Hey, did you hear? NVIDIA's new GeForce RTX graphics cards can do ray tracing! Of course you've heard that, because real-time ray tracing has dominated the narrative. The big question mark, however, is the one that hangs over rasterization performance compared to the previous generation of Pascal cards. That will not be answered until the reviews are in, naturally. In the meantime, the leaks keep coming, and the latest one supposedly shows the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti scoring much higher than a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti in 3DMark.
Before we get to the numbers, let's talk about rasterization and ray tracing for a moment. Real-time ray tracing is the future, there's no doubt about that. The current implementation that the industry at large is pushing (NVIDIA with its RTX technology and Microsoft with its DirectX Raytracing, or DXR, API) is a sort of hybrid solution that allows developers to ray trace parts of a scene for added realism.
Rasterization methods are not going anywhere, so looking at (and comparing) performance is still relevant. Perhaps giving us a glimpse of what to expect, someone sent Videocardz "proof" of a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti posting a 12,825 Graphics Score in 3DMark's TimeSpy benchmark. If real, that is a high score indeed.
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How high are we talking about? It's being reported as a 35 percent uptick compared to a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. Our own collection of Pascal benchmarks has it closer to 25 percent. Either way, if the score is real, it's higher than any previous card we've tested, including the mighty Titan.
Whether it's a legitimate score, though, we can't say.
"The score itself was sent to me a few days ago, as far as I know, no one outside NV and AIBs had the drivers at that time," Videocardz explains in a followup tweet. "So it could be fake, or using the wrong drivers. Unless it was from NV employee or AIB."
It could very well be the latter as part of a controlled leak, something the tech industry is thought to do. There has been some blow back from gamers following the GeForce RTX launch because of the heavy emphasis on real-time ray tracing rather than touting the rasterization-based performance gain over Pascal (combined with the MSRPs). This could be NVIDIA's way of getting some additional info out there before the NDA lifts for reviewers.
We're not saying that is definitely the case, just that it's a possibility. In any event, all will be revealed in a few weeks when the cards start shipping, at which time the NDA will have passed.