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3DMark releases new test to compare pure ray tracing performance between Nvidia and AMD GPUs
By Stuart Thomas on November 3rd, 2020 at 02:30pm - original article from game-debate

As AMD gears up to finally release their own lineup of ray tracing-capable graphics cards, the battle for ray traced performance will be at an all time high. Whilst we’ve seen some rumored ray tracing benchmarks for the Radeon RX 6000 series already, we haven’t got anything official from AMD themselves yet, but they promise more will be revealed soon.

It’s quite difficult to compare Nvidia and AMD’s graphics cards this generation, as they each have their own benefits and configurations. We know how Nvidia’s ray tracing tech works, but AMD’s is a little bit different. This makes benchmarking between the two a bit difficult.

In comes 3DMark, the industry standard benchmarking software for measuring and comparing the performance of graphics cards, who have now released a brand new DirectX ray tracing benchmark that can help easily compare the ray tracing performance of each GPU.

3DMark DirectX Raytracing feature test 1440p

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Video games that use ray tracing tech traditionally have a mix of DirectX12 rendering as well as real time ray tracing, which is what the 3DMark Port Royal benchmark test was used for. However, this new 3DMark ray tracing test is actually “designed to make ray-tracing performance the limiting factor,” which means that the entire scene is only using ray tracing to render the image on screen, even the depth of field effect.

In this feature test, camera rays are traced across the field of view with small random offsets to simulate a depth of field effect. The frame rate is determined by the time taken to trace and shade a set number of samples for each pixel, combine the results with previous samples and present the output on the screen.

This means that we can easily test and compare the performance of the dedicated ray tracing hardware present in Nvidia and AMD’s graphics cards, as the end result is completely dependent on ray tracing hardware performance.

This is big news for anyone who will be looking at the difference in ray tracing performance when judging whether to buy (or more like try to buy) an RTX 30 series or Radeon RX 6000 series GPU like an ¬¬gc_id:5003[RTX 3080]¬¬ or an ¬¬gc_id:5144[RX 6800 XT]¬¬.

3DMark DirectX Raytracing feature test Interactive Mode

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There's also an "Interactive Mode" which lets you freely move around the scene as well as take screenshots, so you can see what a scene rendered entirely with ray tracing looks like. You can also adjust the focal point and aperture of the in-game camera to explore more of these effects even further.

The update is available now to anyone who owns a copy of 3DMark benchmarking software, and hopefully we’ll be seeing some numbers come out when the RX 6000 series hits the market on November 18th.

What do you think? Do you own a copy of 3DMark? Will you be using the new ray tracing benchmark test? And how important is ray tracing performance to you when buying a new graphics card? Let us know!