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Basemark Launches World's First Cross-Platform Raytracing Benchmark - GPUScore Relic of Life

Basemark launched today GPUScore, an all-new GPU (graphics processing unit) performance benchmarking suite for a wide device range from smartphones to high-end gaming PCs. GPUScore supports all modern graphics APIs, such as Vulkan, Metal and DirectX, and operating systems such as Windows, Linux, macOS, Android and iOS.

GPUScore will consist of three different testing suites. Today, the first one of these was launched, named Relic of Life. It is available immediately. Basemark will introduce the two other GPUScore testing suites during the following months. Relic of Life is ideal for benchmarking high-end gaming PCs' discrete graphics cards' GPUs. It requires hardware accelerated ray tracing, supports Vulkan and DirectX, and is available for both Windows and Linux. GPUScore: Relic of Life is an ideal benchmark for comparing Vulkan and DirectX accelerated ray tracing performance.

Is the New Old Already? Far Cry 6 Raytracing Exclusive to PC Version, PS5 and Xbox Series Left Out

Stephanie Brenham, Team Lead Programmer for Ubisoft's upcoming AAA Far Cry 6, recently spoke to WCCFTech on the upcoming Far Cry installment. Stephanie went into some detail regarding the graphics and performance options, and an interesting fact that surfaced was that neither Sony's PS5 nor Microsoft's Xbox Series consoles will feature ray tracing enabled on their respective versions of the game. Apparently, ray tracing will be a PC-exclusive feature, as console versions of the game are targeting higher render resolution and more fluid framerates over expensive graphics options such as ray tracing. And even on PC, it'll be a hybrid form of it, and not a full implementation: ray tracing is supported for both shadows and reflections, but Ubisoft opted for a hybrid approach here, marrying traditional rendering with ray tracing so as to improve performance in mainstream PC hardware.

"Ray tracing is a PC-only feature," Stephanie Brenham said. "On console, our objective has been to take advantage of new hardware capabilities, optimizing performance targeting 4K and achieving 60 FPS." This does somewhat fall in the face of performance expectations set by both Sony and Microsoft; both companies made (and still make) extensive use of ray tracing support on the marketing campaigns for their consoles. However, as we've seen in the past, enabling ray tracing comes with severe performance penalties in even the latest and greatest PC hardware (sometimes not to best effect, even), which still outclasses even the latest consoles' powerful innards (compared to their predecessors, of course).

Intel Xe HPG Graphics Architecture and Arc "Alchemist" GPU Detailed

It's happening, Intel is taking a very pointy stab at the AAA gaming graphics market, taking the fight to NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon. The Arc "Alchemist" discrete GPU implements the Xe HPG (high performance gaming) graphics architecture, and offers full DirectX 12 Ultimate compatibility. It also offers contemporary features gamers want, such as XeSS, an AI-supersampling feature rivaling DLSS and FSR. There's a lot more to the Xe HPG architecture than being a simple a scale-up from the Xe LP-based iGPUs found in today's "Tiger Lake" processors.

Just like Compute Units on AMD GPUs, and Streaming Multiprocessors on NVIDIA, Intel designed a scalable hierarchical compute hardware structure for Xe HPG. It begins with the Xe-core, an indivisible compute building block that contains 16 each of 256-bit vector engines and 1024-bit matrix engines. combined with basic load/store hardware and an L1 cache. The vector unit here is interchangeable with the execution unit, and the Xe-core contains 16 of these. The Render Slice is a collective of four Xe-cores, four Raytracing Units; and other common fixed-function hardware that include the geometry pipeline, rasterization pipeline, samplers, and pixel-backends. The Raytracing Units contain fixed-function hardware for bounding-box intersection, ray traversal, and triangle intersection.

Intel Arc Architecture Codenames are Battlemage, Celestial, and Druid; DG2 Has Raytracing

Intel today surprised us with the reveal of its new high-performance gaming graphics brand, Intel Arc. Competing with the AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce brands, Arc enables Intel to take a stab at the gaming graphics market that's been a duopoly for the past 2 decades; and the company doesn't intend to only make low-cost e-sports chips. As if a statement of intent, the company revealed the codenamed of the first three generations of Arc: "Battlemage," "Celestial," and "Druid."

Of these "Battlemage" is likely the fancy new codename for the Xe HPG graphics architecture, which has been implemented in a working prototype referred to as the DG2, and which Intel is now referring to as "Alchemist." Intel revealed that "Battlemage" is being designed to meet DirectX 12 Ultimate requirements, which means it will support hardware-accelerated real-time raytracing; mesh shaders, sampler feedback, and variable-rate shading. Intel also announced that the chips will feature an AI-accelerated supersampling feature. This will rival NVIDIA DLSS and AMD FSR. Intel announced that the first consumer products based on the "Alchemist" silicon will release in the first quarter of 2022, the company will put out more specifics throughout 2021, in the run-up to this launch.

