Summary: At Gamescom 2018, NVIDIA introduced GeForce RTX 2000 series graphics cards line-up with RTX 2070, 2080 and 2080 Ti including the founder edition of all three cards. The NVIDIA RTX platform fuses ray tracing, deep learning, and rasterization with the new Turing architecture onboard. However, NVIDIA heavily focused the Ray Tracing Technology of the NVIDIA RTX GPUs. Therefore, in this article, we have tried to explain the fundamentals of Ray Tracing, brief history, Future game support and so on.
Main Article: At the Gamescom 2018 event in Germany, NVIDIA announced the new GeForce RTX 2000 series graphics cards. The line-up contains RTX 2070, 2080 and 2080 Ti including the founder edition of all three cards. The NVIDIA RTX platform fuses ray tracing, deep learning, and rasterization. It also comes with the new Turing architecture which can provide up to 6X better performance than the Pascal architecture. According to NVIDIA, the new RTX series is a significant upgrade over its previous gen GPUS. However, NVIDIA was heavily focusing on the ray tracing technology in RTX series. Therefore, in this article, we are going to discuss the Ray Tracing Technology of the NVIDIA RTX GPUs.
What is Ray Tracing?
Before digging deep into the Ray Tracing Technology of the NVIDIA RTX GPUs, we must know what Ray Tracing is. Ray tracing is a rendering technique for generating an image by tracing the path of light as pixels in an image plane and simulating the effects of its encounters with virtual objects. Basically, it means how a light source would interact with virtual objects along an image plane. Ray tracing calculates the color of pixels by tracing the path that light would take if it were to travel from the eye of the viewer through the virtual 3D scene. Therefore, it traverses the whole scene where the light may be causing reflections, causing shadows, or causing refractions. Hence, combining all this it is capable of producing a very realistic real-world effect.
Brief History of Ray Tracing
Ray tracing was first described in 1969 by IBM’s Arthur Appel. Then 10 years later, in 1979, Turner Whitted issued a paper called “An Improved Illumination Model for Shaded Display.” Notably, He now works for NVIDIA. Furthermore, in 1984, Lucasfilm’s Robert Cook, Thomas Porter, and Loren Carpenter all discussed how ray tracing could be used in filmmaking. Nvidia revealed a CalTech professor named Jim Kajiya issued a paper called “The Rendering Equation” that worked as the final piece of the puzzle. Now, in 2018 it finally becomes the reality as we are witnessing Ray-Tracing Technology of the NVIDIA RTX GPUs.
Ray Tracing Technology of the NVIDIA RTX GPUs
Ray Tracing Technology existed for quite a long time but only for non-real-time rendering. Notably, it requires a significant amount of power to render the effects. In the case of the still images, ray tracing works extremely well and creates incredible effects. But when it comes to fast ongoing movement on the screen, ray tracing can be a problem without the right components and enough power. That’s where Ray-Tracing Technology of the NVIDIA RTX GPUs comes to play. RTX-capable GPUs include dedicated ray tracing acceleration hardware, use an advanced acceleration structure. It will allow implementing an entirely new GPU rendering pipeline. Therefore, it will enable real-time ray tracing in games and other graphics applications.
Ray Tracing Technology of the NVIDIA RTX GPUs is leveraged by developers like NVIDIA OptiX, Microsoft DXR, and Vulkan ray tracing API. The OptiX API is an application framework that leverages RTX Technology to achieve optimal ray tracing performance on the GPU. Microsoft’s DirectX Ray Tracing (DXR) API extends DirectX 12 to support ray tracing. Therefore, NVIDIA partnered closely with Microsoft to enable full RTX support for DXR applications. They1 also developed a ray-tracing extension to the Vulkan cross-platform graphics and compute API. It enables Vulkan developers to access the full power of RTX. NVIDIA also worked closely with Khronos Group to bring a cross-vendor ray-tracing capability to the Vulkan standard.
In Game Experience of Ray Tracing Technology of the NVIDIA RTX GPUs
One thing is for sure that the Ray Tracing Technology of the NVIDIA RTX GPUs will transcend your gaming experience. With this feature turned on you can expect far better lighting effects and close to reality gaming experience. The overall environment change will be clearly visible and to exaggerate that NVIDIA has shared several upcoming games trailers with ray tracing support. Among the trailers, the Battlefield V trailer clearly shows how big the difference can be. Now let’s have a quick look at what it is really offering.
Games with Ray Tracing Support
If you are wondering except Battlefield V which are the other games that will support Ray tracing? Well, here is the answer for you. NVIDIA revealed that there are 21 games currently in development that will support ray tracing. Here is the complete list:
- Ark: Survival Evolved
- Assetto Corsa Competzione
- Atomic Heart
- Battlefield V
- In Death
- Final Fantasy XV
- The Forge Arena
- Fractured Lands
- Hitman 2
- Mechwarrior V: Mercenaries
- Metro Exodus
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
- Remnant from the Ashes
- Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- We Happy Few
Ray Tracing Technology of the NVIDIA RTX GPUs is in its early days and therefore it will going to cost you accordingly. The base pricing starts at $499 and goes all the way up to $1,199. The GeForce RTX 2070 will cost $499 and the founder edition will be available at $599. In addition, the RTX 2080 priced at $699 and for the Founders edition $799. Finally, the RTX 2080 Ti costs $999 and the Founders edition will be available with a whopping $1,199 price tag.
Notably, NVIDIA says that today’s gamers need to think ‘GPU first’ when buying a computer. The 40 percent of their gaming rig’s cost should come from the GPU. If you are a gamer and you are really interested into Ray Tracing Technology of the NVIDIA RTX GPUs to cherish the next level gaming experience, then RTX series is for you.
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