Minecraft Beta with Ray Tracing and DLSS (RTX ) – Changing the rules for fans

(Última actualización: abril 21, 2020)

Minecraft Ray Tracing

Minecraft Beta with Ray Tracing and DLSS (RTX ) – Changing the rules for fans

Today the press embargo is lifted for images, opinions and more for Minecraft Beta with Ray Tracing (RTX) and we have all the necessary information ready. In addition to Ray Tracing, DLSS 2.0 comes as an option for this title (we have previously analyzed DLSS 2.0 and praised the improvements compared to its original implementation).

We remind you, that Minecraft with Ray Tracing and DLSS is still in BETA phase, so there could be some improvements in the future (patches or even drivers) and performance could change, but it gives us a good idea of what to expect.

We want to add that it is the FIRST TIME we have tested Minecraft, so we are not experts on the subject, but let’s hope that the time I have spent in the game, it will reflect real life performance for the end user.

Before we start, we’ll give a refresher class on what NVIDIA RTX On versus Off is.

NVIDIA RTX, what is it?

Several users incorrectly assume that RTX is only Ray Tracing. While Ray Tracing can be equivalent to RTX, RTX can have more than one effect applied in the game. RTX is the sum of effects of new features added at hardware and rendering pipeline level.

Currently Minecraft Beta has two features that will be used for this review (RTX On).

These are:

-Ray Tracing (ray tracing obtained by using hardware acceleration, known as RT cores).
-DLSS 2.0 (super scaling using deep learning, artificial intelligence, hardware accelerated, known as Tensor cores).

In summary, RTX in Minecraft Beta is the combination of ray tracing and DLSS (version 2.0).

Minecraft Ray Tracing Materiales

With Minecraft and RTX, materials bring new elements. Metallic, Normal, Emissive and Roughness.

Technical details versus marketing material

Our opinion of Ray Tracing and DLSS 2.0 in Minecraft Beta, in general, is positive (although I imagine there is still work to be done) but we saw a detail that we want to highlight, besides some “technical difficulties we had during the process“.

From the marketing material, we’re only going to use two images to point out something that can confuse the public. That is the relationship between:

-Ray Tracing/DLSS 2.0 images of Minecraft Beta with RTX (hey look spectacular)
-Some DLSS performance charts.

-First picture: The effect of DLSS on an RTX 2080 Ti in different resolutions
-Second image: The DLSS effect in 1080p with different video cards

We mentioned in the introduction, that this is the first time we tried Minecraft, so we are not experts in its interface, nor in its graphical configuration, but we noticed something that is simple to test.

To get the image quality and detail from NVIDIA’s marketing material related to the game, there is a graphic option that impacts both visual quality and performance and it’s called “Chunks”.

To explain simply what “Chunks” is, it is the maximum distance where the blocks are “rendered”.

While these images may circulate online highlighting the results of using DLSS 2.0 (which are excellent) it is not consistent with the marketing images (showing the beauty of Ray Tracing in Minecraft).

I emphasize this, since, in all marketing image captures, “24 Chunks” are being used instead of “8 Chunks” and that difference in configuration, gives a perceptible performance hit.

Minecraft RTX On

To obtain this image quality, you must use “24 chunks” in the Ray Tracing Render Distance option

Therefore, for our review, we will use “24 Chunks” as our configuration for Minecraft Beta with Ray Tracing + DLSS 2.0 to be faithful to the images you will see in different publications (unless we specify otherwise) and we will reduce to “32 Chunks” when not using RayTracing/DLSS (unless we specify otherwise).

Finally, I decided to use 1440p resolution instead of 2160p, simply because the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER does not keep FPS comfortable enough for 2160p, even with DLSS 2.0 (Minecraft with Ray Tracing so far, is highly demanding in terms of hardware).

Depending on the map and its complexity, Minecraft can be highly demanding, so it’s not surprising that some optimization videos recommend 16 “Chunks” (without RT/DLSS).

Minecraft Beta “base” configuration without RT/DLSS (1440p)

Minecraft Beta No Ray Tracing DLSS

Correction: 32 chunks

Minecraft Beta “base” configuration with RT/DLSS (1440p)

Minecraft Beta Ray Tracing RT DLSS Settings

Upscaling option is DLSS 2.0

Test bench and additional observation about FPS

Now let’s review the configuration of our test bench, which has the latest drivers available, NVIDIA GameReady 445.87.

Test bench

Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (Stock)
Motherboard: GIGABYTE X570I Pro WiFi
RAM: Ballistix ELITE 3600 MHz CL16 (2x8GB)
Video card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super
SSD: HP EX900 250GB
OS: Windows 10 Home 1909
Driver: NVIDIA GameReady 445.87 (Press drivers)

About FPS in Minecraft

I want to make an observation, which I saw when I did several tests in different configurations in the game. As we mentioned, it’s the first time I try this title, so I am not very used to its behaviour (I mean frametimes and fps).

It seemed a bit awkard, since the frames seemed to “render” a scene without movement, but FPS would go up and down constantly until it achieved a “stable state”. The captures that we will offer from the five different test worlds that Minecraft Beta has with Ray Tracing and DLSS, will have a FPS counter that we think is the “stable sample”.