AMD, Samsung Partnership to See Variable Rate Shading, Ray Tracing on Exynos SoC

AMD at its Computex event shed some light on its IP partnership with Samsung. We already knew this was going to be a closer collaboration than most IP licensing deals, as AMD themselves announced this would be a semi-custom solution designed between both companies. AMD CEO Lisa Su described the technology to be embedded in the upcoming Samsung Exynos SoC as being based on RDNA2 - but this likely is just a marketing and clarity perspective on AMD's technology being implemented, since between the design of RDNA2 and the announcement of the Samsung partnership a lot of water has necessarily run under AMD's graphics IP bridge.

Lisa Su did however confirm that two key RDNA2 technologies will find their way into Samsung's Exynos: Variable Rate Shading (VRS) and Raytracing. This isn't he first time VRS has made an appearance on a mobile SoC - it's already been implemented by Qualcomm in the Adreno 660 GPU (part of the Snapdragon 888 SoC design). However, Raytracing does seem to be a first for the SoC market, and Samsung might just edge out competition in its time to market with this technology. more details will certainly be shared as we get closer to the fabled AMD-partnered Exynos release.

NVIDIA DLSS & Raytracing Technology Coming To Eight New Games

The launch of GeForce RTX GPUs two years ago brought an array of NVIDIA-designed technologies that dramatically transformed PC gaming and content creation. Now, there are over 130 games and applications supporting RTX-accelerated innovations, including GPU-accelerated raytracing, NVIDIA Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), and AI-powered innovations like NVIDIA Broadcast. And our newest technology, NVIDIA Reflex is now supported in 12 of the top 15 competitive shooters, making gameplay more responsive.

NVIDIA has worked closely with the game development ecosystem, creative app developers, and industry standards bodies to leverage the company's technological innovations in the creation of this new standard for PC gaming and content creation. The list of game franchises, engines, and game and app developers now using NVIDIA-pioneered technologies is a veritable who's who. And today, more games and studios jump on board, as we announce the addition of RTX technologies to a further 8 titles, including DOOM Eternal, Red Dead Redemption 2, Rainbow Six Siege, Icarus, LEGO Builder's Journey, DYING: 1983, The Ascent, and The Persistence.

Grab the Stunning "Attic" NVIDIA RTX + DLSS Unreal Engine Interactive Demo, Works on even AMD

We are hosting the NVIDIA "Attic" RTX + DLSS interactive tech-demo in our Downloads section. Developed on Unreal Engine 4, the demo puts you in the bunny-slippers of a little girl playing around in her attic. This is no normal attic, it's her kingdom, complete with stuff to build a pillow fort, an old CRT TV playing retro NVIDIA commercials, a full-length mirror, really cool old stuff, and decorations. You can explore the place in a first-person perspective.

The interactive demo is brought to life with on-the-fly controls for RTX real-time raytracing and its various features, DLSS performance enhancement, a frame-rate counter, and controls for time-of-day, which alters lighting in the room. The demo shows off raytraced reflections, translucency, global-illumination, direct-illumination, and DLSS. You also get cool gadgets such as the "light cannon" or a reflective orb, that let you play around with dynamic lighting some more. To use this demo, you'll need a machine with an RTX 20-series "Turing" or RTX 30-series "Ampere" graphics card, and Windows 10. The demo also works on Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs. Grab it from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA Unreal Engine 4 RTX & DLSS Demo

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.3.2

AMD today released the Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.3.2 beta drivers. The drivers come with optimization for "Outriders," "Evil Genius 2: World Domination," and the DirectX Raytracing update for "DiRT 5." A handful issues have also been fixed. Radeon RX 6700 series GPUs incorrectly reporting clock speeds in the Performance tab of Radeon Software, has been fixed. Artifacts noted with shadows in "Insurgency: Sandstorm," has been fixed. A bug with desktop resolution changing after a power cycle, on certain displays, has been fixed. Screen blacking out when playing games in the borderless fullscreen mode with FreeSync enabled on RX 6000 series GPUs, has been fixed. Grab the drivers from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.3.2 beta

4A Games Announces Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition for PC - Free Upgrade for Existing Owners

4A Games is one of those rare developers that seemingly gives more to its fans and game-owners than it takes. The company has just announced they're readying a new, Enhanced Edition version of Metro Exodus - receiving significant graphical updates that are mostly focused on added raytracing capabilities. The new version of the game will be made available for PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles - but carries additional features in the all-powerful PC version, including Ray Traced Reflections (which will not be included in the console version) as well as support for NVIDIA's DLSS 2.0, the best iteration of the technology so far.

