During yesterday's Radeon RX 6800 & 6900 reveal event, AMD didn't exactly reveal a lot of details regarding its hardware support for ray-tracing.
However, one performance measurement for AMD's Ray Accelerator cores slipped through in the slides shared with the press, based on Microsoft's DXR SDK Procedural Geometry sample application. From this test alone, NVIDIA's Ampere-based GeForce RTX 3000 Series graphics cards appear to be significantly faster than the competition in ray-tracing, which we were kind of expecting given that NVIDIA had the headstart of an entire generation in this area. Of course, more tests will be needed in order to properly ascertain the performance differences between the latest AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards.
Meanwhile, though, AMD did provide a brief look at how they've helped integrated ray tracing (through Microsoft's DXR API) in two highly anticipated games that are due very soon: Counterplay's third-person action RPG Godfall and Codemasters' racing game Dirt 5. On AMD's DirectX 12 Ultimate page, we found comparison screenshots for both titles with and without ray-tracing enabled.
To be honest, though, in both cases the difference is minimal. Shadowing seems to be slightly richer and more detailed, but that's it; we can only hope the performance impact for such a minor graphics improvement will be very light.
These are two of the DirectX 12 Ultimate optimized games that AMD has been working on, apparently, alongside Blizzard's World of Warcraft: Shadowlands (which also features ray-traced shadows and Variable Rate Shading support), Ubisoft's Far Cry 6, and EXOR Studios' The Riftbreaker. According to a tweet posted by Microsoft's official DirectX 12 account, all of these titles should feature both ray-traced shadows and Variable Rate Shading support, even though we have seen neither yet for Far Cry 6 and The Riftbreaker.
AMD helped game developers bring beautiful shadows and improved framerate to Dirt 5, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, Godfall, Far Cry 6, and The Riftbreaker - using DirectX Raytracing and Variable Rate Shading from DirectX 12 Ultimate. Check out https://t.co/3vx8RBCsTr #GameOnAMD
— DirectX 12 (@DirectX12) October 28, 2020
Given that all of these ray-tracing implementations are based on Microsoft's DirectX Raytracing API, we expect they'll work on NVIDIA's RTX 2000 and 3000 Series GPUs, which will make for an interesting point of reference.