November 21, 2018

List of Ray Tracing Supported GPUs from Nvidia and Upcoming AMD GPU

Excited about the new Ray Tracing Supported GPUs from Nvidia? The concept of ray tracing has been there since quite long enough. But, the recent announcement of new age graphic cards by Nvidia that employ ray tracing technology has been one of the reasons why we hear more about it. With the current range of video games offering high-quality performance regarding texture, resolution, light effects and visual effects, it has been utterly essential to go with an advancement in the video technology. What exactly is Ray tracing and how is it expected to change the way we worked with our videos rendering is what we would attempt understanding.

What is Ray Tracing Technology?

Simply put, ray tracing is a rendering technology. It excels with the true to life imagery with the realistic rendering of shadows and lights. It will offer you completely realistic objects, and it accurately simulates how does the light interact with the objects and simulates everything as if it is happening in the real world including reflection, refraction, and absorption of light.

Using it in real life situations for your games may not be practical. A game running within the compact device may not indeed be capable of handling this kind of high-level rendering. That was the case so far. Now, Microsoft, Nvidia, and AMD have made announcements that indicate the possibility of getting the real-time ray tracing functionality into games. This should be great news for the gamers out there. The implementation of an immersive gaming and exciting graphics effects are what would make it a great option making the games more lively and enticing. Once implemented, you can expect a lot of reflections in the gameplay throughout the maps.

Ray tracing is a rendering technique that can be capable of producing realistic light effects. The ray tracing technology makes use of an algorithm that would trace the light path and then use it to simulate the exact way that the light would interact with the real world objects. Ray tracing technology is more about how light interacts with the surroundings rather than about the light itself.

It is more like the real-life interaction of light with an emphasis on lifelike shadows, reflections, refractions and absorption of light. It follows the way in which the human eye processes the light. Ray Tracing makes use of the enormous computational power and the technologies available at the standards of technology. The images produced would be completely equivalent to what you would be witnessing in real life.

How does it Differ on Video Games and other Media?

The Raytracing technology has been widely used in the development of computer imagery for the movies and TV shows. That would be entirely possible for the studios as they can have the power of server farm or cloud computing to implement the ray tracing technology. Replicating the same technique on a gaming device may not be as easy as it may appear to be.

Video games will thus make use of a process called rasterization. The rasterization is a process that makes it a speedier method for rendering your computer graphics. The rasterization process converts the 3D images into 2D so that they can be displayed on your screen. The process then makes use of the shaders to transform any 2D images to depict lifelike images with the proper shadows and lights.

What are the Developments Currently on in Ray Tracing?

One of the big players in the realm of Ray tracing is Microsoft. It has already announced DXR or DirectX Raytracing as part of the DirectX 12. You will be able to compute and create rays, and thus developers can take it forward to experiment with what they can provide with their video games. In fact, Microsoft has been working with several players in the genre of video games. Electronic Arts and Unreal Engine are a couple of developers working with Microsoft.

Given the fact that ray tracing is dependent upon a massive amount of GPU power, you can expect the graphics card manufacturers are jumping into the Ray Tracing bandwagon. Nvidia is leading the pack of GPU developers and has already developed the technology based on the Ray Tracing specifications. Dubbed as RTX, the technology is being used in its new range of workstation and consumer-oriented graphics cards. They have also been working with Microsoft with the help of their DXR technology.

Then, there is AMD. They have not yet made any announcement as yet like Microsoft or Nvidia, but have nonetheless made their intentions of implementing ray tracing clear. They will be applying the ray tracing technology through their ProRender rendering engine and Radeon GPU Profiler 1.2. However, they do not appear to be focussing on the games as such.

Ray Tracing Supported GPUs List:

Well, as things stand as of now, only Nvidia has announced new graphics cards that would work with Ray tracing technology. They have recently announced the launch of RTX 5000, RTX 6000 and RTX 8000 GPUs for their professional lineup. These will be RT cores – meant explicitly for Ray Tracing – along with the CUDA cores used for computing and Tensor cores which are used AI rendering.

Nvidia claims that the Ray Tracing support will improve the rendering by 25 percent. The Nvidia RTX 5000, RTX 6000 and RTX 8000 Graphics cards will be made available by the end of the year. These processors form part of the workstation class and have been announced in August 2018. We would expect the launch of consumer level graphic cards with ray tracing technology quite soon.

List of consumer focussed GPUs supporting Ray Tracing:

  1. Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 Ti (4352 Cuda Cores, 78T RTX OP/s, up to 11 GB GDDR6 @ 250 Watts )
  2. Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 (2944 Cuda Cores, 60T RTX OP/s, up to 8 GB GDDR6 @ 215 Watts )
  3. Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 (2304 Cuda Cores, 45T RTX OP/s, up to 8 GB GDDR6 @ 175 Watts )

The Concluding Thoughts

That was what we have concerning the Ray Tracing technology for now. From the discussion we had so far, it should be evident that the technology will erase the fine line between the virtual world and the real one from the gaming point of view.

The technology is still developing. However, with the support of the big players like Microsoft, AAMD and of course, Nvidia – we would foresee a good deal of development of the technology in the days ahead.

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