NVIDIA’s latest ‘RTX’ cards are not just an incremental step in performance, but represent significant new direction for NVIDIA’s approach to real-time rendering. Built on the company’s ‘Turing’ architecture, the RTX cards pave the way for graphics infused with accelerated ray-tracing and artificial intelligence, and also bring VR-specific enhancements over NVIDIA’s prior 10-series GPUs which are based on the ‘Pascal’ architecture.
The Turing architecture introduces two new types of ‘cores’ (processors designed to quickly handle specific tasks) that are not found in prior GeForce cards: RT Cores and Tensor Cores. RT cores are designed to accelerate ray-tracing operations, the math that simulates how light bounces around a scene and interacts with objects. Tensor Cores are designed to accelerate tensor operations which are useful for AI inferencing like that which comes from neural networks and deep learning.
This means that in additional to the usual CUDA-based rendering, RTX cards also have the ability to bring accelerated ray-tracing and AI processes into the rendering mix, which can make for some impressive real-time reflections, among other things. But beyond the potential for better graphics thanks to more realistic lightning, what do RTX cards bring to the table for VR? NVIDIA recently broke down some of the highlights.
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