Game Realism Via NVIDIA Enhanced Effects


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Game Realism Via NVIDIA Enhanced Effects

By Julian Duque

Earlier this year, NVIDIA introduced the Maxwell architecture and a lot of upcoming features that Benchmark Reviews briefly talked about on the review of the GTX 980 by Olin Coles. These features were demonstrated in detail, but were still pending to be released on actual games, that is until Assassin’s Creed Unity was released earlier this year. Thanks to NVIDIA GameWorks, game developers have the ability to use NVIDIA’s sample libraries and SDKs as well as implementing some of the features mentioned that allow for a more realistic game-play experience.


Aside from much of the criticism NVIDIA and AMD have received for working closely with game developers, this relationship is were the future of the industry lies to create and implement more realistic environments into games. The importance of this relationship is due mainly to the optimization games receive when developers and manufacturers work together. It is through this relationship that we have seen things like FaceWorks, Turbulence, and Mantle come to modern releases and bring a better gaming experience to PC users.

Just like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Unity utilizes the AnvilNext Engine, which since it’s debut in Assassin’s Creed lll, has received major updates to include pre-baked Global Illumination, volumetric fog, dynamic weather, and dynamic foliage to name a few examples. Of course, with Unity there is also some major upgrades to the engine from which the most outstanding is Physically Based Rendering (PBR)  which enables materials, objects and surfaces to look and react more realistically to lighting, shading and shadowing. Add to that a patch that has enabled the AnvilNext engine to decrease CPU bottlenecking which Unity definitely needs since many gameplay areas are filled with NPCs.

Additionally, there has been a vast improvement of shadowing and reflection effects, depth and field, and textures through Advanced Soft Shadows, Plug and Play Tessellation, HBAO+, and TXAA. For a quick explanation and demonstration of each, continue reading as we explore each of these features found in Assassins Creed Unity.


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  1. sta

    Looks good on paper but, Nvida held back on their top GPU just like with the 600 series was launched. 1600p and 1440p seem to be the new standard ans 4k g-sync mentors have hit the market. Who will get to fully experience all these things in an enjoyable manner? I’ve only owned Nvidia cards since 2007, i’m not trolling and i’m no fanboy. I’m a 40+ enthusiast who is waiting for Nvidia”s true next gen card. The gtx 980 isn’t much of an uprate compared to the 780 ti and the 970 are roundly equal to the regular gtx 780. Is G-sync is aw some but wont help much at 30fps , the 1440p Asus swift has been out of stock since September and the Acer equivalent s due Q2 2015.

    1. Jason

      The Asus monitor that you are talking about is 800 dollars. My thinking is that it won’t be much of a problem for someone who plans to spend 800 on a very specific monitor like the Asus, and they will indeed be going at least 2-way SLi with 970’s or 980’s.

      The GTX 980 and 970 are right about where you said they were in performance, yet are low cost solutions to the 780 Ti, and 780 respectively. All while maintaining the same performance (slightly higher usually) and adding an extra 1 GB of frame buffer, along with the extra features in the Maxwell architecture.

      The games optimized correctly to take advantage of Maxwell are going to see performance gains even more so over the older 780’s that do not include the features Maxwell does.

      Waiting for the ‘better’ Maxwell’s is a personal choice and if you are not in need of a new graphics card, waiting is always going to pay off since new cards are always improving upon previous generations.

      So, to enjoy all these features in an enjoyable manner, it all depends on how much a person is willing to spend, and how well they match their hardware to the task at hand. I don’t think anyone is going to invest in an 800 dollar 1440p monitor and not get the necessary hardware to make it functional and enjoyable.

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