Quake II RTX blew my mind this morning

Back in the day, many of us convinced our friends and family that it was a good idea to spend several hundred dollars on a 3D accelerator card by demonstrating GLQuake running at nearly 60 FPS in gorgeous 640×480 resolution. Nvidia’s CEO even admitted that his company may not have even existed were it not for Quake. That was his segue into the announcement of Quake II RTX, which is now available.

In case you somehow don’t know, RTX refers to Nvidia’s real-time ray-tracing technology. Nvidia—or at least Jensen Huang, anyway—seems to think that the time is ripe to take the first steps away from classical rasterization and toward a ray-traced future. Pure ray-tracing is too demanding for modern games, but a title like Quake II makes a perfect showcase for RTX given its low polycounts and simple world geometry. With an engine upgrade and a texture pack, Quake II RTX legitimately looks like an all-new game at times.

There is some irony in Nvidia delving to the depths of PC gaming’s history and dragging out a dinosaur like Quake II explicitly to use as a showcase for the latest rendering technology. The choice makes sense from a few angles. While all three are open-source now, the original Quake is a bit too simplistic, and as a multi-player game, Quake III Arena doesn’t lend itself to languid appreciation of your environs. Quake II also hasn’t enjoyed the massive source-port love that its predecessor has, so this release is welcome for fans of the title.

 

Real-time ray-tracing isn’t something you can really show off in a screenshot. Even in a video, it’s underwhelming. Much like high degrees of anti-aliasing, the effect is so much more pronounced when you can match the difference your eyes are seeing with the motions you make on the mouse. I was conceptually optimistic about real-time ray-tracing before (being a long-time fan of real-time path-tracing engines like Brigade), but after finally getting to try it out on my GeForce GTX 1080 Ti card, I have to say it’s everything I hoped for.

 

That’s right: you don’t have to pay out the nose for a GeForce RTX graphics card to try Quake II RTX. While Nvidia is coy about saying so—the Steam store page lists a GeForce RTX 2060 as the minimum requirement—you can actually run Quake II RTX on Pascal-based GeForces as well. Just be advised that you may need to crank the resolution scale option down a couple-or-three notches to get a playable frame rate. I don’t know about older hardware, or AMD hardware, but try it out and let us know what happens.

If you’re still dubious on the whole deal, don’t just take my word for it. Quake II RTX includes the shareware demo of Quake II along with the engine itself, so you can try it out for absolutely nothing but a few minutes of your time. Alternatively, those who own Quake II can point the app to the existing game data files and play the whole game in ray-traced glory. You can grab the package from Steam, or download the installer (with support for the full game files) from Nvidia.

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of
techguy
Guest
techguy

I finally downloaded and played the game for awhile, but first played vanilla Q2 to have a good basis for comparison. Changing the skybox to the “original environment map” makes a big difference in the overall feel, and the performance. I’m able to run at 3440×1440 with all settings enabled (GI @ medium) and a 90% resolution scale and maintain mid-60 FPS. Switching to the stroggos skybox drops this down to right around 60, and the earth skybox brings it down mid 50s. That earth skybox is a killer. Looks fantastic too, but definitely doesn’t feel like Quake so I’m… Read more »

jihadjoe
Guest
jihadjoe

Boy am I rusty! I remember being able to do all sorts of strafe jumps onto stuff in the DM maps when I was playing Q2 some 21 odd years ago.

Kevin Sweeney
Member
Kevin Sweeney

I tried it out. Neat, but not “takes my $1200 GPU from 2018 to run 63fps” neat. (2560×1440)

I’m just not sold on RT. We’ve seen decades of tricks produce results that look 96% as good at perhaps 5-10x less compute cost. RT is pretty subtle

I experienced serious input lag, borderline unplayable for this sort of game. Input smoothing option was turned off, not an issue in other game so not sure whats up here.

ronch
Guest
ronch

Maybe it’s time to upgrade my HD7770.

(Looks at current expenses…)

On second thought, GLQuake is fine.

Srsly_Bro
Guest
Srsly_Bro

I think it’s been time for at least several years, bro!

ronch
Guest
ronch

Given the games I usually play, I just don’t need it. I’m planning to replay The Cat Lady soon and maybe Downfall Redux next. Or Downfall first. Surely my HD 7770 will do juuuuuust fine.

