The latest patch suits Battlefield V and ray tracing, which now does not penalize as much and allows close to 60 FPS in 4K.
A few weeks ago an update for ‘Battlefield V’ finally appeared that allowed to enjoy the promising ray tracing in this game. If you have one of the new graphics in the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20 family you could finally try that new photorealistic technique in the game from Electronic Arts and DICE, but that first update was concerning.
It was because the commitment was clear: The frame rate per second was reduced to less than half when activating RTX to the maximum, although the thing was improved if those effects were activated in low mode. A new update released just a few days ago has significantly improved performance in RTX modes: 60fps 4K gaming possible with RTX in low mode, something simply unviable just a few days ago.
Photorealism has a price
As we discussed in our previous review, ‘Battlefield V’ is the first game to offer owners of the RTX 2070, 2080 and 2080 Ti the ability to power activate ray tracing during the game.
This technique is complemented by the traditional rasterized and brings its “magic” especially in the field of reflections, something that can be easily appreciated in the screenshots that we shared in the previous article: standing in front of a window or a car with its metallic paint suddenly takes on a new meaning in this game.
That difference in photorealism is what NVIDIA raises with its Turing architecture and this first approach to ray tracing, still limited but still unthinkable a few years ago. The result is certainly fantastic, but as we said in previous reflections, it’s hard to appreciate the differences in such hectic games because ‘Battlefield V’ already has exceptional graphics without those additional effects.
Still the differences are there and make the whole experience more immersive, more realistic. It’s a visually better experience, of course, although the impact on frame rate and fluency is clear. In our previous tests we saw how the performance dropped significantly when activating the different levels of RTX (in ‘Battlefield V’ there are four levels: low, medium, high and ultra), and only in 1080p resolutions with RTX at a low level were we able to overcome 60 frames per second with NVIDIA’s most powerful graphics, the RTX 2080 Ti.
Last December 3 EA and DICE published an important update of chapter 1 in which they introduced new campaigns (‘The last tiger’) in addition to the new Panzerstorm map or a curious Practice Range where we can polish our skills.
All of them were accompanied by a novelty much more relevant at the performance level. These are the improvements in the real-time DXR ray tracing that, as indicated by the game makers, allowed to improve performance and stability.
To evaluate these improvements we were able have an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti again (NVIDIA Game Ready 417.35 drivers), which we used in our test PC, the same as in the previous test: the processor is a Core i5-8400 accompanied by 16 GB of 3200 MHz DDR4 memory mounted on an ASRock Z370M-ITX board / ac. The main storage unit is a Samsung 970 EVo M.2 NVMe, while the power supply is a 650W Be Quiet BN282.
We passed those tests in the story mode – specifically in a small intermediate point of the story ‘Tiralleur’ - in which we did a small repetitive tour of about 45 seconds to evaluate the average rate of frames per second (measured with OCAT) that was achieved with each mode. For the tests we did that tour in 1080p, 1440p (2K) and 4K resolution, both with the RTX effects inactive and activating them in each of the four available modes. The results were the following:
As you can see, the differences still exist and when we activate the RTX modes there is still a clear drop in performance and fluidity, but the good news is that things improve surprisingly when we activate the RTX modes.
In our previous tests we did not go above 30 FPS in 4K with the RTX effects in low mode, but with the patch That rate almost doubled and we touched 60 FPS, which we can reach if, for example, we lower the level of detail. For some, this type of technology may still not make much sense, but it is undeniable that ray tracing now becomes much less damaging to the gaming experience.
These videos show what it’s like to play ‘Battlefield V’ without DXR and with DXR
To try to show the differences between one mode and the other, we have recorded two videos with two of the routes made during our tests. The first video is the one of the tour in DX11 mode, without RTX and with 4K resolution (detail in Ultra). If we look at the reflections of the ground when there are puddles we will see how the effect, although decent, seems to treat those puddles with a curious texture, almost like they were a plastic and somewhat sticky material:
Things change when we activate the RTX effects. This second video does that that tour with DX12 turned on, as well as having the RTX effects in Ultra mode using 4K resolution (with detail also in Ultra). The puddles we pass through are much more realistic, for example, and they are just one example of that visual quality that can be achieved with these types of effects that we remember, they just start to show what they are capable of.
In the end the frame rate may still weigh more for most gamers, but the truth is that being able to play in 1080p at more than 100 FPS with the real-time ray tracing DXR effects activated is, we think, an excellent option for the most demanding of both performance and visual realism. The ‘Battlefield V’ patch, therefore, brings good news in this section, and that is always appreciated.