Cyberpunk 2077: Raytracing and DLSS
Our special is about the graphics of Cyberpunk 2077, specifically about ray tracing. This is about the optics, whereby we have prepared larger slider-image comparisons, but have also placed two images directly on this page on which we offer a comparison. Of course, there is also the question of what performance ray tracing can cost. But we also look at Nvidia's DLSS, which is supposed to relieve the hardware with AI information.
A PC with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 was actually planned for our special – but the PC was unfortunately misdirected in the Christmas hustle and bustle of a large logistics provider and did not arrive in time for the editorial deadline.
Source: Screenshot Antonio Funes
As an alternative, we used a PC with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super, which is in no way inferior to an RTX 3000 graphics card in terms of its graphic end result, since it also masters Nvidia's ray tracing. Of course, the resulting FPS values (frames per second) are significantly lower than with one of the new RTX 3000 models, especially than with the RTX 3090. We will deliver the values for the latter card as soon as the PC has reached us and we can also carry out the tests on this PC.
Ray tracing – why it costs a lot of performance
Ray tracing traces rays that enter the 3D scene from the camera. There is one ray for each pixel that later appears on the monitor. As soon as such a beam hits an object, based on its material, color, light and other aspects, the color of the corresponding pixel is calculated.
But that's not all: it is also considered where the beam is reflected. There, too, it is checked when and what type of object is next in the way. This also takes into account influences from objects and light sources that cannot be seen at all in the later image. Ray tracing can therefore make the end result look very realistic – but it also requires a lot of power. In the case of 3D methods for games, the graphics are calculated much more simply, and for more realism there are often tricks that are not entirely realistic or physically correct, but save a lot of computing power.
Source: Screenshot Antonio Funes
Nvidia's RTX technology has made it possible for game developers to incorporate ray tracing into games since the release of the 2000 generation RTX graphics cards. However, this is not about raytracing the entire 3D scene. Despite the specialized modules of the RTX graphics cards, it would still be far too expensive to achieve enough frames per second for gaming. But the game developers can use ray tracing for certain additional effects, for example for a more correct shadow calculation, a realistic surrounding obscuration or more realistic reflections. All of this potentially enables an improvement in the atmosphere, although it is often only in a direct comparison of screenshots that it becomes apparent what exactly ray tracing does differently.
As part of our special, we look at some comparison images with activated and without ray tracing, but of course we also check how much performance it costs to use ray tracing. Especially with the Nvidia GeForce RXT 2060 Super that we use, you don't need to be a prophet to predict that it will cost a lot of performance. Because the graphics card is, apart from the normal RTX 2060, the weakest model from Nvidia in terms of ray tracing, and has fewer ray tracing cores than the RTX 2070 and stronger 2000 models as well as the models in the new RTX 3000 series. Offers. The second topic will be all the more interesting for us: DLSS, which we will also take on after the topic of ray tracing.
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