As we’ve stated numerous times, Battlefield 5 will be one of the first PC games that will support real-time ray tracing. However, and even though DICE will be using Microsoft’s DXR API, these effects will be optimized and exclusive to NVIDIA’s hardware.
What this basically means is that when AMD releases GPUs that can support real-time ray tracing via the DXR API, DICE will have to go back, re-tune these effects and add support for AMD’s graphics cards. And that’s because these ray tracing effects are currently dependent on NVIDIA’s hardware.
As Christian Holmquist, technical director of DICE, told TomsHardware:
“…we only talk with DXR. 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.”
So let’s assume that AMD is late to the party and releases a GPU that is capable of real-time ray tracing via DXR in 2020. If DICE is busy with its next Battlefield game, those AMD owners will not be able to enjoy these ray tracing effects from the get-go. Holmquist made it crystal clear that DICE will have to add support for them. And since DICE is a big company, that may happen but what about other smaller teams like those behind Enlisted, Assetto Corsa Competizione and Atomic Heart? Are they also using ray tracing effects in such a way that they depend on NVIDIA’s hardware?