3DMark "Port Royal" DLSS Update Released

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 5, 2019 - 11:42 PM |
Tagged: rtx, nvidia, Futuremark, DLSS, 3dmark

If you have an RTX-based graphics card, then you can now enable Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) on 3DMark’s Port Royal benchmark. NVIDIA has also published a video of the benchmark running at 1440p alongside Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TAA).

Two things stand out about the video: Quality and Performance.

On the quality side: holy crap it looks good. One of the major issues with TAA is that it makes everything that’s moving somewhat blurry and/or otherwise messed up. For DLSS? It’s very clear and sharp, even in motion. It is very impressive. It also seems to behave well when there are big gaps in rendered light intensity, which, in my experience, can be a problem for antialiasing.

On the performance side, DLSS was shown to be significantly faster than TAA – seemingly larger than the gap between TAA and no anti-aliasing at all. The gap is because DLSS renders at a lower resolution automatically, and this behavior is published on NVIDIA’s website. (Ctrl+F for “to reduce the game’s internal rendering resolution”.)

Update on Feb 6th @ 12:36pm EST:

Apparently there's another mode, called DLSS 2X, that renders at native resolution. It won't have the performance boost over TAA, but it should have slightly higher rendering quality. I'm guessing it will be especially noticeable in the following situation.

End of Update.

While NVIDIA claims that it shouldn’t cause a noticeable image degradation, I believe I can see an example (in the video and their official screenshots) where the reduced resolution causes artifacts. If you look at the smoothly curving surfaces on the ring under the ship (as the camera zooms in just after 59s) you might be able to see a little horizontal jagged or almost Moiré effect. While I’m not 100% sure that it’s caused by the forced dip in resolution, it doesn’t seem to appear on the TAA version. If this is an artifact with the lowered resolution, I’m curious whether NVIDIA will allow us to run at the native resolution and still perform DLSS, or if the algorithm simply doesn’t operate that way.

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NVIDIA's Side-by-Side Sample with TAA

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NVIDIA's Side-by-Side Sample with DLSS

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DLSS with artifacts pointed out

Image Credit: NVIDIA and FutureMark. Source.

That said, the image quality of DLSS is significantly above TAA. It’s painful watching an object move smoothly on a deferred rendering setup and seeing TAA freak out just a little to where it’s noticeable… but not enough to justify going back to a forward-rendering system with MSAA.

Source: NVIDIA

Time to pull over and switch drivers, NVIDIA drops 418.81 WHQL

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 4, 2019 - 02:14 PM |
Tagged: 418.81 WHQL, geforce, nvidia, driver

NVIDIA's newest WHQL driver has been updated to better support 3DMark Port Royal as well as getting ready for the release of the RTX laptops from a wide variety of manufacturers for those who love to game on the go.

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In addition to improved benchmark runs you will also get the following.

Added or updated the following SLI profiles: 

Source: NVIDIA

The RTX 2060's keep coming, this time with MSI's Gaming Z

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 1, 2019 - 05:29 PM |
Tagged: GTX 2060, msi, RTX 2060 Gaming Z, nvidia

MSI's RTX 2060 GAMING Z 6GB will cost you a bit more than the reference edition, expect to see it eventually settle at $390, however everything from the PCB to the cooler has been customized and the Boost clock is an impressive 1830MHz.  [H]ard|OCP fired up the Afterburner and pushed that Boost to 1880MHz, as well as increasing the frequency of the 6GB of VRAM from 14GHz to 15.6GHz.  If you are looking for a decent gaming experience at 1440p, this card will suit you better than a GTX 1070 Ti.

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"We’ve got a fast factory overclocked MSI GeForce RTX 2060 GAMING Z video card to review today. We’ll take it through its paces in many games, and find out how it performs, including overclocking performance with the competition. Does the RTX 2060 deliver better performance at a lower price compared to the last generation?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Radeon rumours, take VII

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 29, 2019 - 02:05 PM |
Tagged: rumour, amd, radeon vii

We have been seeing a lot of leaks from Twitter users APISAK and Komachi recently, with today being no exception.  Videocardz noticed some new posts which claim to show the performance of Radeon VII in Futuremark and the Final Fantasy 15 canned benchmark.

