After first announcing it last month, UL this weekend provided new information on its upcoming ray tracing-focused addition to the 3DMark benchmarking suite. Port Royal, what UL calls the "world's first dedicated real-time ray tracing benchmark for gamers," will launch Tuesday, January 8, 2019.
For those eager for a glimpse of the new ray-traced visual spectacle, or for the majority of gamers without a ray tracing-capable GPU, the company has released a video preview of the complete Port Royal demo scene.
Access to the new Port Royal benchmark will be limited to the Advanced and Professional editions of 3DMark. Existing 3DMark users can upgrade to the benchmark for $2.99, and it will become part of the base $29.99 Advanced Edition package for new purchasers starting January 8th.
Real-time ray tracing promises to bring new levels of realism to in-game graphics. Port Royal uses DirectX Raytracing to enhance reflections, shadows, and other effects that are difficult to achieve with traditional rendering techniques.
As well as benchmarking performance, 3DMark Port Royal is a realistic and practical example of what to expect from ray tracing in upcoming games— ray tracing effects running in real-time at reasonable frame rates at 2560 × 1440 resolution.
3DMark Port Royal was developed with input from AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, and other leading technology companies. We worked especially closely with Microsoft to create a first-class implementation of the DirectX Raytracing API.
Port Royal will run on any graphics card with drivers that support DirectX Raytracing. As with any new technology, there are limited options for early adopters, but more cards are expected to get DirectX Raytracing support in 2019.