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Is Ray Tracing all that?


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I think it's been pretty well established that ray tracing on this generation of consoles is going to be quite rudimentary in comparison to PC. In fact I remember some doubt before the specs of the new consoles were released whether they would be capable of it at all.

 

It's definitely going to take until at least the mid-gen refresh, if not the proper next-gen, before console owners get the full benefit without major compromises.

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24 minutes ago, CarloOos said:

To those who might know; are ray traced shadows/lighting/global illumination any less computationally expensive than ray traced reflections? Or is it exactly the same, an all-or-nothing deal?

 

Again, not 100% sure about games but generally stuff like shadowing is computationally cheaper than ray tracing. Global illumination is the name given to all of these modern render techniques, so indirect shadowing, ray tracing, ambient occlusion, radiosity etc are all part of global illumination. Render times for ray tracing itself varies wildly based on resolution (obviously), the number of samples, the complexity of the scene and the number of bounces.

 

I wouldn't get too pessimistic about ray tracing this gen, Miles Morales has shown you can still have ray tracing at 60fps in a very busy, fast moving, complex environment. This is all very new for game engines and programmers, I reckon in a few years time there'll be a number of standout titles with ray tracing that look like nothing you could have done last gen.

 

  

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6 hours ago, Shimmyhill said:

Imagine ray tracing and 60fps!

 

Just a view of the Minecraft with ray tracing on is enough to know that it is all that and a potential game changer!

Even my kids are busting for raytraced Minecraft on the Xbox.

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6 hours ago, Ry said:

Its a no brainer. 60fps trumps 30 each and every time. 

 

Also, when a game runs at 60 i think it just looks better graphically than in 30. Its hard to explain, but that smoothness and clarity just seems far better.

 

5 hours ago, Wahwah* said:

 

This is definitely true for me too, 30 is blurry and indistinct. I recently tried playing Black Ops (which runs at 120) at 60 and felt the same thing happened there too. More frames = more definition, despite, I believe, the 120fps mode running at a lower resolution than the 60 fps mode. 

 

I honestly thought this would be my feelings too, but I played Spider-Man on ps5 in performance mode for about 30 minutes, then switched back to Fidelity for the rest of the time it took me to 100% it.  Performance mode felt smooth, Fidelity looked amazing and felt, well, more cinematic.  For me, it just really suited the experience.

 

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As has been said, Control is the technology's big showcase atm, it's dripping with RT. It's definitely the game to show off a multitude of RT effects. But my favourite RT game is Metro Exodus. It's only using RT global illumination, SSR reflections only so a lot less going on than with Control, but I fucking love what the RT lighting brings to the game. Massive improvement in realistic lighting in a lot of the game's environments and settings. Really ups the mood of the game for me.

 

You can normally do a dance with a few sliders to have your cake and eat it on PC atm, can be a pretty minimal compromise on beastly hardware, but I can see that changing even for the most powerful setups over the next 18 months. 

 

You never know though, the trickle down from devs mastering RT techniques and tricks on lesser console hardware could actually buck that inevitability of more demanding games + RT = less performance. Probably not mind.

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1 hour ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

Listening to the Giabt Bombcast it was pointed out that while the current gen consoles do ray tracing hardware built in, it's also AMD's first stab at ray tracing hardware abd apparently their PC graphics cards are also disappointing in that department. While we're comparing it to how Control looks all bells and whistles running on an high-end Nvidia card. We might be stuck with disappointing ray tracing until the PS5 Pro rolls around.

 

Don't know how true slk that is, nut thought it was at least interesting enough to post.

 

 

I'm just gonna copy what i posted in the control thread -

 

"in terms of rasterisation, they(the consoles) offer 2080ish levels (of performance), and that's great! Especially when combined with a REAL cpu, aces! Having quality hardware for using will only be good...

 

But, they only offer seemingly 2060s levels of  RT, and i think thats just down to nvidia completely forcing amd's hand into RT, whilst amd also had nothing at all to counter dlss... and lets be honest, whatever the "super res" thing they were talking about, it is likely not to match it, as they simply dont have a background in AI.

 

The sad thing, is we are gonna be stuck with this level of RT for 7 years ...hopefully nvidia will release that marble thing in that time...and maybe go back and path trace some more oldies lol"

 

Alongside the fact , that the new console version of control , uses the low settings from PC, and, uses a sorta half res reflections thing which is lower than the lowest selectable on PC, similar to watchdogs legion.