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The results are very interesting, to say the least, with graphics performance numbers on theFire Strike Performance preset beating an overclocked RTX 2080's 26800 points as well as it's 6430 in Ultra.  This result is very encouraging, assuming the mysterious GPU is indeed the Radeon VII we will soon be able to purchase. 

As for the FFXV benchmark, we have seen odd results in the past, though the discrepancy between the performance is well worth noting.

Radeon-VII-AIB-5.jpg

In addition to the possible benchmarks is news about the third party cards which will eventually hit the shelves.  It is unlikely we will see the ASRock model in North America, but the others should eventually appear.

Source: Videocardz

Zotac's RTX 2070 Mini will fit many cases and budgets

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 24, 2019 - 03:09 PM |
Tagged: zotac, tu-106, RTX 2070, rtx 2070 mini

Zotac made a wee splash on the market years ago with their ITX and Nano products and recently have been shrinking GPUs.  They have continued to carve out a small piece of the market, recently releasing the Zotac RTX 2070 Mini with a smaller price as well as a smaller stature.  There is more to this card than just the trim job, the GPU is a Non-A TU-106, which shares the same design but will have limited overclocking potential, if any at all.  That also seems to drop the price, which is a welcome feature.

The gang over at Bjorn3D tested it on a number of games as well as seeing if there is a way to bump the clocks up in their full review.

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"One of the first aftermarket partner model 2070’s has rolled in. It is from our friends at Zotac, the RTX 2070 Mini. This model does not appear to be a Overclock model on the surface and might even be a non A GPU due to its less diminutive price point."

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Source: Bjorn3D
Manufacturer: NVIDIA

Exploring 2560x1440 Results

In part one of our review of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card we looked at gaming performance using only 1920x1080 and 3840x2160 results, and while UHD is the current standard for consumer televisions (and an easy way to ensure GPU-bound performance) more than twice as many gamers play on a 2560x1440 display (3.89% vs. 1.42% for 3840x2160) according to Steam hardware survey results.

RTX_2060_Bench.jpg

Adding these 1440p results was planned from the beginning, but time constraints made testing at three resolutions before getting on a plane for CES impossible (though in retrospect UHD should have been the one excluded from part one, and in future I'll approach it that way). Regardless, we now have those 1440p results to share, having concluded testing using the same list of games and synthetic benchmarks we saw in the previous installment.

On to the benchmarks!

PC Perspective GPU Test Platform
Processor Intel Core i7-8700K
Motherboard ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-H Gaming
Memory Corsair Vengeance LED 16GB (8GBx2) DDR4-3000
Storage Samsung 850 EVO 1TB
Power Supply CORSAIR RM1000x 1000W
Operating System Windows 10 64-bit (Version 1803)
Drivers AMD: 18.50
NVIDIA: 417.54, 417.71 (OC Results)

We will begin with Unigine Superposition, which was run with the high preset settings.

Superposition_1440.png

Here we see the RTX 2060 with slightly higher performance than the GTX 1070 Ti, right in the middle of GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 performance levels. As expected so far.

Continue reading part two of our NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 review.

Custom cooling creates a great card, MSI's Gaming Z RTX 2060

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 18, 2019 - 03:56 PM |
Tagged: RTX 2060 Gaming Z, RTX 2060, nvidia, msi

At first glance, the MSI RTX 2060 Gaming Z is very similar to the Founders Edition, with only the boost clock of 1830MHz justifying that it's MSRP is $35 higher.  Once TechPowerUp got into testing, they found that the custom cooler helps the card maintain peak speed far more effectively than the FE.  This also let them hit an impressive manual overclock of 2055MHz boost clock and 1990MHz on the memory.  Check out the results as well as a complete tear down of the card in the review.

card1.jpg

"MSI's GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Z is the best RTX 2060 custom-design we've reviewed so far. It comes with idle-fan-stop and a large triple-slot cooler that runs cooler than the Founders Edition. Noise levels are excellent, too, it's the quietest RTX 2060 card to date."

