Why should I buy the NVIDIA RTX 20 Series over the 10 Series? Is the RTX 20 series worth it? Will I notice the difference? How much more could they really improve in such a short time? At the recent PAX Australia, I had the opportunity to ask these questions and more.
After getting lost finding the room that the media event was taking place, I was greeted by Felicia (Reboot Pr) and introduced to Brian Burke, The PR Guy (A 17-year veteran of NVIDIA and though he does have a specific Global title, he never uses it) & John Gillooly, Technical Marketing Manager. I must say I was excited to hear about the new NVIDIA RTX 20 Series as I’m about to upgrade my GPU.
The first thing I noticed and was quite surprised by; was there were only 4 members of media in attendance, which including myself. It was very unexpected, as I expected the room to be full and just information told to us. What we got was an intimate look at the new tech, we were able to ask questions and felt comfortable in doing so. John and Brian did an amazing job of making an extremely informative media event feel low key and like friends just chatting.
How much more could they really improve in such a short time?
The answer to this is actually quite a lot. NVIDIA has revolutionised the way video games render in real time. The RTX 20 series uses technology that has only ever been available in movies called Raytracing. Prior to this, they rendered using rasterization in their 10 Series. What is the difference between the two, see below:
- Rasterization: is the task of taking an image described in a vector graphics format (shapes) and converting it into a raster image (pixels or dots) for output on a video display or printer, or for storage in a bitmap file format.
- Ray tracing: which has long been used for non-real-time rendering, provides realistic lighting by simulating the physical behaviour of light. Ray tracing calculates the colour of pixels by tracing the path that light would take if it were to travel from the eye of the viewer through the virtual 3D scene.
I understood this, as I studied some movie theory (before dropping out).
But what does this mean to people that have never heard about this? The light looks the same, they just get there differently? The simple answer is no. What ray lighting allows you to do is render the world in real time; off-screen events will automatically be reflected in the world.
For example, see the below picture, and an explosion happens off screen. The picture on the left has been rendered using Rasterization; the reflection you can see have been hardcoded in post-production into the game to appear, when the explosion ignites. While the picture on the right is rendered using Ray Tracing; this allows for a more organic and truer reflection of the world outside the player’s viewpoint. This doesn’t just allow for a better, more real and truer experience for players but also assist developers.
Will I notice the difference?
I think you will notice a massive difference. After the talk, we sat down and played Metro. It uses the new RTX technology to help render the lighting; it was incredible.
You start in this rundown boarded-up house, the light is coming through the missing boards and cracks in the windows. You would see the light hit a piece of old worn out lace, and the light with hit it and throw out small holes of light behind the curtain. We take out the lighter and move it from left to right the flame would bend and just that would affect the way the light it gives off is thrown around the room vs standing still.
Working through the world and under trees, as the leaves blowing in the breeze, it would affect the ground in front of you and how the light would hit your gloves and rifle.It may seem like something small or subtle but it is so impressive the atmosphere it adds to the game.
See the pictures below from Battlefield V, they use the RTX technology to render their reflections and it is quite breathtaking and looks more like a movie than a video game
Is the RTX 20 series worth it?
I feel like this is a personal choice. As at the moment there are only 11 games that use the technology. But those games are Game of the Year contenders like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Metro and Battlefield V. With plenty more to come.
As someone currently running an old 2gb GPU; I have been looking at upgrading to either the 1060 (6gb) or 1070. Going to this presentation has delayed my purchase by a few months. As seeing the RTX 20 series, I’m really struggling to not justify spending a couple of hundred dollars more to get the rending and graphics upgrade of an RTX 2070.
Why should I buy the RTX 20 Series over the 10 Series?
Again I feel like this is a personal choice. I know which I would choose, but let me leave you will one final video that showcases what the Nvidia RTX 20 series can do.