H/W Level Ray Tracing for AMD Radeon GPUs Coming in 2020; RX 5700 Series to Support S/W Level

AMD’s Navi reveal at E3 was lacking the one thing NVIDIA has been touting ever since the Turing RTX graphics cards came out, that’s right Ray-Tracing or simply RTX. Dr. Lisa Su compared the RX 5700 XT and the RX 5700 to the GeForce RTX 2070 and the 2060, respectively claiming around 10-20% more performance for just 20 bucks more, but there was no special sauce as rumored.

Ray Tracing for AMD Radeon GPU

AMD did, however, lay a roadmap of its “Ray Tracing Vision” according to which the present GCN and RDNA architectures will support “Radeon Rays” for creators and developers on the shader level using the software fallback option of DXR. As for hardware level support like NVIDIA’s RTCores, we’re looking at RDNA2 or “Next-Gen RDNA” which is said to incorporate hardware level ray tracing support for select lighting effects in games. The third and final step in the evolution of AMD’s ray-tracing design includes full-scene ray-tracing, along with support for Cloud Computing applications.

So basically from what I can tell, the present gen RX 5700 Navi graphics cards won’t have proper ray-tracing support, but instead, the next-gen RDNA GPUs will. This will come in the form of hardware accelerated ray-tracing for lighting effects such as reflections, shadows and AO (just like NVIDIA’s present implementation) while full-scene RTX is still quite far off. It’s nice to see AMD at least acknowledge the future of ray-tracing in the mainstream gaming market, even though it’s not planning to support it right off the bat.

Further Reading:

I love computer hardware and RPGs, and those two things are what drove me to start TechQuila. Other than that most of my time goes into reading psychology, writing (and reading) dark poetry and playing games.


  1. That’s cool that next gen RDNA will support ray traced lighting effects for gaming. Then all Nvidia will have over AMD gpus will be ray traced reflections, ray traced shadows and DLSS.

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