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Source: TechPowerUp

Rumor: NVIDIA Working on GTX 1660 Ti without Ray Tracing

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 17, 2019 - 01:29 PM |
Tagged:

Citing word from a board partner, VideoCardz.com has published a rumor about an upcoming NVIDIA GeForce GPU based on Turing, but without ray tracing support. While such a product seems inevitable as we move further down the chain into midrange and mainstream graphics options, where ray tracing makes less sense from a performance standpoint, the name accompanying the report is harder to fathom: GTX 1660 Ti.

GTX_1660Ti_VideoCardz.jpg

Image via VideoCardz.com

"The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is to become NVIDIA’s first Turing-based card under GTX brand. Essentially, this card lacks ray tracing features of RTX series, which should (theoretically) result in a lower price. New SKU features TU116 graphics processor and 1536 CUDA cores. This means that GTX 1660 Ti will undoubtedly be slower than RTX 2060." - VideoCardz.com

Beyond the TU116 GPU and 1536 CUDA cores, VideoCardz goes on to state that their sources also claim that this new GTX card will still make use of GDDR6 memory on the same 192-bit bus as the RTX 2060. As to the name, while it may seem odd not to adopt the same 2000-series branding for all Turing cards, the potential for confusion with RTX vs GTX branding might be the reason - if indeed cards in a 1600-series make it to market.

Source: VideoCardz

Generations of GeForce GPUs in Ubuntu

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 16, 2019 - 04:33 PM |
Tagged: linux, geforce, nvidia, ubuntu 18.04, gtx 760, gtx 960, RTX 2060, gtx 1060

If you are running an Ubuntu system with an older GPU and are curious about upgrading but unsure if it is worth it, Phoronix has a great review for you.  Whether you are gaming with OpenGL and Vulkan, or curious about the changes in OpenCL/CUDA compute performance they have you covered.  They even delve into the power efficiency numbers so you can spec out the operating costs of a large deployment, if you happen to have the budget to consider buying RTX 2060's in bulk.

cards.PNG

"In this article is a side-by-side performance comparison of the GeForce RTX 2060 up against the GTX 1060 Pascal, GTX 960 Maxwell, and GTX 760 Kepler graphics cards."

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Source: Phoronix

GeForce Driver 417.71 Now Available, Enables G-SYNC Compatibility With FreeSync Monitors

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 15, 2019 - 03:25 AM |
Tagged: variable refresh rate, nvidia, graphics driver, gpu, geforce, g-sync compatibility, g-sync, freesync

One of NVIDIA's biggest and most surprising CES announcements was the introduction of support for "G-SYNC Compatible Monitors," allowing the company's G-SYNC-capable Pascal and Turing-based graphics cards to work with FreeSync and other non-G-SYNC variable refresh rate displays. NVIDIA is initially certifying 12 FreeSync monitors but will allow users of any VRR display to manually enable G-SYNC and determine for themselves if the quality of the experience is acceptable.

gsync-compatible-freesync.jpg

Those eager to try the feature can now do so via NVIDIA's latest driver, version 417.71, which is rolling out worldwide right now. As of the date of this article's publication, users in the United States who visit NVIDIA's driver download page are still seeing the previous driver (417.35), but direct download links are already up and running.

The current list of FreeSync monitors that are certified by NVIDIA:

Users with a certified G-SYNC compatible monitor will have G-SYNC automatically enabled via the NVIDIA Control Panel when the driver is updated and the display is connected, the same process as connecting an official G-SYNC display. Those with a variable refresh rate display that is not certified must manually open the NVIDIA Control Panel and enable G-SYNC.

NVIDIA notes, however, that enabling the feature on displays that don't meet the company's performance capabilities may lead to a range of issues, from blurring and stuttering to flickering and blanking. The good news is that the type and severity of the issues will vary by display, so users can determine for themselves if the potential problems are acceptable.

Update: Users over at the NVIDIA subreddit have created a public Google Sheet to track their reports and experiences with various FreeSync monitors. Check it out to see how others are faring with your preferred monitor.

Update 2: Our friends over at Wccftech have published a short video demonstrating how to enable G-SYNC on non-G-SYNC VRR monitors:

Source: NVIDIA