Real-time ray tracing is finally here, and today we're exploring what it looks like in the first game to fully support it: Battlefield V. This article not only tests the three GeForce RTX cards for all benchmarks. Game presets, but we also have some great comparisons for you to illustrate the difference between RTX on and RTX off.
We've already touched the GPU performance of Battlefield V and found that it runs pretty well on Ultra settings with a range of graphics cards. The new Nvidia RTX cards are especially good. For example, the RTX 2070 can play at over 120 FPS at 1080p or well over 80 FPS at 1440p. At both resolutions, the RTX 2080 Ti is of course a beast with frame rates of over 1
But now we have Raytracing in Battlefield V, and since the launch of the RTX cards, the big question is how the game will fare as soon as this control effect is activated. Nvidia has been careful not to show any official performance data for the effect even for the flagship RTX 2080 Ti, but we have seen numerous reports from those who tested an early demo version, suggesting a 1080p 60 FPS value at best experience.
How is it that the final version comes together? We'll go straight to the point, I will not spoil the surprise yet …
For Battlefield to support V Ray Tracing, you must download the 1809 update for Windows 10, October 2018 Support for DirectX Ray Tracing technology from Microsoft or DXR. This OS update was delayed for a few weeks due to a malicious deletion error, but Microsoft has resumed the rollout right now. You'll also need to update Battlefield V to the latest version with a 16GB patch and install the latest Nvidia GeForce 416.94 drivers.
When complete, load the game, enable DirectX 12 and then DirectX Ray Tracing Reflections. From there, you have access to four preset options for DXR: Ultra, High, Medium, and Low. If you use only the default settings instead of the custom settings, the DXR mode that corresponds to your preset is selected.
You will also see here that DICE does not use GameWorks for ray tracing integration, instead of sticking to a simple cross DirectX ray tracing implementation. RTX, the Nvidia Ray Tracing technology platform, is below DXR and is the technology that essentially translates DirectX raytracing requirements into things that the GPU can actually work with.
So DXR actually looks like battlefield V? Above is a direct comparison of the four presets, and the first thing to notice is that there is a big visual difference between Ultra and Low, but the difference between Ultra and Medium is not that big. In fact, there is no difference between the Ultra, High, and Medium settings for DXR reflections. This is not only true for this scene. We tested a few other sections of the game and found no difference between the three higher settings.
This leads me to conclude that there are only two DXR modes: Ultra, the full complement of Raytracing reflections in the game, and a reduced low mode for better performance. Both Low and Ultra modes apply reflections to surfaces such as water, puddles and glossy objects, but only Ultra mode applies these reflections to matte surfaces such as mud and gun.
You & # 39; In this scene, for example, you can see that the Ultra Mode reflects fiery vehicle demolition from the muddy surface in the front and from the barrel of your weapon at some distance. Switch to low and the reflections disappear on your weapon and in the mud, leaving only reflections from the water surface.
This is the main difference between the two modes. The quality of the reflections in terms of resolution, accuracy and pull distance remains unaffected, so you will have the same experience with the shiny surfaces, regardless of whether you play on ultra or low. If you change it, it only affects the amount of materials and surfaces to which the RTX reflections are applied. In my opinion Ultra offers a far better and more realistic representation and really shows the quality of ray tracing.
One of the main questions we have seen so far is the question of how ray tracing compares to the game's standard reflection mode, screen space reflections? Undoubtedly, DXR offers a more realistic look with far greater reflection accuracy and resolution, as well as the ability to reflect objects that are not necessarily within your field of view.
Mirror reflections of the screen can only reflect objects on the DXR screen, so that things outside the field of view are roughly cut off in an unnatural way, depending on the angle of reflection. In DXR footage you will notice that everything that goes beyond the reflected range, such as As the falling leaf particles or other people, artifacts in the reflected area caused and looks quite ugly. This was also the case in Battlefield 1, so it's not that DICE downgraded reflections in BFV just to revalue them with raytracing. These problems do not exist with raytracing, instead you get beautiful, accurate reflections in real time.
