Owners of Nvidia‘s latest RTX 2080 Ti, 2080, and 2070 cards can finally get to see the full benefits of their expensive cards as game developer DICE has finally patched Battlefield V to enable its DXR (DirectX RayTracing) mode.
There’s been a lot of discussion with regards to ray tracing in the past few months. From how exactly does ray tracing work, up to how much of an impact ray tracing has on performance. But everything’s been purely speculation up to this point in spite of the launch of the RTX series cards due to the lack of any games officially supporting it.
With Battlefield V’s delay, and its promise of DXR along with it, there’s been a long lull during which hype for the RTX cards have significantly waned, forcing everyone to recommend just buying a GTX 10 series card, instead of a comparable and similarly priced RTX 20 card.
So without further ado, let’s see what all Nvidia’s fuss was about:
The perf hit is rather massive. More than double compared to ‘just shader’ engine performance. The Ultra, High and Medium preset for RTX gives roughly the same performance, only once you switch RTX to LOW the performance goes up significantly. We’re not sure if this is a bug just yet.
Objectively, the RTX implementation on Battlefield V is kind of meeting just the minimum: raytraced reflections are present and look fantastic, but raytracing offers many more capabilities; for example, shadows and lighting can be handled using RTX (other developers are working on that already).
The sentiment from both publications (they’re among the first) is that enabling ray tracing does bring noticeable improvements aesthetic-wise. But the performance hit is so great, almost halving framerates across the board or worse.
One thing to note is that enabling DXR requires running the game in DX12 mode, which is only officially supported in Windows 10, and DXR was only recently supported with the Windows 1809 patch (yes, that one that deleted users’ files when it first came out).
It will be interesting to see how other games implement DXR because as stated above, Battlefield V only uses ray tracing on reflective surfaces. Although it is worrying to think how much of a bigger performance hit a full DXR implementation (lighting, shadows, reflection, etc.) will bring about.
Do you have an RTX card? Let us know how well ray tracing is running on your machine and if the extra eye candy is worth it.