Today at SIGGRAPH 2018 NVIDIA announced ‘Turing’, their next-generation GPU architecture aimed at real-time ray tracing, and the first high-end GPUs built atop it, the Quadro RTX 8000, 6000 and 5000. The cards are the first to include the recently revealed VirtualLink port, a new connection standard specially designed for next-generation VR headsets.

Ray tracing—a computer simulation of individual beams of light which models how they interact with various materials to create the world that we see around us—has been used for a long time in pre-rendered computer graphics, but hasn’t been practically attainable in real-time. Nvidia aims to change that with a ‘hybrid rendering’ approach in its new Turing GPU architecture, which uses neural networks to speed up ray tracing to reportedly achieve real-time results.

Image courtesy NVIDIA

“Turing is NVIDIA’s most important innovation in computer graphics in more than a decade,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA, speaking at the SIGGRAPH 2018 conference. “Hybrid rendering will change the industry, opening up amazing possibilities that enhance our lives with more beautiful designs, richer entertainment and more interactive experiences. The arrival of real-time ray tracing is the Holy Grail of our industry.”

The company announced a new series of GPUs—the Quadro RTX 8000, 6000, and 5000—focused on high-end computer visualization; the cards incorporate so-called ‘RT Cores’ which can achieve up to 10 GigaRays per second, a 25x gain over previous Pascal-based GPUs, according to Nvidia. The company also says that the cards can manage a 30x increase over CPU-based rendering of cinematic effects.

Exclusive: How NVIDIA Research is Reinventing the Display Pipeline for the Future of VR, Part 1

In addition to the RT Cores, the Turing architecture also includes ‘Tensor Cores’ which are designed to accelerate deep-learning and neural network tasks which can aid in graphics rendering, including deep learning anti-aliasing, which Nvidia calls “a breakthrough in high-quality motion image generation.”

The Quadro RTX GPUs are the first to be announced with the recently revealed VirtualLink connector, a new connection standard designed for next-generation VR headsets. Based on USB-C, VirtualLink provides high data bandwidth and power in a single small connector. Nvidia is among a consortium of major players—including Valve, Oculus, AMD and Microsoft—which are collaborating to make the connector the future of VR headset connectivity.

While Nvidia’s Quadro GPU series is aimed at professionals, the inclusion of VirtualLink on the new RTX cards is a strong sign that the next generation of GeForce GPUs (the company’s consumer-facing cards) will also include the VR-specific connector. The new VirtualLink port is a big deal, and one of the reasons we believe the VR industry is showing healthy growth.

The company also says that the Quadro RTX cards offer VR-specific enhancements, including “Variable Rate Shading, Multi-View Rendering and VRWorks Audio.”

Nvidia has revealed an initial set of specifications for the Quadro RTX cards:

GPU Memory Memory with NVLink Ray Tracing CUDA Cores Tensor Cores
Quadro RTX 8000 48GB 96GB 10 GigaRays/sec 4,608 576
Quadro RTX 6000 24GB 48GB 10 GigaRays/sec 4,608 576
Quadro RTX 5000 16GB 32GB 6 GigaRays/sec 3,072 384

With availability starting in Q4 2018, the professional focused Quadro RTX GPUs are priced at $10,000, $6,300, and $2,300 for the RTX 8000, 6000, and 5000 respectively.

To show off what the RTX cards can do, Porsche, Nvidia, and Epic Games showed a segment of a Porsche concept car rendered purportedly in real-time with two RTX cards in Unreal Engine:

Epic Games says the rendering shows off ray-traced translucency, ray-traced rectangular area light shadows, ray-traced reflections, ray-traced diffuse global illumination, and dynamic textured area lights. Earlier this year Nvidia and Epic Games showed off a stunning Star Wars demo as a preview of the forthcoming real-time ray tracing technology.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • dk

    Memory ….damn

  • Till Eulenspiegel

    I bet next gen consoles like PS5 will be doing real time ray-tracing, there will finally be a huge jump in graphic quality, not just higher and higher resolutions.

    • nipple_pinchy


      • kontis

        Technically totally doable. Sony apparently even considered raytracing for PS4, but devs were scared and said no.

        There is a purely raytraced (no rasterization hybrid) 60 FPS game on Xbox One 1.3 TF base model. It was possible because that game doesn’t use meshes or triangles.

    • Leon

      And it will take 3rd generation PS5 games to properly use the technology.

    • Sandy Wich

      It depends on what kind of hardware is in them and what settings they run at.

      If it’s a 12 Tflop GPU and they run at 1080p 30 fps, yes.

      If it’s a 10Tflop GPU and they run at 4k 30, no.