According to the developer, the engine changes are so substantial that they couldn't push it as a simple update/game patch - the entire game has had to be recompiled to allow for the seamless integration of the new features. 4A Games announced that the new, Enhanced Edition, which will be available later this year, will be available for all Metro Exodus owners as a free, additional download. The new version makes such extensive usage of raytracing - every light source is now raytraced, per-pixel-raytraced global illumination, and a plethora of other changes you can see in the feature comparative below - that the company is now listing a raytracing-capable GPU (whether AMD or NVIDIA) as the minimum requirement. Now if only one could find decent raytracing graphics cards readily available...

Khronos Group Releases Vulkan SDK, Drivers With Official Raytracing Support; Showcases Wolfenstein: Youngblood

Today, The Khronos Group, an open consortium of industry-leading companies creating advanced interoperability standards, announces that LunarG has released the Vulkan Software Development Kit (SDK) version 1.2.162.0, with full support for the new Vulkan raytracing extensions, including Validation Layers and integration of upgraded GLSL, HLSL and SPIR-V shader tool chains. The Khronos open source Vulkan Samples and Vulkan Guide have been upgraded to illustrate raytracing techniques. Finally, with production drivers shipping from both AMD and NVIDIA, developers are now enabled to easily integrate Vulkan raytracing into their applications.

Khronos released final Vulkan raytracing extensions in November 2020 to seamlessly integrate raytracing functionality alongside Vulkan's rasterization framework, making Vulkan the industry's first open, cross-vendor, cross-platform standard for raytracing acceleration. Vulkan raytracing can be deployed using existing GPU compute or dedicated raytracing cores. The Vulkan SDK now integrates all the components necessary for developers to easily use the new raytracing extensions, such as new shader tool chains, without needing them to be built from multiple repositories, and supports raytracing validation within the SDK validation layers.

NVIDIA Brings DLSS Support To Four New Games

Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing gaming - from in-game physics and animation simulation, to real-time rendering and AI-assisted broadcasting features. And NVIDIA is at the forefront of this field, bringing gamers, scientists and creators incredible advancements. With Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), NVIDIA set out to redefine real-time rendering through AI-based super resolution - rendering fewer pixels, then using AI to construct sharp, higher resolution images, giving gamers previously unheard-of performance gains.

Powered by dedicated AI processors on GeForce RTX GPUs called Tensor Cores, DLSS has accelerated performance in more than 25 games to date, boosting frame rates significantly, ensuring GeForce RTX gamers receive high-performance gameplay at the highest resolutions and detail settings, and when using immersive ray-traced effects. And now, NVIDIA has delivered four new DLSS titles for gamers to enjoy.

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Raytracing Performance Leaked

It's only tomorrow that reviewers will take the lids off AMD's latest and greatest Navi-powered graphics cards, but it's hard to keep a secret such as this... well... secret. Case in point: Videocardz has accessed some leaked slides from the presentation AMD has given to its partners, and these shed some light on what raytracing performance users can expect from AMD's RX 6800 XT, the card that's meant to bring the fight to NVIDIA's RTX 3080 graphics card. AMD's RDNA2 features support for hardware-accelerated raytracing from the get go, with every CU receiving on additional hardware piece: a Ray Accelerator. As such, the RX 6800 XT, with its 72 enabled CUs, features 72 Ray Accelerators; the RX 6800, with its 60 CUs, features 60 of these Ray Accelerators.

The RX 6800 XT was tested in five titles: Battlefield V, Call of Duty MW, Crysis Remastered, Metro Exodus and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. At 1440p resolution with Ultra Settings and DXR options enabled according to the game, AMD claims an RX 6800 XT paired with their Ryzen 9 5900X can deliver an average of 70 FPS on Battlefield V; 95 FPS on Call of Duty MW; 90 FPS in Crysis Remastered; 67 FPS in Metro Exodus; and 82 FPS in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. These results are, obviously, not comparable to our own results in previous NVIDIA RTX reviews; there's just too many variables in the system to make that a worthwhile comparison. You'll just have to wait for our own review in our normalized test bench so you can see where exactly does AMD's latest stand against NVIDIA.