Mr Bill
Guest
Mr Bill

Its unfortunate AMD has no driver for this. I would be a kick to see Quake benchmarks back in the video card reviews; just because.

MadMac_5
Guest
MadMac_5

I tried it out last night on my Ryzen 5 2600X/GTX 1070 Ti rig. The game isn’t anywhere near as bright as the screenshots make it look, at least in the first few levels; it’s got similar lighting levels as when I tried q2vkpt, just with some nice de-noising added. I’m sitting in the mid-40s for framerate at 800 x 600 with Medium environmental lighting. The framerates drop to the mid-20s if I bump up the resolution to 1024×768, so I’m sticking to 800×600 for maximum nostalgia. I should fire up the old Pentium-II with an 8 MB Voodoo 2… Read more »

FuturePastNow
Guest
FuturePastNow

My original Quake II experience was on a 200MHz K-6 with a Voodoo Banshee. I still have that old family PC, too, though its hard drive bit the dust long ago so I’d need to come up with a replacement for that and a Win98 boot disk. I should get on that…

I always preferred Q II (and IV, which functions as a sequel to II) to the odd-numbered Quakes since they had something resembling a story. I should replay them, but from these comments I see that my GTX 1070 may not do as well as the old Banshee :p

techguy
Guest
techguy

I played QII on a PII 400 with a Riva 128ZX AGP – overclocked with RivaTuner, of course. That was great, but my 19″ trinitron made me want a faster video card. Always wanted a Voodoo 2 but couldn’t afford it with just a summer job mowing lawns. I did throw a Voodoo 3 3000 in that machine a couple years later though. That was a great card. Quake II absolutely flew on that thing. Unreal also.

Those were the days /nostalgia

DeadOfKnight
Guest
DeadOfKnight

I’ll try it tonight on my 2080 Ti. I have a 3440×1440 monitor, if anyone wants to request some resolutions for me to try.

DeadOfKnight
Guest
DeadOfKnight

Between this and AI upscaling, I am excited about what can be done to give some dated games a face lift, especially the oldest 3D games from the mid-90s like this one. I hope more modders get their hands on this stuff, so we don’t have to wait and pay for remastered editions of each game.

frenchy2k1
Guest
frenchy2k1

The *only* reason Quake has been chosen for this is that iD releases their engines as open source 10 years later.
So, Quake 1/2/3 and even Doom3 engines are available for all to modify and add such new features.

Few other companies have ever released their sources.

I hope that Doom3 will be modified some times…

ColeLT1
Guest
ColeLT1

Going to try this on a 5.1ghz 9900k / 2080 tonight. From the benchmarks out there 1440p 144fps isn’t happening with my setup lol.

Srsly_Bro
Guest
Srsly_Bro

You will be lucky to get 30fps.

ColeLT1
Guest
ColeLT1

With an older slower chip, but 2080ti I saw it benchmarked at:
20fps at 4k
50fps at 1440p
90fps at 1080p

So I may be running at 1080 or 720 lol to not be a slideshow, eyeball estimating at:
30fps at 1440p
60fps at 1080p
90fps at 720p

Ill post results this weekend, maybe should go 800×600 nostalgic lol

Krogoth
Guest
Krogoth

You want the full nostalgic experience? Try 320×240 with the software render. 😉

derFunkenstein
Guest
derFunkenstein

That’s how I had to play it on my Pentium MMX 166 with an ATI Xpert 98 graphics card. GL was too slow to be playable at any res.

Laykun
Guest
Laykun

Effectively a rage pro isn’t it? I played Quake 2 on a similar card on my iMac DV 400 back in the day just fine. Was faster than software rendering.

EDIT: Oh no, I had a Rage 128 apparently. The rage pro is a hulking piece of sh**.

derFunkenstein
Guest
derFunkenstein

Ah you already corrected it but yes, the first two accelerator cards I ever bought were absolute garbage. Before that I had an S3 Virge. 😆

Finally got a real card when I get a Voodoo 3 2000 to replace that when I upgraded to an Evergreen PC weird custom job with a K6-2 400.

jihadjoe
Guest
jihadjoe

I had Nvidia TNT and Celeron 300A @ 405 when I played Q2 back in the day. Good enough for 800×600.

