DICE had to tone down the ray tracing effects in Battlefield V for “more realistic visuals as well as better performance”. Christian Holmquist, technical director of DICE in an interview talked about the team’s plans for Battlefield V along with the technical aspects, more importantly- the ray tracing engine.

Holmquist assured that ray tracing doesn’t change anything about the way art assets are handled in Battlefield V. During NVIDIA’s RTX unveil at Cologne, Germany, Battlefield V was the main game used to demonstrate the capabilities of ray tracing and the new Turing GPUs. However, as you might have already noticed some of these effects like the reflections came off a bit too strong, especially on windows and vehicles.

Battlefield V Devs had to Downgrade Ray Tracing in Favor of Performance

DICE will further fine tune ray tracing to make the game look more realistic and at the same time perform well, at least on the RTX cards. Another worrying bit about all this is that while Battlefield V will be well optimized for the upcoming RTX graphics cards, the older Pascal based cards as well as AMD Radeon cards might suffer.

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.

Speaking further on the topic, Holmquist said that there will be two different set of system requirements for Battlefield V on PC, one for playing the game with RTX enabled and the other without. DICE is also working to make sure that CPUs don’t bottleneck the shiny new RTX cards. This means that Battlefield V should properly utilize multi-core CPUs including both the Intel Core i9 as well as the Threadripper processors.

Battlefield V Devs had to Downgrade Ray Tracing in Favor of Performance

Also, seems like NVIDIA users will have to stick to DirectX11 in Battlefield V as well. NVIDIA cards fared better in Battlefield 1 using DX11 compared to it’s predecessor and seems that isn’t going to change in the upcoming game.

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.

Lastly, multi-GPU configurations continue to head to an eventual demise. DX12 didn’t support SLI or XFX in Battlefield 1 and DICE has no plans to implement it in the DX12 version of Battlefield V. However, DX11 should support it normally. It will be interesting to see if SLI scales better using the NVLink interface on the RTX cards.

If not having an RTX card makes you sad, here have a meme. It won’t get you a new graphics card, but you can post it on Reddit and get some karma:

Further reading:

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