NVIDIA Demo Shows Off Real-time Ray Tracing Capabilities of RTX Cards


Alongside the reveal of the company’s professionally-focused Quadro RTX GPUs, the first based on their new Turing architecture, the company showed off a real-time experience called Project Sol to demonstrate the ray-tracing capabilities of their new cards.

Running on a single Quadro RTX 6000 GPU, part of the company’s high-end professionally focused GPU lineup, Project Sol is said to be running in real-time at “cinematic framerates,” which appears to be 30FPS, at least based on the framerate of the captured video uploaded to YouTube.

Naturally, the demo focuses shiny surfaces, as ray-tracing is all about accurately simulating light, including reflections. Toward the end of the video you can see what appears to be a real-time reflection of the world in the suit’s visor, which accurately reflects the robot arms and the surrounding environment.

Image courtesy NVIDIA

Real-time reflections are historically very expensive computationally, and so they are used infrequently in games, which instead rely on tricks like cube-mapped reflections, and apparently shiny surfaces that don’t actually reflect the light from the surrounding environment. Since ray-tracing is fundamentally built around simulating bouncing light, real-time reflections become much less expensive computationally, and can be used much more aggressively.

NVIDIA's New High-end Quadro RTX First to Include VirtualLink VR Port

Update (August 20th, 2018): NVIDIA has announced their GeForce GTX cards, details here.

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  • Wednaud Ronelus

    They just release the Geforce RTX family starting at $499. It’s a new day. The world will never be the same. James Clerk Maxwell must be singing in his grave. The world will finally understand what starlight is.

  • Lucidfeuer

    How disappointed people will be when they’ll eventually understand this is vaporware.

    • JustThink

      What part and in what way is this vaporware?

      • Lucidfeuer

        The part that general consumers will get to experience real-time raytracing in the coming years. It’s fake. All there is now is a reflection and lightning approximation raytracing (or marching) engine, not unlike VGXI which has existed for 4 years and never ever seen in a single game.

        The actual idea of rendering raytracing in real-time on the other hand is at least 10 years away, so what they’re selling here is vaporware: it doesn’t and won’t exist for this generation. In fact it’s the only way they could justify the crazy price hike of the cards, even though it’s a fake marketing argument.

        • Baldrickk

          Except… there are already games being made that support it. Just this morning I was reading an article on Tom’s Hardware detailing their first look at Rise of the Tomb Raider running both with and without RTX support on the 2080Ti (50-60fps @ 4k with raytracing enabled)

          Why do you think it’s not coming?

          • Lucidfeuer

            Short answer: it’s a marketing jargon lie. This is not “raytracing”. Raytracing would mean, the whole game engine renders through raytracing like CGI/pre-rendered graphics. And they have indeed shown a demo that would fit the definition, except this demo is a single fixed object (a Porsche) rendered with 2 experimental 10,000$ GPUs…

            So what they’re advertising in Shadow of the Tomb Raider or Battlefield V is NOT raytracing game rendering, it’s a sort of “raytraced” reflection approximation akin to VGXI which has already existed for years (and never seen the color of existence in any games that I know of).

          • silvaring

            And what’s to stop a developer using more ray ray tracing in the graphics pipeline on a simpler looking game in the future to get better lighting effects? E.g super hot.

          • Lucidfeuer

            Have you looked at pathtraced quake: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x19sIltR0qU

            This is the full extent of what’s experimentally possible with a consumer SLI. RTX cards will not get you a significantly better result than that.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      This demo is already running in realtime on the current new RTX 6000 gpu, so what’s vaporware about it? and it’s not even their topline professional GPU. So if you have the money, you can run it like that… For regular consumers, we’ll have to wait at least one more (or even two) generation for it to be affordable (with that I mean sub $500).

      • Peter

        If it was legit NVIDIA would provide a download to run this in realtime on your computer graphics card. I’ve tried to find it but can’t. And yes they absolutely can provide it before the new graphics card is out, that way you can see how the old generation is unable to render what the new generation can. Alas, this video isn’t really legit.

        • Baldrickk

          Yes, they should let you download and run a demo that requires HARDWARE SUPPORT that is only provided by as yet unreleased hardware.
          That’s going to work really well, isn’t it.

    • dk

      what video cards :P or the rtx features

    • Jerald Doerr

      How dumb are you going to feel when you walk past a screen or see someone playing a game on YouTube in 4k at 200+ frames a second?

  • crim3

    It must feel great to be able to move like that.

  • jeff courtney

    Its a great new tech to make excellent bible based movies and games in realistic animation.Praise Jesus !

  • Jerald Doerr

    Here’s my thing.. The Project Solo demo… I don’t believe it was real-time or Nivida would pause the video and move the mouse around… This reminds me of PS3 and Sony running Killzone 3… I bit my tung off believing them ….. Who would have ever believed the CEO of Sony would bullshit and say “This is 100% real time!” I’m not falling for that till I see it myself.

    Look.. The other game demos are more along the lines of what your going to get…
    I’ll still take two 2080 Ti.. And get back to playing some Project Cars 2 in VR.

  • It’s a good time to buy older models now.