Nvidia has revealed its new line of GeForce RTX graphics card and they already look more powerful than the next gen consoles.
The Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are due out in just a couple of months’ time but even at launch they’re not going to be the most powerful games machines on the planet, not after the announcement of Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090 graphics cards.
Epic Games has talked about how the PlayStation 5’s SSD is faster than any PC equivalent but in terms of graphics there’s not really any comparison for it or the Xbox Series X, especially after seeing last night’s suite of ray-tracing demos for big-name games.
Although the RTX 3090 is the most powerful (and expensive) card the mid-range RTX 3080 is half the price of the currently top-end RTX 2080Ti and yet twice as powerful. Even the RTX 3070 is more powerful than the 2080Ti, so none of these are minor upgrades.
Although direct comparisons are difficult, especially at this stage, a high-end PC with a RTX 2080Ti card is expected to be roughly equivalent to an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5, so you’re looking at new PCs being significantly more powerful than any of the next gen consoles.
At almost £1,500 for the 3090, that power doesn’t come cheap if you want the absolute state-of-the-art, with even the 3070 being roughly equivalent to the price of a next gen console (presumably, since of course Microsoft and Sony haven’t announced their prices yet).
As well as being generally more powerful all three cards also have a dedicated ray-tracing core in their GPUs, which enables games to use the feature without taking too much of a hit on other performance areas such as frame rate.
The 3090 – which is intended for professional video editing just as much as it is gaming – will be able to do all this and output at 8K, which is well beyond the capabilities of the next gen consoles.
The three cards will begin to release this month, with the following prices:
- GeForce RTX 3070: £469 (October)
- GeForce RTX 3080: £649 (17 September)
- GeForce RTX 3090: £1,399 (24 September)
If you don’t have a fetish for technical specifications though the only thing that really matters is what this means for games and how they look, something that Nvidia clearly realise as they had tech demos ready to go for a number of top games.
The Cyberpunk 2077 one, for example, features ray-traced reflections and shadows, diffuse illumination, ambient occlusion, and DLSS (deep learning super sampling) 2.0 support.
The one for Fortnite (which isn’t normally regarded as a graphical powerhouse but is, of course, made by Unreal Engine creators Epic Games) features ray-traced reflections, shadows, global illumination, and ambient occlusion. It also boasts AI-powered DLSS and will be one of the first games to support Nvidia Reflex to reduce system latency.
The ray-tracing options will be available for the PC version in all of Fortnite’s modes but there’s also be a special new Creative mode map called RTX Treasure Run, that’s been specifically designed to show off the effects and will be added this season.
And finally, Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will also support ray-tracing, with its demo having the added bonus of featuring new sequences not seen in previous trailers.
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