The developers of Shadow of the Tomb Raider have responded to concerns over the game's performance when ray tracing is enabled on Nvidia's upcoming flagship GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card, after initial demonstrations showed the game dropping well below 60 frames per second even at 1080p resolution.
Nvidia unveiled its high-priced GeForce RTX family earlier this week, taking technologies developed primarily with professional-grade users in mind and attempting to convince gamers they need them too: ray tracing acceleration via dedicated RTX cores, and shiny new anti-aliasing running on dedicated Tensor cores originally designed for deep-learning acceleration. The company's going in hard, too, with partnerships that have seen a wealth of games pledge support for the new features of Nvidia's Turing architecture.
These features, however, come at a cost. By dedicating some of the die to other features, the GeForce RTX 2000 family has fewer general-purpose CUDA processing cores than the equivalently-priced models from the GeForce GTX 1000 family that preceded it. With the Turing architecture being so new, too, there are optimisation issues - and it's here that some serious concerns over the usability of the claimed 'real-time' ray tracing functionality have been raised, after demonstrations of Shadow of the Tomb Raider with ray tracing enabled showed serious performance problems even at a modest 1080p resolution with frame rates dropping well below 60 frames per second.
The developers behind the title, which includes staff from Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montréal, and Nixxes Software, have urged gamers to be patient and not judge the technology nor the game too quickly. 'The Nvidia Ray Tracing technology currently being shown in Shadow of the Tomb Raider is an early work in progress version,' the game's official Twitter account has announced. 'As a result, different areas of the game have received different levels of polish while we work toward complete implementation of this new technology. The final Nvidia Ray Tracing integration will be released as a post-launch update, and we are excited for our fans to experience it first-hand.'
The GeForce RTX family launches next month in board-partner and first-party 'Founders Edition' variants. Shadow of the Tomb Raider launches on September 14th on Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, with only the former receiving ray tracing support - and then only when paired with a GeForce RTX card.