A rich friend had Voodoo2 SLI and got to play 1024×768. The rest of us were so envious lol.

techguy
Guest
techguy

Not quite..

2080 Ti performance (which I linked to earlier) is as follows:
115fps @ 1080p
67fps @ 1440p
30fps @ 4k

I see you have a 2080, here are the reported FPS for that card:
~88fps @ 1080p
51fps @ 1440p
~23fps @ 4k

ColeLT1
Guest
ColeLT1

Yes… quite “With a slower chip”

“For this PC Performance Analysis, we used an Intel i7 4930K (overclocked at 4.2Ghz) with 16GB of DDR3 RAM at 2133Mhz, NVIDIA’s RTX 2080Ti, Windows 10 64-bit and the GeForce driver 430.86.”
[url<comment image[/url<]

techguy
Guest
techguy

You think this is a counterpoint to what I posted? You have an overclocked 9900k – why are you comparing your results to those obtained by someone with a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SYSTEM? And then saying I’m wrong for some reason.

People.

ColeLT1
Guest
ColeLT1

You’re not wrong, just an ass.

techguy
Guest
techguy

Cool story bro. Why are you even mentioning the use of a slow CPU with a brand new, expensive GPU to run a techdemo for a brand new technology? No one is doing this, except the people at the no-name site you brought up who apparently haven’t updated their test platform in 6 years.

ColeLT1
Guest
ColeLT1

Why does your wccftech link not even mention what CPU was used?

techguy
Guest
techguy

Not sure, that site is garbage but I doubt they just made up the list of results. For all I know they stole it from another site and failed to give credit. Nonetheless, it’s safe to assume that a 4930k was not the CPU of choice. If I had to guess, the tests were likely performed on a Coffee Lake – class CPU (e.g. 6-8 cores in the high 4GHz – low 5GHz range). When testing GPU performance it is essential to eliminate the CPU bottleneck, otherwise you’re just demonstrating that your test platform is CPU-bottlenecked.

ColeLT1
Guest
ColeLT1

Agreed. I choose that random site because it was the top google search result for “quake 2 rtx benchmark” that included hardware specs. Also though it would be interesting to compare 4930K (overclocked at 4.2Ghz) to a modern 9900k, wish it was a 5930k as would be a good r5 ryzen1 analogue.

techguy
Guest
techguy

That makes more sense to me. Thanks for explaining. I thought you were attempting to make some point about specifically using an RTX card on an old platform.

freebird
Guest
freebird

Why are you too lazy to go look at the wccftech article?

Took me a whole 10 seconds…

Test System
Components Z370
CPU Intel Core i9-9900k @ 5GHz
Memory 16GB G.Skill Trident Z DDR4 3200
Motherboard EVGA Z370 Classified K
Storage Crucial P1 1TB NVMe SSD
PSU Cooler Master V1200 Platinum

techguy
Guest
techguy

I said earlier the system specs weren’t listed, and I know they weren’t. I scanned that article 10 times by now. What happened was they had 2 tables listed of graphics cards tested. It was an error which they have now corrected.

ColeLT1
Guest
ColeLT1

Nice edits, less of an ass now.

Never said you were wrong, all I ever said was hey, here are some benchmarks I know mine won’t be as high but will be interesting to see what my setup will do tonight VS said benchmarks. Why are you so mad?

techguy
Guest
techguy

Why am I so mad? Ok, person who called me an ass twice now. LMAO.

evilpaul
Guest
evilpaul

I was getting ~40 FPS at 1440p with GI set to High. Didn’t try it with the Medium or Low settings yet.

ColeLT1
Guest
ColeLT1

Ran better than expected.

52fps at 1440p
91fps at 1080p
144+fps at 720p

Chrispy_
Guest
Chrispy_

Installed last night, and just wish they’d hired a student animator for a week to remake the FMV intro.

Not even nostalgia is enough to make me fond of that intro. I remember it being the worst part of the game even back in 1997!

derFunkenstein
Guest
derFunkenstein

I don’t think I ever actually watched it back then. “Yeah yeah whatever let’s get to the killing”

DeadOfKnight
Guest
DeadOfKnight

From what I understand, nobody played Quake 2 for the story. In fact, most people didn’t even like what they did overall vs Quake 1, but they liked it for the action and gameplay. I didn’t play it. I was wrapped up with Diablo and StarCraft.

