Nvidia is bundling Battlefield 5 with select GeForce RTX graphics cards

Battlefield 5 is the first game to support real-time ray tracing, but you'll need a GeForce RTX graphics card in order to enable it. Should you be inclined to upgrade, Nvidia has teamed up with select retail partners to bundle the game with its GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, 2080, and 2070 so you can see what all the fuss is about.

Before you take the plunge, there are some things you should know. For one, ray tracing is demanding, and that holds true for the hybrid implementation that Microsoft is pushing with its DirectX Raytracing (DXR) API. Jarred ran some performance comparisons in Battlefield with ray tracing enabled and as expected, there was a dip in framerates.

"There's good news and bad news, obviously. The good news is that all the people claiming Battlefield 5 would need to be at 1080p and only get 30 fps on an RTX 2080 Ti (based on the early preview we got in August) were too quick to jump to conclusions. With DXR enabled and at the ultra setting, the 2080 Ti runs 1080p at over 90 fps, and even minimums stay above 60 fps. The RTX 2080 likewise averages 78 fps, with minimums still above 60. Only the RTX 2070 comes up short of a steady 60 fps at 1080p, and at 58 fps it's not a huge deficit," Jarred wrote.

"The bad news is that performance, just like with the earlier mentioned new technologies, takes a big hit. Framerates aren't quite cut in half on the 2080 and 2070 at 1080p and even 1440p, but they're close—and at 4k you do get less than half the framerate. Even the beastly $1,200 RTX 2080 Ti only averages about 40 fps at 4k ultra," Jarred added.

It's also worth noting that there have been some complaints of issues with the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition. Nvidia confirmed on its GeForce forums that there is in fact a problem with some early shipments.

"Limited test escapes from early boards caused the issues some customers have experienced with RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition. We stand ready to help any customers who are experiencing problems," Nvidia said.

If you still want to take the plunge, make sure the card you're buying qualifies for the free game code. A good place to start is on Nvidia's related promo page—the offer is good on all Founders Edition models purchased directly from Nvidia, or scroll down and click one of the 'Shop All' buttons to see which third-party cards qualify. The offer is also good on some desktops systems with a GeForce RTX card inside.

Nvidia's free game offer is live now and runs through January 7, 2018 or while supplies last.