Variable Rate Shading (VRS) has now been added to 3DMARK

Variable Rate Shading (VRS) has now been added to 3DMARK 

Variable Rate Shading (VRS) has now been added to 3DMARK

Both hardware and software developers are continually looking for new ways to increase the performance of their products, both inside and outside of the gaming market. 

Today, both Nvidia (Turing and Newer) and Intel (Gen 11 and Newer) have integrated hardware support for a new feature called Variable Rate Shading (VRS), a technique which is designed to improve system performance by selectively reducing the level of detail of parts of a frame that will have a minimal impact on perceivable image quality. High shading rates will increase accuracy at the cost of performance, while lower shading rates will boost performance, but at the cost of graphical quality. 

As the name suggests, Variable Rate Shading allows the shading rate of a frame to vary, allowing developers to lower the shading rate of unimportant sections of a frame, increasing performance while delivering an almost unnoticeable drop in image quality. This promise of improved performance is why VRS has been integrated into the DirectX 12 API. 

UL Benchmarks has today added a new VRS feature test to its 3DMARK gaming benchmark utility, showcasing the feature to both gamers and developers alike while enabling reviewers and analysts to judge the performance and qualitative impacts of the effect. 

Using images that were provided to us by UL Benchmarks, we have created the slider below to showcase the graphical impact of VRS. Sadly, UL Benchmarks has not noted how much performance benefit the feature yields in this scene. Please click on the link below to see the slider at its full size/resolution. 

(Click to see Full-Sized Comparison)

3DMARK’s VRS feature test released today as part of a free update to the utility. The feature test will first play the forest scene pictured above without VRS and then with VRS, enabling gamers to judge both the performance and image quality impacts of VRS. 

At the time of writing, 3DMARK Advanced Edition is available with a  75% discount on Steam and the UL Benchmarks website. 

You can join the discussion on Variable Rate Shading coming to 3DMARK on the OC3D Forums.