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Quake II RTX Performance Review

Quake II RTX Game Features

Let’s begin by stating that Quake II RTX runs on the Vulkan API, it is because of the Vulkan API all of this is possible.  The Vulkan API has proven to be a flexible and fast API and allows easy integration with OpenGL games.  The game is also using the new NVIDIA VKRay Extension.  This basically stands for NVIDIA Vulkan Ray Tracing.  You can read about that technology here.     

Important, Quake II RTX is the first real-time “Path Traced” game.  Path Tracing is a raytracing technique and “the purest form of ray tracing” where light paths are traced through the scene in a way that unifies all effects into a single algorithm.  Path Tracing is the future, plain and simple.  Beyond raytracing specific 3D functions like lighting, global illumination, reflections, refractions, ambient occlusion and shadows path tracing is the one ring that rules them all. 

Path Tracing has been talked about in the past, we highly recommend Jim’s video from AdoredTV on Beyond Turing – Ray Tracing and the Future of Computer Graphics where path tracing as the future is discussed.  Quake II RTX being path traced is therefore big news.  It’s just the beginning and the tip of the iceberg where this technology is headed.

NVIDIA has made other changes to the game to enhance it greatly.  NVIDIA has introduced high-dynamic range time of day lighting with accurate sun light and indirect illumination. Global Illumination rendering.   It has also introduced physically based materials including refraction for water and glass, emissive surfaces and normal maps.  There are also particle and laser effects, procedural environments, a new flare gun and an improved denoiser. 

There are also added Quake II high-detail weapons, high detail models and textures, smoke and particle effects and more.  All 3,000+ original game textures have been updated with a mix of Q2XP mod-pack textures and NVIDIA’s own enhancements.  Multiplayer support.  NVIDIA has also included the original OpenGL support so you can compare the game with and without RTX. 

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