Next week, Nvidia is holding a major event at Gamescom to tease the launch of a new GTX — or apparently, RTX — 2080 high-end GPU based on its just-announced Turing GPU architecture. As part of its Turing architectural unveil last night, NV published a teaser video for the next rollout. The video contains a number of clues to the naming convention, including a user named “Not_11” saying “Eating, give me 20.” Add up the screenshots seen on Discord, and the brand name — RTX 2080 — comes into focus, even if Nvidia hasn’t formally, officially declared it yet.
So far, Nvidia has focused on talking up its RTX cores as a major force to be reckoned with and a sea change in where gaming and professional graphics could be headed next. As we alluded to last night, it’s not the first time we’ve seen a company take a major bet on a new rendering technology and hardware to accelerate it. Nvidia’s strength and market share in graphics make it possible that the company will push a new wave of capabilities into the market in a way as fundamentally different to graphics as the advent of the G80 back in 2006 (Nvidia itself has explicitly made this comparison). But if I seem dubious, it’s because, well, the history of graphics and computing, in general, doesn’t favor the fast sea change.
The debut of Vulkan and DirectX 12 was supposed to revolutionize gaming, yet Vulkan and DX12 are used today by a bare handful of titles. Performance gains over DX11 have not generally materialized as hoped for. There are a variety of reasons for this, but one of the most important is that hardware refresh cycles are slow these days, it takes time to update both hardware and software to support new APIs, and taking advantage of the capabilities of those APIs can be more difficult in some cases than the previous, less-optimized solution. Even so, if you date the appearance of low-level APIs in PC gaming to Mantle back in 2013 — and we should — it’s now been 5.5 years since AMD first introduced a major new type of API. And games using those APIs are few and far between.
This is far from the only example of this kind of trend. VR remains bottlenecked and available to a scant handful of consumers even after Nvidia put a huge push behind it in 2015 – 2016. Both Nvidia and AMD put a huge push behind 3D gaming and multi-monitor gaming, respectively, back in 2012 – 2013. In both cases, just a handful of gamers bought into these capabilities and features.
It’ll be damn interesting to see what Nvidia has in store and why it thinks ray tracing is the future today. But that future will take a few years to arrive, no matter what the RTX 2080 offers in terms of specialized ray tracing hardware.
Intel Launches AMD Radeon-Powered CPUs
Intel's new Radeon+Kaby Lake hybrid CPUs are headed for store shelves. Here's how the SKUs break down and what you need to know.
Western Digital’s My Cloud Storage Devices Have Hard-Coded Backdoor
Western Digital's My Cloud network attached storage (NAS) devices claim to offer an easy, all-in-one solution for storing your data at home. However, they might also be providing an easy, all-in-one solution for hackers to steal your data take control of your device.
Huawei’s Phone Deal With AT&T Reportedly Killed On Account of Politics
The upcoming (and unannounced) deal with AT&T to sell the new Mate 10 series was supposed to be the start of Huawei's push into North America, but the deal has reportedly fallen apart at the last minute after AT&T got cold feet, and some sources point to a political cause.