New Ray Traced 3DMARK benchmark could release this September

New Ray Traced 3DMARK benchmark could release this September

New Ray Traced 3DMARK benchmark could release this September

Earlier this year, UL Benchmarks announced their plans to release a Ray Traced benchmark later this year, using Microsoft’s DXR API. Now, with the reveal of Nvidia’s Turing architecture, we know that Ray Tracing will be the technology to follow when it comes to PC games and next-generation hardware.  

UL Benchmarks, where were formerly known as Futuremark, sit at the forefront of PC technology, testing new rendering techniques as soon as they become available, such as DirectX 12 Rapid Packed Math, Async Compute and now DXR Ray Traced effects. 

Before now, UL Benchmarks has not revealed their planned release date for their DXR-enabled benchmark, though Techspot has discovered that the company plans to “align with the launch of Redstone 5”, Microsoft’s planned Fall 2018 update for Windows 10, which is expected to release in September. 

This new benchmark is expected to be an add-on for 3DMARK’s Time Spy benchmarking suite, rather than being a standalone product. 

UL Benchmarks has been working with Microsoft on DXR since before the official announcement of the standard, combining Ray Tracing with today’s rasterisation techniques to offer spectacular visuals while keeping their software computationally feasible. The video above, which is from GDC 2018, showcases what is possible with Ray Tracing in games. 

The image below showcases the impact of Ray Tracing for both reflections and ambient occlusion, creating more realistic reflections and shadows by using data that is not available within the screen space. The difference in reflection quality is night and day in this case, which is why reflections were a huge focus during Nvidia’s RTX presentation. 

DirectX Raytracing example 1

Technically speaking, DXR is compatible with all DirectX 12 compliant graphics hardware, though Nvidia is the only graphics card provider that can accelerate the process using bespoke hardware. Nvidia’s RT cores can offer an incredible performance boost in Ray Tracing applications, making them the only company that has viable Ray Tracing graphics hardware, as both AMD and Intel lack Ray Tracing specific hardware acceleration features. 

Given what we now know, we can expect UL Benchmarks to release a new version of 3DMARK within the next few months, offering support for Ray Traced elements through Microsoft’s DXR API. Nvidia will no doubt sit at the top of the benchmark table with their latest Turing hardware, at least until their competitors create their own Ray Tracing acceleration technology. 

You can join the discussion on UL Benchmark’s planned Ray Tracing benchmark on the OC3D Forums.