AMD graphics cards may get ray tracing support with Navi 20

AMD Radeon VII
Riley Young/Digital Trends

Ray tracing might be a massive performance hog, but it can be very pretty in the right circumstance. The only games that support the fancy lighting effect require Nvidia RTX graphics cards to run it for now, but that could change in the future. According to a new rumor about AMD’s upcoming Navi generation of GPUs, AMD could add support for ray tracing with its expected high-end solution, known as Navi 20, slated for a rough 2020 release.

One of the two major features Nvidia introduced with its RTX-Turing graphics cards in fall 2018 was ray tracing. Along with deep learning super sampling, it offered a new way for light to be rendered in games that could be manipulated in real time to deliver more realistic reflections and shadows. It still isn’t supported by many games, but the expansion of ray tracing support to last-generation GTX 10-series graphics cards and the new 16-series could help encourage developers to adopt it. AMD cards joining the ranks of ray tracing supporting hardware would only help matters further.

The rumor about such support being a major feature of Navi 20 graphics cards comes from Paul at RedGamingTech. His source (or sources) also claims that early tests show it having less of a performance hit for the rest of the gaming experience than Nvidia’s RTX ray tracing implementation.

While we can’t speculate on Nvidia versus AMD performance in 2020, it seems perfectly viable for an AMD card to be able to handle ray tracing, as we’ve already seen Crytek’s Neon Noir demo that ran well enough at 30 FPS on a Vega 56 — far from a top-tier gaming card at this point.

Elsewhere in his video, Paul suggests that Navi 10 and 20 would both be based on modified versions of the Graphics Core Next architecture, similar to the last few generations of AMD cards, including Polaris RX 500 GPUs and Vega cards like the 56, 64, and Radeon VII. It will, however, enjoy improvements implemented by Raja Koduri while he was with the Radeon Technology Group (he now works at Intel on its upcoming graphics card). These should improve fill rate and the geometry engine, as per WCCFTech.

Other rumors about Navi suggest that it could enjoy variable rate shading, to focus graphical resources on creating higher fidelity element of a scene, while scaling back those that the player isn’t looking at. It may also be the main graphics architecture used in the next-generation of consoles from Microsoft and Sony.


Brace yourself. Sony’s PlayStation 5 is going to be expensive

How much will Sony's PlayStation 5 cost? Official pricing will stay under wraps for months, but early details provide enough information to make a guess. Our estimate suggests the price will be higher than fans expect to pay.

AMD could offer ray tracing with next-gen Navi graphics cards

Navi is the next-generation graphics card line from AMD and it's coming in just a couple of months time. When it does arrive, one of its major features may be ray tracing, which has to date been an Nvidia-exclusive feature.

Sony reveals the PS5, a massive upgrade to PlayStation 4’s hardware

Sony offers the first details on the hardware for the yet-unnamed PS5 console. The system will not be releasing in 2019, but it will be backward compatible with PlayStation 4 games.

AMD may launch its next-gen Navi graphics cards at E3 in June

AMD may be set to introduce its next-generation graphics cards as soon as June. Originally slated for a summer release, the new cards are now set for a big reveal a the E3 gaming show.

The number pad on HP’s Chromebook 15 makes spreadsheet work a breeze

HP's Chromebook 15 comes with a 15.6-inch display, a metal keyboard deck with full-size keys, and a dedicated number pad, making it the second Chromebook model, following Acer's Chromebook 715, to be suited for spreadsheet work.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.

AMD’s 2020 Ryzen CPUs could have a big boost in power efficiency

The sequel to AMD's Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 CPUs is slated for a 2020 release and when it arrives, could leverage the new Zen 3 architecture to deliver impressive gains to performance and power efficiency.

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.

Here's how you can download the best free music players for your Mac

Tired of your Mac's default music player? Take a look at our picks for the best free music players available for your Apple rig. Whether you're a casual listener or an audiophile, you're sure to find something that fits your needs here.

Want to make calls across the internet for less? Try these great VOIP services

Voice over IP services are getting more and more popular, but there are still a few that stand above the pack. In this guide, we'll give you a few options for the best VOIP services for home and business users.

Transform into the ultimate leader with our tips and tricks for Civilization 6

Civilization VI offers both series veterans and total newcomers a lot to chew on from the get-go. Here are some essential starting tips to help you master the game's many intricacies.

The iPhone’s Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts could land on Macs this year

For its desktop computers, it appears that Apple may continue to draw from the iPhone for inspiration. iOS 12 features, like Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts, are believed to be making their way to MacOS this year at WWDC in June.

Dell slashes prices of XPS 13 and Alienware 17 laptops in latest promo

Dell's latest promotion will score you big savings on the XPS 13 or the Alienware 17. The stylish XPS 13's discount is for $430, and only the rose gold model is on sale, while gamers who choose the Alienware 17 will save $860.

Lenovo’s Yoga C930 sale drops a $650 discount on its 2TB SSD laptop

Lenovo is offering one of its 2-in-1 laptops at a $650 discount. This Lenovo Yoga C930 laptop comes with a 2TB solid-state drive, a digital pen, a fingerprint reader, and a Dolby Atmos sound bar.