AMD, Blizzard Showcase World of Warcraft: Shadowlands DXR

As part of its road towards release of their Radeon RX 6000 series, AMD has posted a video showcasing the raytracing effects that are being baked into World of Warcraft: Shadowlands. This comes as a result of a strategic partnership between the two companies. World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will be making use of AMD's FidelityFX Ambient Occlusion, where Blizzard says they were able to achieve "(...)a perfect balance between quality and performance..." which allowed them to achieve "(...)a significant performance advantage over our previous ambient occlusion applications."

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will also be making use of DXR Raytracing technology as well as Variable Rate Shading (VRS). Raytracing is being used to calculate light interactions between light sources, objects and characters on the screen, while VRS will enable the game to reduce shading resolution on areas closer to the corners of the frame, or in fast-moving objects, where detail would be lost either way, to achieve higher frame rates. The higher the resolution, the more impactful the benefits of VRS. So it seems that Blizzard has decided to implement two performance-increasing and one performance-decreasing features available from the DXR repository. Catch the video explaining these features and showcasing their implementation after the break.

UL Benchmarks Updates 3DMark with Ray-Tracing Feature Test

The launch of AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series graphics cards on November 18 will end NVIDIA's monopoly on real-time raytracing. For the first time, gamers will have a choice of GPU vendors when buying a raytracing-capable graphics card. Today, we're releasing a new 3DMark feature test that measures pure raytracing performance. You can use the 3DMark DirectX Raytracing feature test to compare the performance of the dedicated raytracing hardware in the latest graphics cards from AMD and NVIDIA.

Real-time raytracing is incredibly demanding. The latest graphics cards have dedicated hardware that's optimized for raytracing operations. Despite the advances in GPU performance, the demands are still too high for a game to rely on raytracing alone. That's why games use raytracing to complement traditional rendering techniques. The 3DMark DirectX Raytracing feature test is designed to make raytracing performance the limiting factor. Instead of relying on traditional rendering, the whole scene is ray-traced and drawn in one pass.
DOWNLOAD: 3DMark v2.15.7078

Microsoft: Only Consoles Supporting Full RDNA 2 Capabilities Are Xbox Series X and Series S, Excludes PlayStation 5

Microsoft has today published another article on its Xbox Wire blog, dedicated to all the news regarding the Xbox consoles and its ecosystem. In the light of yesterday's launch of AMD Radeon RDNA 2 graphics cards, Microsoft has congratulated its partner and provider of processors SoCs for their next-generation consoles. Besides the celebrations and congratulations, Microsoft has proceeded to show off what the Xbox Series X and Series S consoles are capable of, and how they integrate the RDNA 2 architecture. The company notes that there are hardware accelerated DirectX Raytracing, Mesh Shaders, Sampler Feedback, and Variable Rate Shading units built-in, so game developers can take advantage of it.

Another interesting point Microsoft made was that "Xbox Series X|S are the only next-generation consoles with full hardware support for all the RDNA 2 capabilities AMD showcased today." What this translates into is that Microsoft is the only console maker that uses the full RDNA 2 potential. This could leave Sony out in the dark with its PlayStation 5 console, meaning that it does not support all the features of AMD's new GPU architecture. There are not any specific points, however, we have to wait and see what Sony has left out, if anything.

Microsoft Rolls Out DirectX 12 Feature-level 12_2: Turing and RDNA2 Support it

Microsoft on Thursday rolled out the DirectX 12 feature-level 12_2 specification. This adds a set of new API-level features to DirectX 12 feature-level 12_1. It's important to understand that 12_2 is not DirectX 12 Ultimate, even though Microsoft explains in its developer blog that the four key features that make up DirectX 12 Ultimate logo requirements were important enough to be bundled into a new feature-level. At the same time, Ultimate isn't feature-level 12_1, either. The DirectX 12 Ultimate logo requirement consists of DirectX Raytracing, Mesh Shaders, Sampler Feedback, and Variable Rate Shading. These four, combined with an assortment of new features make up feature-level 12_2.

Among the updates introduced with feature-level 12_2 are DXR 1.1, Shader Model 6.5, Variable Rate Shading tier-2, Resource Binding tier-3, Tiled Resources tier-3, Conservative Rasterization tier-3, Root Signature tier-1.1, WriteBufferImmediateSupportFlags, GPU Virtual Address Bits resource expansion, among several other Direct3D raster rendering features. Feature-level 12_2 requires a WDDM 2.0 driver, and a compatible GPU. Currently, NVIDIA's "Turing" based GeForce RTX 20-series are the only GPUs capable of feature-level 12_2. Microsoft announced that AMD's upcoming RDNA2 architecture supports 12_2, too. NVIDIA's upcoming "Ampere" (RTX 20-series successors) may support it, too.

