describes a hybrid, software-hardware approach to raytracing. AMD says this approach improves upon solely hardware-based solutions:
"The hybrid approach (doing fixed function acceleration for a single node of the bounded volume hierarchy (BVH) tree and using a shader unit to schedule the processing) addresses the issues with solely hardware based and/or solely software based solutions. Flexibility is preserved since the shader unit can still control the overall calculation and can bypass the fixed function hardware where needed and still get the performance advantage of the fixed function hardware. In addition, by utilizing the texture processor infrastructure, large buffers for ray storage and BVH caching are eliminated that are typically required in a hardware raytracing solution as the existing vector general purpose register (VGPRs) and texture cache can be used in its place, which substantially saves area and complexity of the hardware solution."

Quake II RTX to Launch on Steam

NVIDIA plans to release their adaptation of Quake, called Quake II RTX, soon on Steam. The Quake II RTX will be free(in some cases) to play, full Quake II game, with additional features such as ray tracing. The game is using Vulkan API for its Ray Tracing capabilities and requires NVIDIA's Turing GPUs in order to play with and use all of the advanced lighting effects.

All the owners of the original Quake II on Steam will get the RTX update free of charge. However, new users will get only 3 levels to play for free and if they want more levels with multiplayer as well, they will have to purchase the original Quake II for $4.99. The game will become available on June 6th, one day from present.

Manli Introduces GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti Gallardo Graphics Cards

Manli Technology Group Limited, one of the major Graphics Cards and other components manufacturers, today announced the superior ultimate edition of Gallardo series graphics solution - Manli GeForce RTXTM 2080 Ti & RTXTM 2080 Gallardo, addition of the latest valued software - Turbo Engine and LED Lighting Control. Two lightning flash across cooling cover, and flashing with stunning LED lights. Meanwhile, it is equipped with 5 composite copper heatpipes, and triple 90 mm fans to ensure working in a silent and cool condition.

AMD Confirms Launch of Next-gen Ryzen, EPYC and Navi for Q3

During AMD's annual shareholder meeting today, AMD president and CEO Dr. Lisa Su confirmed the launch of next-generation AMD Ryzen, EPYC CPUs and Navi GPUs for the third quarter of this year. The expected products are going to be manufactured on TSMC's 7 nm process and will be using new and improved architectures.

Ryzen 3000 series CPUs are rumored to have up to as much as 16 cores in Ryzen 9 SKUs, 12 cores in Ryzen 7 SKUs and 8 cores in Ryzen 5 SKUs. EPYC server CPUs will be available in models up to 64 cores. All of the new CPUs will be using AMD "Zen 2" architecture that will offer better IPC performance and, as rumors suggest for consumer models, are OC beasts. Navi GPUs are the new 7 nm GPUs that are expected to be very competitive both price and performance wise to NVIDIA's Turing series, hopefully integrating new technologies such as dedicated Ray Tracing cores for higher frame rates in Ray Tracing enabled games. No next generation ThreadRipper launch date was mentioned, so we don't yet know when and if that will that land.

Crytek Updates CryEngine Roadmap: Version 5.7 to Support DirectX 12, Vulkan and Ray Tracing

Crytek have updated their development roadmap for CryEngine, adding in some of the features we discussed yesterday on our piece regarding their Neon Noir ray tracing tech demo performance. The new roadmap now places Spring 2020 as the time where both DirectX 12 and Vulkan, lower level APIs than the currently-supported DX11, will be fully integrated into the engine. Ray Tracing will be added at the same time, no doubt taking advantage of the higher performance that can be extracted from hardware through the lower level APIs.

It will be interesting to see the level of performance on CryEngine's hardware agnostic ray tracing, and whether their Spring 2020 implementation will take advantage of specialized RTX hardware - or focus on a software solution ran at varying degrees of rendering resolution according to the scene. Though with AMD's Navi being expected to incorporate some sort of hardware-based ray tracing acceleration, it's very likely software calculations will only be a fallback of the coding.

Sony PlayStation 5 Console Confirmed Powered by 8-core Zen 2 CPU, Navi and Ray Tracing Confirmed

Sony's own lead system architect Mark Cerny spilled the beans on the company's upcoming "PlayStation 5" games console - the name isn't confirmed, but it's a PlayStation, and it's the fifth, so, following from the previous nomenclature just makes sense, doesn't it? One particular detail, however, is of most interest to us PC hardware junkies, and that one little fact is the confirmed Navi GPU that will power it. This is, almost certainly, a semi-custom Navi-based GPU, however; but the tidbit that PlayStation 5 will have raytracing support is the one game changer for hardware expectations - on paper, at least.

