With the spectacular Racer RTX demo, Nvidia has announced the arrival of the first video cards based on the new Ada Lovelace GPU, which promises more than doubled ray tracing rendering performance compared to the previous generation of RTX 30x cards. The new cards are there RTX 4090, available from October to € 1979, and the RTX 4080, which will arrive in November from € 1109. However, it is worth starting from the video, which shows a spectacular toy car race that is in reality – if we are to take Nvidia at its word – a simulation down to the last component rendered in real time in ray trancing by a single Ada Lovelace GPU.
The new GPU is based on TSMC’s new 4N node optimized for graphics processors, and integrates several new features, from new more powerful Ray Tracing cores, to new units in the graphics pipeline specifically designed to accelerate Ray Tracing rendering. There are new, more powerful Tensor Core for Deep Learning borrowed from the Hopper architecture and the new iteration of DLSS technology debuts, which not only comes to be up to 4 times faster than the previous generation, but is now able to not only lighten the load on the GPU, but also on the CPU.
The new RT cores offer more than double the performance of the previous generation, with the ability to calculate twice the intersections of triangles per second. To speed up the rendering process up to three times compared to RTX 30x GPUs, however, there is also a new unit called Shader Execution Reordering (SER), which plays a similar role to out-of-order execution of CPU instructions. The aim is to reorder the ray-traced rendering instructions, which are extremely heterogeneous by nature, in order to optimize the flow for the parallel architecture of the graphics pipeline. According to Nvidia, this innovation alone is capable of improving the frame rate of ray traced games by 25%. To this are added two new units inside the RT cores, the Opacity Micromap Engine and the Micro-Mesh Engine, respectively dedicated to the calculation of occlusions and the generation of complex geometries.
Nvidia did not release any benchmarks during the presentation, but it did show Cyberpunk 2077 running with maximum graphics detail in 4K ray tracing without DLSS at 24 frames per second. Frame rate that multiplies up to four times by activating the new DLSS3, an evolution of technology that is now able to predict through machine learning not only single pixels to increase the resolution of frames starting from rendering at a lower resolution, but to create entire new frames from scratch, a sort of interpolation of frames based on artificial intelligence. Since DLSS3 creates new frames from scratch using Tensor Cores without impacting the normal graphics pipeline, the technology allows you to accelerate the frame rate even for those games limited by CPU performance.
The example in this sense is constituted by Microsoft Flight Simulator, shown running with ray tracing up to over 100 fps thanks to DLSS3, with a doubling of the frame rate.
The first to arrive is the RTX4090. Performance doubled, but prices rise
The first video card with Ada Lovelace to arrive on the market will be the RTX 4090, available from 12 October to 1979 euros.
The card promises up to 4 times the performance of an RTX 3090 Ti with the same 450 Watts of committed power and is designed for gaming in 4K at 100 fps. The RTX 4090 is equipped with 76 billion transistors, 16,384 CUDA cores, 2.52 GHz boost clock and is equipped with 24 GB of Micron GDDR6X memory with 1 TB / s bandwidth.
The RTX 4080 promises performance up to 4 times that of the RTX 3080 Ti and will be available starting November in two configurations, with 12GB or 16GB memory respectively a 1109 euros and 1479 euros, prices much higher than those of the RTX3080 at launch. The two cards also differ in the number of CUDA cores, 7680 versus 9728 in the superior model, in the width of the memory interface, 192 bits against 256 bits, while the maximum clock is 2.61 GHz for the 12 GB version and 2.51 GHz for the 16 GB one. Memory is always GDDR6X on both cards.