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Vulkan Ray-Tracing Arrives With New Khronos Extension

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  • Vulkan Ray-Tracing Arrives With New Khronos Extension

    Phoronix: Vulkan Ray-Tracing Arrives With New Khronos Extension

    While Vulkan has had NVIDIA's ray-tracing extension (VK_NV_ray_tracing) extension, coming out today is Vulkan's first formal ray-tracing extension for cross-vendor/driver adoption.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=28957

  • #2
    That's nice. A needed development since next gen consoles are around the corner and Raytraced effects are going to become a staple of AAA games soon. It will be nice if MESA implements this not only for RDNA2 but older architectures (through compute shaders) as well. Sure dedicated hardware will be faster but i think some powerful but older gpus could pull off some effects with playable framerates.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by TemplarGR View Post
      It will be nice if MESA implements this not only for RDNA2 but older architectures (through compute shaders) as well. Sure dedicated hardware will be faster but i think some powerful but older gpus could pull off some effects with playable framerates.
      I suppose there's some value in that if devs target the older GPUs by making more simplistic games or reducing the value of RT.

      I wouldn't expect most people to play with sub 30 fps though (on 1080 max) so I'm not really sure if the value is there especially considering that those older GPUs will only be getting older and the performance gap will only lengthen considerably each time a newer GPU gen is released.

      The CryEngine RT demo is interesting as it doesn't use RT hardware but if all hardware becomes RT hardware then running games using RT on pre-RT hardware gets kind of silly.

      Mesa should just support RT on RT enabled hardware and work on more important things.
      Last edited by ix900; 03-17-2020, 10:24 AM.

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      • #4
        Is it possible to use multiple gpus in parallel?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sp82 View Post
          Is it possible to use multiple gpus in parallel?
          With DXR and Vulkan, it is possible IF the developer of a particular app takes care of it. AFAIK, it is not simply possible to enable multiple GPUs for any workload and hope for decent scaling as it was with Crossfire and SLI.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by sp82 View Post
            Is it possible to use multiple gpus in parallel?
            It's not just taking care of it: the whole implementation is on the game developer while previously the driver alone helped make this reality. That means no multi-GPU rendering for most games nowadays because the implementation is costly, time consuming, quite complex and is not vendor neutral (in theory it is, in practice AMD and NVIDIA drivers have certain quirks you have to work around/take into consideration) and few gamers actually have such a setup.

            The biggest issue going forward is that neither AMD, nor NVIDIA will be able to infinitely make their GPU dies bigger which means we'll have to eventually migrate to multi-die solutions and I've no idea how AMD/NVIDIA will tackle this issue.
            Last edited by birdie; 03-17-2020, 11:41 AM.

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            • #7
              I'm always somewhat worried whenever Vulkan and OpenGL adapt extensions created by specific vendors into the common language specification. It reminds me of the mess of different vendor-specific versions and incomplete implementations that OpenGL was in the early 2000s and how that helped Direct3D gain a dominant market position at a staggering pace. This market domination is also the reason why we don't see more Linux ports as it's much harder to get Direct3D-using games running on non-Windows platforms than ones that use OpenGL or Vulkan.

              However I'm probably worried for nothing here as from the limited look I've into Nvidia's tensor cores (i.e their ray-tracing hardware) and what I've read about AMD's new yet-to-be-named ray-tracing hardware first shown in the new Xbox they do sound pretty similar, at least in principle. Hence it's probably not that much work to get AMD's RT cores to run this code and run it at similar levels of performance.

              Come to think of it... Maybe I should borrow one of the Quadro RTX graphics cards from my work machine for a quick "corona sabbatical" and really look into what this hardware can be used for? Haven't really had a proper vacation at my current job since I started in April 2018 so I've definitely got enough vacation days stored up for a week or two.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by GruenSein View Post

                With DXR and Vulkan, it is possible IF the developer of a particular app takes care of it. AFAIK, it is not simply possible to enable multiple GPUs for any workload and hope for decent scaling as it was with Crossfire and SLI.
                I don't like crossfire/sli. With ray-tracing it much more easy use multiple devices. Blender can render simultaneously on CPU and GPU. Utilizing all the resources. Also with Luxmark is very easy render in parallel on all the supported devices. My idea is to see an implicit multi gpu for ray-tracing on the radv driver for example. I have a 5700XT and a Vega64 and I would like to use both one is very good for render via rasterization and the other can be dedicated to ray-tracing or other things.

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                • #9
                  Finally! Can't wait for GPUs with mesa drivers that will have support for path tracing.

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                  • #10
                    Still waiting for opencl 2.0 in mesa so i can use my APU properly.

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