The performance details behind Crytek's RTX-free 'Neon Noir' ray tracing demo have been...

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Though we claimed at the time that the footage was rendered at 4K and 30FPS on AMD's Radeon Vega 56, it seems that isn't quite correct. Courtesy of a report from TechPowerUp, the specific performance details behind the Neon Noir demo have been revealed -- and they're decidedly more conservative than it first appeared.

For starters, the Vega 56 was only rendering the demo at 1080p and 30 FPS, not 4K. Given the demo's 4K option on YouTube, it was perhaps understandable for some confusion to arise.

Crytek has confirmed the demo was rendered at 1080p with ray tracing effects at "full resolution." They say, it is also possible to render the environment at a certain resolution (for example, 4K) but render the ray traced effects at half-resolution. In that scenario, the Vega 56 can handle 1440p at upwards of 40 FPS.

Though not the most astounding numbers in the world, they're certainly far more impressive than what we saw while benchmarking RTX tech on GTX hardware.

It should be emphasized that Crytek's demo is just that: a demo. The rendering took place in a controlled environment, and it wasn't a playable experience, meaning there were far fewer variables for Crytek to account for. This is likely why ray tracing performance tanked when we tested non-RTX cards in live, dynamic games like Metro Exodus.

As a proof-of-concept it's still quite impressive what Crytek managed to achieve. Feel free to re-watch the demo above and come to your own conclusions.

Crytek says that once RTX support is implemented on the Neon Noir demo, the visuals can be boosted even further, all the way up to full-screen (perhaps black bar-free?) 4K rendering. We don't know what sort of performance RTX cards would allow for, but it should be notably better than what the Vega 56 was capable of considering raw throughput alone.

Permalink to story.

 
1920x800 @30FPS, short draw distances, very small world map. All very much less impressive than we were led to believe. In any case, it's a step in the right direction.
 

grumblguts

TS Addict
Alternative approximations to ray tracing have been adequate thus far in gaming and honestly if done right and except for the low frame rate its hard to tell the two apart from each other.
Seeing people ask on streams if its on or off tells me its only different and not better.
 

Evernessince

TS Evangelist
Will be nice to see the RTX numbers on this. If the performance is better then the tech Nvidia peddles to devs it may actually make Ray Tracing worthwhile to implement.
 

Arbie

TS Enthusiast
Seeing this again, I should have been much more impressed the first time. Wow. Thanks in advance, Crytek! Now give us Crysis Redux with rays.
 

SilverCider

TS Enthusiast
Alternative approximations to ray tracing have been adequate thus far in gaming and honestly if done right and except for the low frame rate its hard to tell the two apart from each other.
Seeing people ask on streams if its on or off tells me its only different and not better.
I think ray traced GI is one of the most noticeable benefits of the technology as other methods can sometimes be quite jarring. Besides this, I agree that the end user benefit seems quite small for now but what I can appreciate is the benefit the technology brings to the developers.
 

hahahanoobs

TS Evangelist
Havok physics are still less than impressive than PhysX, sooooo, why would anyone believe Crytek did RT better than NVIDIA via software especially considering it was shown via a demo that was unplayable? The comments thinking RTX was beaten were very funny to read though, so thanks for that!

Btw, don't forget this very important part of the article:
"Crytek says that once RTX support is implemented on the Neon Noir demo, the visuals can be boosted even further."
 
DXR has little direct benefit to the end user.
It's very hard to tell the difference between on/off and the fact that you have to ask/have it told in any given viewing and not notice it immediately proves that.

Developers will benefit the most from DXR where it will save their artists having to calculate and approximate how a scene should look. It will just work.

Ray Tracing has been hyped up way too much for the end user.
It should have been marketed as a developer feature more.

Then again you gotta sell those RTX cards to get devs invested in the tech so the hype is understandable.

Ultimately I guess this comment is pointless :p
 
  • Like
Reactions: Two sticks

Toju Mikie

TS Addict
Havok physics are still less than impressive than PhysX, sooooo, why would anyone believe Crytek did RT better than NVIDIA via software especially considering it was shown via a demo that was unplayable? The comments thinking RTX was beaten were very funny to read though, so thanks for that!

Btw, don't forget this very important part of the article:
"Crytek says that once RTX support is implemented on the Neon Noir demo, the visuals can be boosted even further."
https://www.cryengine.com/news/how-we-made-neon-noir-ray-traced-reflections-in-cryengine-and-more#
It will be released to the public, but there are still some things that need to be fixed, like the bullet casings in the crime scene. They had the same guy who invented SSAO also working on this demo. It was SSAO that NVIDIA took and then came up with HBAO. Best thing about Crytek's implementation is that it will be free. No need for dedicated hardware.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Charles Olson

Mighty Duck

TS Addict
DXR has little direct benefit to the end user.
It's very hard to tell the difference between on/off and the fact that you have to ask/have it told in any given viewing and not notice it immediately proves that.

Developers will benefit the most from DXR where it will save their artists having to calculate and approximate how a scene should look. It will just work.

Ray Tracing has been hyped up way too much for the end user.
It should have been marketed as a developer feature more.

Then again you gotta sell those RTX cards to get devs invested in the tech so the hype is understandable.

Ultimately I guess this comment is pointless :p
It has many benefits, but they aren't worth the current performance hit and high prices.
 

hahahanoobs

TS Evangelist
https://www.cryengine.com/news/how-we-made-neon-noir-ray-traced-reflections-in-cryengine-and-more#
It will be released to the public, but there are still some things that need to be fixed, like the bullet casings in the crime scene. They had the same guy who invented SSAO also working on this demo. It was SSAO that NVIDIA took and then came up with HBAO. Best thing about Crytek's implementation is that it will be free. No need for dedicated hardware.
Yet this very article says they will support RTX....
 

Lil Legal

TS Rookie
Havok physics are still less than impressive than PhysX, sooooo, why would anyone believe Crytek did RT better than NVIDIA via software especially considering it was shown via a demo that was unplayable? The comments thinking RTX was beaten were very funny to read though, so thanks for that!

Btw, don't forget this very important part of the article:
"Crytek says that once RTX support is implemented on the Neon Noir demo, the visuals can be boosted even further."
1 worse product than the competitor = all their products is worse than the competitor.....nice.