      • Till Eulenspiegel

        Are you aware that PS4 Pro is 20x faster than PS3? PS4 Pro is 4.2 teraflop and PS3 is 192 gigaflop. Every new gen has to last many years, it needs to be many times faster than previous gen. Let’s say PS5 is ‘only’ just 10x faster – it will be 42 teraflop.

        • Darban

          Teraflops are mostly used for marketing and measuring absolute power. It doesn’t mean shit in practice for games. It doesn’t mean that the Pro can play 20x PS3 game at the same time. Also PS5 is not gonna be 42 teraflops you moron. The unannounced but teased Xbox Scorpio is barely scratching the surface of 6 GFlops and is being built to compete with the PS5. The 1080 ti TODAY has 11 TFlops. Consoles will always be behind the curve. If PC can hardly hardly do ray tracing, don’t think for a second that consoles can do it at all.

          • Till Eulenspiegel

            Nobody cares about Xbox. It’s just a box with an X.

            What seems powerful and expensive today is tomorrow’s run of the mill. It’s the same every generation.

          • Jim Cherry

            The qaudro 8000 at 10k has 16tflop pf fp32 compute power and you want/think a 4 to 5 hundred dollar console will have almost 3 times that in the next 10 years. Thats not even feasable under moores law.

    • Mei Ling

      Not sure if serious here..

      • Till Eulenspiegel

        Why? Because of my 3 coil turd?

    • Xron

      They might use Amd cards, so no ray tracing. :(

      • kontis

        ImgTec demoed real-time raytracing on PowerVR Wizard with RT cores in 2014.

        I’m sure AMD can implement it too.

        • HybridEnergy

          Dude, just build a PC instead of dreaming of Sony selling you pre-built one.

    • Cesar Bidoia

      Only if ps5 comes 5 years from now, maybe, but to squeeze 10k in tech on a console is not that easy.

      • Till Eulenspiegel

        10K is the top end model with 48gb ram, the consumer card will be a lot cheaper. 2 years from now, even cheaper. In wholesale deal for a console, it will be cheap enough.

        • Jim Cherry

          Samsung is making bank on ram and gddram right now i doubt theyll willingly let the price come down to the point where 16gbs will be at $100.

    • Darban

      Haha good one! At this rate consoles won’t ever reach real time ray-tracing until PS6. Consoles are nowadays about half a generation late in terms of graphics. Especially with the majority preferring to use AMD GPUs. The PS4 is built with 10 year old hardware. Let that sink in.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Don’t count on it, they’re set for 2020, and they’ll have AMD GPU’s. And AMD doesn’t even have a real answer to the current 10xx generation, let alone 20xx.
      Maybe the NextNEXT generation, if there will ever be one.

      • Till Eulenspiegel

        OK then next gen Nintendo will have realtime ray-traced graphics.

  • nipple_pinchy

    Maybe I’ll get that RTX 5000

    • Zerofool

      Worry not, they’ll announce the GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2070 next Monday (08/20), based on the same Turing architecture and will also contain ray-tracing cores. Most likely, not as fast as these Quadro cards, but at least they’ll be way cheaper (sub $1K).
      There are also rumors about a new Titan RTX card, but it’s unknown when it will be unveiled. Probably it will be around $3K though :/

      • Darshan

        Where are those JDI 1001PPI Screens? NIVIDIA Must build their own prototype by acquiring them from JDI and show them alongside the RTX2080 and RTX2070 real photo quality VR should be around corner

      • nipple_pinchy

        I just want to buy something.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Who says they’ll be sub $1k? I can imagine them setting the 2080 above $1K or at $999..

        • Zerofool

          Rumors, leaks and educated guesses by industry analysts, really. They position 2080 at $500-700 and 2070 at $300-500. I personally believe they’ll be at the higher end of these figures. $999 for the 2080 is not out of the question but seems unlikely.
          Keep in mind this is the small Turing chip we’re talking about (derivative of the one Quadro RTX 5000 is based on). The GeForce cards based on the big Turing chip (Titan RTX and 2080Ti) are more interesting, and 2080Ti may be priced at $999 for sure, but it’s at least a few months away, sometime next year (probably around AMD Navi launch).
          It’s all speculation at that point, we’ll see for sure next week.

          • Lucidfeuer

            I’m really doubtful that Nvidia would set the 20X0 series at the same price than the 10X0 series. Instead I’ll think they’ll do an Apple ie. surclass the new line in terms of prices, sell them higher under the pretence that it’s “better” rather than “more actual”, to continue milking the 10X0 at the same price…

          • Zerofool

            No doubt, they’ve been doing that for the last couple generations – increasing prices little by little. This time, it seems like the jump in MSRP will be around $50-100 (for each performance category) until they liquidate the remaining 10-series stock. The prices could stay the same even after this, all the way up to the point when AMD releases their next gen cards, in 1H19.