Chrispy_
Guest
Chrispy_

Q2 was 99% about the mods and multiplayer for me. I think I must have played the campaign levels through once but they weren’t memorable, that’s for sure!

jihadjoe
Guest
jihadjoe

You think Action Quake 2 will work with the RTX version?

FuturePastNow
Guest
FuturePastNow

Quake II had just the right amount of story for a FPS. Strogg bad. Go to the Makron’s palace and kill it dead.

DragonDaddyBear
Guest
DragonDaddyBear

Has anyone tried to launch this with an AMD card?

fellix
Guest
fellix

AMD has still not provided RT driver support for DX12 or Vulkan.

Krogoth
Guest
Krogoth

No go here. I suspect the render is entirely depended on Nvidia’s GPU pipeline ideally with RTX hardware.

It doesn’t stop some 3D graphics hacker from making a wrapper but I doubt you’ll get stellar performance on current AMD RTG hardware.

frenchy2k1
Guest
frenchy2k1

AMD has not released any driver supporting Ray tracing, either through DXR or OpenGL/Vulkan.
(regardless on acceleration)

Until they do so, it will be very hard for people to run any standard ray tracing on an AMD card.
(someone would have to write what would amount to a DXR driver…)

tanker27
Guest
tanker27

Does the Lithium MOD still exist and can I get it for this updated version of QII? Oh the hours VRock and I spent in this game in college………

DoomGuy64
Guest
DoomGuy64

[quote<]Quake II also hasn't enjoyed the massive source-port love that its predecessor has[/quote<] No, but there are still some good ones out there like Quake2XP and the beserker port. [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK8j6GBQBYw[/url<] Both are great choices if you want to replay the game with HD graphics, and don't have a RTX card.

squeeb
Guest
squeeb

Yea. I run the Yamagi Q2 source port with a high resolution texture pack, it looks and runs great (with an OGG version of one of the greatest soundtracks ever).

The ray tracing tech is neat though.

windwalker
Guest
windwalker

17-18 fps when running it at 1280×720 on a [url=https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=118528<]GTX 1070[/url<].

techguy
Guest
techguy

Seems like those RT cores are pretty useful then if a 2060 is almost 10x faster:

[url<]https://wccftech.com/quake-2-rtx-is-out-and-what-kind-of-performance-you-can-expect/[/url<]

borzwazie
Guest
borzwazie

It runs and looks like crap on a GTX1080. Blurry, aliased, choppy. Honestly, Quake2XP looks better. If you’ve got a lower-end card, save your time and bandwidth.

Some of the effects are cool. I like the glow that the lights on the shotgun make, and it’s neat to be able to change the time of day.

ronch
Guest
ronch

Who would’ve imagined something like this happening today back in 1999??

YukaKun
Guest
YukaKun

Funny you mention that… I remember John Carmack talking about ID Tech 4, when DOOM III came out and he in fact made a mention to Ray Tracing and ID Tech being “friendly” for a future implementation of such a feature when hardware could catch up to it. I wish I could find the exact quote, but it may have been right before DOOM 3’s release.

So, there you have it. Not quite 1999, but this proves there’s always people looking far into the future of things.

Cheers!

ronch
Guest
ronch

You think he would be open to do RT on Wolfenstein 3D? I’m talking about the DOS title. Lol

NTMBK
Guest
NTMBK

I mean, ray-tracing has been the gold standard in rendering [i<]forever[/i<]. It's the logical, mathematically clean way of simulating light transport. It's just that raster effects are so much faster.

Krogoth
Guest
Krogoth

It is pure computing costs. Ray-tracing is a few orders of magnitude more expensive in computing cost versus rasterization.

