NVIDIA Releases Sneak Peek at New Ray-Traced Worlds in ‘Minecraft’

Today NVIDIA offered a sneak peek at what is possible when you combine the world’s most popular game with next-generation ray-tracing technology. We also posted some tutorials to help Minecrafters get started.

New Minecraft Worlds from Top Creators

As we gear up for the release of Minecraft with RTX, we’ve been working with some of the world’s most talented creators in the Minecraft community. The first results of that collaboration are displayed today in a series of screenshots that show off their amazing work. The screenshots feature worlds created by RazzleberriesBlockWorks and GeminiTay (bios below), just a few of the creators who were selected due to their imaginations and fantastic track record of making captivating contributions in the Minecraft community.

The worlds include:

  • Of Temples and Totems RTX by Razzleberries – An adventure world focusing players on exploring and completing challenges in mysterious temples. Each temple showcases per-pixel emissivity and real-time shadows, and leverages global illumination to create an immersive experience for players.
  • Imagination Island RTX by BlockWorks – A fully explorable theme park, filled with Easter eggs, that hosts four distinct lands, each dedicated to an element of real-time ray tracing. In this scene we see the visitor center of the park, highlighted by god rays cast in real-time through the windows, shining down onto the floor.
  • Crystal Palace RTX by GeminiTay – A survival map with a whimsical fantasy theme that features a masterfully built castle. Ray-traced shadows and beautiful atmospherics create realism in this world built on a 1:1 scale. 

Tools and Tutorials to Empower Minecraft Creators

NVIDIA also unveiled a series of tools and guides that Minecrafters can use to make immersive, life-like worlds. Originally scheduled for our GPU Technology Conference in Silicon Valley, these online tutorials are being released as part of GTC Digital and include:

  • For creating physically based rendering textures – A presentation and how-to guide that dives into the particulars behind Minecraft with RTX’s path tracing and PBR textures and how they work together to create incredible sights. It includes a step-by-step workflow for creating your own PBR textures and texture packs.
  • For converting Java worlds to RTX worlds – NVIDIA has partnered with Minecraft creators to craft a guide of the unofficial best-practices to convert your world to Bedrock Windows 10 Edition, which is the basis for the upcoming Minecraft with RTX.

NVIDIA teams have been hard at work, hand-in-hand with Microsoft, to bring worlds that are fully path-traced, with reflections, shadows, caustics, global illumination, and other realistic lighting effects that interact naturally with physically based textures applied to Minecraft’s blocks. These PBR textures enable per-pixel emissives, volumetric effects, and other never-before-seen sights, that together with the path-traced effects usher in the next evolution of Minecraft.

Stay tuned for more information on Minecraft with RTX, which is coming soon.

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NVIDIA DLSS 2.0, Using AI to Improve Gaming

Powered by RTX Tensor Cores, DLSS 2.0 is a new and improved deep learning neural network that boosts frame rates while generating beautiful, sharp images for games. It gives games the performance headroom to maximize quality settings and increase output resolution. 

DLSS 2.0 offers the following enhancements over the original:

  • Superior Image Quality – DLSS 2.0 offers image quality comparable to native resolution while rendering only one quarter to one half of the pixels. It employs new temporal feedback techniques for sharper image details and improved stability from frame to frame.
  • Great Scaling Across All RTX GPUs and Resolutions – A new AI network more efficiently uses Tensor Cores to execute 2X faster than the original. This improves frame rates and eliminates previous limitations on which GPUs, settings, and resolutions could be enabled.
  • One Network For All Games – The original DLSS required training the AI network for each new game. DLSS 2.0 trains using non-game-specific content, delivering a generalized network that works across games. This means faster game integrations, and ultimately more DLSS games.
  • Customizable Options – DLSS 2.0 offers users 3 image quality modes – Quality, Balanced, Performance – that control the game’s internal rendering resolution, with Performance mode enabling up to 4X super resolution (i.e. 1080p → 4K). This means more user choice, and even bigger performance boosts.

This week, MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries and Control are joining Deliver Us The Moon and Wolfenstein: Youngblood as games that support NVIDIA DLSS 2.0.  DLSS 2.0 is now also available to Unreal Engine 4 developers through the DLSS Developer Program that will accelerate deployment in one of the world’s most popular game engines. 

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Gets NVIDIA DLSS 2.0Today!

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, which launched to very positive reviews,is a BattleTech mech game developed by Piranha Games and released on December 10, 2019 on Windows. It is the first single player MechWarrior game since 2002. The game will get a graphics upgrade via a patch today that enables NVIDIA DLSS 2.0 technology.  In MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, DLSS 2.0 improves performance from 30% to 75% using the “Quality” mode, all while maintaining, and in some cases even improving, image quality. 

Control Gets NVIDIA DLSS 2.0 This Week!

Control will be launching The Foundation expansion pack and a game patch that updates the game to NVIDIA DLSS 2.0 technology on March 26, 2020.  

With DLSS 2.0, image quality improves materially compared to the original DLSS image processing algorithm used in Control.  Depending on the specific GPU, resolution, and quality settings, frame rates can be boosted up to 75% in Control.

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HyperX FURY Ultra – RGB Gaming Mouse Pad Review

The HyperX Fury Ultra is a Gaming Mouse with RGB. Why? Well because RGB is kinda neat(at least to me, your opinion might differ) and having an RGB mouse pad helps complete any type of look or aesthetic you’re going for. So, let’s take a look at this mouse pad and see what it has to offer.

