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Nvidia launches Quake II RTX with full ray-tracing

QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,125
Early games that used Nvidia's new RTX features focused on taking a modern game and adding a little bit of ray-tracing.  The most obvious effect was killing your frame rate.  That's really not a very good justification for buying a $1200 video card.

At the time, I said that what they needed to do is to sponsor a game that is fully ray-traced from start to finish.  Scale things back however far they need to in order to make ray-tracing work.  This week, Nvidia has released exactly that.

It's not a new game, really.  It's Quake II, which released in 1999, modified to use full ray-tracing everywhere.  It's also modified to use higher resolution textures.  That makes it part tech demo and part real game.  You can get it for free on Steam now, though you'll only get a limited portion of the game for free.  If you don't already own Quake II, then for $5, you can get access to the entire game, fully ray-traced.  That includes all of the single player content that was in the original Quake II, as well as multiplayer.

Going with such an old game with low polygon counts allows people with a GeForce RTX card to get around 60 frames per second at 1920x1080, even with full ray-tracing.  The game will also run on Pascal or non-RTX Turing cards.  Or perhaps "crawl" is a more descriptive word than "run".  It will not run on Maxwell or older GPUs, nor on AMD or Intel, due to the lack of an RTX driver available.  This is not a case of Nvidia pulling some proprietary garbage; AMD or Intel could release an RTX driver for GPUs that don't have hardware ray-tracing, but it won't perform well.  The game uses Vulkan, so it will also run on Linux, and without needing to rely on some porting tool like wine or proton.

Using a modded version of a popular game allowed Nvidia to focus on the graphical effects that are their expertise, without having to fuss with game design or play balance issues where they have no meaningful expertise.  It also allowed releasing a fully playable game, rather than something that was just a mere tech demo.  Importantly, a full game means no taking shortcuts that a real game wouldn't be able to take in order to make the tech demo work.  If this is the sort of graphics that people are clamoring for, it absolutely is repeatable, and there could be a ton of other games made with graphics about as advanced as Quake II RTX.

There are two possible paths to ray-tracing (no pun intended).  One is starting with modern games and adding increasingly more ray-tracing effects, and hoping that people eventually think it looks good enough to justify the frame rate hit.  The other is going all-in on full ray-tracing immediately and being able to replicate the same complexity that the early 3D games did 20+ years later.  That doesn't mean that we'll get 2005-era graphics plus ray-tracing in 2025.  GPU hardware isn't advancing nearly as fast as it used to.  But if Moore's Law survives, we may be able to get 2005-era graphics plus full ray-tracing by 2030.

I think that the latter path of going full ray-tracing from the start is far more promising than the former.  Companies that attempt the former will keep making games that struggle even with ray-tracing turned off, so that you can't add very much ray-tracing without killing your performance.  That will get us to fully ray-traced games sometime around never.  The question is how soon people will think full ray-tracing with much lower polygon counts looks better than the latest and greatest rasterized fakery.
blueturtle13gervaise1

Comments

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,061
    edited June 2019
    In my opinion, graphics really haven't moved terribly far since we hit DX9. It's gotten more efficient, and has a few subtle tweaks to fidelity, but DX9 was the last big jump for me.

    Aside from that...

    I think with Raytracing, you aren't going to see much "all-in" like Q2 here. The fact is, AAA devs want the best graphics they can get. Rasterizing gets them there for cheap, and if nVidia pays them to use a few neat effects from RTX, they will happily do so. 

    I think there are a lot of remasters that are ripe for this though, as Q2 clearly shows. But I don't think we will see new AAA games voluntarily punt back to early 2000's graphics levels just for the sake of using RT.

    I actually think using RT for effects on top of Rasterization is the best path forward for the moment. It makes it a lot like PhysX was many years ago: it's completely optional, but the effect is dramatic enough to make you want it. At least until the hardware advances enough that you can take that level of performance for granted and just include it in everything. In mid 2000's it took dedicated hardware to perform advanced physics calculations... today it's included in almost everything and taken for granted, including mobile games, as the hardware got better and the algorithms got more efficient.
    blueturtle13Torval
  • blueturtle13blueturtle13 Member LegendaryPosts: 12,364
    edited June 2019
    I downloaded and ran this the other day. The results was very good. Ray Tracing has always been interesting but the technology to power it is still not ready for prime time. As Ridelynn said I would like to see a remaster of some other titles. Like HL2 and NWN. 
    Torval

    거북이는 목을 내밀 때 안 움직입니다












  • LimnicLimnic Member RarePosts: 1,116
    edited June 2019
    Forgot they were releasing the package for this.

    From what I've been seeing for performance testing, doing things like running a world light through ray tracing is actually more economical than using a rasterization light for it, so we may see that as a more immediate change to future AAA titles while environmental and then detail lights will more slowly make the transition.

