As mentioned at the beginning of this review, we are unable to test real-time ray tracing in games until the release of DXR in October. Nvidia did release one demo for the press to use when testing the ray tracing capabilities of the Turing GPUs – it’s named ‘Reflections’ and you will likely have seen it plenty of times, it’s the short clip showing two stormtroopers mocking Captain Phasma. You can watch it on YouTube HERE.
While this demo shows an FPS counter while it is running, there is sadly no way to record average and minimum frame rates. The difference in frame rate is noticeable when run with different cards, though, so without being able to provide any exact benchmark figures, we filmed a short video to show you how the ray tracing demo performs with different GPUs:
As we can observe from the video, here are the trends exhibited by our four test cards:
- GTX 1080: The slowest card, the GTX 1080 ran the demo at 6-8FPS, with one or two moments where it jumped to 10FPS but no higher. It also dipped to 5FPS during the elevator scene.
- GTX 1080 Ti: This card ran the demo at between 8-10FPS. It did occasionally peak above 10FPS, but also dipped as low as 6FPS during the elevator scene. It did not look very smooth.
- RTX 2080: A much better experience here, the RTX 2080 ran the demo between 43-48FPS, with some peaks into the mid 50s. It did drop down to 35FPS during the intensive elevator scene, but overall a smooth viewing experience.
- RTX 2080 Ti: Proving even better still, the RTX 2080 Ti ran the demo around the 55-60FPS mark, with peaks almost at 70FPS. It again dipped to 46FPS, but the trend is clear to see.
So, there we have it. There’s no doubt that ray tracing works far better with Turing hardware than it does with Pascal – the GTX 1080 Ti looked like a slideshow when running the demo, whereas the RTX 2080 Ti was averaging close to the 60FPS mark based on the frame counter that I could see. That means the RTX 2080 is roughly 5-6 times as fast as the GTX 1080 Ti when it comes to ray tracing.
Of course, this is only one demo, and it comes from Nvidia directly – they wouldn’t give us something that made ray tracing look bad. Because of that, we can’t conclusively say how the RTX 20 series is going to handle ray tracing when it comes to real-world game performance. At the same time, it would be foolish to dismiss the only benchmark for ray tracing performance that we currently have.
We will certainly know more when DXR is released next month and we can test actual games that use ray tracing. Still, for now – this demo does give a glimpse of the potential of the Turing architecture.