Minecraft is the most popular game of all-time, but it's someway off being the best looking. Don't get me wrong, the block building game can be stunning to look at, but it's more unique beauty than a graphical powerhouse. The blocky aesthetic that defines Minecraft has received an overhaul this week with the launch of RTX graphics on Windows 10.
Specifically, Nvidia's RTX graphics card with path-traced ray tracing is now part of Minecraft on Windows 10. Nvidia says in a blog Tuesday that the availability is for all its GPUs that support the new technology.
You may remember Nvidia first announced RTX ray tracing for Minecraft almost exactly a year ago. At the time, the company was just showcasing what the future would look like. Today, the future is here and Minecraft is getting an aesthetic bump.
Ray tracing is a technology that provides more realistic lighting based on real physics. It is surprising how well it works in Minecraft considering Microsoft's title has never been about realism. However, there's no doubt the reflections on water, the dynamic shadows, and different intensities of light make a big difference.
In terms of the Turing architecture that underpins the RTX, Nvidia describes it as “the greatest leap” since the CUDA GPU was revealed in 2006.
The architecture is used in three new GPUS within the Quadro range of cards. As the world's first ray tracing GPUs, the company says the architecture “fundamentally changes how computer graphics will be done, it's a step change in realism.”
“Hybrid rendering will change the industry, opening up amazing possibilities that enhance our lives with more beautiful designs, richer entertainment and more interactive experiences,” says Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang. “The arrival of real-time ray tracing is the Holy Grail of our industry.”