AMD cards can’t do ray tracing. That’s what Nvidia would like you to think. But while they lack the RT cores that Nvidia’s high-end RTX cards have, AMD’s GPUs are more than capable of rendering ray-traced lighting effects; the game or demo just needs to be hardware agnostic. That’s what we can see with Crytek’s Neon Noir demo, which is now set to release to the public, letting AMD users see just how capable their red-team cards are at rendering ray-traced lighting. Spoiler, they’re actually not bad at it.
If you want the cheat sheet, WCCFTech managed to get some hands-on time with the demo ahead of its public release and tested a number of Nvidia GTX and RTX, as well as AMD RX, graphics cards, to see how capable they are at ray tracing. As you might expect, the Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti was at the top, followed by the other top RTX cards; the 2080 Super, 2070 Super, 2060 Super, and 2060. But after that, AMD’s cards start nudging their way into the rankings, beating out capable last-generation GTX 10-series GPUs.
In the WCCFTech testing, the RX 5700 XT managed an average of 49 frame per second (FPS) at 1440p, with the 99th percentile at 28 FPS. The GTX 1080, on the other hand, managed just 41 FPS on average and the same 28 FPS for the 99th percentile. These results aren’t far behind the RTX 2060, which has some hardware-accelerating RT cores onboard. It had an average FPS of 48, but a higher 99th percentile of 34.
From there the cards start to dip below comfortable frame rates, with 99th percentiles falling to the point where noticeable stuttering will be a problem. But at 1080p, even an AMD RX Vega 56 is perfectly capable, managing 51 FPS on average.
Crytek’s “mesh-based” ray tracing technology is still being developed and won’t become a part of the main Cryengine until 2020, but that could open up some exciting potential for new games if developers would rather make their ray tracing available to a wider hardware audience than just Nvidia card owners.
The Neon Noir demo will be publicly available by the close of November 13, giving anyone they want a chance to try it out. It’ll be downloadable from Crytek’s Marketplace.