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Responding to Ray Tracing Complaints (Based on BFV Beta)

Daharen
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So, for the most part, nothing with ray tracing is out, at least nothing except demos, but with the release of the BFV Beta which allows players with RTX GPU's to turn on Ray Tracing we finally have some 'actual gameplay.' 

First thing to note, it is absolutely the case that turning on ray tracing will drastically decrease performance, lowering your framerates considerably, and it's also safe to say that it probably won't be usable on 4k even if you have a 2080 ti, so if you were looking forward to ray-tracing in VR, or putting it on your giant 4k OLED, you might be disappointed. At 1440 you can probably run it, but not competitively, and if you aren't comfortable with 'console' frame rates, then this is not advised, as you will frequently dip below 60 fps, and probably even under 30 in extremely GPU intensive scenes. With that established, ray tracing is firmly placed in the 1080p territory for players who want to compromise resolution in favor of graphics quality, lower fidelity, more realistic picture.

Now on that 'realism.' One of the issues with this integration of ray-tracing is what it provides. You will note if you carefully analyze the raytracing, that 'perfect reflections' are not implemented, and the use of 'actual mirrors' is either not utilized, or still uses standard 'cloning' rasterization methods. The reason for this is pretty straightforward, the number of rays that the current cards are capable of rendering is simply nowhere near enough to give you reflections of ANY reasonable fidelity. As such what you are 'really' seeing is distorted reflections on surfaces that would typically already contain that sort of distortion, so as to make it seem reasonable, and standard rasterization when higher fidelity reflections are 'essential.' 

One of the reasons this is important is because it means that we are at the level of having 'games with pretty reflections' not at the level of having 'games with photorealistic graphics.' Anyone who knows anything about rendering photorealistic scenes with standard ray-tracing knows that a lot of the photorealism comes from the interaction of light on very 'subtle' texture maps, that frankly, the current gaming ray tracing technology just lacks the fidelity for. That is to say, we will get the good casting of sharp shadows over character models and figures, but we are not going to get realistic levels of shading, sub-surface refraction, and micro-reflection on textures like 'skin' to make them truly appear as though they are real characters. It's not to say the technology "CAN'T" do this in its current implication, it's just to say that if you chose to do this, you would be at traditional seconds per frame instead of frames per second rendering, and it wouldn't be feasible for 'real-time gaming.' 

Personally, I'm a huge fan of the move to integrating real-time raytracing, so this isn't so much a criticism, as it is mitigating peoples expectations. These graphics are not going to be the leap from 'games looking like games' to 'games looking like real life movies and simulations.' The technology simply isn't there yet. All we are getting out of this is 'more realistic' casting of shadows and 'general' reflections on non-polished surfaces in the games. If that's what you are expecting, then this technology won't disappoint you, if you are expecting ANYTHING greater than that, then you are getting too hyped up. Furthermore, you have to decide if it's even worth it to turn on in the first place. The reality is gamers have been tending towards higher resolution higher framerate gaming, and this is a technology that has NOTHING to do with that and is all about the generation of actual graphical effects, so if that doesn't interest you, then this is not for you.

The reason that I'm a fan is 'eventually' maybe 3 generations from now, this sort of technology will make 'most' rasterization obsolete if we see an increase in RTX performance that is similar to the increases we've seen in rasterization performance on previous generations of hardware. This is a good thing as once rasterization is actually completely 'gone' we will have developers who can spend a LOT more time developing games, and a lot less time developing graphics. In addition, ray-tracing can be run through simple filters to give artistic effects in ways superior to rasterization as well, a fact not many people are aware of, and to counter those who prefer artistic games. Developers can 'basically' decide what they want their game to 'look like' and just activate a preset, and then just develop content, it's going to be nowhere near as labor intensive. 

The key to the above being the case, by the way, is the complete replacement of rasterization with ray tracing, this means likely a downsizing of CUDA cores and an upsizing of RT cores, and means NEW GPU's will be drastically less capable of playing older games, and older GPU's completely and utterly incapable of playing newer games. This is really the only way to get to the benefit of lower development time for graphics and will be a HUGE upset to the gaming community when it occurs. This is literally one of the few times that we may see a complete reversal of the trend that newer computers can run older hardware better, or at least adequately through virtualization, as these new computers will be able to render 'new' games in ways we could never have imagined, with very little development time, but totally useless on all the old ones. I think it's a 'necessary' move 'eventually' but no matter when it happens it will represent a serious controversy no doubt.

I'm interested in other peoples ideas, insights, opinions, and criticisms of this topic, and what I wrote, so I look forward to what you have to say. 

 

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I'd love to see ray tracing in open world games instead of half assed fast paced shooters.

