DICE Says DX12 Performance in BFV Is Similar to BF1, Comments on Ray Tracing with AMD GPUs

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Sep 5
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In a Gamescom 2018 roundtable interview transcribed by Tom’s Hardware, DICE Technical Director Christian Holmquist shared some information about the upcoming release of Battlefield V, currently in Open Beta and now scheduled to launch on November 20th. To begin with, he talked about DirectX 12 performance which will be more or less the same as already seen in Battlefield 1.

We did optimize some paths of DX12, but since most of this work is in the DXR API, what we did was that we made sure none of that was bottlenecking our throughput. So, playing DX12 performance will be similar to what we had in Battlefield 1.

Holmquist then talked extensively about the game’s raytracing implementation and how it would work with non-NVIDIA (AMD, essentially) hardware. Basically, DICE seems to be adopting a wait-and-see stance.

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We only talk with DXR. Because we have been running only Nvidia hardware, we know that we have optimized for that hardware. We’re also using certain features in the compiler with intrinsics, so there is a dependency. That can be resolved as we get hardware from another potential manufacturer. But as we tune for a specific piece of hardware, dependencies do start to go in, and we’d need another piece of hardware in order to re-tune.

The DICE Technical Director also gave a hint on what can be expected when it comes to CPU requirements for NVIDIA RTX features, which will be higher than the standard requirements without raytracing.

So, what we have done with our DXR implementation is we go very wide with a lot of cores to offload that work. So we’re likely going to require a higher minimum spec and recommended spec for using RT, and that was the idea from the start. It won’t affect the gameplay performance, but we might need to increase the hardware requirements a little bit. And going wide is the best way for the consumer in this regard because you can have a four-core or six-core machine. It’s a little bit easier these days for the consumer to go wide with more threads than have higher clocks.

Lastly, he discussed tweaking the raytraced implementation to avoid overdoing the reflections, as is often the case with new and shiny technologies. That’s on the artistic level, though they’ll also tweak other parameters to increase performance, as previously reported.

What I think that we will do is take a pass on the levels and see if there is something that sticks out. Because the materials are not tweaked for ray tracing, but sometimes they may show off something that’s too strong or something that was not directly intended. But otherwise we won’t change the levels—they’ll be as they are. And then we might need to change some parameters in the ray tracing engine itself to maybe tone something down a little bit.

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