Specifications

Light effectsPer-LED RGB lighting
Cable typeBraided
Weight580g
Thickness5.0mm
DimensionsWidth: 359.4mm
Length: 299.4mm
Cable length: 1.8m
MaterialPlastic

The main function of a mousepad is to provide a surface so that you can properly use your mouse. This includes proper friction and the ability to control the mouse perfectly when playing games. The Fury Ultra has a Plastic surface. I’ve used a lot of mouse pads and they’ve all been cloth pads because they’re just so much better when it comes to the feel and control of it. But I figured that a plastic one would also be fine until I actually put the mouse on it and instantly felt a disconnect.

Using the mouse on this mousepad felt like using it on any regular plastic table or wooden surface. There was no real grip so your mouse can very easily glide across the surface. There was a real lack of friction. So if you’re someone who likes to glide their mouse and doesn’t want friction then this is great for you. It also feels very plastic and not premium at all. I thought maybe it was just me and my experience with cloth pads but after a lot of struggling, I couldn’t really use my mouse properly or comfortable on this. So I decided to have some of the other folks in our office try it out and give their feedback and they said the exact same thing.

Now if you’re fine with the plastic surface and are more comfortable with it, this will be a huge plus point for you but for the majority of people, this would be a big con.

Moving onto one of it’s selling points, the RGB. This was also somewhat disappointing. The lighting for this isn’t on the edges of the mouse pad, instead its somewhat underneath the outer border. This means that you can’t really see it quite well in proper lighting. When we first plugged in the device to power up the RGB, our reaction was “Wait, that’s it?” because we could barely see it properly. In the darkness, it was a bit better though.

There’s also a spot on the top of the mousepad that also illuminates that probably houses some of the electrical components of the device which looks like a small roof of sorts. This could potentially also trip your wire a bit when moving quickly since it is in the centre so do keep that in mind. The bottom is rubberized so we never really faced problems with the mousepad moving too much while using it. The cable that comes with it is braided so that’s also good as it means better longevity.

All in all, this product was a bit of a let down for me. The hard surface mixed with the somewhat sparse lighting meant that the two main selling points of this mousepad were both not good enough. If you’re a fan of hard surface mouse pads then maybe you’ll enjoy this but then again, the RGB isn’t that great on this and something like the Firefly V2 does a better job at that.

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HyperX Alloy Origins Core RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

HyperX’s lineup of keyboards seems to hit every checkbox for gamers with the sheer amount of keyboard options that they have. We’ve already looked at the Alloy Origins very recently and now we’re taking a look at it’s smaller sibling, The HyperX Alloy Origins Core Tenkeyless RGB mechanical keyboard. Yup, that’s quite the mouthful to say.

Specifications:

Keyboard
SwitchHyperX Switch
TypeMechanical
BacklightRGB (16,777,216 colors)
Light effectsPer key RGB lighting3 and 5 brightness levels
On board memory3 profiles
Connection typeUSB Type-C to USB Type-A
Anti-ghosting100% anti-ghosting
Key rolloverN-key mode
LED indicatorYes
Media controlYes
Game ModeYes
OS compatibilityWindows® 10, 8.1, 8, 7

Key Switches
SwitchHyperX Red, HyperX Aqua
Operation StyleLinear, Tactile
Actuation Force45g
Key Travel Distance1.8 mm
Total Travel3.8 mm
Life Span (Keystrokes)80 million
Cable
TypeDetachable, Braided
Length1.8 m
Dimensions
Width360.0 mm
Depth132.5 mm
Height34.5 mm
Weight (Keyboard and cable)900 g

The Alloy Origins Core is a sleek, clean-looking design that minimalists will absolutely love. It’s a tenkeyless keyboard which means a smaller form factor. This is perfect for those who travel with their keyboard or want more space on their desk.

It’s good a solid yet clean aluminium body that feels premium. And since it is quite portable, it comes with a detachable USB Type-C power cable so you don’t have to worry about the cable dying since it can always be replaced. But I don’t think that will happen any time soon because the cables themselves are braided making them hard to tear away or fall apart easily.

The keyboard is simplistic in its approach. No volume rocker or macro keys or dedicated media keys. Which for a tenkeyless keyboard makes sense. However, it does have per-key RGB lighting so you can still make your setup look aesthetically appealing. It has inbuilt presets for the lighting which can be changed by using the Function kets keys and does need external software.

If you do require proper lighting management and such, it can be done with the help of the HyperX Ngenuity software. You can also set up profiles here as well for games so that your keyboard lights up in different ways. If you do get this keyboard, or any HyperX keyboard I highly suggest taking some time and going through the software to perfectly tailor the keyboard to your needs.

Onto the Switches, we go. The one we reviewed uses the HyperX Red switches which are similar to the CherryMX Red. And honestly speaking, picking which one is better is all personal preference. I had a good time using the keyboard to type (wrote this review with it) and also for gaming. It’s not like a blue switch so you won’t get the solid tactile click and sound, but it’s still got nice tactile feedback on each button press.

You also get all the regular stuff you get with gaming keyboards. N-Key Rollover meaning you can press a lot of buttons at once and have them all register, you have “Gaming mode” which just locks the windows key so you don’t accidentally alt-tab out if you press it while playing a game.

So is the keyboard worth it? Yep, I had a great time using it, had no complaints or felt anything missing. I love the detachable cable because that just means a longer life for the keyboard and more portability for this little monster. For further aesthetics, you could get the HyperX Double Shot PBT Keycaps(not pictured here) that are translucent from the bottom which I use on my personal keyboard and feel would look fantastic on this keyboard and give it some more flair and personality.

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