Community benchmarks: Crytek Neon Noir measures ray tracing performance without DXR

Community-Benchmarks: Crytek Neon Noir misst Raytracing-Leistung ohne DXR

With the tech demo "Neon Noir", Crytek demonstrated in March 2019 how ray tracing effects can be mapped without using Microsoft DXR and thus dedicated ray tracing hardware as in Nvidia's Turing GPUs. Now the tech demo is available as a benchmark and BitcoinMinersHashrate calls the community to test it.

Voxel-based ray tracing

Crytek uses global lighting based on grid points (voxels), Voxel-Based Global Illumination (SVOGI) called. It does not require dedicated ray tracing units such as Nvidia's RT cores in Turing, but also runs on conventional "middle class hardware" from AMD and Nvidia, according to Crytek.

Part of the work is also done by the CPU, which creates a voxel image for each frame in real time – incrementally, as CryTek explains. On the GPU, "thousands of rays“Tracked through the grid and shadow maps. Indirect light is said to differ from static andmost dynamic“Have objects tracked. However, this only applies to dynamic ones if they are close to the static geometry depicted by the voxel. Indirect shadows can only be considered by static objects.

Currently with restrictions

The effects should not yet apply to particles or running water. Other restrictions include an offset of one or two frames in the display of indirect lighting and that it can take a few seconds for the system to work if the camera jumps to a completely different location – obviously the initial calculation of the voxel environment requires much time. Another limitation: ray tracing is only used for objects that are close to the viewer's eye.

In this context, however, CryTek speaks of “current limitations“So wants to tackle the problems. Contrary to the announcement in March, the benchmark initially relies on DIrectX 11 and not DirectX 12 or Vulkan.

Benchmark against Crytek account

The benchmark is available as a free asset in the marketplace for the CryEngine. The almost 4.4 GB download requires an account with Crytek, the registration of which can be completed by entering an email address. After registration, Neon Noir can be added to the shopping cart, the actual download also requires the CryEngine Launcher. This tool can then be used to download the benchmark after logging in with the previously created user data. It is not necessary to download the CryEngine.

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The settings for the benchmark

In addition to the resolution, the benchmark published by Crytek only offers another setting option: the quality of the ray tracing can be selected between "very high" and "ultra". In Ultra the ray tracing effects are calculated in the set resolution, in Very high it is reduced.

Readers who want to run the test with their system should use both ray tracing levels in the resolutions available. The benchmark is to be carried out “full screen”.

There are not many options

However, there is still a "problem": the benchmark shows the current FPS and frame times via overlay, but in the end only returns a score. To determine the FPS, the external tool CapFrameX must still be used.

Tutorial: Determine FPS with CapFrameX

For optimal comparability, only CapFrameX should be used as the benchmark tool. The formerly popular FRAPS no longer works in all games and is limited in functionality. CapFrameX can be downloaded directly from BitcoinMinersHashrate. The developer Zero Trat is also active in the BitcoinMinersHashrate community, which is actively involved in the project.

When installing, please note that Windows Defender can ignore this message. The tool does not have a valid signature, which is why the warning appears automatically – many programs that do not come from large manufacturers have the problem. After installation, the program can be found as a shortcut on the desktop and in the Windows start menu or the executable EXE file in the directory "C: Program Files (x86) CapFrameX".

At the top of the CapFrameX UI there are five different tabs, only the first two playing a role in the community test. All settings for the benchmark are made in the capture tab. It is important to set the "capture hotkey" to start the benchmark according to your own wishes ("F12" is used by the editors) and the "capture time in seconds" 90 seconds to be set (the measurement then ends automatically after 90 seconds, neon noir runs a good four seconds longer). The benchmark is started by pressing the capture hotkey in the game. This must be done exactly when the road to is visible (not already on the black screen in front).

CapFrameX should measure the benchmark for 90 seconds
CapFrameX should measure the benchmark for 90 seconds

When the benchmark is finished, CapFrameX shows the file name of the created file, the creation date and the corresponding time on the left side. If the program finds the entry, the benchmark has worked. If this is missing, there is a high probability that, in addition to the game, an additional process unknown to the program was started by Windows and CapFrameX therefore did not know which process should be measured. If audio notifications are active, CapFrameX will notify you when the measurement is started. In this case you will find the "Process Ignore List" on the right side. If there is a second process next to the game in "Running Processes", this must be marked with the mouse and then clicked on the arrow pointing to the right to be placed on the ignore list.

Both “GameLauncher” and “CRYENGINELauncher” were active in the editorial team when the benchmark was run. "CRYENGINELauncher" must be on the ignore list.

CRYENGINELauncher must be on the ignore list
CRYENGINELauncher must be on the ignore list

If the benchmark was successful, the graphical evaluation in CapFrameX takes place by clicking on the "Analysis" tab. Then the benchmark run must be marked on the left side with the mouse. Even if the tool provides further data: Only the average images per second (FPS) are important for the community benchmark. These can be found in the bar charts under the entry "Average". The numerical value mentioned there is the benchmark result. In addition, the tool shows many other series of measurements that can be used for a more detailed analysis or to compare several benchmark runs.

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This is how results are reported

Results can and must also be submitted in this reader test using the form below. If one of the forms is submitted, the CMS automatically creates a contribution in the comment thread of this article. Participants can add more information here, however mandatory outside the pre-formatted area – that is automatically evaluated by our CMS. The values ​​for BitcoinMinersHashrate are only visible when the contribution is saved.

It is important to pay attention to the correct name, which must always contain information about the GPU, CPU and RAM. The information is to be made as the following list and the already available benchmarks show – this increases the clarity enormously.

  • RTX 2080 FE, R7 2700, 32/2933
  • RTX 2080 CD, R7 2700, 32/2933
  • RTX 2080 CD OC, R7 2700 OC, 32/2933
  • RTX 2080 CD, R7 2700 UV, 32/3200

For GPU and CPU it can be specified whether the chip has been overclocked (OC) and / or undervolted (UV). GPUs should also mention whether it is a reference design (FE), a custom design (CD) or a mobile chip (MQ or M). The RAM is identified according to the GB / TAKT scheme.

  • FE = Founders Edition or reference design
  • CD = custom design (partner card)
  • OC = Overclocked
  • UV = Undervolted
  • MQ = Max-Q (mobile GPU from Nvidia)
  • M = Mobile GPU (except Max-Q)
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The form does not have to be filled in completely, and selected results can also be reported. Further measured values ​​can be added later by sending the form again.

The following diagrams contain the results for Full HD, WQHD and Ultra HD (switching through) with the reduced requirements. The results of the editorial team are in the colors green and red. The results of the community are orange.

Full HD benchmarks

Benchmarks in WQHD

Ultra HD benchmarks

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