 

It is likely that RT games on console will be 30fps, or maybe running at 1080p.

 

A 2060, can in fact run control with higher quality RT effects, and higher settings for the rest than a PS5, at 1080p (via dlss) and at 60fps. so if amd can pull some magic out their asses with an upscaler, there could be room for both fps and rt

 

 

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Going from 60fps to 30fps in Control is horrible. Yes you can get used to it but the extra stuff ray tracing gives you doesn’t make up for what your losing in frame rate and responsiveness.

 

Ive played almost nothing at 30fps for many many months now and I’m a little worried I’ll never be able to go back. That might spoil my enjoyment a little when games inevitably revert back to 30fps over the next few years. By then hopefully a PS5 Pro will be available.

 

Screen space reflections can look stunning and more than close the gap IMO.

 

I don’t know what insomniac did to get ray tracing and 60fps but something like that would be the best option overall.

 

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Just now, Sarlaccfood said:

How come people are talking about an either/or situation for consoles when Miles does 60fps RT?

 

Is it compromised in some other way? 

 

The 60 fps RT in Spiderman does a number of things to hit that target, including:

 

  • Lower resolution of the actual picture
  • Much lower resolution of the RT reflections
  • Significant reduction in NPC density (particularly pedestrians)
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It's a brilliantly coded but pared down version of RT reflections. If you look hard it's easy to see it's doing things in a very frugal manner. But it looks tasty so who cares. These are the tips and tricks that are hopefully going to become more prevalent in the coming year or two to enable some cool RT effects on console without totally killing performance, and hopefully float upstream and boost PC performance too.

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5 hours ago, JoeK said:

Bloody hell, Control is pretty much the main poster child for ray tracing. I think the game is utterly transformed by it. Without it, everything feels just drab and lifeless!


I agree with this. Fortunately, I’m not really troubled by switching between 30 and 60fps so it’s not a dilemma for me if it adds significantly to a game’s visuals.

 

With that said, it’s been great to have so many more games at 60fps. The only exceptions for me so far are Control and Spider-Man: Miles Morales / Remastered because RT gives them a wonderful depth that is conspicuously by its absence as soon as it disappears. Performance ray-tracing for the latter should be right up my alley, but something looks off about the way that particular game moves at 60fps, which I can’t quite get my head around.

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15 minutes ago, Rain Birds said:


I agree with this. Fortunately, I’m not really troubled by switching between 30 and 60fps so it’s not a dilemma for me if it adds significantly to a game’s visuals.

 

With that said, it’s been great to have so many more games at 60fps. The only exceptions for me so far are Control and Spider-Man: Miles Morales / Remastered because RT gives them a wonderful depth that is conspicuously by its absence as soon as it disappears. Performance ray-tracing for the latter should be right up my alley, but something looks off about the way that particular game moves at 60fps, which I can’t quite get my head around.


I’m in the fortunate position of having a PC that can effectively cope with anything currently available, but if I was given the choice between ray tracing bringing the thing to 30 fps or having it off and keep 60 then I’d turn it off every time.

 

More than anything else, that shift to 60fps was the most transformative thing gaming has given me from the last few years, for sure.

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As of yesterday it does. I'm going with the performance and RT will improve over time as developers get to grips with it and development tools mature. Series Xbox games aren't using the tools designed to be compatible with the machine's architecture just yet. The next gen machines are underpowered arguement will not age well.

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Ray Tracing on PC makes the 1997 Quake 2 look superb. It is absolutely all that and more. 

 

As stated before in this thread, unless AMD can come up with a DLSS equivalent then the PS5 and Series X have no hope of doing anything comparable to what Nvidia have their graphics cards doing. 

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2 minutes ago, JoeK said:


I’m in the fortunate position of having a PC that can effectively cope with anything currently available, but if I was given the choice between ray tracing bringing the thing to 30 fps or having it off and keep 60 then I’d turn it off every time.

 

More than anything else, that shift to 60fps was the most transformative thing gaming has given me from the last few years, for sure.


Don’t get me wrong, 60fps is undoubtedly huge. I’m interested to see how the Hitman III RT update turns out because it’s very clean and works well artistically with what it’s got. Barring something spectacular I’d be loathe to default to 30fps in that case. 