The recent push for it in gaming usage patterns has more to do with cutting down on labor costs on the graphical artist side. It is getting to be very expensive and time-consuming to do all of the approximate tricks by hand.

ronch
Guest
ronch

Does this mean games with Ray Tracing will be cheaper to produce?

caconym
Guest
caconym

If you can assume 100% of your audience can run the raytracing, then yeah, a bit. Having worked in both pre-rendered animation and real-time games, I think the bigger labor cost is all the optimization work that has to happen for game assets. When I worked in pre-rendered animation, I never worried about how many texture maps I was using, how big my files were, how many polygons existed that would never be seen by the camera, etc … In games, all of that stuff matters, and in a big way, and it takes time to optimize things. Working in… Read more »

Spunjji
Guest
Spunjji

I thought the primary motivation was Nvidia wanting to continue selling increasingly expensive hardware to consumers, but I guess both can be true!

meerkt
Guest
meerkt

You mean 1997.

freebird
Guest
freebird

Yeah, I know what you mean… didn’t imagine this would happen either in 1999…
[url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6BXaGEuqxo[/url<]

DeadOfKnight
Guest
DeadOfKnight

I also didn’t imagine this would happen…
[url<]https://youtu.be/Uj1ykZWtPYI[/url<]

Kevin Sweeney
Member
Kevin Sweeney

It wasn’t clear back then that raster was going to win. I think there was plenty of speculation that ray tracing would be the (near) future.

I’m still not sold on RT taking over. I have a 2080 Ti but I’m not sure if I had an RT game I’d pay the huge penalty for it.

I can only imagine how much faster an RTX card would be if they traded the RT die space for more raster. Would a 2060 perform in raster more like a 2080?

Krogoth
Guest
Krogoth

This is more of a Quake II HD mod mixed with Ray-tracing. The textures and models are updated (the models are Quake3 level). The previous path-finding/ray-tracing mods used original Quake 2 assets.

RAGEPRO
Guest
RAGEPRO

The weapon models are updated, but the character models aren’t (nor are the characters’ hands).

Krogoth
Guest
Krogoth

The hands on weapon viewmodel are updated. The characters are updated (mostly fixing glitches on the stock models) nothing too drastic.

DPete27
Guest
DPete27

Nvidia: Brightens up dark areas
Lemurs: OOOOHHHH!!! Ray Tracing!!!!

RAGEPRO
Guest
RAGEPRO

You’re not actually implying that this isn’t using ray-tracing, are you?

DPete27
Guest
DPete27

No no. I can obviously see the ray traced stuff. But just like the Metro Exodus footage, they “lipstick” their ray tracing demos by changing the scene brightness. Almost like they’re trying to convey that, without ray tracing, your world is dark.

They’ve clearly gone though the trouble of adding textures and changing the brightness (which is independent of ray tracing), so I’d rather have an apples-to-apples comparison with RT on/off.

techguy
Guest
techguy

Try looking at screenshots that actually have dark areas. They are definitely DARK. NV did not just arbitrarily up the brightness, it should be brighter in all the scenes showcased in the screenshots in this article. Here’s a quote from the article I linked earlier: Quake 2 RTX does feature the ability to change time of day as well as which world the maps take place on, I’ve included a few screenshots below from the same time of day (dusk) just to show the difference the type of sky can make. This is useful for those who felt the change… Read more »

danny e.
Guest
danny e.

Obviously, he’s pointing out that they brightened everything to the extreme so that things would look different.
Not a good comparison. Side by side the brightness is the most noticeable diff.

jihadjoe
Guest
jihadjoe

I mean back when it came out Quake II was all sorts of awesome because the projectiles were casting lights. That’s pretty much spot-on for ray tracing, and seeing that same effect done in Q2 RTX is like seeing an old trick executed with a degree of perfection we’ve never seen before.

danny e.
Guest
danny e.

Truth

Chrispy_
Guest
Chrispy_

I’m not sure why you’re being downvoted so hard. Nvidia have definitely messed with the light balance to accentuate the raytracing. Yes, all the lighting is realtime raytracing which is *cool* but the biggest visual difference is actually the change in light levels. Q2’s default OpenGL brightness, and gamma settings were awful, so any veteran Q2 player likely altered those settings themselves via config file and console commands. I certainly did and I wasn’t even that technical back in those days…. The RTX version’s default brightness and gamma closely match how I have my (21-year old) config files set in… Read more »

techguy
Guest
techguy

It’s a different skybox. You have the option to change it back.

The article from wccftech goes over this.

