MSI Updates Gaming & Creator Laptops With 9th Gen Intel CPUs & RTX 20-Series Graphics

Subject: Mobile | April 23, 2019 - 09:51 AM |
Tagged: rtx, msi, gaming laptop, 9th generation core

Alongside ASUS and others this morning, MSI has announced its own gaming laptop updates featuring the new 9th Gen Intel Core Mobile Processors. In addition, MSI has also updated its GT, GS, GE, GP, GL, and GF series laptops with RTX 20-series and GTX 16-series GPU options.

Details from MSI's press release:

  • GT Titan - Heralded for its incomparable performance, the GT Titan now rocks an overclockable i9 processor, stunning 4K UHD display, Cooler Boost Titan, dual fans, and 11 cooling pipes.
  • GS Stealth - A nimble assassin, the GS Stealth can now be outfitted with a 9th Gen Intel® Core™ i9 processor and any NVIDIA GPU to highlight it’s 240Hz display, from the GeForce RTX™ 2080 with Max-Q design to a GTX 1660 Ti.
  • GE Raider- Tailored for gaming enthusiast and designed to give gamers the ideal experience in both aesthetics and performance, the GE Raider can now also be armed with an 9th Gen Intel® Core™ i9 processor.
  • GP75 Leopard - A true gaming laptop in disguise, the GP75 Leopard now sports a per-key RGB keyboard by SteelSeries.
  • GL73 and GL63 - The ultimate accessible gaming laptops, the GL73 and GL63 now come with per-key RGB keyboard and a variety of GPUS, from the RTX to the GTX 16 Series.
  • GF Thin - Winner of the 2019 IF Design Award, the GF Thin Series is now even more compact and lightweight, allowing for true gaming mobility.

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Beyond gaming, MSI's "Creator" lineup of laptops have also been upgraded to feature Intel 9th Gen processors and RTX graphics. There's also a new 17-inch model of the P65 Creator: the P75 Creator. Both models sport 4K displays and up to Core i9 9th Gen processors.

Specific pricing for each configuration is not yet available but the updated MSI Gaming and Creator laptops are starting to roll out to retailers like Amazon and Newegg today.

Source: MSI

NVIDIA Releases Ray Tracing Driver for GeForce GTX Cards, New Ray-Tracing Demos

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 11, 2019 - 09:02 AM |
Tagged: turing, rtx, ray tracing, pascal, nvidia, gtx, graphics, gpu, geforce, dxr, demo

NVIDIA has released the Game Ready Driver 425.31 WHQL which enables ray tracing for GeForce GTX graphics cards - a capability previously reserved for the company's RTX series of graphics cards. This change "enables millions more gamers with GeForce GTX GPUs to experience ray tracing for the first time ever", as the list of DXR-capable graphics cards from NVIDIA has grown considerably as of today.

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The list of NVIDIA GPUs that are DXR-capable now includes (in addition to the RTX series):

  • GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
  • GeForce GTX 1660
  • NVIDIA TITAN Xp (2017)
  • NVIDIA TITAN X (2016)
  • GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • GeForce GTX 1080
  • GeForce GTX 1070 Ti
  • GeForce GTX 1070
  • GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
  • Laptops with equivalent Pascal and Turing-architecture GPUs

NVIDIA previously warned of a performance deficit when comparing even high-end Pascal GPUs such as the GTX 1080 Ti to the Turing-based RTX 20-series GPUs when this driver update was discussed during GTC, and their position is that for the best experience dedicated ray tracing cores will be required, and will make a measurable impact - with or without DLSS (a feature that requires the RT cores of the RTX series of GPUs).

"With dedicated RT cores, GeForce RTX GPUs provide up to 2-3x faster performance in ray-traced games, enabling more effects, higher ray counts, and higher resolutions for the best experience. With this new driver however, GeForce GTX 1060 6GB and higher GPUs can execute ray-tracing instructions on traditional shader cores, giving gamers a taste, albeit at lower RT quality settings and resolutions, of how ray tracing will dramatically change the way games are experienced."

In addition to the driver release which enables the visual goodies associated with real-time ray tracing, NVIDIA has also released a trio of tech demos on GeForce.com which you can freely download to check out ray tracing first hand on GTX and RTX graphics cards. Not only will these demos give you a taste of what you might expect from games that incorporate DXR features, but like any good demo they will help users get a sense of how their system might handle these effects.

The demos released include, via NVIDIA:

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Atomic Heart RTX tech demo - Atomic Heart tech demo is a beautifully detailed tech demo from Mundfish that features ray traced reflections and shadows, as well as NVIDIA DLSS technology.

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Justice tech demo - Justice tech demo hails from China, and features ray traced reflections, shadows, and NVIDIA DLSS technology.  It is the first time that real time ray tracing has been used for caustics.

