loading ECHOGEAR top products  Loading... Please wait...

Blog

What Is Ray Tracing & Why You Should Care About NVIDIA Turing GPUs

Posted by

Ray traced gaming graphics

source: YouTube


NVIDIA's new GPU has been all up in the news lately and is being called the "Holy Grail" of the gaming industry. For the casual gamer (hi) watching the 30-minute presentation to understand it might be overkill. Lucky for you, I got paid to do it at work in order to write this blog. So here is what you need to know about NVIDIA's new GPU, ray tracing, and why you should give a damn. There's even a bonus prize if you stick around to the end. Just consider me your personal Indiana Jones exploring the alleged Holy Grail of gaming, the NVIDIA Turing GPU.


Turing GPU explained



1. What Is Ray Tracing?

In computer graphics, getting accurate global lighting in real-time gameplay is pretty much impossible. In today's games, scenes are built using rasterization. That means the image is built pixel by pixel using geometry, proximity to other items, and the physics of the scene to create lighting effects. Layering in new tech like ambient occlusion (a topic for another day) can increase the depth of a scene, but the results just don't feel lifelike. Our brains deal with the physics of light all day long, and it's easy to tell when it's not accurate. Hence the major difference between video games and movies with CGI. While movies are able to use global lighting, consoles and computers just aren't fast enough to do it in real-time.

In the simple words of NVIDIA's CEO Jensen Huang, here's why lighting is so important in graphics:

"The reflections have to look right, the materials have to be physically based, so when light strikes it, it makes the right appearance."

Sounds stunningly simple right? Not so fast. It takes an incredible amount of computing power to accurately display light.

Ray tracing is the best technology we have to do this. In an attempt to create global illumination, where objects react to light exactly how they would in the real world, computers cast "rays" of light and trace their path to a light source. That means casting billions of light rays from the "camera" or your point of view when playing a video game. Each of these light rays acts like a real-life light photon and the computer calculates how items should be displayed. Rays can bounce off other objects, be refracted, or absorbed based on the material it hits. Ray tracing creates insanely accurate lighting in computer-generated images and is currently used to render movie scenes. But here's the problem, those scenes take hours or even days to render, making global illumination via ray tracing impossible for video games...until now. Check out the type of amazing, life-like lighting effects the new NVIDIA Turing GPU is capable of:






2. Why Does NVIDIA's New GPU Matter?

With all the computing power it takes to get true global illumination, it has been limited to movies and cut-scenes, not any actual gameplay. With NVIDIA's new Quadro RTX Turing GPU architecture, global illumination in real-time graphics is now a possibility.

This technology was thought to be 5-10 years from becoming reality, but NVIDIA was able to speed that up by creating a chip architecture that is 6x faster than it's previous Pascal GPU. How were they able to speed it up that much in regards to ray tracing? By layering the worlds first ray tracing GPU with an AI model that can be trained to take a lower resolution image and generate a final image at a much higher quality. I'll pretend I just don't have time to explain more about how the tech works, but really it just doesn't make 100% sense to my brain. But who cares, it works and looks bomb:





Does that mean the next Battlefield game will have insane new lighting effects? No. This GPU is now available for developers, but it'll be at least a few years before any of this makes its way into commercial gaming applications. But hey, we gotta start somewhere.

The Quadro RTX Turing chip will make waves in industries outside of gaming as well. Rendering film quality video takes a ton of time and computing power. Entire "render farms" are dedicated to processing video scenes. With the new NVIDIA RTX 8 CPU Server, rendering time can but cut from hours to minutes. At 1/4th of the cost, using 1/10th of the space, and consuming 1/11th of the power, it'll completely change how filmmakers are able to edit & process video. In the image below, the top is a small section of classic render farm, and underneath that is the same amount of computing power, but with the new NVIDIA RTX.


Render Farm Comparison

source: YouTube



In addition to sick new video games and faster film creation, it might someday make new buildings more beautiful. Random, right? Architectural engineers and designers can use the GPU to create objects in solid works, and instantly place them in an environment with real-world lighting to get a way better feel for how the building will actually look. I sit right by our Echogear engineers, so I felt obliged to add this to the blog. Hopefully they'll like me more now. They get sick of all the Machine Gun Kelly that I play.