 

And this is the problem, due to the absurd prices of the RTX prices, especially the 2080Ti, ray tracing won't be that popular.

I haven't seen a game with PhysX and since when is that? Same goes for HairWorks and only game I know is The Witcher 3.

The most important that gamers wants is performance. For 4 years I've been gaming on 1080p and recently upgraded to 1080Ti and 1440p is so lovely! Sharper, nicer and less jagged shit. 2160p is een much more lovely and nicer! But pretty limited to have it running games at 4K60 Ultra settings. So why in the fucking crap would you wanna go back to 1080p just for shiny shit?? I set the resolution from 1440p to 1080 just for the giggles and instead, I cried tears because it hurt my eyes.

 

Note: this is only my opinion. I have been waiting for the 2080Ti but because of the absurd prices and the new tech has turned me completely off and instead, I got the 1080Ti.

 

I'd LOVE to see ray tracing in games but only in games that fits that tech. Like cars and roads in racing/driving games and open world games. In Battlefield V ray tracing is pretty pointless.

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All it does it make the new tech look even weaker than it already is. Doesn’t matter how good the games looks if you are getting beat. Prolly be good the the single player stuff, for those that are into it. 

 

 

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I do tend to agree, Battlefield V really isn't the best game to first show off this technology. Any game that is 'inherently' about competitive play will be hurt by having this turned on. About the only way I can possibly see it being 'beneficial' is if your running a rig with 2080 ti's overclocked in SLI using NVLink, and happen to get really good integration with no stutter or communication issues between the cards (Although NVLink ought to make that latter effect less of a problem, assuming the cards actually fully utilize the bandwidth).

The good news is at least with the 2080 ti we still got an increase in standard rasterization performance, albeit at a price point that makes it not worth it, since you can easily get far superior performance from 1080 ti's in SLI for the same cost, of course this assumes you're not willing to SLI the 2080 ti's which can scale better with NVLink and make the argument for 1080 ti SLI weaker. One 'might' argue you can do an unsupported 4-way SLI with 1080 ti's but the scaling for 'most' titles is poor or backwards at that point, so unless your playing older titles back from the heyday of  SLI, it's not likely to be of any benefit, and likely to be totally unnecessary on titles that old since a two way SLI for either of these cards can max the frames and resolution of most titles going back that far.

Anyway, I think that Nvidia and Intel are basically just upping the cost again, and this is the 'new standard' the cost/performance ratios of the next generation of cards will be improved because they'll be comparing to this generation, and I doubt they have any intent of lowering the prices. I imagine the new flagship GPUs will all be around $1,000+ and the professional titans will range with high end quadros. Likewise I think we can expect to see gaming CPU's in intel's high range around the $500-600 mark. With the additional revenue they can increase their R&D and outpace AMD perpetually, and there is always a market for enthusiasts who need the top of the line. The vast majority of them are in the income brackets where although they can 'tell' the difference between the cost, it's not really a 'significant' difference for them, effectively price is a non-issue. For people making six-figures you need PC's that cost 5 figures before you really begin to give them much pause.

The only upside I see is the growth in graphics performance. Also, as sad as this is to point out, overall rapid acceleration of R&D and releases is not a bad thing, as once a set of technology reaches about 2 generations old, it normally halves in price. If your 'not' a wealthy enthusiast, you may want more releases of marginal improvement, as two more releases will mean a drop of the 2080 ti to half price, which is reasonable at around $650-700, so long as you're not upset that somewhere out there is someone with a 2280ti (4080ti) getting 70% more performance for twice the price. 

CPU | 8700k @ 5.1 Ghz, AVX 0, 1.37 v Stable, Motherboard | Z390 Gigabyte AORUS Master V1.0, BIOS F9, RAM | G.Skill Ripjaw V 16x2 @ 2666 Mhz 12-16-16-30, Latency 38.5ns GPU | EVGA 2080 Ti FTW3 Ultra HydroCopper @ 2160 Mhz Clock & 7800 Mhz Mem, Case | Phantek - Enthoo Primo, Storage | Intel 905p 1 TB PCIe NVME SSD, PSU | EVGA SuperNova Titanium 1600 w, UPS | CyberPower SineWave 2000VA/1540W, Display(s) | LG 4k 55" OLED & CUK 1440p 27" @ 144hz, Cooling | Custom WL, 1 x 480x60mm , 1 x 360x60mm, 2 x 240x60mm, 1 x 120x30mm rads, 12 x Noctua A25x12 Fans, Keyboard | Logitech G915 Wireless (Linear), Mouse | Logitech G Pro Wireless Gaming, Sound | Sonos Soundbar, Subwoofer, 2 x Play:3, Operating System | Windows 10 Professional.

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