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Reflections tech demo - The Reflections tech demo was created by Epic Games in collaboration with ILMxLAB and NVIDIA. Reflections offers a sneak peek at gaming’s cinematic future with a stunning, witty demo that showcases ray-traced reflections, ray-traced area light shadows, ray-traced ambient occlusion for characters and NVIDIA DLSS technology.

The download page for the tech demos can be found here.

And now to editorialize briefly, I'll point out that one of the aspects of the RTX launch that did not exactly work to NVIDIA's advantage was (obviously) the lack of software to take advantage of their hardware ray tracing capabilities and DLSS, with just a few high-profile titles to date offering support. By adding the previous generation of GPUs to the mix users now have a choice, and the new demos are a big a part of the story, too. Looking back to the early days of dedicated 3D accelerators the tech demo has been an integral part of the GPU experience, showcasing new features and providing enthusiasts with a taste of what a hardware upgrade can provide. The more demos showcasing the effects possible with NVIDIA's ray tracing hardware available, the more Pascal GPU owners will have the ability to check out these features on their own systems without making a purchase of any kind, and if they find the effects compelling it just might drive sales of the RTX 20-series in the endless quest for better performance. It really should have been this way from the start, but at least it has been corrected now - to the benefit of the consumer.

Source: NVIDIA

Math with Maxwell and Turing

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 4, 2019 - 02:23 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, maxwell, rtx, gtx 960, gtx 1660, RTX 2060, turing

TechSpot decided to test out NVIDIA's claims that the GTX 1660 is 113% faster than the old GTX 960, which is still sitting in the top five for most used GPUs on the Steam charts.  They tested Apex Legends, The Division 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and many other games at 1080p as that is what these cards were designed for and then compiled the results.  Wolfenstein II:TNC showed the most improvement with 177% while Middle Earth Shadow of War sat at the bottom with a mere 54% jump with the overall average hitting 117%. 

Not a bad upgrade choice, though as they point out the RX 580 8GB is a strong contender for GTX 960 users as well.

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"When we recently tested the new GeForce GTX 1660 we noted that Nvidia was making a bold claim in the review guide saying that the 1660 was a whopping 113% faster than the GTX 960, making it a perfect upgrade option for owners of the old mid-range Maxwell GPU."

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Source: TechSpot

Anthem Patch 1.0.4 Adds NVIDIA DLSS and Highlights Support

Subject: Graphics Cards | March 26, 2019 - 10:48 AM |
Tagged: update, rtx, ray tracing, patch 1.0.4, patch, nvidia, geforce, ea, DLSS, BioWare, anthem

Patch 1.0.4 for Anthem was released by BioWare/EA today which addresses a number of issues and adds features including two specific to GeForce graphics card users, namely DLSS and NVIDIA Highlights support.

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The DLSS (deep learning super-sampling) feature is exclusive to RTX 20-series GPUs, providing performance gains of up to 40% with real-time ray tracing enabled according to NVIDIA, who provides this video of DLSS off vs. on in the game (embedded below):

NVIDIA offers this chart showing performance gains with the range of RTX cards with DLSS enabled:

anthem-nvidia-dlss-4k-performance.png

NVIDIA Highlights support is available to users of GeForce Experience, and this feature allows the automatic capture of gameplay clips and screenshots in certain situations. BioWare/EA lists the supported scenarios for the feature:

  • Visiting and viewing overlooks
  • Defeating certain large creatures
  • Performing multi-kills
  • Defeating legendary creatures
  • Discovering the Tombs of the Legionnaires
  • Performing combos
  • When the player is downed by enemies
  • Defeating bosses

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The full Patch 1.0.4 release notes can be viewed here, and more information from NVIDIA about the new GeForce features for Anthem are available here.

Source: NVIDIA

GTC 19: NVIDIA Announces GameWorks RTX; Unreal Engine and Unity Gain DXR Support

Subject: General Tech | March 18, 2019 - 10:00 PM |
Tagged: gameworks, unreal engine, Unity, rtx, ray tracing, nvidia, GTC 19, GTC, dxr, developers

Today at GTC NVIDIA announced GameWorks RTX and the implementation of real-time ray tracing in the upcoming Unreal Engine 4.22 and the latest version of Unity, currently in 2019.03.

NVIDIA Announces GameWorks RTX

While Pascal and non-RTX Turing support for real-time ray tracing is something of a bombshell from NVIDIA, the creation of GameWorks tools for such effects is not surprising.

“NVIDIA GameWorks RTX is a comprehensive set of tools that help developers implement real time ray-traced effects in games. GameWorks RTX is available to the developer community in open source form under the GameWorks license and includes plugins for Unreal Engine 4.22 and Unity’s 2019.03 preview release.”