Of course, Navi is expected to debut much sooner in the consumer space than on next-gen consoles, but the fact that PlayStation 5 development kits are already being seeded - and an increasing rate, according to Sony - bodes well for the feature's inclusion on AMD's consumer-based cards. Either that or the company is taking a software approach to raytracing, which, if NVIDIA's 1000 and 10*0 series is any indication, wouldn't go very well with performance intentions. This does mean that raytracing is about to receive a much-needed market penetration boost for its adoption by developers. NVIDIA will of course be able to wave the flag of having been the first company to introduce the technology to consumers.

Quake II Reimagined with Ray-tracing on Vulkan

Christoph Schied reimagined the 1990s cult-classic "Quake II" with real-time ray-tracing, using the Vulkan API and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20-series hardware exposing the "VK_NV_ray_tracing" extension. Called "Q2VKPT," this game based on id Software's open-source Quake II code, implemented real-time path-tracing to make the lighting more physically accurate. NVIDIA expanded on Schied's work with "Quake II RTX," which is possibly the world's first game that is fully real-time ray-traced.

This NVIDIA rendition of Q2VKPT leverages NVIDIA's RTX for Vulkan to ensure all lighting, shadows, reflections, and other visual effects are ray-traced and denoised using NVIDIA's AI-accelerated denoiser. Unless it somehow scored higher-resolution texture assets from id Software, NVIDIA could also be using a GPU-accelerated upscaler to improve texture resolution. It's also possible that ambient-occlusion methods such as HBAO+ are in play to add apparent geometric detail to some of the surfaces in the game. NVIDIA hasn't made Quake II RTX public yet, although you could take the path-traced Q2VKPT for a spin. You'll need an RTX 20-series graphics card and the latest drivers.

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.

Crytek Shows Off Neon Noir, A Real-Time Ray Tracing Demo For CRYENGINE

Crytek has released a new video demonstrating the results of a CRYENGINE research and development project. Neon Noir shows how real-time mesh ray-traced reflections and refractions can deliver highly realistic visuals for games. The Neon Noir demo was created with the new advanced version of CRYENGINE's Total Illumination showcasing real time ray tracing. This feature will be added to CRYENGINE release roadmap in 2019, enabling developers around the world to build more immersive scenes, more easily, with a production-ready version of the feature.

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti SKUs Listed on the Eurasian Economic Commission, Adds Fuel to 1660 Ti Fire

It seems only yesterday that we were discussing a Turing microarchitecture-based TU116 die that would power the yet-to-be-confirmed GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. With no RTX technology support, this was speculated to be NVIDIA's attempt to appease the mainstream gaming market that understands the GPU does not have enough horsepower to satisfactorily drive real-time ray tracing in games while still maintaining an optimal balance of visual fidelity and performance alike. Reports indicated an announcement next month, followed by retail availability in March, and today we got word of more concrete evidence pointing towards all these coming to fruition.

It appears that trade listings in various organizations are going to be a big source of leaks in the present and future, with MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti SKUs, including the Gaming Z, Armor, Ventus, and Gaming X, all listed on the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC). The listing covers the associated trademarks, all awarded to MSI, and is one of the last steps towards setting up a retail channel for new and upcoming products. Does the notion of a Turing GTX GPU without real-time ray tracing interest you? Let us know in the comments section below.

Remedy Shows The Preliminary Cost of NVIDIA RTX Ray Tracing Effects in Performance

Real time ray tracing won't be cheap. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20 Series graphics cards are quite expensive, but even with that resources the cost to take advantage of this rendering technique will be high. We didn't know for sure what this cost would be, but the developers at Remedy have shown some preliminary results on that front. This company is working on Control, one of the first games with RTX support, and although they have not provided framerate numbers, what we do know is that the activation of ray tracing imposes a clear impact.

It does at least in these preliminary tests with its Northlight Engine. In an experimental scene with a wet marble floor and a lot of detailed furniture they were able to evaluate the cost of enabling RTX. There is a 9.2 ms performance overhead per frame in total: 2.3 ms to compute shadows; 4.4 ms to compute reflexions; and 2.5 ms for the global denoising lighting. These are not good news for those who enjoy games at 1080p60.

