What just happened? Video of a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti running Shadow of the Tomb Raider shows that the card struggles to maintain a steady frame rate with ray tracing enabled. However, developers say this is because the demo is based on a "work-in-progress" version of the game. A "post-launch" patch will fully integrate Nvidia's RTX technology.
It is always nice to see games running on the latest hardware. It was one of the biggest attractions at Nvidia's unveiling of its GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. However, hardware manufacturers only want to show their products in the best possible light. Many, including myself, were curious as to how well the card performed outside of the highly controlled environment of an Nvidia keynote.
Thanks to a video from German website PC Games Hardware, we actually get to see a glimpse of a 2080 Ti running a demo of Shadow of the Tomb Raider with RTX enabled in 1080p. The results were surprisingly unimpressive.
A FRAPS overlay displayed the frames per second which fluctuated widely between 30 and 70 fps. The frame rate would increase significantly when the card did not have to render environments, like when looking at a wall. However, the average rate while running around in the world was only 30-45fps.
The final Nvidia Ray Tracing integration will be released as a post-launch update, and we are excited for our fans to experience it first-hand.--- Tomb Raider (@tombraider) August 21, 2018
This low performance is especially surprising considering Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang bragged about the card's ability to run at a "silky smooth" 60fps in 4K. This might be achievable with fully-optimized code, but it does not appear to be the case with this early demo.
Indeed, after PC Games Hardware published the video, Tomb Raider developers took to Twitter to explain the low frame rate.
"The Nvidia Ray Tracing technology currently being shown in Shadow of the Tomb Raider is an early work in progress version," the tweet says. "As a result, different areas of the game have received different levels of polish while we work toward complete implementation of this new technology. The final Nvidia Ray Tracing integration will be released as a post-launch update, and we are excited for our fans to experience it first-hand."
The devs did not mention how far "post-launch" the update would be. However, since some parts are already implementing RTX, including the portion Huang showed at the keynote, the patch will probably be close to follow.
Of course, Lara Croft's next chapter hits shelves on September 14 --- six days before Nvidia's 20-series cards arrive on the 20th. So the optimizations might already be available by the time you're plugging in your shiny new GPU.