3DMark owners can add a ray tracing benchmark for $3 to affirm RTX purchase

UL Benchmarks is adding a ray-tracing test to its popular 3DMark utility, and it's slated to arrive on January 9. Unfortunately, it won't be available in the Basic edition (read: Free edition)—if you want it, you'll have to pony up for the Advanced or Professional package.

This is different from what I reported earlier this month, as I apparently mixed up the upcoming Port Royal ray-tracing benchmark with Night Raid, an upcoming DirectX 12 test designed specifically for systems with integrated graphics. I was told "Night Raid will be added as a free update" when it comes out.

As for Port Royal, it will be included in the Advanced edition ($29.99) for consumers, or if you already own a paid version of 3DMark, you can tack it on for $2.99.

UL Benchmarks says Port Royal is a "realistic and practical example of what to expect from ray tracing in upcoming games—ray tracing effects running in real-time at reasonable framerates at 2560x1440."

In addition to announcing a release date and pricing, UL Benchmarks shared a video that shows Port Royal's demo scene in its entirety.

We haven't played around with Port Royal yet, but we imagine for most users, it will just end up making you sad about your PC's ray tracing performance (or lack thereof). That is, unless you grabbed a GeForce RTX series or Titan RTX graphics card, of course—those are really the only consumer cards that have the hardware to flex any kind of real-time ray tracing muscle. But hey, if you picked up one Nvidia's newest cards and want to affirm your decision, Port Royal may help you do that as you wait for more ray-traced games to trickle into view.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).