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We ran Quake II RTX on a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti card, and here's how fast it was


On June 6th you’ll finally be able to get Nvidia’s remastered Quake II RTX version for free. And if you’re wondering just how fast the game runs, we just found out in the oldest-school way possible.

First, to catch you up, Nvidia has taken iD’s classic 1997-vintage shooter Quake II and lovingly updated it with a fully path-traced renderer. While you might dismiss that as “just another game with hybrid ray tracing” support, this is much more than that. At this juncture of ray tracing hardware performance, most games use ray tracing sparingly and combine it with traditional raster techniques.

Nvidia’s Quake II RTX remaster, however, renders everything by physically tracing light rays to create the scene. Such an undertaking with a modern game’s complexity isn’t possible, but 1997’s Quake II puts it within reach.

Nvidia gave us a chance to play with a near-release version of Quake II RTX during Computex, so we decided to see how close in fidelity the RTX version was.

Update: The final version seems to have changed the demo file name shown in the video, but we just tested it on the free version Nvidia released this morning (download it here). Read on for the correct information.

Memories: Going way, way back to Quake II

When we talk about Quake II, we’re talking old-school PC gaming, and old-school graphics. In 1997, Matrox was still in the game, AMD hadn’t yet bought ATI, and even Nvidia’s GeForce didn’t exist yet (its card at the time was the Riva 128). In fact, dozens of graphics companies were still competing at the time.

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