3DMARK Port Royal update hints at new Ray Tracing Hardware/Drivers

3DMARK Port Royal update hits at new Ray Tracing Hardware/Drivers

3DMARK Port Royal update hints at new Ray Tracing Hardware/Drivers

UL Benchmarks has released a new update for 3DMARK Port Royal, the company’s DXR compliant Ray Tracing benchmarking tool. While the update will not impact benchmark scores, the update is designed to “improve compatibility with upcoming hardware and drivers”, suggesting that new DXR compatible hardware is coming. 

This begs the question, who is making new DXR complainant hardware and drivers. The obvious answer here is AMD, who plans to release their new Navi series of graphics cards in July. Sony has already confirmed that their Navi-based next-generation PlayStation will feature support for ray tracing, making it more than possible for AMD to have ray tracing IP in the works. What remains to be seen is whether or not this IP will be used in their early desktop Navi GPUs. 

AMD plans to reveal more about their upcoming products at their AMD Next Horizon Gaming event at E3 2019, which is due to take place on Monday, June 10th. The times for this event for the US, UK and Europe are available here, alongside the dates and times of other E3 press conferences. here, AMD will reveal the full capabilities of Navi, which might include Ray Tracing.

Alternatively, Nvidia could be planning to release new RTX series graphics cards, with their rumoured “SUPER” series reportedly bringing updated versions of the RTX series to the market. These rumoured cards are too similar to existing RTX series graphics cards to require extensive changes to 3DMARK, making it more likely that this “DirectX 12 resource handling” update is focused on a different graphics card maker.       

Having more ray tracing complainant hardware come to market is a great thing for both PC gamers and developers, as it will help spread the technology’s use across more games, engines and professional applications. We know that AMD is working on Ray Tracing hardware, making the release of DXR compliant graphics cards a matter of when, not if. The question today is if Navi will offer support for Ray Tracing. 

You can join the discussion on 3DMARK Port Royal being updated to support “upcoming hardware” on the OC3D Forums.