Ray Tracing in Resident Evil 7, 2 and 3 WELL DONE! See our comparisons

Additional filters with RT improved RE Engine defects in rasterization

THE capcom brought important updates to recent Resident Evil games, including the Resident Evil 7, Resident Evil 2 Remake and Resident Evil 3 Remake. Among the highlights is the inclusion of AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (AMD FSR) and also support for tracing light rays (ray tracing) for both lighting and reflections. We compared some hardware and different tweaks to see the impact on the game’s performance and visuals.

We use Resident Evil 2 Remake as a reference for our comparisons, a game that interestingly we made a video highlighting how good ray tracing would be for him, and which is now gaining support. Not even our first comparison will use an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, combined with a Ryzen 9 5900X processor. Complete specifications include:

– AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
– Noctua NH-U12S Cooler
– Aorus X470 Gaming WiFi Motherboard
– Kingston Fury Memories 2x8GB @3200MHz DDR4 CL18
– Cooler Master V850 Source
– Open bench

Our comparison will use the game’s Lightning Traces pre-set, leaving all other settings unchanged. We only tweaked the quality level of the two RT settings or turned RT off completely.

In the first scene, the difference that lighting via RT causes the scene is obvious. As a whole it gets darker, as a result of only the places with some light source lighting up. In addition to giving more volume to the scene, it creates a much heavier atmosphere, something that definitely suits a Resident Evil, and at the same time corrects strange situations, such as the wall pipes being too lit at the top, with the source of light closest to them is at the bottom.

Looking at the difference between running ray tracing on High or Low, the graphics quality is very close in this scenario. The only visible difference is that with more light strokes being made, the scene in RT Alto puts a modest, low-definition reflection of the fire happening on the other side of the train tracks, out of sight at this angle. And only.

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The performance is greatly impacted by activating the RT. While the RTX 3060 ran the game beyond 100fps in Quad HD, enabling RT nearly halved that performance. In addition to the low difference in graphic quality, RT High and RT Low also had little variation in system performance. Even with this performance drop, the RTX 3060 still manages the game at 60fps, with an AMD FSR in Ultra Quality mode already being enough to guarantee a performance margin above 60fps.

Now looking at a second scene, we have a clearer view of the differences in reflections and the finishing of some details. It’s noticeable how the game engine barely handles some edges, like those pipes in the right corner, which has a kind of weird light edge. RT in both low and high quality fixes this.

But something that caught my attention is the reflections. The RT High mode has enough strokes to fill the entire floor, but the RT Low ends up leaving a large area without reflections. RT Off manages to make these reflections via Screen Space Reflections (SSR), something that looks good in this frame, but suffers very negative effects in motion, something that I recommend to be seen in the video to be clearer. Reflections can only exist if the reflected object is on the screen, so things appear and disappear from the reflections, creating a very negative effect on image quality. Even without the reflections, I prefer the consistency of the game running at Low RT than the problematic SSR of the rasterization, but I’m talking about personal taste here.

Now the performance impact has been considerably greater, and a clear difference has emerged between RT’s high and low mode. In High mode, performance dropped by about 40% compared to RT OFF, while it was about 30% worse than not using raytracing. Here it is evident that the scene used much more reflections with the Ray Tracing technique, and the performance was consequently more impacted.

Based on these tests we see that the RTX 3060 has performance for ray tracing in the game, but what about more modest cards? We put in action the GeForce RTX 3050, the most modest card in the current RTX line-up, and with performance not far from the RTX 2060, another entry-level card from Nvidia’s RTXs. We use as a reference another quite heavy scenario: the part of the laboratory, in the final stretch of the game, where there are many reflections on various surfaces of the scenario.

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Ray Tracing weighed heavily. The Full HD frame rate dropped to around 40fps, losing almost two-thirds of the original performance without RT on. In this scenario, it is crucial to reduce the graphics quality of the Ray Tracing to Low, again managing to maintain something around 60fps and making it viable to play with RT on this card.

We also tested how the ray tracing is on the Radeon side. We put into action the Radeon RX 6600, a card at a price level relatively close to that charged in the RTX 3050, and we see that the direct rivals get a very close performance in configurations

Now let’s go beyond the benefits of new technologies. Resident Evil 2, 3 and 7 have lost one feature: DX11 support. Due to the focus on new technologies, DX12 has become a requirement, and some users are reporting noticeable performance losses after the update. We recruited our ever-helpful PC Baratinho to investigate how all three games are running on more limited hardware. Cheap PC settings include:

– Intel Core i3-10100F
– 2x8GB DDR4 TeamGroup @2400MHz
– Asus Prime H410M
– Kingston NV1 1TB
– Galax GeForce GTX 1650 GDDR6 1-Click OC
– Cooler Master V550 MWE power supply

In general I have no negative impressions from the three tests. Resident Evil 7, Resident Evil 2 Remake and Resident Evil 3 Remake ran on the GTX 1050 Ti with intermediate configuration and in Full HD, oscillating to around 40fps in some heavier parts. For these situations, it’s the AMD FSR’s turn to save the day, with the Ultraqualdiade setting being enough to reach 60fps with more stability and still deliver good graphics quality.

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