However, there are also some problems with DXR. In this scene with a big puddle, DXR seems to reflect Godray light effects, which are not really present in the unreflected world. One of these effects is also cut off bizarrely. However, in the footage that shows reflections on the surface of your weapon, the quality of the reflection is quite low, with almost a video-coded blocking even at 4K. The reflection resolution of water does not appear to be nearly as affected by this low resolution effect that the quality of these reflections is very good.
It should also be noted that these raytraced reflections are the only Raytrace effect in Battlefield V. All other aspects of the game's presentation are performed in the traditional way. For example, shadows and surrounding occlusion are the default effects of the game. That is, if you are not in an area with reflective surfaces, you generally do not benefit from DXR.
Let's talk about performance. And here everything falls apart for the Raytracing, because the performance is absolutely terrible, even if you have a flagship RTX 2080 Ti. And wait until I show you the results of the RTX 2070, because it's … now you see right away.
For this test, we used all three Nvidia RTX cards running on a Core i7-8700K test rig. and we tested both at 1080p and 1440p. For reasons that quickly become clear, we did not do any tests at 4K. All other settings were set to Ultra and we only tested with the settings for Ultra and Low DXR and DXR Off. There was no performance difference between ultra, high and medium for DXR reflections.
Our test run took place during an intense part of the single player campaign with many reflective areas. We've also done a few spot tests in multiplayer mode, but that's difficult Get consistent, accurate results that are only tested in the multiplayer section of the game. In any case, we have not seen significant performance differences between single player and multiplayer in similar environments.
These first results were made with the fastest gaming GPU you can buy today, the RTX 2080 Ti and Boy does not look pretty. At 1080p, the game comfortably runs at 150 fps with DXR disabled, but once you turn it up to ultra-performance tanks, it drops below 50 fps. In other words, the performance is reduced to one third. Switching to low mode slightly improves the situation, though we still have half the framerate we've ever had. And even with a RTX 2080 Ti, we only see average frame rates over 60 FPS at low DXR settings at 1080p.
At 1440p this is a nightmare area. With the Ultra DXR mode, the performance is about a quarter of DXR off, while the frame rate in the low mode was more than halved. No adjustment can deliver with an RTX 2080 Ti 60 FPS. The game is smooth and very enjoyable when DXR fails with this flagship GPU at 1440, but with the DXR enabled it is not a walk in the parking situation.
Let's move to the RTX 2080.
We crawl in low DXR mode on average only at 1080p over 60 FPS. The pattern is the same, with the performance reduced to one-third of that which was the case in Ultra mode, which in this case provides about 40 FPS, an unacceptable brand for such a first-person shooter, even in single-player Mode. At 1440p, the RTX 2080 delivers an average of 47 FPS in low-DXR mode compared to over 100 FPS with DXR disabled.
What scared us most is the jet tracing with the RTX 2070 is ridiculous. Ultra mode delivers 30 FPS at 1080p vs. 110 FPS with DXR disabled. And with the low mode we can not reach an average of 60 FPS. The game is completely unplayable at 1440p with DXR on an RTX 2070 in our opinion.
It is interesting to note in these tests that we are limited to RT core here. The higher the resolution, the higher the performance hit in Ultra DXR mode. To a point where playing at 4K with DXR is more than four times faster. This is also noticeable when we look at the verified power consumption: the cards ran with DXR at consistently lower power, because the regular CUDA cores are not busy at such a low frame rate.
Now, real-time ray tracing is an important graphical representation This is something that has not been produced on a single GPU before and is likely to be the future of the graphic arts industry. But now …
How much the power is reduced, however, depends on how many reflective surfaces are in the environment. Wet, muddy areas are hardest hit. Multiplayer gaming in the city of Rotterdam usually had shiny reflective surfaces, so the performance was not as bad as in our benchmark runs, but with Ultra mode we still have less than half the frame rate. And then the snow-capped areas seem to be the least affected with relatively good performance, over 80 FPS at 1080p with DXR and a 2080 Ti, if you can classify that as good.
