Port Royal demo will show which GPUs can weather the DXR storm

Real-time ray tracing may be the hottest buzzword of the moment in high-end graphics. The folks at UL Benchmarks (formerly Futuremark) want you to be able to test how big of a hit ray-traced effects will cause when you buy the graphics cards of today and tomorrow with its upcoming 3DMark Port Royal benchmark.

UL says Port Royal is the world's first ray-tracing benchmark. It's based on Microsoft's DirectX Raytracing API, and it'll work with any graphics card that supports that technology. Right now, as you're probably aware, that list is limited to Nvidia's RTX cards, but the future's bright for well-lit scenes. Tantalizingly, the company notes that "as with any new technology, there are limited options for early adopters, but more cards are expected to get DirectX Raytracing support in 2019." We'll be curious to see just whose cards those are.

The company says Port Royal uses ray tracing to improve the look of reflections and shadows. According to UL, the benchmark is a "realistic and practical" sample of what future games could look and work like, and says that the test runs at "reasonable frame rates" at 2560×1440. The maker goes on to say that it's worked closely with Microsoft on its implementation of DXR, and that Port Royal was developed with input from Intel, AMD, Nvidia, and "other leading technology companies."

More details of Port Royal will be unveiled at Galax's GOC Grand Final overclocking contest in Vietnam on December 8, and the company says the benchmark will appear in the 3DMark suite come January 2019.

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    • djayjp
    • 11 months ago

    Not impressed by the materials/shading here. Looks quite cartoony (early CGI) and flat. Also the skybox is just vertically mirrored.

      • GrimDanfango
      • 11 months ago

      I get the feeling 3DMark has pretty well fallen behind on the physically-based-rendering side. I imagine it’s quite hard to keep up with Unreal and Unity these days, considering it’s their entire business building game engines.

      Either that, or it’s too resource intensive these day to get the required modellers, texture artists, lighters, etc, to create photoreal content on par with the best triple-A studios.

      Or a bit of both.

        • Airmantharp
        • 11 months ago

        One would think that licensing one or more engines would be a reasonable path forward- and provide real utility to the community in the process.

        • djayjp
        • 11 months ago

        Nah as they only have to do a single small scene. It would only take a small group (like those unity demos). It’s pretty much at the why bother stage at this point.

      • tipoo
      • 11 months ago

      Their MO seems to have been “Cover everything in bloom so people might think it looks good” for a few years. This says they’re 250 people at 10 million in revenue, pretty small in the industry for as much as we may see their benchmarks.

      [url<]https://www.owler.com/company/futuremark[/url<]

    • swaaye
    • 11 months ago

    I’m sure it will give the usual feel-good Futuremark vibes of showing your video card rendering a scene at ~13fps. 🙂

      • jihadjoe
      • 11 months ago

      Still better than the pro rendering vibes of taking a few minutes per frame lol

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 11 months ago

    RTX 2070, 2560×1440, Ray tracing AND reasonable frames?

    GTFO.

      • DavidC1
      • 11 months ago

      Don’t 3DMarks always run at lower frames than games because it tries to be as graphically demanding as possible?

      If then, what do they mean by reasonable frame rates? 30 frames is the minimum for playability. So 30 fps?

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 11 months ago

        It’s going to be like the CPU test on 3dmark06.

        Yeah, the 5fps test.

    • chuckula
    • 11 months ago

    Here’s the input from all 3 vendors:

    Nvidia: I see the check cleared. RTX 4 Life!

    AMD: Ray tracing is stupid and your shaders aren’t primitive enough.

    Intel: These slides are even better than the slides we made for Crysis!

      • dpaus
      • 11 months ago

      Intel made slides for us?! Where?!?

      • wingless
      • 11 months ago

      AMD jumped on the Ray Tracing bandwagon before Nvidia. It wasn’t focused towards games though so most of us didn’t hear about it. There’s quite a few YouTube videos from earlier this year discussing the technology.

        • renz496
        • 11 months ago

        Honestly i don’t think that’s the case. AMD focus is on the professional side but nvidia also has been doing it for professional client for years. I still remember when Nvidia try to demo ray tracing on GTX480 back in 2010. The frames were in the single digit but even then it was impressive for ray tracing run on a single GPU. Now nvidia is pushing for RTRT in games.

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