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New Benchmark Lets You Test Ray Tracing With AMD or Nvidia Graphics Cards

(Image credit: Crytek)

You might think that you need a fancy Nvidia RTX graphics card to demo ray tracing, but Crytek is here to prove us wrong. Its new Neon Noir benchmark is a ray-tracing demonstration that works on all modern-day graphics cards, including Nvidia’s Pascal architecture-based cards and AMD’s latest 5000-series graphics cards.

The Neon Noir ray tracing benchmark shows a drone flying through a dark rainy cityscape, where you can see reflections all around you on various glass panes, water puddles, broken mirror shards, wet objects and more. The drone itself even has its arms reflect on its own body – a subtle, but certainly enhancing, detail. Currently, however, the demo only uses ray tracing for reflections, not for shadows or ambient occlusion. Crytek said it will work on those features, however. 

“The CRYENGINE ray tracing feature is both API and hardware-agnostic and runs on most mainstream, contemporary AMD and Nvidia GPUs” claims Crytek.

As a consequence of creating a ray tracing feature that doesn’t require Nvidia RT cores, performance is significantly better across the board with ray tracing enabled on non-RTX graphics cards, and GPUs with RT cores won’t have much of a benefit beyond what their GPU’s architecture would offer anyway. 

Minimum Tech Requirements

Crytek recommends you have a minimum of an AMD Ryzen 5 2500X or Intel Core i7-8700 CPU, along with an AMD Vega 56 or Nvidia GTX 1070 GPU and 16GB of RAM.

Running the Benchmark

We quickly ran the benchmark on a system equipped with an AMD Ryzen 7 1800X CPU, (which doesn't meet the minimum recommendation), paired with an RTX 2070 Super graphics card at 4K resolution. With the ray tracing setting set to Very High, we got some great-looking visuals and smooth framerates hovering around the 37 frames per second (fps) mark, with a minimum of 32 fps and maximum of 41 fps.

Setting ray tracing feature to Ultra netted roughly a 10 fps penalty and did make the demo quite stuttery.

If you want to have a look at the demo, you can install it by making an account at Crytek, downloading the CryEngine launcher and the Neon Noir benchmark at the Crytek marketplace for free.

Having implemented this feature in the new 2020 CryEngine that's due to ship soon, Crytek will continue to experiment to see how far they can take the feature.