AMD introduced its latest Radeon VII graphics card yesterday, just days after Nvidia revealed it was bringing its RTX 2080 line to gaming laptops. AMD’s new chip is designed to compete with Nvidia’s RTX 2080, but outspoken Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang has laughed off the competition. In a roundtable attended by Gizmodo and other media outlets, Huang described AMD’s announcement as “underwhelming” and claimed the RTX 2080 would “crush” AMD’s Radeon VII in benchmarks. “The performance is lousy,” said Huang, referring to AMD’s latest GPU.
Nvidia is focusing on ray tracing for its latest RTX 2080 GPUs, a technology it has developed over the past decade in cooperation with Microsoft and others. Ray tracing models light in real time as it intersects objects in a virtual scene, and we’ve seen some early examples of how this could improve games like Battlefield V. AMD’s latest GPUs do not support ray tracing, but the company is claiming its second-generation Vega architecture should offer 25 percent more performance at the same power draw as previous Vega graphics cards.
AMD CEO Lisa Su responded to Huang’s comments yesterday, but refused to be pulled into a war of words. “I would probably suggest he hasn’t seen it, said Su before revealing why AMD isn’t all in on ray tracing just yet. “The consumer doesn’t see a lot of benefit today because the other parts of the ecosystem are not ready,” says Su. “I think by the time we talk more about ray tracing the consumer’s gonna see the benefit.”
We haven’t seen many games adopt ray tracing yet, but more are using Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super-Sampling (DLSS) to leverage supercomputer farms to scan games before they are released and work out the most efficient way to render graphics. Anthem, due next month, is the latest title to pledge support for DLSS, and it’s a feature that should improve game performance on Nvidia’s latest RTX cards.