Earlier this week, we reviewed Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060. Priced at £330/€370/$350, it is the primary mainstream graphics card to hit the market with {hardware} ray tracing assist. Proper now, it is early days for RT expertise and preliminary demos steered that even the top-end RTX 2080 Ti may solely run ray tracing with a giant decision or efficiency hit – so what probability would the considerably cut-down RTX 2060 have? The excellent news is that BF5’s RT efficiency has improved dramatically, and preliminary exams produced some promising outcomes on the RTX 2060 at full extremely settings. Body-rates had been nonetheless extremely variable although, and what we needed was one thing extra bold – a completely locked 1080p60 expertise with RT options enabled. The excellent news is, it can be achieved.

Earlier than we go on, it is value stating that we’re really testing the RTX 2060 on the present model of Battlefield 5, not the up to date model due quickly, which incorporates assist for Nvidia’s DLSS (deep-learning super-sampling) and maybe additional ray tracing optimisations. Certainly, what makes testing on the present construct so intriguing is that there is each probability that DICE might not have even had the prospect to check the cut-down RTX 2060 in any respect – in any case, the present BF5 runtime dates again to December fifth 2018. This will clarify among the challenges I confronted operating the sport on the brand new Nvidia card.

In the course of the evaluation interval, I examined the sport operating at 1080p on full extremely settings, together with extremely high quality DXR ray tracing, with a ballpark 50fps delivered throughout the marketing campaign. Nonetheless, intrusive stutter mars the expertise, whereas efficiency can fluctuate from a recorded 35fps minimal proper as much as the 80s. My intention in returning to Battlefield 5 with the RTX 2060 was to convey up these minimums to 60fps, whereas sustaining as a lot of the constancy of the absolutely enabled expertise as attainable. You possibly can see the complete course of in reaching this on the video embedded on this web page, however suffice to say, the tweaks required upended among the preconceptions I had in tuning for efficiency on PC titles – and it is indicative of the added challenges that ray tracing might convey to recreation growth.

The very first thing I seen about Battlefield 5 operating absolutely maxed on the RTX 2060 is the sheer quantity of reminiscence ray tracing requires. System reminiscence noticed the sport occupying round 11-12GB, whereas 5.5GB to five.7GB of the RTX 2060’s VRAM framebuffer is consumed by the sport – fairly astonishing for a 1080p output. Though the 6GB framebuffer within the card by no means registered as maxed, the proof does recommend that a number of of the problems I confronted in tweaking the sport had been associated to reminiscence.

Sure, RTX 2060 can ship Battlefield 5’s ray-traced visuals at 1080p60 – however some tweaks are required.

To begin with, there’s the stutter. Body-time lurches to 80-100ms disrupted the circulation of the sport and it is one thing I’ve solely ever seen earlier than attempting to run Battlefield 1 on a VRAM-constrained GTX 1050 2GB. Secondly, there was the shortage of repeatability in benchmark runs – it appeared to be the case that the longer I ran the sport, the extra efficiency degraded, and the extra I tweaked settings, the extra doubtless I used to be to see a protracted drop in frame-rate – which could possibly be mitigated to a sure extent just by restarting the sport.

As soon as I realised that reminiscence on the GPU was a possible problem (RTX 2060 has 2GB lower than its stablemate primarily based on the absolutely enabled model of similar processor), I had two methods to convey Battlefield 5 efficiency to a different degree – by lowering the VRAM requirement by dropping from extremely textures to excessive (hardly a catastrophe when operating at 1080p) and secondly, by paring again the DXR setting from extremely to medium. Restarting the sport delivered a easy, locked 60 frames per second with lovely ray traced results – in step with claims made by Nvidia in its reviewers’ information for the RTX 2060.

So what do you lose by dropping DXR from extremely to medium? There are two compromises. To begin with, the decision of RT-reflected surfaces drops. Secondly, whether or not surfaces obtain ray tracing or not is tied to their roughness – extra surfaces obtain ray traced protection on extremely. The decision problem is not that noticeable, and it takes some cherry-picked scenes to focus on the drop-off in floor protection. Nonetheless, the principle view weapon on-screen does lack RT protection at medium, which is a disgrace. The underside line although: some compromise is inevitable, given the truth that we’re coping with a GPU that is a 3rd of the value of the RTX 2080 Ti, with round half of the ray tracing energy. However you’ll be able to nonetheless get a correctly ray traced expertise, and you may run persistently at 60fps (although I discovered that overclocking was required for an ideal lock) and that is earlier than the following patch arrives, which can nicely tackle the RTX 2060 extra straight.

How highly effective is Nvidia’s new RTX 2060 typically? This is our full evaluation of the brand new product.

Additional efficiency optimisations could also be included after all, however what we do know for certain is that the patch additionally contains assist for Nvidia’s DLSS expertise – which takes a decrease precision picture and makes use of a deep studying algorithm to reconstruct the picture to a better decision. Just one recreation helps it thus far – Closing Fantasy 15 – and it is solely supported at 4K decision. Nvidia has launched benchmarks suggesting that DLSS may even be supported at 1080p for Battlefield 5, so additional RT constancy may come, on the expense of no matter picture high quality hit DLSS has over commonplace rendering.

For what it is value, on Battlefield 5, I discovered that the RTX 2060 operating extremely DXR at 900p produced efficiency broadly equal to medium DXR at 1080p. Suffice to say, we’ll be DLSS and the Battlefield 5 patch as quickly as we will – mitigating the efficiency hit of RT with reconstruction applied sciences is a logical use of the Turing structure’s capabilities.

There are some additional takeaways from the Battlefield 5 RTX expertise, and a few of them are paying homage to the arrival of Crysis again in 2008. The significance of VRAM is a consideration right here. Identical to Crytek’s epic again within the day, the arrival of recent expertise comes with massive hikes in system necessities – the proof of our testing does recommend that overloading framebuffer reminiscence is well doable at 1080p, and requires some tweaks. I am hoping that improved reminiscence administration to assist the RTX 2060 makes its manner into the brand new patch. There are different concerns too – system RAM necessities are bigger (although 16GB is okay for Battlefield 5) and the load on the CPU can also be increased too.

In abstract, even with out Battlefield 5’s new patch in place, it is attainable with two simple tweaks to get a great ray traced expertise from Nvidia’s most cost-effective RTX card. When you’d advised us that this was the case again at Gamescom final yr, the place we had been at 1080p60 on the way more succesful RTX 2080 Ti, we would not have believed it attainable – however that is the place we’re. Outcomes is probably not as spectacular on different titles – we simply do not know but – however aggressive optimisation from DICE and driver enhancements have delivered an evening and day enchancment to BF5’s RT efficiency, and within the course of, ensured that Nvidia’s extra budget-friendly RTX graphics card can nonetheless ship next-gen visuals at a easy frame-rate.

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