Anyone really excited about ray tracing next gen?
Posted: Posted November 25th by ShadowFox08
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It's going to happen next gen for sure. Just looking at Minecraft using Nvidia's version of ray tracing is just mind blowing!
The latest cod Modern warfare reboot also uses some form of ray tracing on the PC version as well.
I'm not expecting Nintendo will use rey tracing next gen cause it seems like they will stick with the hybrid route, and you can only go so far in specs, as they would be limited to mobile hardware...

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Visual upgrades come and visual upgrades go. It looks very pretty, it looks very impressive, and I am sure I will appreciate it being there one day when I bother to upgrade my computer's graphics card to one that supports raytracing... But otherwise I'm not all that fussed.

I think the problem for me is we've reached a point with videos games where they look "good enough". Anything better is nice but I'm more interested in them using the more powerful hardware to have bigger and more things doing more complex things than I am in visual upgrades at this point

Posted November 25th by Moonray
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Agree with Moonray, physics engine upgrades are where the real graphics updates are happening. For example:

Posted November 26th by Xhin
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Ground's what's around

The latest cod Modern warfare reboot also uses some form of ray tracing on the PC version as well.

It's not worth using at all. The game looks gorgeous without it, and turning it on guarantees you will lose 30-40 FPS.

I'm sure it'll eventually be the standard, but right now the performance impact just can't be justified.

Posted November 26th by Count Dooku
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^ You won't be able to have more things or bigger things without raytracing. By its very nature the old methods with cascaded shadow maps were very convoluted and got way more expensive the bigger your scene was. That's also why very few games had realtime reflections or environment shadows. And if they did, they had to be supplemented with other solutions (baked in reflection environment, baked lighting/shadows, etc). The beauty of raytracing is polygonal complexity doesn't affect the expense at all: the effect scales with your pixels and quality settings. And it just works perfectly in any situation. If computers get powerful enough to handle higher quality raytracing, you can have a game like Minecraft where you can build and destroy at-will with pixel-perfect lighting all the time. This was not possible beforehand. Not nearly this well.

This is the same tech used by Pixar. It's in its infancy now, it still needs a lot of brute force rendering, but if it can become more optimized you'll see it used more readily. Epic has RTX support and development on high priority: the last release made it support practically every engine feature, so now any further development will just be icing on the cake.

Posted November 26th by mariomguy
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I'm making a project with RTX as a requirement. It looks beautiful, and runs 2560 x 1440 60f on an RTX 2060 Super in engine. My goal is to target 1080p 60f max settings on a 2060 Super with the finished product. By the time the game gets finished, that kind of power will become mainstream.

Posted November 26th by mariomguy
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I would just like to point out that whilst raytracing looks amazing, it is demonstrably a far bigger resource drain than the "old" methods of lighting & shadows. The proof is in the very fact that Nvidia had to dedicate half of the hardware to doing it. This kinda renders your point moot when it comes to performance because if games are going to get bigger & more, then raytracing is just going to become more demanding.

But I'm not interested in getting into this debate again so let's just leave it at I think it looks really cool but I (with my personal desires that don't align with yours) would prefer to see improvements in other areas rather than a race to the top in aesthetics.

Edited November 26th by Moonray
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You're right that it takes up a huge amount of GPU power. It's going to be interesting to see how many games next gen will take advantage of it. Personally I think it be a huge game changer. Lighting is one of the most noticable changes in fidelity. Makes Minecraft before and after look like literal night and day.

If next gen is expected to be equivalent to 12 TFLOPs in equivalent AMD performance of current gen tech, we are looking at 10 TFLOPs more available for GPU, which is 6.5x more than base PS4.

Posted November 29th by ShadowFox08
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Personally I think it be a huge game changer. Lighting is one of the most noticable changes in fidelity. Makes Minecraft before and after look like literal night and day.

I mean I don't disagree that graphically it can make a difference, and making games look prettier is always a nice thing. I think there was just a point where games started to look "good enough" for me that I no longer really care if they look better or not.

With the Minecraft example I would say, yea I've seen lots of videos and it looks massively better. But Minecraft (in its default state) doesn't look that great. It's also an unfair comparison because Minecraft doesn't really do a lot with lightning, shadows or reflections to begin with so you aren't just turning on rayracing you're also turning on all these extras. Apply this tech to games with modern graphics like Tomb Raider or Battlefield or Call of Duty that already looking amazing and already are doing these things and suddenly the improvements are a bit more trivial.

I think it is really interesting and cool that we're reaching a point where 100% accurate reflections and shadows and stuff will become the norm, but it has yet to convince me that I need to upgrade my computers graphics card from a dated Nvidia GTX980 and it certainly won't convince me to buy another console (especially now that Microsoft are releasing their games on Windows).

Edited November 29th by Moonray
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Yeah it probably won't be completely taken advantage of until after next gen on consoles.
Assuming next gen will be 12 TFLOPs calculating GPU hardware efficiency per flop after on paper specs) and we have enough bandwidth...

I forgot to mention that... If it takes 5.2 TFLOPs to turn a 1080p xbone game into native 4k, then we have up to 6.8 TFLOPs left for anything else in GPU. We can get 4.5x more fidelity in textures, polygons, lighting and shadows and etc, while at 4k. The biggest boost of course will be the CPU. That's actually a a whole generation leap at least.

Would be interesting how many games next gen stick with 4k native or go down to 2k to 1k for increased fidelity and performance. 2k is probably going to be fairly common.

Edited Saturday by ShadowFox08
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Here's some videos. I didn't add it in the OP when I made the post cause I was in mobile and it's a pain to do youtube.

quick comparision video between regular vs ray tracing

digital foundry in depth

Ray tracing takes a ton of GPU power. There are cards like nvidia 2060 and more that have hardware with dedicated ray tracing cores that will help more with performance vs just software enabled only.

Edited Monday by ShadowFox08
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