NVIDIA Recreates Lunar Landing with RTX Technology and Ray Tracing

NVIDIA has released an exquisite lunar landing recreation powered by their RTX technology, bringing a fresh coat of paint to their previous iteration of the video. The new version goes to great lengths to showcase exactly what ray tracing is all about: those little, graphics-card-accelerated rays of light interact perfectly with objects and their physical qualities. This means reflections, ambient occlusion, shadows, and the entire graphics reality - no longer effects - that ensues.

Developed under Unreal Engine 4 with a ray-tracing capable graphics path, this is a serious showcase of actual physically-accurate lighting, and NVIDIA, of course, took the opportunity to throw in a time-travel joke for how good their RTX graphics cards are in rendering reality. Can't really blame the green company, though.

NVIDIA Turing SDKs Now Available

NVIDIA's Turing architecture is one of the biggest leaps in computer graphics in 20 years. Here's a look at the latest developer software releases to take advantage of this cutting-edge GPU. CUDA 10: CUDA 10 includes support for Turing GPUs, performance optimized libraries, a new asynchronous task-graph programming model, enhanced CUDA & graphics API interoperability, and new developer tools. CUDA 10 also provides all the components needed to build applications for NVIDIA's most powerful server platforms for AI and high performance computing (HPC) workloads, both on-prem (DGX-2) and in the cloud (HGX-2).

TensorRT 5 - Release Candidate: TensorRT 5 delivers up to 40x faster inference performance over CPUs through new optimizations, APIs and support for Turing GPUs. It optimizes mixed precision inference dramatically across apps such as recommenders, neural machine translation, speech and natural language processing. TensorRT 5 highlights include INT8 APIs offering new flexible workflows, optimization for depthwise separable convolution, support for Xavier-based NVIDIA Drive platforms and the NVIDIA DLA accelerator. In addition, TensorRT 5 brings support for Windows and CentOS Operating Systems.

NVIDIA Announces Turing-based Quadro RTX 8000, Quadro RTX 6000 and Quadro RTX 5000

NVIDIA today reinvented computer graphics with the launch of the NVIDIA Turing GPU architecture. The greatest leap since the invention of the CUDA GPU in 2006, Turing features new RT Cores to accelerate ray tracing and new Tensor Cores for AI inferencing which, together for the first time, make real-time ray tracing possible.

These two engines - along with more powerful compute for simulation and enhanced rasterization - usher in a new generation of hybrid rendering to address the $250 billion visual effects industry. Hybrid rendering enables cinematic-quality interactive experiences, amazing new effects powered by neural networks and fluid interactivity on highly complex models.

AMD Announces Radeon Rays and Radeon GPU Profiler 1.2 at GDC 2018

AMD announced at GDC widened support for Radeon Rays with Unity Lightmapper. Its open-source, high efficiency, high performance GPU-accelerated ray tracing software helps game developers to achieve higher visual quality and stunningly photorealistic 3D images in real-time. Radeon ProRender now supports real-time GPU acceleration of ray tracing techniques mixed with traditional rasterization-based rendering, to combine the value of ray tracing with the interactivity of rasterization.

For gaming, ray tracing is in its early stages. For professional applications, however, real-time ray tracing is a well-established rendering technique. Today, AMD is announcing ProRender support for real-time GPU acceleration of ray tracing techniques mixed with traditional rasterization based rendering. Now built on Vulkan, ProRender is continuing to enable developers to deliver interactive photorealistic graphics. We are actively engaging with professional developers to make real-time visualization a reality.

Microsoft Releases DirectX Raytracing - NVIDIA Volta-based RTX Adds Real-Time Capability

Microsoft today announced an extension to its DirectX 12 API with DirectX Raytracing, which provides components designed to make real-time ray-tracing easier to implement, and uses Compute Shaders under the hood, for wide graphics card compatibility. NVIDIA feels that their "Volta" graphics architecture, has enough computational power on tap, to make real-time ray-tracing available to the masses. The company has hence collaborated with Microsoft to develop the NVIDIA RTX technology, as an interoperative part of the DirectX Raytracing (DXR) API, along with a few turnkey effects, which will be made available through the company's next-generation GameWorks SDK program, under GameWorks Ray Tracing, as a ray-tracing denoiser module for the API.

