Date: Monday , January 07, 2019
Over the course of the past several weeks we have been focused on bringing you in-depth performance evaluation of NVIDIA’s Ray Tracing in Battlefield V. The only game to date, with NVIDIA Ray Tracing support. To test NVIDIA’s Ray Tracing performance thoroughly we divided up each evaluation by RTX video card to evaluate every single quality mode of DXR real-time ray tracing performance in Battlefield V. We have focused on the multiplayer aspect of Battlefield V in a loaded 64-player environment which is as real-world as you can get.
On December 17th we started with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 represented by a highly factory overclocked ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2070 OC video card. We evaluated performance at 1080p and 1440p with and without DXR and every quality mode of DXR to find out how each quality mode compared in performance. We then discussed our performance experiences and concluded that the GeForce RTX 2070 just isn’t cut out for NVIDIA Ray Tracing in BFV even at 1080p. The RTX 2070 lacks the performance to get the job done at an acceptable performance level and smoothness in BFV multiplayer. As you are going to see today, it is also lacking in another way, and we will discuss that.
We then followed up with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 on December 25th represented by a highly factory overclocked ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 OC video card. We again tested at 1080p and 1440p and even some 4K all with and without DXR at all the quality levels supported. The RTX 2080 did allow an acceptable level of NVIDIA Ray Tracing performance in Battlefield V, but only at 1080p. It lacked the needed performance for a good 1440p experience in multiplayer.
We also did a CPU Test evaluation to verify that our CPU was not holding back DXR performance. The result? It wasn't. CPU clock is still king in the world a desktop gaming.
All of this testing, from the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070, to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 and now the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti has all been done with the DXR real-time ray tracing performance patch released on December 5th for this game. Large gains in performance were promised from that patch, which have been delivered, and while it has helped, performance is still very demanding in the game as we have found out.
Today we are going to focus on the highest performing NVIDIA RTX video card, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. This one has the most RT Cores, the most Tensor Cores, the most VRAM, and the highest bandwidth. This will be the best we can get today with single-GPU performance with NVIDIA Ray Tracing in Battlefield V.
We have updated our GPU comparison chart above to now include the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. In this way you can see how many RT Cores and Tensor Cores there are between video cards in the RTX lineup. The GeForce RTX 2070 has 36 RT Cores and 288 Tensor Cores. The GeForce RTX 2080 uses 46 RT Cores and 368 Tensor Cores. The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti increases RT Cores to 68 and Tensor Cores to 544. This shows that there is a much greater upgrade of RT Cores and Tensor Cores with GeForce RTX 2080 Ti compared to GeForce RTX 2080 than there was when comparing GeForce RTX 2080 to GeForce RTX 2070. There is a bigger upgrade leap. VRAM is also increased from 8GB to 11GB which is going to make a difference in today’s testing.
Before we begin testing, it is worth noting that recently a GeForce TITAN V (Volta) video card was able to run NVIDIA Ray Tracing in Battlefield V. The TITAN V has no RT Cores, but it does have Tensor Cores. In fact, it has been stated that RT Cores and Tensor Cores are not required to run NVIDIA Ray Tracing. Pascal can do it with its compute units. However, the performance would be severely impacted. In the case of the TITAN V the Tensor Cores would help, but without RT Cores performance is still impacted. Just be aware, RTX GPUs are technically not the only GPUs from NVIDIA capable of NVIDIA Ray Tracing if enabled in software. There is however a big difference between "capable" and actually having enough performance to be viable in gameplay.
Today, similar to the past two articles, we will be using an ASUS ROG STRIX RTX video card. This is the ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 Ti OC video card. It has a GPU Boost clock of 1650MHz. However, our in-game real-world testing reveals GPU Boost clocks the card up to an average of 1814MHz while gaming. Therefore, this is another example of a highly factory overclocked video card. If yours performs slower, ray tracing performance will be slower. This is the high-end of 2080 Ti performance. This video card is out of stock at Newegg currently, but would be $1,399.99.
Please read our Battlefield V DXR configuration page in our previous review to learn all about the DXR implementation in BFV and the setup for the game. All testing has been carried out identically between our different RTX cards, so the data is all comparable.