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GPU rendering and ray tracing with dual GPUs - RTX 2080 Ti | TITAN V | GTX 1080 Ti - V-Ray, Redshift, Octane, Blender Cycles v2.79b & v2.8 beta, OptiX Fermat & ProtoRay

With the release of Turing NVIDIA created a new class of GPU devices specifically tailored to target ray tracing workloads. Turing class GPUs feature dedicated HW elements - RT Cores - to accelerate BVH traversal and ray-triangle intersection tests. Unfortunately, professional GPU based rendering applications still don't support Turing's RT Cores. In this piece we test the top end RTX 2080 Ti against the Titan V, is Volta still the king when it comes to GPGPU rendering?

Test methodology

The card in question was used to drive the display - some applications gain performance when a card is a compute only device. All tests were executed three times (average of these runs are presented in all cases), the test was repeated in case of outlier results or anomalies.

V-Ray provide a free stand-alone application to evaluate how fast your hardware renders.

Redhsift offer a demo version of their fully fledged application, it is functionally identical to the commercial version, but renders with a watermark.

The Cycles render engine in Blender was assessed with a mix of demo files (splash screens and Blender Institute-prepared benchmark pack). Render time is extracted so that it only covers pure path tracing time - no kernel compilation, scene loading, CPU-side BVH construction, final composition. Blender is launched headless (no GUI) with a python script responsible to get everything sorted and start the rendering process.

Octane provides a neat benchmark tool, results are provided in Million samples per second per scene, per render element. Additionaly a combined score metric is also given where 100 serves as a base score for a reference GTX 980.

Fermat is a high performance research oriented physically based rendering system - the project uses CUDA and the OptiX Prime intersection library to generate photorealistic images.

ProtoRay is an open source Embree benchmark suite that can be configured to use OptiX as a backend.

Hardware setup

PSU: Cooler Master 1000W VANGUARD

MOTHERBOARD: ASRock X470 Taichi

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X

GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1080Ti FE

GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2080Ti FE

GPU: NVIDIA TITAN V

OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (10.0) Home 64-bit - Version 1809/RS5 (17763.195)

DRIVER: NV 417.35

RAM: G.Skill FlareX 16GB (2X8GB) DDR4 3200MHz

STORAGE: Samsung 960 EVO NVMe M.2 500GB

COOLER: Wraith Prism with RGB LED