Tier 2 VRS test comes to 3DMARK – Can you tell the difference?

Tier 2 VRS test comes to 3DMARK - Can you tell the difference?

Tier 2 VRS test comes to 3DMARK – Can you tell the difference?

 UL Benchmarks has added a new VRS (Variable-Rate Shading) test to 3DMARK, offering support for “tier 2 VRS”, which is a lot more flexible than tier 1 VRS support. 

VRS is a hardware feature which allows the shading rate of pixel shaders can be applied to a box of pixels in areas where the graphical impact will be low or unnoticeable. For example, shading a 2×2 block of pixels could take one operation instead of four. Using larger blocks, a 3×3 block or a 4×4 block could be lowered from 9 or 16 operations to 1 respectively. This technique can save computational resources and enable higher framerates in games.   

While tier 1 VRS support is available on Intel’s Gen11 and Nvidia’s Turing graphics architecture, tier 2 VRS support tier 2 support for VRS is only available on Nvidia’s Turing series graphics cards, though the feature’s inclusion within DirectX 12 guarantees that the feature will be added to future Radeon and Intel graphics architectures. 

Tier 2 VRS support is said to be more flexible than tier 1 VRS support, allowing developers to utilise a “more versatile and sophisticated form of VRS”.

UL Benchmark’s tier 2 VRS test is now available within 3DMARK Advanced Edition and 3DMARK Professional Edition as a free update, requiring Windows 10 version 1903 and a supported DirectX 12 graphics card to function. At this time we know of no games that support VRS under DirectX 12. 

Below is a comparison between in rendered images with tier 2 VRS enabled and an image without VRS. 
 

(See full-sized comparison)

You can join the discussion on a VRS Tier 2 test coming to 3DMARK on the OC3D Forums.