Solid Works Example

source: YouTube



3. What Does It Mean For You?

Right now? Not much. The new chips will help developers start to build global illumination into games, but you'll still need the console or PC horsepower to run them. An Xbox One is like a 96' Lumina, and you'll need a Ferrari to run these graphics. That means waiting for 2 more generations of consoles before real-time full-scene ray tracing is a thing. Kind of a bummer, but just stay alive for a few more years and your gaming experience will be taken to the next level. Lay off the McDonalds McGriddles and eat a few carrots and you should be fine. I'm pretty good at the board game Operation, so you can pretty much take my medical advice as fact.

If the future of gaming has you all jacked up to upgrade your current PC setup, then we've got news, and a shameless plug for you. Adding an Echogear monitor mount to your setup can help save desk space, perfectly align up to 3 screens, and just make you look like an overall badass like Balla' Brad. With his knock-off designer watch, flowing strawberry blond locks, and Echogear monitor mount, he's the harbinger of value and style. Try to be more like Balla' Brad.

As a "thanks my dude" for reading this article, take 10% off an Echogear monitor mount on Amazon with promo code RAYTRACE. Playing on a console? We didn't forget about you. The code will work for those too. Our TV mounts & stands are some of the highest rated on Amazon and will make your next Fortnite binge better. Hit us up if you want to squad up. I'll hide in a bush the whole time, but we can have a nice chat.


Echogear monitor mount demo



View Comments


Best PC Gaming Accessory: Monitor Mounts

I get it, when you think of gaming accessories you're imagining some cool speakers or a mechanical keyboard. But, something most gamers don't think about is adding a monitor mount to their setup. Hear me out, mounting your monitor gives you nearly infinite monitor adjustments for more comfortable and longer gaming sessions. On top of [...]

Read More »


The Fortnite Battle Royale Beginners Guide

Fornite has taken the gaming world by storm. Pun intended (you'll get that later). Everyone is playing this game because of the free beta modes and unique gameplay. Fortnite is super fun with a simple concept but does have a learning curve. From the 3rd person view to building structures, this isn't your average pick [...]

Read More »


The Ultimate COD WW2 Loadout - Resistance Class Is the GOAT

First off let me say, COD's community events have been an awesome addition to the series. Releasing new weapons, classes, and unlockables for free keeps players coming back for more. It also just so happens that the newly released Resistance class is the best, and most fun class I've come across. It fits a run-n-gun [...]

Read More »


Gaming Setup Ideas: 5 Ways To Play Longer

Keeping your body comfortable is one of the keys to a great gaming binge. Nothing throws off your aim like a sore neck, tired wrist, or foggy brain. Get the most from your gaming sessions by optimizing your battlestation for extended play. In addition to gaming longer, you'll also get a healthier body, a pretty [...]

Read More »


Our Favorite Tech At CES 2018

Fueled by overpriced breakfast and big glasses of iced tea, we walked over 100,000 steps at CES this year, all in the name of showing you our favorite new tech. Did we see all the products at CES? No. But we found some pretty damn cool stuff. We focused on things you might actually buy [...]

Read More »


Top Gaming Accessories At CES 2018

Between watching Shaq play Street Fighter (terribly), and blasting zombies in a wireless VR environment, gaming accessories were out in full force at CES 2018. In fact, the only thing there was more of is drones. So. Many. Drones. If you've never been to CES, it is massive, so we while we definitely didn't get [...]

Read More »


What Is The Echogear Blog? Watch The Video.

Here at Echogear, we like the internet. What better way to celebrate that then to bring you a delicious mashup of tech, gaming, memes, and more.

Read More »


Which Call Of Duty WW2 Weapons Are The Most Fun?

This is a follow-up to my previous Best Loadout For COD WW2 post. That one was all business picking the best weapons, perks, and tactics to get a respectable KD to avoid throwing your controller through the TV. But let's be honest, unless you are on a competitive eSports team, you play video games for [...]

Read More »


Best Cheap Gaming Monitors To Buy In 2018

As we grind toward 2020, which stills seems like a fake futuristic year, good gaming monitors are getting more affordable. Now, affordable is a relative term, but I think it's safe to say $200-$300 is cheap compared to some of the top-tier $1,500 screens out there. While these lower priced screens won't have all the [...]

Read More »



CONTACT US: 7 DAYS A WEEK

WE LIKE TO TALK, A LOT

855-428-2490 LET'S CHAT EMAIL

MON-FRI
8am – 9pm CDT
SAT-SUN
10:30am – 7pm CDT

Need to know the latest deets?
Sign up and be our friend.