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NVIDIA Kepler witnessed running Unreal 4 and Unreal 3 Samaritan

by Alistair Lowe on 9 March 2012, 09:42

Tags: Epic Games, NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA)

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The Unreal Engine 4 has now been demonstrated behind closed doors at GDC, with alas, witnesses to the event under a strict NDA. Epic Games did state, however, that it intends to demonstrate the new engine publicly later this year, which we expect will be either E3 in June, to celebrate the launch of, with fingers crossed, at least one new console or, the launch of the NVIDIA Kepler GPU in the near future.

What Epic did confirm was that the demonstration of UE4 shown behind closed doors was indeed powered by NVIDIA Kepler technology, strongly indicating, that at this stage, Epic is able to achieve the greatest performance from the upcoming architecture as opposed to AMD's Radeon HD 7xxx series, an indication which bodes well for NVIDIA.

What's more, is to tease the public as to the actual performance of the Kepler GPU, Epic ran, a live, real-time demonstration of its previously released Unreal Engine 3 Samaritan tech demo running on a single Kepler GPU, which last year, required three GeForce GTX580 cards in SLI to achieve equivalent frame-rates and, with reference to Unreal Engine 4, the firm stated "That board we ran the Samaritan demo on is the same board we're running the Unreal Engine 4 demos on, we can get so much more out of the card than what you saw in Samaritan."

We're looking more and more forward to the release of the latest members of the GeForce family.

Editor's note

I was actually at the event and personally asked Mark Rein about the differences in rendering year to year.

The three-way GTX 580 was run with 4x MSAA. The same demo was run yesterday on a single 'Kepler' card, at the same settings, but with MSAA substituted with FXAA. The end result was a comparable image but with far less computational penalty for running the pixel-shader-based AA over conventional MSAA.

For what it's worth, a 'Kepler' card is fundamentally faster than a GTX 580 at exactly the same settings, though I can't say by how much.

As for Unreal 4...



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It was running a much less intense form of AA than on the GTX580!! Its stated in the actual press release!! There is no info about the framerates and the previous demo was made over a year ago and IIRC was meant to be unoptimised anyway. We have no clue how well a single GTX580 will run it today.

"Epic is able to achieve the greatest performance from the upcoming architecture as opposed to AMD's Radeon HD 7xxx series, an indication which bodes well for NVIDIA."

Correlation does not mean causation though. It could be a case of Nvidia dumping more money at Epic games,to optimise the engine for Kepler. Until we get some actual data,it is just supposition.
your summation of the original article is a littlebit misleading - the previous 3x 580 demo was at a much higher AA level to the single kepler (the original was 4xMSAA and the new single kepler demo was on NV's latest version of FXAA), they also ran the old demo on 1.5GB cards so there's no telling if VRAM limitation was an issue which also wouldn't be affecting the kepler card
I was actually at the event and personally asked Mark Rein about the differences in rendering year to year.

The three-way GTX 580 was run with 4x MSAA. The same demo was run yesterday on a single 'Kepler' card, at the same settings, but with MSAA substituted with FXAA. The end result was a comparable image but with far less computational penalty for running the pixel-shader-based AA over conventional MSAA.

For what it's worth, a 'Kepler' card is fundamentally faster than a GTX 580 at exactly the same settings, though I can't say by how much.
CAT-THE-FIFTH
It was running a much less intense form of AA than on the GTX580!! Its stated in the actual press release!! There is no info about the framerates and the previous demo was made over a year ago and IIRC was meant to be unoptimised anyway. We have no clue how well a single GTX580 will run it today.

"Epic is able to achieve the greatest performance from the upcoming architecture as opposed to AMD's Radeon HD 7xxx series, an indication which bodes well for NVIDIA."

Correlation does not mean causation though. It could be a case of Nvidia dumping more money at Epic games,to optimise the engine for Kepler. Until we get some actual data,it is just supposition.

That's why I said 'indicating' - I have no doubt NVIDIA's throwing some level of money at the firm and there will be some level of bias, however, factor this with Epic stating that it can achieve more from the card with UE 4 and it's not wrong to make such a suggestion.

I'm not attempting to say "this is exactly how much faster the card is", the tech demo was a teaser and nothing more, however likewise, I can't verify what level of impact a move to FXAA had and if it was the bottle-neck preventing say three 580s from becoming two, so it's no more or less misleading as a teaser of performance.

andyb123
your summation of the original article is a littlebit misleading - the previous 3x 580 demo was at a much higher AA level to the single kepler (the original was 4xMSAA and the new single kepler demo was on NV's latest version of FXAA), they also ran the old demo on 1.5GB cards so there's no telling if VRAM limitation was an issue which also wouldn't be affecting the kepler card

Indeed, but for all we know, three 580GTXs would have still been required but FXAA was the enabling factor for the Kepler, which, whilst not performance bound could have been memory bound and this kept it down to a single card, we don't know either way.
hexus
What Epic did confirm was that the demonstration of UE4 shown behind closed doors was indeed powered by NVIDIA Kepler technology, strongly indicating, that at this stage, Epic is able to achieve the greatest performance from the upcoming architecture as opposed to AMD's Radeon HD 7xxx series, an indication which bodes well for NVIDIA.
Really? Doesn't it just indicate that nVidia paid/donated to/provided something for Epic to use one of their cards instead of the competition?

I mean, Thierry Henry is sponsored by Gillette - that doesn't make them the best performing razors for playing football.