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

Sony Reveals PS5 Hardware: RDNA2 Raytracing, 16 GB GDDR6, 6 GB/s SSD, 2304 GPU Cores

Sony in a YouTube stream keynote by PlayStation 5 lead system architect Mark Cerny, detailed the upcoming entertainment system's hardware. There are three key areas where the company has invested heavily in driving forward the platform by "balancing revolutionary and evolutionary" technologies. A key design focus with PlayStation 5 is storage. Cerny elaborated on how past generations of the PlayStation guided game developers' art direction as the low bandwidths and latencies of optical discs and HDDs posed crippling latencies arising out of mechanical seeks, resulting in infinitesimally lower data transfer rates than what the media is capable of in best case scenario (seeking a block of data from its outermost sectors). SSD was the #1 most requested hardware feature by game developers during the development of PS5, and Sony responded with something special.

Each PlayStation 5 ships with a PCI-Express 4.0 x4 SSD with a flash controller that has been designed in-house by Sony. The controller features 12 flash channels, and is capable of at least 5.5 GB/s transfer speeds. When you factor in the exponential gains in access time, Sony expects the SSD to provide a 100x boost in effective storage sub-system performance, resulting in practically no load times.

Sony's Mark Cerny to Detail PS5 Architecture March 18th

Sony has announced via Twitter that their lead system architect Mark Cerny will "provide a deep dive into PS5's system architecture, and how it will shape the future of games" tomorrow. This is likely the start of Sony's marketing campaign for the release of the PS5 which is due out Holidays 2020.

The Japanese company has remained puzzlingly tight-lipped regarding their next-gen games console, which is a far cry from Microsoft's position, who have been releasing details and teasing their next-gen Xbox Series X system for a while now. It remains to be seen how Sony's system will differ from Microsoft's Xbox Series X, since most specs are rumored to be close on both consoles. The underlying Zen 2 architecture for the CPUs is confirmed in both consoles, and so should the fabrication process and RDNA2-based graphics with dedicated ray tracing hardware. It remains to be seen how the companies will aim to differentiate their offerings.

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.

Crytek Releases Hardware-Agnostic Raytracing Benchmark "Neon Noir"

Crytek today released the final build for their hardware-agnostic raytracing benchmark. Dubbed Neon Noir, the benchmark had already been showcased in video form back in March 2019, but now it's finally available for download for all interested parties from the Crytek Marketplace. The benchmark currently doesn't support any low-level API such as Vulkan or DX 12, but support for those - and the expected performance improvements - will be implemented in the future.

Neon Noir has its raytracing chops added via an extension of CRYENGINE's SVOGI rendering tool that currently Crytek's games use, including Hunt: Showdown, which will make it easier for developers to explore raytracing implementations that don't require a particular hardware implementation (such as RTX). However, the developer has added that they will add hardware acceleration support in the future, which should only improve performance, and will not add any additional rendering features compared to those that can be achieved already. What are you waiting for? Just follow the link below.

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's Lightspeed Studios Aim to Remaster Games With RTX Effects

NVIDIA's efforts with Quake 2 RTX haven't gone unnoticed in the community, providing a distinct overhaul in image quality to the now decades-old game. Raytracing and its global illumination capabilities have already been well explored in this publication, and its effect in older games - the ones that already run remarkably well in modern hardware - has been well documented, with some third party solutions (such as ReShade) including the effect to great measure in a number of games that haven't been built from the ground-up for raytracing.

The new Lightspeed Studios from NVIDIA aims to bring Quake 2 RTX-like improvements to other games. A job posting from the company dated from the end of September seems to make it clear that the company is looking to increase the number of games with RTX support in this way. Read on after the break for the description in the job listing.

DOOM Eternal to Also Support Raytracing

In another iD Software game supporting ray tracing (we already know Wolfenstein: Young Blood will support it), id Software's Marty Stratton confirmed that DOOM Eternal will also support the graphics technology. In what capacity, it is unclear as of yet; whether for a global illumination solution, like Metro: Exodus, or just for reflections and shadows like most games seem to be using, is unknown at this point. Looking back at how the "original" DOOM looked, and considering changes to graphics technologies under the new iD Tech 7 engine, however, DOOM Eternal really is looking to be one of the best looking games - at least on the PC platform.

As Marty Stratton put it, "RTX makes it look, you know, amazing. There are great benefits but it doesn't necessarily expand our audience or that the way that the way that something like Stadia does so, but absolutely people can look forward to DOOM Eternal and id Tech 7 supporting ray tracing. Absolutely. I mean we love that stuff, the team loves it and I think we'll do it better than anybody honestly."
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