Nvidia brings RTX to ARM – PC gaming with an RTX 3060 and an ARM processor

Nvidia brings RTX to ARM - PC gaming with an RTX 3060 and a ARM processor

Nvidia brings RTX to ARM – PC gaming with an RTX 3060 and an ARM processor

At GDC 2021, Nvidia’s has showcased its latest RTX series graphics cards running with an ARM-based MediaTek Kompanio 1200 processor, showcasing a potential future for the high-performance PC gaming market. 

This demo should scare the likes of AMD and Intel, as their x86-based processors have long been the mainstay of the PC gaming market. If Nvidia’s ARM acquisition is approved, Nvidia will have the opportunity to create all Nvidia gaming systems with ARM processors and Geforce graphics, a change that could remake the PC market. 

Windows 11 will support ARM-based processors and feature support for x86 emulation, making a shift towards Windows on ARM a distinct possibility should sufficiently powerful ARM processors come to market. That said, Microsoft’s x86 app emulation will need to be first-class, as legacy app support is a must for most gamers. 

Nvidia has demoed a unique ARM version of Wolfenstein Youngblood, which highlights RTX on ARM. This demo version of Wolfenstein will not become commercially available, but it highlights the potential of ARM-based gaming systems. This demo ran on Linux, highlighting that Nvidia has not only gotten its RTX feature set working on ARM, but they have also gotten RTX features like DLSS to operate natively on Linux. 

The video demo below showcases a major shift from Nvidia, highlighting how the company can remake the gaming market should its competitors fail to innovate. 


     These demos are being run on a GeForce RTX 3060 GPU paired with a MediaTek Kompanio 1200 Arm processor.

The first demo is from Wolfenstein: Youngblood, built in partnership with MachineGames and Bethesda Softworks. An Arm version of this game is not planned for commercial release, but the flexibility and power of the idTech engine made Wolfenstein: Youngblood a natural choice for a demonstration of RTX technology on Arm.

The second demo is from a sample scene called The Bistro, with more than 80,000 illuminated triangles all emitting at the same time, bathing the room in lamplight and sunlight. Every light in the scene is casting shadows. These effects, made possible by RTX Direct Illumination (RTXDI) and NVIDIA Real-Time Denoisers (NRD), create a cinematic-quality display.

With or without their ARM acquisition, it looks like Nvidia has plans to reforge the PC gaming market. Nvidia wouldn’t focus on Linux and ARM support if they didn’t plan to make extensive use of those features, and that very prospect should have AMD, Intel, and Microsoft worried. 

Nvidia has long said they are not just a graphics card company, and their continued push for software development highlights this monumental shift. In time, Nvidia has the potential to release its own gaming systems on Linux with a huge suite of unique hardware/software optimisations. In this regard, Nvidia’s starting to look a lot like Apple. 

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