NVIDIA lists these components of GameWorks RTX:

GW_RTX.PNG

  • RTX Denoiser SDK – a library that enables fast, real-time ray tracing by providing denoising techniques to lower the required ray count and samples per pixel. It includes algorithms for ray traced area light shadows, glossy reflections, ambient occlusion and diffuse global illumination.
  • Nsight for RT – a standalone developer tool that saves developers time by helping to debug and profile graphics applications built with DXR and other supported APIs.

Unreal Engine and Unity Gaining Real-Time Ray Tracing Support

DXR_GAME_ENGINES.png

And while not specific to NVIDIA hardware, news of more game engines offering integrated DXR support was also announced during the keynote:

“Unreal Engine 4.22 is available in preview now, with final release details expected in Epic’s GDC keynote on Wednesday. Starting on April 4, Unity will offer optimized, production-focused, realtime ray tracing support with a custom experimental build available on GitHub to all users with full preview access in the 2019.03 Unity release. Real-time ray tracing support from other first-party AAA game engines includes DICE/EA’s Frostbite Engine, Remedy Entertainment’s Northlight Engine and engines from Crystal Dynamics, Kingsoft, Netease and others.”

RTX may have been off to a slow start, but this will apparently be the year of real-time ray tracing after all - especially with the upcoming NVIDIA driver update adding support to the GTX 10-series and new GTX 16-series GPUs.

Source: NVIDIA

NVIDIA to Add Real-Time Ray Tracing Support to Pascal GPUs via April Driver Update

Subject: Graphics Cards | March 18, 2019 - 09:41 PM |
Tagged: unreal engine, Unity, turing, rtx, ray tracing, pascal, nvidia, geforce, GTC 19, GTC, gaming, developers

Today at GTC NVIDIA announced a few things of particular interest to gamers, including GameWorks RTX and the implementation of real-time ray tracing in upcoming versions of both Unreal Engine and Unity (we already posted the news that CRYENGINE will be supporting real-time ray tracing as well). But there is something else... NVIDIA is bringing ray tracing support to GeForce GTX graphics cards.

DXR_GPUs.png

This surprising turn means that hardware RT support won’t be limited to RTX cards after all, as the install base of NVIDIA ray-tracing GPUs “grows to tens of millions” with a simple driver update next month, adding the feature to both to previous-gen Pascal and the new Turing GTX GPUs.

How is this possible? It’s all about the programmable shaders:

“NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPUs powered by Pascal and Turing architectures will be able to take advantage of ray tracing-supported games via a driver expected in April. The new driver will enable tens of millions of GPUs for games that support real-time ray tracing, accelerating the growth of the technology and giving game developers a massive installed base.

With this driver, GeForce GTX GPUs will execute ray traced effects on shader cores. Game performance will vary based on the ray-traced effects and on the number of rays cast in the game, along with GPU model and game resolution. Games that support the Microsoft DXR and Vulkan APIs are all supported.

However, GeForce RTX GPUs, which have dedicated ray tracing cores built directly into the GPU, deliver the ultimate ray tracing experience. They provide up to 2-3x faster ray tracing performance with a more visually immersive gaming environment than GPUs without dedicated ray tracing cores.”

A very important caveat is that “2-3x faster ray tracing performance” for GeForce RTX graphics cards mentioned in the last paragraph, so expectations will need to be tempered as RT features will be less efficient running on shader cores (Pascal and Turing) than they are with dedicated cores, as demonstrated by these charts:

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It's going to be a busy April.

Source: NVIDIA
Manufacturer: PC Perspective

AMD and NVIDIA GPUs Tested

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 launched over the weekend and we've been testing it out over the past couple of days with a collection of currently-available graphics cards. Of interest to AMD fans, this game joins the ranks of those well optimized for Radeon graphics, and with a new driver (Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.3.2) released over the weekend it was a good time to run some benchmarks and see how some AMD and NVIDIA hardware stack up.

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The Division 2 offers DirectX 11 and 12 support, and uses Ubisoft's Snowdrop engine to provide some impressive visuals, particularly at the highest detail settings. We found the "ultra" preset to be quite attainable with very playable frame rates from most midrange-and-above hardware even at 2560x1440, though bear in mind that this game uses quite a bit of video memory. We hit a performance ceiling at 4GB with the "ultra" preset even at 1080p, so we opted for 6GB+ graphics cards for our final testing. And while most of our testing was done at 1440p we did test a selection of cards at 1080p and 4K, just to provide a look at how the GPUs on test scaled when facing different workloads.

Tom Clancy's The Division 2

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Washington D.C. is on the brink of collapse. Lawlessness and instability threaten our society, and rumors of a coup in the capitol are only amplifying the chaos. All active Division agents are desperately needed to save the city before it's too late.

