Raytracing öffnet sich für ein breiteres Publikum

The „Game Developers Conference“ (GDC) in San Francisco has shown that ray tracing will probably not be a flash in the pan. New demos based on the Unreal Engine 4.22 and Unity 2019.1 Beta underline the advantages, while NVIDIA wants to teach its GTX models ray tracing via a new driver. And there is also a sign of life from AMD.

Background: ray tracing

The word „ray tracing“ means „ray tracing“. It is a calculation method for three-dimensional objects in space, which follows the path of light rays. Ray tracing enables a photo-realistic representation of light, shadow and reflections, but usually requires a lot of computing power. The technology was therefore used where the focus was on quality and the calculation time was less important. In the meantime, real-time renderers have been used for computer games, which determine the visibility of objects using a depth storage method (Z-buffer). This Z-buffering does not work very precisely, but it is fast. In addition, the image quality can be enhanced with the help of numerous tricks.

„Troll“ (Unreal Engine 4.22)

Raytracing comes on the GeForce GTX

With the introduction of the „GeForce RTX“ series, the graphics specialist NVIDIA introduced its own computing units for ray tracing, the RT cores, for the first time in August 2018. According to Jensen Huang, NVIDIA’s CEO and founder, it is the „holy grail“ that heralds „the golden age of gaming“. But this has not yet begun, because NVIDIA’s real-time ray tracers are expensive and the range of compatible games is extremely thin. In order to expand the target group, NVIDIA changes its previous product policy and opens ray tracing for the „GeForce GTX“ GPUs of the generations Pascal and Turing. The appropriate driver is scheduled to be released in April. In the absence of RT cores, these graphics cards will use their shader cores for ray tracing calculations.

„The Heretic“ (Unity 2019.1 Beta)

Und was ist mit AMD?

Microsoft hatte DXR (DirectX Raytracing) schon vor einem Jahr angekündigt und im Herbst 2018 mit Windows 10 Version 1809 der Öffentlichkeit zugänglich gemacht. Damit stand die in Kooperation mit NVIDIA entwickelte Technologie von Anfang an allen Grafikprozessoren offen, sowohl der „GeForce GTX“-Baureihe als auch den Radeons von AMD. Denn sofern es keine dedizierten RT-Kerne gibt, greift ein Fallback-Mechanismus. Das muss der Grafiktreiber allerdings erlauben und unterstützen, was abseits der GeForce RTX bisher nicht der Fall ist. Insbesondere AMD hatte sich beim Thema Raytracing bisher sehr zurückgehalten, doch es gibt Hoffnung, denn das folgende Demo „Neon Noir“ auf Basis der CryEngine 5.5 läuft auf AMDs Vega 56:

„Neon Noir“ (CryEngine 5.5 auf AMD Vega 56)

The developers of the CryEngine emphasize that this demo also runs in real time. It uses new functions of CryEngine 5.5, which „enable ray tracing on most common mainstream GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA“, DirectX 12 and Vulkan are supported as programming interfaces. The question remains when AMD DXR will release in its drivers. Maybe in April, when AMD will be able to use a GeForce GTX for performance comparisons instead of the superior GeForce RTX?

Über David Maul

David Maul ist studierter Wirtschaftsinformatiker mit einer Leidenschaft für Hardware

Leave a Comment

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert.