Jensen Huang, the CEO of Nvidia seemed very enthusiastic when he talked about RTX in Nvidia’s 20 series cards launch event. But that’s given as RTX might be the next big rendering technique in games, taking visuals to the next level. RTX (Real Time Raytracing) is actually tracing every single ray of light as they bounce off different surfaces, creating realistic reflections and sub-surface scattering. Big budget films and shows use it to create compelling scenes, but they are pre-rendered as in, not rendered in real time.
The 20 series cards with their Turing architecture, actually come with RT cores which accelerate the Raytracing process, making its usage possible in games. But as expected, there’s a performance hit. Nvidia didn’t give any numbers on launch, all that buyers could see were demos from games where it was being implemented.
Battlefield 5 was supposed to implement RTX and they enabled it through a patch today. This is the first game where general users can test RTX performance on their cards. But accounting initial benchmarks, the picture isn’t rosy.
— Andreas Schilling (@aschilling) November 14, 2018
Andreas Schilling from Hardwareluxx.de tweeted these benchmarks. Right off the bat, you can see massive drops in FPS across all three cards.
In 1080p the RTX 2080Ti moves from 151 (DX11) frames per second to 72.5 frames per second (RTX + DX12). That’s a massive 53% drop. These become more severe in higher resolutions. At 2K resolution the RTX 2080Ti drops from 130 fps (DX11) to 52.2 fps (DX12 + RTX) , a 60% drop.
The drop-offs are more significant with the RTX 2080 and RTX 2070 cards. At 2K resolution, the RTX 2070 gets 93 fps in DX11 with RTX off, but with DX12 and RTX on, the card barely manages a playable 34 fps. With the resolution turned all the way up to 4K, DX12 with RTX is too taxing for the RTX 2070 and it manages only 18.3 fps.
This was tested in High preset, so benchmarks with other presets are yet to be seen. But it’s quite evident now that RTX is extremely taxing to GPUs across the board. Some of the drops can be attributed to DX12, which is a fairly new API and isn’t completely optimized.
Some users on Reddit are also reporting freezes every 3 seconds with DX12 and RTX turned on. This can an issue with DX12 or Microsoft’s update which dropped today, enabling the RTX API.
Apart from the problems and poor performance, I still believe RTX will be the future standard for light rendering in games. It’s perfectly fine to try it out now if you plan on gaming in 1080p, but for users with higher resolution monitors, I would suggest waiting it out for this generation. But if you can look past RTX, the Geforce 20 series cards make for a reasonable upgrade.