Nvidia has dropped a new behind-the-scenes video for Battlefield V, intended to show off the ray-tracing capabilities now available for its GeForce RTX 20 Series graphics cards. Battlefield 5 is the world’s first game to support ray-tracing. It looks fantastic but as we all know, comes at a prohibitive performance cost.
The video’s a little bit fluffy, to be honest, with only a teeny tiny focus on the ray-traced reflections. The ray-tracing does look lovely in the instances where you can actually spot it though, even if those instances are few and far between on some of the maps. Reflections in the eyeballs does seem a little overkill though, I’m struggling to see what gender my enemy is so I can be outraged, let alone what’s happening on the surface of their eyes.
But, the good news is DICE’s work on supporting DirectX Raytracing (DXR) in Battlefield 5 is far from over. Behind the scenes, DICE rendering engineer Yasin Uludag has said additional optimisations are being worked on for RTX effects which should hopefully provide across-the-board performance improvements for GeForce RTX 20 series GPUs.
"People can expect us to keep improving our ray tracing as time goes, as both we at DICE and NVIDIA have a bunch of optimisations coming in from the engine side and driver side and we are far from done,” said Uludag to Eurogamer. “We have specialists from NVIDIA and DICE working on our issues as we speak. From now on, it's only going to get better, and we have more data now too since the game released. By the time people read this, many of the improvements mentioned will already have been completed".
Currently, even the $1200 GeForce RTX 2080 Ti can struggle to hit 60fps on 1080p/Ultra in Battlefield V with ray-tracing enabled, and it obviously only gets worse for the RTX 2080 and GeForce RTX 2070. It’s a hugely expensive graphics option, but things should continue to get better as DICE works on optimisation. Their official recommendation is users keep the DXR setting in Battlefield V on Low for now though.
If you want to get a picture of just how expensive ray-traced reflections are as a graphics option, on Ultra the reflections are at 40% resolution, High is 31.6%, Medium is 23.3% and Low is 15.5%. Ultra at 1080p provides around 53fps average, compared to around 180 frames per second with it disabled. That is purely for ray-traced reflections; there are no ray-traced shadows or ray-traced global illumination, among other effects. Should all of these be implemented we’d expect the frame rates to be absolutely crushed, so this is certainly first-gen RTX hardware with a long way to go until it’s the real deal.