This happens especially when Ray Tracing is disabled, because when it is enabled, GPU usage goes up to 100%. Without further ado, let’s introduce the five worlds NVIDIA has released to showcase Ray Tracing and DLSS technology with Minecraft Beta.

Originally we were going to use 64 chunks for all the maps with RTX disabled, until we came to “Of Temples & Totems RTX: A Tale of Elemental Artifacts“, which challenged the graphic card, as it started using the 8GB of VRAM and above, causing freezing and instability.

With this map, we learned that very complex maps can overload the VRAM buffer, so for that map we used 16 Chunks with RTX disabled.

Ray Tracing Worlds in Minecraft Beta

For this release, the game has five maps available that show the possible capabilities of Ray Tracing, as well as DLSS 2.0 in Minecraft Beta. These are:

  • Aquatic Adventure RTX
  • Imagination Island RTX 
  • Crystal Palace RTX
  • Of Temples & Totems RTX: A Tale of Elemental Artifacts
  • Color, Light and Shadow RTX

Also, on April 16th, a new map called Neon District RTX will be launched.

The first map we’ll see is Color, Light and Shadow RTX.

Color, Light and Shadow RTX – Normal versus RT/DLSS (1440p)

(32 chunks – No RTX, 24 chunks – RTX On)

Image 1

-No RTX: 143
-RTX: 66

Image 2

-No RTX: 144
-RTX: 58

Image 3

-No RTX: 144
-RTX: 66

Image 4

-No RTX: 144
-RTX: 69

Imagination Island RTX – Normal versus RT/DLSS (1440p)

(64 chunks – No RTX, 24 chunks – RTX On)

Image 1

-No RTX: 93
-RTX: 55

Image 2

-No RTX: 83
-RTX: 62

Image 3

-No RTX: 110
-RTX: 58

Image 4

-No RTX: 125
-RTX: 69

Crystal Palace RTX – Normal versus RT/DLSS (1440p)

(32 chunks – No RTX, 24 chunks – RTX On)

Image 1

-No RTX: 134
-RTX: 73

Image 2

-No RTX: 110
-RTX: 65

Image 3

-No RTX: 115
-RTX: 69

Image 4

-No RTX: 111
-RTX: 58

Of Temples & Totems RTX: A Tale of Elemental Artifacts – Normal versus RT/DLSS (1440p)

(16 chunks – No RTX, 8 chunks – RTX On)

Image 1

-No RTX: 144
-RTX: 46

Image 2

-No RTX: 144
-RTX: 59

Image 3

-No RTX: 144
-RTX: 58

Image 4

-No RTX: 111
-RTX: 56

Final analysis – Minecraft Beta with Ray Tracing visually reinvents itself

Minecraft Beta with Ray Tracing (and DLSS 2.0 too) reinvents the game with new visuals that make the classic “sandbox game” look good for 2020. We applaud NVIDIA and Microsoft for their commitment to this popular title, applying the new trends and technologies of the future of video gaming.

Before going into our technical appreciation, the efforts of both companies will not only have an impact on the world of PC gaming, but will pave the way for all of today’s work to be applied to next-generation consoles as well.

Let’s move on to our technical appreciation of Minecraft Beta with RTX.

Visually beautiful and demanding

The images speak for themselves of the radical change that Ray Tracing and DLSS 2.0 offer in Minecraft. There is no doubt that the technical and visual element gives a new possibility to Minecraft’s content creators, a new way to create worlds with visual fidelity not seen before.

Now let’s look at the technical side of the game, which as you read, is quite demanding in terms of hardware.

Before we start, we remind you that this is my first time trying this title and that the game is still in BETA phase.

By testing the different maps, we started to learn the impact that “chunks” (explained in technical details) can affect the game performance (FPS). This applies to both RTX and without RTX.

It depends a lot on the map to load and although we started testing using the 64 chunk configuration (without RTX) in our first test map, we immediately went down to 32 chunks as some models represented some un acceptable FPS drops.

Minecraft Ray Tracing

The map that was most demanding was “Of Temples & Totems RTX: A Tale of Elemental Artifacts” which we had to downgrade to 16 chunks (without RTX) because the VRAM memory would fill up and the game would hang.

With RTX On, all maps except the last one mentioned, were tested with 24 chunks (RTX On) and using 1440p, in several sections and depending on the map model, had problems to stay above 60FPS, using DLSS 2.0 and Ray Tracing enabled (1440p).

Although DLSS 2.0 was used in the tests, Minecraft with Ray Tracing is highly demanding. The first resolution I tested was 2160p and I quickly had to go down to 1440p, which gave better results.

The resolution we would probably recommend in most cases is 1080p.

The FPS achieved reminds me of the early days of Ray Tracing, but now we have DLSS 2.0 on hand with the game.

To finish our analysis, the implementation of DLSS 2.0 is necessary to obtain the FPS shown in our screenshots.

DLSS 2.0 proves once again, little quality is lost to obtain a substantial improvement of FPS.

We hope that Microsoft and NVIDIA will release new patches/drivers that will improve the game’s performance (remember that it’s still in BETA) but we doubt that the improvement will be substantial (I hope I’m wrong) and will lead to new generations of consoles being ready, thanks to the work done by both companies.

The graphics of Minecraft is awesome with Ray Tracing and opens a new world of possibilities.

XanxoGaming Seal of Approval

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