How Excited Should You Be About NVIDIA's New GeForce RTX Cards?
HWM Singapore|October 2018

It all comes down to game developers.

Koh Wanzi

A small part of me expected NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 20-series cards to be something special. After all, it’s been over two years since NVIDIA released the GeForce GTX 1080 and its Pascal architecture, a lifetime when set against the frenetic cadence of yearly product refreshes. NVIDIA had to have been working on something special, right?

As it turns out, NVIDIA did deliver, sort of. At Gamescom 2018, the company unveiled the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, 2080, and 2070. While some thought that the Turing cards might have debuted under the 11-series name, NVIDIA decided to skip ahead to the 20-series. The choice of name is symbolic, and NVIDIA clearly intends to suggest that Turing GPUs are a generational leap and not an iterative upgrade.

The big new feature on Turing is something NVIDIA is calling RT cores, and they’re designed to accelerate something known as ray tracing. Ray tracing is more than just a way of simulating realistic lighting conditions and can be thought of as an alternative way of rendering models that is different from traditional rasterization techniques.

Put simply, ray tracing enables more accurate images than rasterization, but it requires a lot more computational power. Games that take advantage of RTX will be able to produce lighting and shadows that are truer to life, so game worlds look lusher and better than ever.

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