    I'm sure some people will do the full transition, but you're more likely to see that out of smaller scale and indie titles than any of the larger ones that are concerned about maintaining certain overall visual standards instead of trying to make compromises.

    So on the short term ray tracing may actually have some more immediate practical implementations rather than just optional cosmetics, but it's not likely to run rampant.
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,061
    I'd also state:

    I think the Q2 demo is probably the most intriguing application of RT to date. But it's no where near enough to make me want to spend $1200 on a video card.
  • Asm0deusAsm0deus Member EpicPosts: 3,237

    Brenics ~ Just to point out I do believe Chris Roberts is going down as the man who cheated backers and took down crowdfunding for gaming.





  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,125
    Ridelynn said:
    I'd also state:

    I think the Q2 demo is probably the most intriguing application of RT to date. But it's no where near enough to make me want to spend $1200 on a video card.
    You don't need a $1200 video card to run this.  Only a $350 one.  "only"

    Though it is now available for $320, depending on which SKU you get.
  • xD_GamingxD_Gaming Member EpicPosts: 2,683
    edited June 2019
    I've read investors starting to lose interest in nvidia, since nvidia thought ray tracing was going to be this big must have. So far it has shown as a gimmick with I think a lose of 27% ? I am not sure on that it was either 27 or 37% year over year . AMD is now the perfered stock option with Morgan Stanley saying "we were wrong on AMD" . Morgan Stanley is now bullish on AMD . Looking at AMD growth about 23 -30% year over year and as of now a165% incease on trade value year over year.

    but yeah ray tracing ?In Doom II  #ROFL #OMG #LOL I've seen some disasters but ray tracing a death null.
    There is a multiverse inside our minds which millions live.
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  • xD_GamingxD_Gaming Member EpicPosts: 2,683
    edited June 2019
    DMKano said:
    I've read investors starting to lose interest in nvidia, since nvidia thought ray tracing was going to be this big must have. So far it has shown as a gimmick with I think a lose of 27% ? I am not sure on that it was either 27 or 37% year over year . AMD is now the perfered stock option with Morgan Stanley saying "we were wrong on AMD" . Morgan Stanley is now bullish on AMD . Looking at AMD growth about 23 -30% year over year and as of now a165% incease on trade value year over year.

    but yeah ray tracing ?In Doom II  #ROFL #OMG #LOL I've seen some disasters but ray tracing a death null.

    You do realize that AMD will also do ray tracing on their future GPUs?

    So it's far from a gimmick
    amd didn't put as many eggs in the basket like nvida// you can't be 100% if AMD will do a hardware or software solution until it is presented.
    There is a multiverse inside our minds which millions live.
    Twitter : @xD_Gaming_Merch
    xD Merch : https://bit.ly/2v13MT8
    "Dragons are tilly folly !"
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,061
    Quizzical said:
    Ridelynn said:
    I'd also state:

    I think the Q2 demo is probably the most intriguing application of RT to date. But it's no where near enough to make me want to spend $1200 on a video card.
    You don't need a $1200 video card to run this.  Only a $350 one.  "only"

    Though it is now available for $320, depending on which SKU you get.
    You could "run" it with a much less expensive Pascal. You would wish you hadn't.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,061
    edited June 2019
    https://s22.q4cdn.com/364334381/files/doc_financials/quarterly_reports/2020/Q120/Rev_by_Mkt_Qtrly_Trend_Q120.pdf

    Now this is interesting. This slide is from nVidia's own financial reporting to investors.

    https://investor.nvidia.com/financial-info/quarterly-results/default.aspx 

    nVidia's fiscal year begins on Jan27, so it appears a bit odd to those of us used to dealing with normal calendars.

    But since the release of RTX, "Gaming" revenue has tanked. Hard.

    Wall Street is still attributing it mostly to cryptomining. nVidia is blaming a shortage of Intel CPUs on slow mobile GPU sales. I don't personally believe either of those two are the significant factor.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/16/nvidia-earnings-q1-2020.html

    TorvalxD_Gaming
  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 17,865
    Yeah i spent a lot of time playing Quake/Doom/Unreal and the Half life series,i loved all those games.
    Not about to go back now though,i still played some Unreal a year back but haven't played these older games in awhile.

    This is how the industry moves in backwards steps,same thing for VR,they give us old type low end games ,nothing is moving forward ,mostly backwards.
    Give me a brand new spiffy Half Life 3 ,then we can talk.


    Ridelynnblueturtle13xD_Gaming

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,125
    Ridelynn said:
    Quizzical said:
    Ridelynn said:
    I'd also state:

    I think the Q2 demo is probably the most intriguing application of RT to date. But it's no where near enough to make me want to spend $1200 on a video card.
    You don't need a $1200 video card to run this.  Only a $350 one.  "only"

    Though it is now available for $320, depending on which SKU you get.
    You could "run" it with a much less expensive Pascal. You would wish you hadn't.

    An RTX 2060 can handle it fine, at least at 1920x1080.
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