With the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti still unchallenged as the top-of-the-line gaming GPUs, it made sense that Nvidia’s Computex launch would focus on the growth of their ecosystem and product stack. And that’s the direction Nvidia’s conference took, highlighting the upcoming use of G-Sync in multiple new laptops and screens, including a 4K/120Hz display and the world’s first 4K mini-LED screen.
The 4K mini-LED screen is the latest line in the ASUS ROG Swift gaming monitors. More details are expected to be announced later Monday evening Taipei time–ASUS’s press conference hasn’t been held yet–but being the first mini-LED screen with a quoted 1000 nits of brightness, it’s liable to cost at least $2000 by the time it hits Australian shores. The 4K/120Hz gaming laptop is due to be unveiled by HP later this week, as is a 35-inch curved G-Sync Ultimate monitor through Acer’s Predator line.
The best bits about the new monitors weren’t announced during the conference, but through releases afterwards. If you’re a fan of ultrawide monitors, there’ll be a 35-inch 1000 nit HDR screen with 200Hz refresh rate later this year in the ROG Swift PG35VQ. The mini LED screens will also support 144Hz while running at 4K.
Nvidia also highlighted the games that currently support ray-tracing, although the list of upcoming games that have ray-tracing support was few: Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Dragon Hound, Enlisted, Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2, the Quake 2: RTX fan project, Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries. Nvidia said over 100 developers were working on ray-tracing for their games.
Speaking of Quake, Nvidia announced that the Quake 2: RTX project would be released for free on June 6. Produced by Lightspeed Studios, a studio within Nvidia that works on remastering games, Quake 2 RTX will ship with multiplayer and 3 single player levels. Existing Quake 2 owners will get the game for free, although the slide did mention that it would be “available for all PC Gamers, Free”. A follow-up release noted that users will need a minimum of an RTX 2060 GPU to play Quake 2: RTX.
“You’ll be able to get it from [the GeForce] website and from Steam,” it was announced.
A new game was also shown off: Softstar Entertainment’s Sword and Fairy 7, a franchise popular in Taiwan and China. It’ll have real-time ray-tracing as well. Nothing was mentioned about the game’s localisation, and the launch trailer’s logo was in Mandarin, so we don’t know whether Sword and Fairy 7 will be playable in the Western market.
The conference veered to content creation, with a slide highlighting the 23 million-plus channels that currently exist on YouTube. The company then announced a platform called Nvidia Studio. Studio would launch with a “stack” of creative apps: drivers, CUDA support, SDKs for AI, video and rendering, as well as the creative branch drivers that Nvidia launched earlier this year.
There’s new Nvidia Studio laptops as part of this ecosystem: laptops that have up to Quadro 5000 GPU, or RTX GPUs with up to 16GB memory, thin-and-light designs with 4K HDR displays. The GPU maker then highlighted the performance of GTX 2080 Ti-powered laptops in Lightroom, Premiere Pro and Autodesk Maya compared to MacBook Pros, with the GTX 2080 Ti–especially given the underpowered GPUs long present in the Macbook line–unsurprisingly faster.
The content creation demo was pitched more at the visual effects market–an architecture demo was shown with Unreal Engine, while another demo was run using DaVinci Resolve. The most intriguing demo involved Halon Entertainment’s Daniel Gregoire and, Unreal Engine 4 and Aquaman, where Gregoire took the crowd through how a scene from the third act of the movie was put together using Unreal.
The scene was displayed running in real-time on a laptop using a Quadro 5000 GPU, and was largely meant to highlight the productivity benefits of being able to render, skim and edit such a graphically intensive scene on a laptop. It wasn’t a pitch to gamers, or a pitch about new product, but mostly to graphics studios and developers that are yet to upgrade.
RTX Studio-branded laptops will start shipping internationally from June, with devices from Razer, MSI, Acer, ASUS, Dell, Gigabyte and HP, with the cheapest versions (using RTX 2060 cards) starting from $US1599, although exact availability of devices will vary from region to region.
The first two Studio laptops announced are from Razer, with the Razer Blade 15 being upgraded with a Quadro RTX 5000 GPU, i7-9750U and a 4K OLED display. The 17-inch Razer Blade Pro will also be re-released with a 4K 120Hz display, an i9-9880H 9th-gen CPU, and a Quadro RTX 5000. Local pricing and availability wasn’t available at the time, however.