When It Matters, DirectX Ray Tracing and This The first generation of RTX GPUs has evolved as expected. It looked as if performance was terrible and it is awful. Judging by demo-motive only, you can not do much in comparison to the performance you can achieve today, and it does not seem that there are many significant steps toward raytracing at higher frame rates.
Real-time ray tracing is now important Graphics performance is something that has not been produced on a single GPU before and is likely to be the future of the graphic arts industry. For the moment, there is no reason to enable ray tracing in Battlefield V, as the performance is so powerful that it has a massive impact on experience.
We are in a situation where the RTX 2080 Ti is only playable with DXR at 1080p, while 1440p is borderline and 4K is out of the question. With the RTX 2080, you may be able to pass low mode at 1080p, and we think the RTX 2070 is not capable of raytracing at all. And that's just a look at the DXR performance for itself.
When DXR is disabled, the game looks great and works great with RTX cards. We speak well over 100 FPS on all three cards at 1080p. 1440p is also very playable on the RTX 2070 at high frame rates, and you can even enjoy 4K gameplay, especially on the 2080 Ti.
Apart from the pure performance and comparisons in Battlefield V, Raytracing should be done in real time The main selling point of GeForce RTX cards.
In practice, I do not see any gamers changing from 130 FPS with the still visually stunning Ultra graphics to 40 FPS with better reflections. The quality improvement from DXR reflections is nice, but it will be hard to tell the difference in fast movements. Screen room reflections are not perfect when you stare for hours at a puddle, but you'll have to approximate the reflections to near-average performance costs. If you're more focused on running around and shooting at enemies, I'd say it's almost impossible to tell the difference between SSR and DXR reflections. It should be the main selling point of GeForce RTX cards. Nvidia used this technology to justify the higher price of these cards over their GTX predecessors. It should be a game-changing feature, something that would revolutionize your gaming experience with crazy visual quality.
At least in Battlefield V, the quality improvement can not be nearly justified The insane performance drop that you will experience with DXR enabled. RTX is simply no reason to buy the RTX cards in this game. If you spend the big bucks on an RTX 2080 Ti ($ 1200), you want to play this game or another game of more than 100 FPS at 1440 P, with all eye candy enabled. You do not want to reduce that to below 60 FPS, and you should be well over 60 FPS at 4K, let alone at 1080p.
For real-time ray-tracing to become the future of graphics technology, we need more computing power. In particular, we need more RT cores in Nvidia's GPU architecture because the 68 cores of the RTX 2080 Ti, which allow 10 gigarays per second, do not intersect this. This can be a springboard for supporting raytracing in games and demonstrating the technology of the world, but consumers should now pay no premium to run something like a tech demo on their PCs.  Nvidia is understandably excited. They released this short behind-the-scenes video for the DXR launch, showcasing their work with EA and DICE to provide ray-tracing effects in Battlefield V. Maybe an RTX 280 Ti-SLI rig is well suited ( not a buy recommendation).
And to be honest, Nvidia should have made it clearer when announcing their new GPUs what to expect from Raytracing. It is good and good to announce real-time ray tracing as an important new feature, but shoppers will be disappointed to buy a $ 1,200 product just to find that using this feature will result in a terrible performance. If ray tracing were portrayed as a look into the future rather than primetime in today's games, it would be much easier to swallow what is picked up in this first release.
The RTX 2070 deserves a special mention, as this card can hardly be considered Raytracing Compatible. With just over 30 FPS at 1080p and low DXR reflections, it's clear that 36 RT cores and 6 gigarays per second of raytracing performance will not affect the real-time raytracing feature. We would be bitterly disappointed if we bought an RTX 2070 for raytracing just to get that kind of performance.
We expect a similar story with other games that will use raytracing in the future. like Shadow of Tomb Raider and Metro Exodus. Everything we've seen on DXR demos suggests that we are struggling with a similar performance penalty to Battlefield V, which slightly increases the quality. We'll be raytracing these games as soon as possible, but we would not think better in future titles.