The greatest change we’ve experienced in video games in the last five years isn’t hyper-realistic graphics or improved physics. The best thing we’ve encountered is the enhancement in global illumination. And ray tracing is something magical.
NVIDIA’s RTX technologies made their debut in 2018 with the introduction of the GeForce RTX 2000 GPUs, featuring the Turing architecture.
RTX encompassed a range of features, but the two most notable were support for ray tracing (RT) and DLSS, a completely new scaling technology that leveraged AI power to deliver higher FPS and excellent image quality.
It arrived in 2018 to stay
Battlefield V was the first RTX-enabled title that allowed users to experience ray-traced reflections. It was a demanding technology at the time and remains so to this day, but the visual improvement was impossible to ignore.
In response, DLSS came to the rescue, doubling FPS in games and providing a smoother gaming experience. Later, NVIDIA began implementing other RT techniques like Ray Traced Global Illumination (RTGI) and Ray Traced Shadows in games, but it was Quake II RTX that first implemented complete RT effects (RT GI, RT Shadows, RT Reflections).
Throughout 2019, DLSS and RT continued to receive updates to enhance visual fidelity and further improve image quality. However, the next major update arrived in the form of DLSS 2.0 in 2022, first available in Minecraft RTX for Windows 10.
This new update utilized an entirely new AI model, allowing quicker integration into games and addressing some of the key issues related to the quality of upscaled images.
Cyberpunk 2077 was one of the most recent titles to include support for DLSS 2 at its launch. The game also offered several RT technologies, marking the beginning of an impressive journey for the game. It became a testing ground for cutting-edge RTX technologies like Path Tracing and DLSS 3.5.
With NVIDIA’s DLSS 3, frame generation was introduced, the first frame interpolation technology of its kind that quadrupled the FPS. This technology has become a staple of the PC platform, as it can help increase FPS in games that utilize these demanding RT/PT visual effects.
All developers advise that improvements be activated
Additionally, most game developers recommend the use of these technologies, and as always, NVIDIA has been the first to make them available to gamers before the competition.
Users of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 GPU are getting the most out of the RTX package by using RT On to enhance visual immersion and DLSS to boost FPS.
In an infographic, Nvidia shows that over 95% of RTX 40 GPU owners activated RT or DLSS in recent titles such as:
- Alan Wake II (99%)
- Cyberpunk 2077 (97%)
- Diablo IV (96%)
- Minecraft RTX (99%)
- Naraka Bladepoint (98%)
To streamline the integration of RTX technologies like DLSS, NVIDIA introduced “Streamline,” an open-source cross-IHV solution that simplifies the integration of scaling and super-resolution technologies from NVIDIA and other independent hardware manufacturers into applications and games.
Nvidia has pioneered the implementation of technologies that have become the foundation of modern gaming. We now see Ray Tracing implemented in the latest titles for Sony and Microsoft consoles, and scaling technologies have been on the rise since the debut of DLSS.
Nvidia has showcased to the world that software is as crucial as hardware, and its team of engineers works tirelessly to bring the new generation of graphics to your PC.