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Developed by Ubisoft Massive and the same teams that brought you Tom Clancy’s The Division, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is an online open world, action shooter RPG experience set in a collapsing and fractured Washington, D.C. This rich new setting combines a wide variety of beautiful, iconic, and realistic environments where the player will experience the series’ trademark for authenticity in world building, rich RPG systems, and fast-paced action like never before.

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Play solo or co-op with a team of up to four players to complete a wide range of activities, from the main campaign and adversarial PvP matches to the Dark Zone – where anything can happen.

Continue reading our preview of GPU performance with The Division 2

Crytek's Neon Noir is a Platform Agnostic Real-Time Ray Tracing Demo

Subject: General Tech | March 18, 2019 - 09:03 AM |
Tagged: vulkan, RX Vega 56, rtx, ray tracing, radeon, nvidia, Neon Noir, dx12, demo, crytek, CRYENGINE, amd

Crytek has released video of a new demo called Neon Noir, showcasing real-time ray tracing with a new version of CRYENGINE Total Illumination, slated for release in 2019. The big story here is that this is platform agnostic, meaning both AMD and NVIDIA (including non-RTX) graphics cards can produce the real-time lighting effects. The video was rendered in real time using an AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 (!) at 4K30, with Crytek's choice in GPU seeming to assuage fears of any meaningful performance penalty with this feature enabled (video embedded below):

“Neon Noir follows the journey of a police drone investigating a crime scene. As the drone descends into the streets of a futuristic city, illuminated by neon lights, we see its reflection accurately displayed in the windows it passes by, or scattered across the shards of a broken mirror while it emits a red and blue lighting routine that will bounce off the different surfaces utilizing CRYENGINE's advanced Total Illumination feature. Demonstrating further how ray tracing can deliver a lifelike environment, neon lights are reflected in the puddles below them, street lights flicker on wet surfaces, and windows reflect the scene opposite them accurately.”

Crytek is calling the new ray tracing features “experimental” at this time, but the implications of ray tracing tech beyond proprietary hardware and even graphics API (it works with both DirectX 12 and Vulcan) are obviously a very big deal.

crytek_demo.png

“Neon Noir was developed on a bespoke version of CRYENGINE 5.5., and the experimental ray tracing feature based on CRYENGINE’s Total Illumination used to create the demo is both API and hardware agnostic, enabling ray tracing to run on most mainstream, contemporary AMD and NVIDIA GPUs. However, the future integration of this new CRYENGINE technology will be optimized to benefit from performance enhancements delivered by the latest generation of graphics cards and supported APIs like Vulkan and DX12.”

You can read the full announcement from Crytek here.

Source: Crytek

A peek at MSI's new RTX powered laptops

Subject: General Tech | March 15, 2019 - 03:46 PM |
Tagged: msi, gaming laptop, rtx, E75 Raider RGB 8SG, GL73 8SE, GS75 Stealth 8SG, P75 Creator

Kitguru wasn't able to run benchmarks on MSI's four new laptops yet but they did get a chance to check them out and posted a video overview.  The E75 Raider RGB 8SG, GL73 8SE, GS75 Stealth 8SG, and P75 Creator all contain either a RTX 2060, 2070 or 2080 as well as an Intel Intel Core i7-8750H and a variety of NVMe storage options. 

Head on over for a tour.

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"Earlier in the week, I took a trip down to Leo’s studio where I was joined by Natalie McMorrow from MSI, who took us through an overview of some of the upcoming gaming laptops that MSI will have to offer. We also managed to get a sneak preview of a completely different type of laptop made specifically for content creators."

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Source: Kitguru

Need a new NVIDIA GPU but don't want to get Ti'd down in debt?

Subject: Graphics Cards | March 14, 2019 - 01:33 PM |
Tagged: video card, turing, rtx, nvidia, gtx 1660 ti, gtx 1660, gtx 1060, graphics card, geforce, GDDR5, gaming, 6Gb

Sebastian has given you a look at the triple slot EVGA GTX 1660 XC Black as well as the dual fan and dual slot MSI GTX 1660 GAMING X, both doing well in benchmarks especially when overclocked.  The new GTX 1660 does come in other shapes and sizes, like the dual slot, single fan GTX 1660 StormX OC 6G from Palit which The Guru of 3D reviewed.  Do not underestimate it because of its diminutive size, the Boost Clock is 1830MHz out of the box and with some tweaking will sit around 2070MHz and the GDDR5 pushed up to 9800MHz.

Check out even more models below.

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"We review a GeForce GTX 1660 that is priced spot on that 219 USD marker, the MSRP of the new non-Ti model, meet the petite Palit GeForce GTX 1660 StormX OC edition. Based on a big single fan and a small form factor you should not be fooled by its looks. It performs well on all fronts, including cooling acoustic levels."

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Source: Guru of 3D