It has always been a matter of when, not if, real-time ray tracing would see widespread support. Looking to scoot things along, NVIDIA debuted its RTX hardware last year, which leverages Microsoft's DirectX Raytracing (DXR) API. It has still been a relatively slow process, in terms of developer support, but things are progressing. As it relates to that, NVIDIA today announced that its OEM partners have implemented ray tracing support into 10 new RTX Studio laptops and mobile workstations.
"RTX Studio laptops and mobile workstations are moving rapidly to the center of the creative industries," said Jason Paul, general manager of GeForce software and technology at NVIDIA. "They put real-time ray tracing, advanced AI and video editing in ultra-high resolution within easy reach of creators, delivering capabilities in a mobile form factor that once required an entire studio."
These new designs come from Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Boxx, and bring the combined tally to 27 models. The new configurations cover a variety of budgets and use-case scenarios, ranging from consumer laptops with GeForce RTX 2060 GPUs inside to professional mobile workstations rocking Quadro RTX 5000 graphics. Specifically, NVIDIA is highlighting the following models...
- Lenovo Legion Y740 Laptop Studio Edition: Features up to GeForce RTX 2080 GPUs within 17- and 15-inch laptops, available later this fall.
- Lenovo ThinkPad P53 and P73 mobile workstations: Support up to Quadro RTX 5000 GPUs within 17- and 15-inch systems. The ThinkPad P53 is available now; the ThinkPad P73 will be available starting August.
- Dell Precision 7540 and Dell Precision 7740 mobile workstations: Available today, are configurable with up to Quadro RTX 5000 GPUs.
- HP ZBook 15 and 17 mobile workstations: Feature Quadro RTX GPUs, with the 17-inch model configurable with up to a Quadro RTX 5000.
- Boxx GoBoxx SLM mobile workstations: Available with a Quadro RTX 3000 GPU in the 15-inch system and either Quadro RTX 4000 or 3000 in the 17-inch system.
These are all part of NVIDIA's Studio platform, which essentially mean they combine RTX GPUs with NVIDIA's Studio Stack consisting of specialized SDKs and Studio drivers.
In related news, NVIDIA also announced an updated Studio driver. The latest driver is optimized for the latest releases of several creative applications supporting ray tracing, including Magix Vegas Pro v17, Autodesk Arnold, Allegorithmic Substance Painter 2019.2, Blender 2.80, Cinema 4D R21, and Otoy Octane Render 2019.2.
Source: Farhan Perdana via NVIDIA
The latest driver release also introduces support for 30-bit color across all product lines, including GeForce and Titan. This helps with reducing or eliminating banding. For example, 24-bit color support allows for 16.7 million of shades of color, while 30-bit color support bumps that number to over 1 billion shades.
There are several apps that can leverage 30-bit color, such as Adobe Photoshop and Premier Pro, Audodesk RV, Colorfont Transkoder, Assimilate Scratch, and Foundry Nuke.
What does this all mean? Well, on the developer side, real-time ray tracing (and, by extension, RTX) support is growing by the day. We all want to see more games implement RTX effects, and those will come as well. Giving developers more supported tools is key to growing the ecosystem, and that is what NVIDIA is championing at SIGGRAPH. In short, ray tracing is starting to arrive in earnest.