Download: 3DMark for Windows update v2.11.6846 available - UL adds Variable-Rate Shading Tier 2

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UL released an update for 3DMark for Windows. The update fixes a rare issue affecting some users and adds a new test in the paid editions as well as updating an NVIDIA Turing specific VRS test. Please see the release notes below for details.

UL started this year with 3DMark Port Royal and the NVIDIA DLSS feature test, which show real-time ray tracing in action. In June, we added the PCI Express feature test to show the potential of PCIe 4.0. And more recently added the VRS feature test to help gamers see the benefits of Variable Rate-Shading. Today, they're adding a new option to use a more versatile and sophisticated form of Variable-Rate Shading in the VRS feature test, Tier2. 

What is Variable-Rate Shading?
Variable-Rate Shading (VRS) is a new DirectX 12 feature that lets game developers improve performance by selectively reducing the level of detail in parts of the frame where it's unlikely to be noticed. Shading rate refers to the number of pixel shader operations called for each pixel. Higher shading rates improve accuracy but are more demanding for the GPU. Lower shading rates improve performance at the cost of visual fidelity. With Variable-Rate Shading, a single pixel shader operation can be applied to a block of pixels, for example shading a 4×4 block of pixels with one operation rather than 16 separate operations. By applying the technique carefully, VRS can deliver a big performance boost with little impact on visual quality. With VRS, games can run at higher frame rates, in a higher resolution, or with higher quality settings. You need Windows 10 version 1903 or later and a DirectX 12 GPU that supports Variable-Rate Shading to run the 3DMark VRS feature test. Tier 1 VRS is supported by NVIDIA Turing-based GPUs and Intel Ice Lake CPUs.

Tier 2 VRS is currently only available on NVIDIA Turing-based GPUs.

You can download the new updated version here. You can download two full-size images here to compare, as we're a bit restrained in the news item width/resolution wise.


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