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At Gamescom, CEO Jensen Huang an­nounced Nvidia’s new­est gen­er­a­tion graph­ics card line-up. Ten years in the mak­ing, Tur­ing, the suc­ces­sor to the Pas­cal mi­croar­chi­tec­ture is fi­nally ready and it’s so good that Nvidia is re­brand­ing the iconic GTX, to RTX. Why, you may ask? Be­cause the R stands for ray-trac­ing, which is what Tur­ing en­ables and ac­cel­er­ates for the first time in real-time.

The Tur­ing ar­chi­tec­ture con­tains RT (ray trac­ing) cores to cal­cu­late light­ing rays in a scene. These RT cores are so fast that they can out­put some 10 Giga Rays per sec­ond (GR/s) on the high­est end RTX card. Com­pared to a GTX 1080 Ti’s mere 1.21 GR/s. Util­is­ing this in game en­gines isn’t an all ray-traced af­fair though, it’ll re­quire us­ing Nvidia’s spe­cial ray-trac­ing frame­work to en­able and will even then be a hy­brid ras­ter­iz­ing and ray-trac­ing af­fair. Twenty-one up­com­ing game ti­tles are al­ready im­ple­ment­ing this in­clud­ing Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Bat­tle­field V, the demos of which were stun­ning.

An­other fea­ture shown off for the first time was with the Un­real En­gine 4 In­fil­tra­tor demo. Run­ning at 4K a GTX 1080 Ti ran it in the mid 30fps. A Tur­ing pow­ered card ran the demo at 4K with a new anti-alias­ing tech­nique en­abled called DLSS (Deep Learn­ing Su­per-Sam­pling). The Tur­ing pow­ered bench­mark ran the demo at 78fps, a solid dou­bling over the cur­rent king of gam­ing GPUs! Impressive.

As the new anti-alias­ing tech­nique above im­plies, the RTX cards also have ded­i­cated sil­i­con for AI, called Ten­sor cores. Com­bined with Nvidia’s new NGX neu­ral frame­work, on the fly AI work can be done on the out­put of frames to en­hance or al­ter the im­age in var­i­ous ways.

The fi­nal ma­jor im­prove­ment in Tur­ing’s ar­chi­tec­ture is that the shaders are now vari­able rate ca­pa­ble, mean­ing shad­ing re­sources can be bet­ter al­lo­cated to richly de­tailed ar­eas and less so for lightly details ar­eas, ef­fec­tively giv­ing a speed up just by be­ing able to al­lo­cate re­sources bet­ter.

To the hard­ware it­self, there were three cards an­nounced:

While ap­ples-to-ap­ples gam­ing per­for­mance wasn’t shown, go­ing off the TFLOPS rat­ings alone we can sur­mise the RTX 2080 Ti should be around 25% faster than a GTX 1080 Ti, the RTX 2080 should match a GTX 1080 Ti and the RTX 2070 should match a GTX 1070 Ti.

Founde’rs Edi­tion (FE) cards are avail­able for pre-or­der now via Nvidia’s web­site. While they all have a mark-up above RRP, they come fac­tory over­clocked by some 90MHz above stock. FE cards also come with a new dual fan de­sign paired to a vapour cham­ber that’s twice as large as the 10 se­ries ver­sion, im­prov­ing both noise and tem­per­a­ture met­rics.

Ex­pect gen­eral avail­abil­ity from Septem­ber 20th.

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