[url<]https://wccftech.com/quake-2-rtx-is-out-and-what-kind-of-performance-you-can-expect/[/url<] I quoted the relevant section once already: Quake 2 RTX does feature the ability to change time of day as well as which world the maps take place on, I’ve included a few screenshots below from the same time of day (dusk) just to show the difference the type of sky can make. This is useful for those who felt the change in the juxtaposition above and the video below didn’t really reflect the original atmosphere of the game since you can run with the original skybox and bring back that sensation.

DoomGuy64
Guest
DoomGuy64

Figured they changed it from what I’ve previously seen. Some people argued that was due to “being raytraced”, but it’s pretty obvious that the developers changed the lighting model beyond it’s original setting to overemphasize the effect. Something like @ 0:37 isn’t even possible with a normal planet/sun rotation. As for people saying it’s too bright, it’s not that the game looks “bright”, it’s that the lighting model looks like it is integrating some overblown HDR/Bloom effects along with raytracing, washing out bright areas like the above screenshots. Good techdemo, poor classic experience. The other ports have a better classic… Read more »

techguy
Guest
techguy

Did you take a look at the example screenshot from the wccftech article that’s been mentioned 18 million times now?

[url<comment image[/url<] Looks a lot closer to the original - thanks to the different skybox/time of day. Sure, the areas where light is coming in through the windows are a lot brighter than the original - but they should be as its more accurate.

DoomGuy64
Guest
DoomGuy64

If it really was that accurate, you shouldn’t have any dark areas where there is sunlight / light sources. For example, the first level where the silencer is, should be clearly visible from bouncing light. Maybe it does, but I haven’t played it. Realistic lighting doesn’t look like a camera lens, it looks like how light looks through your eyeballs. Therefore most of these lighting effects are overblown. God rays need a dusty environment, shadows should be more blurry, HDR/Bloom should be more toned down, etc. Your “eyes” should adjust to high/lower light and make things look clear regardless of… Read more »

Laykun
Guest
Laykun

Since when was ray tracing restricted to the realm of realism? It’s a game, it has an artistic direction, they followed their art direction during this remaster. Why is that a bad thing?

Redocbew
Guest
Redocbew

Yeah, the oversaturated look is another thing Quake helped to popularize. Take that away and it’s not really Quake anymore.

jihadjoe
Guest
jihadjoe

The light balance actually seems about right if you played Q2 on a Voodoo or Voodoo2 card back in the day. 3Dfx Glide was significantly brighter than OpenGL.

The rest is arguably ray-tracing. In real-life you rarely see hard dark shadows anywhere where there’s at least partial sunlight coming in, and there were plenty of those hard dark shadows in Quake 2 that are now a lot less hard with Q2 RTX.

drfish
Guest
drfish

Played around with it for 15mins or so, 2080 Ti held it above 60fps at all times and jumped into the high 70s @ 2560×1080 at default settings. The best part was watching my flare gun thing cast light and shadows as its projectiles traveled. It’s a shame the game starts out with you stuck underground, I would have liked to see the surface, but I can’t be bothered to find the blue key. 😛

DragonDaddyBear
Guest
DragonDaddyBear

I suddenly feel the urge to host a LAN party.

LoneWolf15
Guest
LoneWolf15

I remember getting a super deal on my Orchid Righteous 3D for $90 when other Voodoo cards were new and going for $299 because a vendor was worried the RAM on them was up to snuff (it was). That vendor was Onsale.com, and the moment my friends (and PC tech colleagues, back in 1996) saw me merge the files and play GLQuake for the first time (I had to bring my rig in to show them) they went out and bought cards themselves, one a Diamond Monster3D, one a Canopus (because it had a TV out, a unique feature). Good… Read more »

BigTed
Guest
BigTed

As soon as I saw a machine running 3D accelerated Half Life I bought a Righteous 3D 2 to compliment my Celeron 266. Yep, that was a truly exciting time in PC hardware.

christos_thski
Guest
christos_thski

Ahhh… the canopus pure3D. First thing that came to my mind when we got HDMI flatscreen tvs and could finally output PC content fer “free” was “I had never managed to buy a pure3d” 🙂

K-L-Waster
Guest
K-L-Waster

Buddy of mine had a Canopus Pure3D. Which we, being barely out of our teens, insisted on calling the “Can’o’Pus.”

freebird
Guest
freebird

I bought a couple of those cards, but my “sin of pleasure” was Carmageddon with 3Dfx patch.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This