We are virtually on the eve of AMD's unleashing of the RDNA 2-powered Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards, which will support ray tracing -- something that has been exclusive to NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards for a number of years now.
UL Benchmarks have announced and released a new ray tracing benchmark into 3DMark, called the 3DMark DirectX Raytracing feature test. What this does it allow people -- benchmarks, enthusiasts -- to compare the performance between graphics cards on either side of the fence: NVIDIA and very soon, AMD.
The important part here with UL's new 3DMark DirectX Raytracing feature test was designed to "make ray-tracing performance the limiting factor. Instead of relying on traditional rendering, the whole scene is ray-traced and drawn in one pass. The result of the test depends entirely on ray-tracing performance, which means you can measure and compare the performance of dedicated ray-tracing hardware in the latest graphics cards".
The new DirectX Raytracing feature test is available as a free update for anyone that has 3DMark Professional Edition.
3DMark DXR Raytracing Feature Test
The new 3DMark DirectX Raytracing feature test renders the test at 2560 x 1440, with the feature test using camera rays that get traced across the field of view with small random offsets that simulate a depth of field effect.
UL explains: "The frame rate is determined by the time taken to trace and shade a set number of samples for each pixel, combine the results with previous samples and present the output on the screen. You can change the sample count to see how it affects performance and visual quality".
- Use the 3DMark DirectX Raytracing feature test to measure the performance of dedicated ray-tracing hardware
- Run the 3DMark Port Royal benchmark to test graphics performance with a game-like mix of traditional DirectX 12 rendering and real-time ray tracing
- Run 3DMark Time Spy Extreme to test and compare DirectX 12 performance
- Use 3DMark Stress Tests to check GPU stability and cooling performance over longer periods of heavy load
Test System Specs
Sabrent sent over their huge Rocket Q 8TB NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 SSD, which will be my new Games install SSD inside of my main test bed.
I've got a new upgrade inside of my GPU test bed before my change to a next-gen test bed, where I will be preparing for NVIDIA's next-gen Ampere graphics cards and AMD's next-gen RDNA 2 graphics cards.
Sabrent helped out with some new storage for my GPU test beds, sending over a slew of crazy-fast Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 SSDs. I've got this installed into my GPU test bed as the new Games Storage drive, since games are so damn big now. Thanks to Sabrent, I've got 2TB of super-fast M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD storage now.
Anthony's GPU Test System Specifications
I've recently upgraded my GPU test bed -- at least for now, until AMD's new Ryzen 9 5950X processor is unleashed then the final update for 2020 will happen and we'll be all good for RDNA 2 and future Ampere GPU releases. You can read my article here: TweakTown GPU Test Bed Upgrade for 2021, But Then Zen 3 Was Announced.
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3800X (buy from Amazon)
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII HERO (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: CoolerMaster MasterLiquid ML360R RGB (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: G.SKILL Trident Z NEO RGB 32GB (4x8GB) (F4-3600C18Q-32GTZN) (buy from Amazon)
- SSD: Sabrent 2TB Rocket NVMe PCIe 4.0 M.2 2280 (buy from Amazon)
- PSU: be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 1200W (buy from Amazon)
- Case: InWin X-Frame 2.0
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional x64 (buy from Amazon)
After testing every single card capable of ray tracing -- we have some glorious results, which see how great Ampere is with raw ray tracing performance.
NVIDIA's flagship GeForce RTX 3090 dominates completely with 56FPS, while the GeForce RTX 3080 scores 46FPS and the GeForce RTX 3070 with 31FPS. The GeForce RTX 3070 costs just $499, and it beats the TITAN RTX which cost $2499... incredible stuff.
There's also a cool 'interactive mode' that lets you fly around the environment and take gorgeous screenshots, UL gives you the ability to tweak the focus point and aperture of the camera, so you can snap yourself some great shots.
AMD's new Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards are right around the corner, and now we have another benchmark to see direct comparisons with ray tracing performance. We are less than two weeks away from the Radeon RX 6800 XT and Radeon RX 6800 graphics cards.
On December 8 we'll have the new flagship Radeon RX 6900 XT to test, which just might topple the rest of the graphics cards on our charts... or will NVIDIA's superior ray tracing performance on the GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 shine through? We'll know in just a few weeks time.