Real-time ray-tracing has for long been regarded as a silver-bullet to get lifelike lighting, reflections, and shadows right. Ray-tracing is already big in the real-estate industry, for showcasing photorealistic interactive renderings of property under development, but has stayed away from gaming, that tends to be more intense, with larger scenes, more objects, and rapid camera movements. Movies with big production budgets use pre-rendered ray-tracing farms to render each frame. Movies have, hence, used ray-traced visual-effects for years now, since it's not interactive content, and its studios are willing to spend vast amounts of time and money to painstakingly render each frame using hundreds of rays per pixel.

NVIDIA Announces OptiX 5.0 SDK - AI-Enhanced Ray Tracing

At SIGGRAPH 2017, NVIDIA introduced the latest version of their AI-based, GPU-enabled ray-tracing OptiX API. The company has been at the forefront of GPU-powered AI endeavors in a number of areas, including facial animation, anti-aliasing, denoising, and light transport. OptiX 5.0 brings a renewed focus on AI-based denoising.

AI training is still a brute-force scenario with finesse applied at the end: basically, NVIDIA took tens of thousands of image pairs of rendered images with one sample per pixel and a companion image of the same render with 4,000 rays per pixel, and used that to train the AI to predict what a denoised image looks like. Basically (and picking up the numbers NVIDIA used for its AI training), this means that in theory, users deploying OptiX 5.0 only need to render one sample per pixel of a given image, instead of the 4,000 rays per pixel that would be needed for its final presentation. Based on its learning, the AI will then be able to fill in the blanks towards finalizing the image, saving the need to render all that extra data. NVIDIA quotes a 157x improvement in render time using a DGX station with Optix 5.0 deployed against the same render on a CPU-based platform (2 x E5-2699 v4 @ 2.20GHz). The Optix 5.0 release also includes provisions for GPU-accelerated motion blur, which should do away with the need to render a frame multiple times and then applying a blur filter through a collage of the different frames. NVIDIA said OptiX 5.0 will be available in November. Check the press release after the break.

Imagination Ships Caustic Series2 R2500 and R2100 Ray Tracing Accelerators

Imagination Technologies, a leading multimedia technologies company, is now shipping its Caustic Series2 PC boards, the R2500 and R2100, which accelerate PowerVR OpenRL applications including the Caustic Visualizer viewport plug-ins for Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max and the Neon viewport in Rhinoceros 5 from Robert McNeel and Associates.

The Caustic Series2 is the first family of high performance ray tracing accelerator PC boards using Imagination's unique ray tracing technologies in the world's first chipset dedicated to high performance, fully interactive ray tracing in a workstation environment.

Sparkle Extends Thermal Guru Design to GeForce GTX 570

SPARKLE Computer Co., Ltd., the professional VGA card manufacturer and supplier, today announced the SPARKLE GTX 570 Thermal Guru Graphics Card with Effective Own Design Cooler, the ultimate DX11 3D monster from SPARKLE, which delivers intense performance and premium cooling effect for gamers who demand the best.

The SPARKLE GTX570 Thermal Guru Graphics Card is the latest new addition to SPARKLE's GTX 570 Series. Its core and memory clock are 732 and 1900 MHz respectively. Designed specifically for gamers who demand the best, the SPARKLE GTX570 Thermal Guru Graphics Card is built with NVDIA GeForce GTX 570 GPU. Based on 40nm processor and advanced GDDR5 memory technology, it consists of ground-breaking features including Microsoft DirectX 11 and NVIDIA PhysX which lead to incredibly immersive HD gaming experience and unrivaled performance.

SPARKLE Announces GeForce GTX 580 Thermal Guru Graphics Card

SPARKLE Computer Co., Ltd., the professional VGA card manufacturer and supplier, today announced the SPARKLE GTX580 Thermal Guru Graphics Card with Effective Own Design Cooler, the ultimate DX11 3D monster from SPARKLE, which delivers intense performance and premium cooling effect for gamers who demand the best.

The SPARKLE GTX580 Thermal Guru Graphics Card is the latest new addition to SPARKLE's GTX 580 Series. Its core and memory clock are 772 and 4008 MHz respectively. Designed specifically for gamers who demand the best, the SPARKLE GTX580 Thermal Guru Graphics Card is built with NVDIA GeForce GTX 580 GPU. Based on 40nm processor and advanced GDDR5 memory technology, it consists of ground-breaking features including Microsoft DirectX 11 and NVIDIA PhysX which lead to incredibly immersive HD gaming experience and unrivaled performance.
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