Quake 2 RTX Performance Review: 30 FPS w/ GeForce RTX 2080 Ti @ 4K, 45 FPS with 2080 @ QHD


    NVIDIA recently released the Quake 2 RTX edition exclusively for the GeForce RTX Turing cards. Well, technically you can run them on the GTX cards as well, but the performance is going to be horrendous. Like really dismal. With an RTX 2080 Ti @ 4K, I got barely 30-35FPS in a twenty-year-old game.

    However, you can’t deny the fact that ray-tracing makes this decades-old shooter look more than a little better. NVIDIA seems to have gone all-out with the implementation, and everything right from reflections, shadows, lighting (global illumination and god-rays) as well as Ambient Occlusion are ray-traced.

    Quake 2 RTX

    If you are playing at 1080p, then you’re gonna need at least an RTX 2060 to play Quake 2 RTX with decent frame rates, that too after reducing lighting quality by a notch. A 2070 should be enough for 1080p Ultra. On the other hand, if you have a QHD monitor, nothing short of an RTX 2080 is recommended. Lastly, for 4K even a 2080 Ti barely manages to cross the 30FPS mark.

    Quake 2 RTX

    It won’t be fair to say that the game is un-optimized, it just seems like there’s too much happening on the screen. There are too many rays being cast to enable all those fancy effects, especially, reflections and god-rays. Even the gunshots and bullets are ray-traced, and you can see them affect the surrounding shadows as they fly toward your target. By turning RTX on and off, you can actually see how much of a difference do lighting and shadows make. The water also looks really different due to all the rays casting detailed reflections. Although the textures, meshes, and physics are the same as the vanilla game, these lighting-based improvements made me realize that:

    Firstly, I’m actually pretty good at this game, and of course how much potential ray-tracing has in the gaming industry once it’s widespread. Of course, the hardware needs to be beefed up before that happens.

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