        • Zerofool

          Actually, it looks like 2080Ti will arrive much sooner than previously anticipated – potentially as soon as Monday together with the smaller Turing cards. The rumored price is around $800. I can’t wait to see what they’ll reveal.

  • Cool…. but I’m too poor for these high end graphics cards

    • Zerofool

      These are professional cards, prices like these are accepted in the industry. Tune back in next week for gamer-grade GeForce RTX cards ;)

  • MadMax1998

    They really should have called it VirtuaLink. What a missed opportunity.

  • Ombra Alberto

    I sell 1080 and maybe buy the Rtx5000.

  • HybridEnergy

    I just need pure brute horsepower. The 1080 ti is amazing for flat screen but it’s not cutting it in VR. I want to super sample 3202938420958304958% lol

  • AndyP

    So do you need two $10,000 cards for real-time ray tracing as in the car demo? And what other hardware? Err…

    • Lucidfeuer

      Well I don’t even believe that this is real-time, so two $10,000 cards? Yeah that might be true.

      • DJHeroMasta

        It was rendered in real time. They even have live demo stations.

  • Master E

    Now if they could only install some preventative measure from these being used for crypto currency. Or just come out with a crypto currency version and leave us gamers unscathed

    • Wayne Hinkel

      Exactly! Too few of our fellow gamers understand the extent of this problem.


    How is VR going to take off when capable graphic cards remain the main cost factor?

    • Master E

      Totally agree, but I’m staying optimistic. I remember going from a flip phone to the first iPhone and felt like I was holding an amazing piece of futuristic technology. This generation of VR is the first thing I experienced that gave me the same feeling as that first iPhone.

      The iPhones of today make the first iPhone archaic and now we can even use them as AR devices. It’s only a matter of time before a level of detail and power that we will all love comes down in price. Since wider FoV, better rendering, and higher resolution are all already in the pipeline GPUs like this mean it’s just around the corner. Might be a 5-10 year corner, but it’s really close.

      In the meantime, seems like VR beast rigs will still just be for those VR enthusiasts and not for the mainstream.

      • Nerd from Texas

        This kind of graphics would be helpful for location based VR like “The Void.” (Some of us remember playing video games in Arcades before this hardware was cheap enough to play at home)

    • MosBen

      That’s part of why I think that the next generation of VR HMDs won’t see as big of a jump in hardware specs as some people around these parts are hoping for. When the Rive and Vive launched, you needed a $1,000+ new PC in order to use them. That simply won’t ever happen again.

  • fuyou2

    $10000 US FUYOU2 NVIDIA

    • JJ

      yeah you obviously dont understand whos intended to use these cards do you? These are pretty groundbreaking and pretty affordable for businesses. At our render farm we would easily pay a couple grand more per card if it sheds time off of render time. less render time is more footage = more money and quickly outways the price for these.

  • Tomas Sandven

    What about professional work in VR

    • MW

      professional work in VR ? For example…?

      • Lance Duhon

        The vr tech center in my town takes cad or what ever format they use in designing oil rigs and prototype drilling equipment then bring in the executives and operators to demo, watch or tour in vr. This will be very important for them and their business model

  • Lucidfeuer

    I don’t believe for a second that this is actual real-time. However I believe this can dramatically speed-up rendering processes, although the price is still too steep to be scalable.

    Maybe in 10 years we’ll start seeing brute real-time RT in games or interactive experience, meanwhile smart optimisation still has ways to go.

  • HybridEnergy

    Waiting on the 2080 ti / 1180 ti model. Currently on a 1080 ti so skipping the 1180/2080 base version.

    • Wayne Hinkel

      My exact plan, too.

    • Xron

      Waiting for 3080, because I think that next gen Oculus hmd will be released 2020, so just in time for new video card generation.

      • HybridEnergy

        You do what you gotta do mang. I don’t try and predict such things, it always fails. I just have a set time to upgrade and go. At the moment I jump from Ti version to Ti version. It’s a good refresh cycle and the Ti edition seems to be the last and best of that architecture cycle.

      • Rosko

        nah im really hoping for 2080 TI in time for CV2

        • Zerofool

          Worry not, the latest leaks suggest that 2080Ti will be unveiled as early as Monday, together with the other 20×0 cards :)

    • Zerofool

      The latest leaks suggest that 2080Ti will be unveiled as early as Monday, together with the other 20×0 cards :)