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1 minute ago, TehStu said:

Have any indy devs started to use the technology on PC? I don't know how widespread it is in middleware. Might be some practical use for simpler looking games, though?

 

Not sure about Indies, but there's a fair few folks who seem to be able to plug in some sort of ray tracing as mods into loads of PC games...there's vids of almost all new 'non' RT games being modded to include it - to greater and lesser degrees admittedly, but the basics seem to be fairly easy to put in it seems. 

 

And as someone who knows absolutely nothing about programming at all, I feel I'm the best person to suggest how easy or not it is without fear of contradiction ;)

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Truthfully, my knowledge is zero. My last experience of ray tracing was creating nonsense in POV-ray for DOS, decades ago. I just wondered if it would help flat shaded games, or other heavily stylized engines.

 

edit - this sort of crap

Spoiler

stynx.thumb.jpg.ae023f94d4d5054690c3292677234421.jpg

 

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3 hours ago, TehStu said:

Does the Series X do ray tracing in Control? Keen to see this console stretch its legs. 

 

Well strap in! ...because you'll want to be comfortable while you wait.

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3 hours ago, Boozy The Clown said:

As of yesterday it does. I'm going with the performance and RT will improve over time as developers get to grips with it and development tools mature. Series Xbox games aren't using the tools designed to be compatible with the machine's architecture just yet. The next gen machines are underpowered arguement will not age well.

 

In terms of rasterisation, no they are not, 5 years they will have some great lookers!...but with limited RT....cue some sony 1st party thing looking great but running at 30

 

In terms of RT hardware, yes they are, this is simply a fact, that can be demonstrated by the comparison between the AMD cards that are now out, and the nvidia 20 series cards, not 30, 20. As what we have seen so far is RT performance similar to a 2060s, but, with lower settings still. They NEED a DLSS like solution to make it viable.

 

The simple state of affairs is, the current main high end amd card, the 6800xt (there is no equivalent to what's in the consoles available yet, but it would be quite a bit lower than this i would guess it will be  like a 6700), performs worse that a 2060s with RT because of dlss.

 

heres a long vid with lots of comparisons between things -

Spoiler

its a gamers nexus vid, so its long and in depth -

 

 

and to all those asking why minecraft aint out yet, it cant hit 60 with rt at 1080p...on the 6800xt...again...DLSS

image.thumb.png.afec22931a92d59f21ffede974c904f5.png

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And what it is with the delay in rt rendering on control ps5.....move the camera, stop, 2-4 frames layer the rt finishes rendering

 

Wtf is this a thing on pc???

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Just loaded up last of us part 2 to see if I still think it’s smooth.

I can no longer handle 30fps. Bring on all the ray tracing you want but I think 60 should be THE thing this generation.

 

Im slightly upset about it, running older games at 60 has spoilt me. 
I don’t think I can go back.

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2 hours ago, sid said:

And what it is with the delay in rt rendering on control ps5.....move the camera, stop, 2-4 frames layer the rt finishes rendering

 

Wtf is this a thing on pc???

 

No.

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3 hours ago, 5R7 said:

In terms of rasterisation, no they are not, 5 years they will have some great lookers!...but with limited RT....cue some sony 1st party thing looking great but running at 30

 

In terms of RT hardware, yes they are, this is simply a fact, that can be demonstrated by the comparison between the AMD cards that are now out, and the nvidia 20 series cards, not 30, 20. As what we have seen so far is RT performance similar to a 2060s, but, with lower settings still. They NEED a DLSS like solution to make it viable.

 

The simple state of affairs is, the current main high end amd card, the 6800xt (there is no equivalent to what's in the consoles available yet, but it would be quite a bit lower than this i would guess it will be  like a 6700), performs worse that a 2060s with RT because of dlss.

 

 

I've not really followed AMD GPU's for consoles but do they have the separate silicon dedicated to ray tracing that Nvida GPU's have? As that, bolstered by the excellent Nvidia AI, seems a hardware gap that consoles might struggle to bridge if they wish to be compared to mid to high end PC implementations. If the difference is just software then I guess there is hope that, with further work from AMD, consoles may be able to consistently deliver ray tracing at 60fps albeit at sub 4k.

 

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