Battlefield V NVIDIA Ray Tracing RTX 2070 Performance

Can the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 muscle up the performance to play Battlefield V with ray tracing enabled at 1080p and 1440p now that the new RTX performance patch has been released? We will find out using an ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2070 OC and testing Battlefield V using 64-player MULTIPLAYER. Everything just works?


Battlefield V Information

Let’s recap a bit. Battlefield V officially launched on November 20th 2018, with DXR Ray Tracing supported with NVIDIA RTX video cards. It is very important to keep in mind that only reflections receive DXR Ray Tracing. The game itself is still rasterized, it is not fully ray traced. This is called a "hybrid" method, and is what NVIDIA supports currently. The game is rasterized, while only the reflections are ray traced. This is in no way a full-scene ray traced game. We have a long way to go before we get there. Therefore, only one type of lighting method is ray traced at all.

Battlefield V has been the poster child for demonstrating what DXR Ray Tracing reflections look like under NVIDIA RTX video cards. Unfortunately, during early presentations performance was extremely lacking, even on the most powerful GeForce RTX 2080 Ti video card. At first, this game was barely producing 60FPS at 1080p with DXR "Ultra" Ray Tracing on the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. This severe performance drop made many question the value of the image quality benefits over the performance impact. Especially considering you needed to drop all the way to 1080p to truly enjoy the game with DXR enabled. That begs the question, "Who’s buying a RTX 2080 Ti to play at 1080p?" While this profile might fit for some, we do not think it is what of our readers are looking for.

Thanks to a recent patch, a lot of this performance degradation has been "optimized" but from what we see, the numbers of rays being cast and how it is implemented has been changed. In the December 4th patch, DICE and NVIDIA made big changes in DXR Ray Tracing reflection performance so that it can be playable at "Ultra" settings at respectable resolutions.

How this was accomplished was to basically reduce or optimize the number of rays being cast onto objects. Some objects, like leaves for example, didn’t need so many rays being cast as it did not change image quality. By optimizing casted rays per object, more rays for some objects, less for others, this helps reduce the strain on performance. NVIDIA claims they have done this with no image quality degradation. NVIDIA has a video explaining what was done.

It’s kind of ironic, to improve the DXR Ray Tracing reflection performance, NVIDIA and DICE have basically reduced the amount of Ray Tracing to improve performance. This is one indication that shows that ray tracing is far from reality in the mainstream and in our games to replace rasterization with the huge amount of performance it demands. Keep in mind this is just reflections, only reflections are being ray traced, and performance was so bad the number of rays being cast had to be reduced just to be playable. The video cards cannot even provide playable performance with just "full" ray tracing on reflections only.

Another patch was released on December 11th. All of our testing was done under this latest patch applied as well.

Keep in mind, you need several things to enable DXR Ray Tracing in this game. You need an NVIDIA RTX video card. You need to install the latest Windows 10 fall October update version 1809 or higher, this is required. You need at least driver version 416.94 or higher. You need the game to support DXR, and this one does, patch it all up and it is ready.

DXR Settings

In Battlefield V the first graphics menu you come across is the basic video settings. This is where we will set resolution and fullscreen. Note that we also have all the settings here at default settings, all the post-processing options are enabled.

In the advanced settings is where the good stuff is. Here we can toggle DX12 enabled or not. When DX12 is set to Off the game runs in DX11 and DXR cannot be enabled. To enable DXR you must enable DX12. You can however run DX12 without DXR if you don’t want it enabled. It should be noted multi-GPU performance is not supported under DX12. Note we also have VSYNC disabled and the framerate limiter at 200 which is maximum. Notice also we have GPU Memory Restriction on Off. We tried tests with it On versus Off and noticed no differences in performance or frametime.

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All of the game graphics settings are at the highest value "Ultra" settings, TAA High, and HBAO enabled.

At the very bottom is the DXR RAYTRACE REFLECTIONS QUALITY option. With DXR enabled you can select between: Low/Medium/High/Ultra. This quality setting basically changes the resolution and clarity of the ray traced reflections seen. At "Low" these are more blocky and fuzzy, but at "Ultra" everything is clear and well defined, and of course if you are looking for awesome ray traced goodness, "blocky" is not what you want from your very expensive RTX video card.

GPU Being Tested

We are breaking from the normal format today, and focusing on just one video card for performance. Everyone wants to know if the GeForce RTX 2070 can cut it in this game with DXR Ray Tracing. We aim to answer those questions. Since the RTX 2070 has the least amount of ray tracing cores and Tensor Cores on an RTX video card to date, we need to see if it gives us DXR-viable gameplay.

We are going to use a factory overclocked ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 2070 OC ($630) video card. In addition, we have the latest OS build and updated version installed, and the latest video card driver. To get to the bottom of performance that matters we are testing strictly multiplayer performance in Battlefield V.