Portal with RTX needs plenty of Nvidia GPU power, but what about AMD gamers?

Portal with RTX
(Image credit: Nvidia)
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Portal with RTX has a date and that date is December 8th. (opens in new tab) But exactly what hardware will you need to play the prettified, ray-traced update of Valve's seminal puzzle-platform epic?

As we highlighted earlier today, Nvidia has provided a breakdown of minimum and recommended system specs. And they make for intriguing reading for both Nvidia and AMD GPU owners.

At bare minimum, according to Nvidia, you're going to want a GeForce RTX 3060 (opens in new tab) to play Portal RTX at 1080p High settings and achieve 'playable' frame rates around 30fps. Critically, the table denotes an RTX 3060 with DLSS 2 support. It's not absolutely explicit, but that implies an RTX 3060 running High (rather than Ultra) settings hits those playable 30-ish-fps numbers with DLSS enabled. Hold that thought.

Moving up the scale, Nvidia likewise recommends an RTX 3080 for playing Portal with RTX at 1080p high and 60-plus fps. (opens in new tab) Again, that's not Ultra setting, merely High, and again, Nvidia lists the RTX "with DLSS 2". Finally, right at the top end, it's the RTX 4080 (opens in new tab) bad boy with DLSS 3 that's needed to play at 4K Ultra at 60fps.

Nvidia Portal RTX recommended specs

Look closely at the recommend specs and Portal with RTX is clearly a very demanding title. (Image credit: Nvidia)
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The immediate implications are that you're probably not going to want to play Portal RTX without DLSS. If an RTX 3060 is only hitting 30fps with DLSS, switching that off is almost certain to take you well below 30fps.

That matters, in particular, to AMD GPU owners. It's not clear if the add-on pack will run on AMD GPUs at all. But there's no obvious reason why it shouldn't in basic terms. But you certainly won't have DLSS to help speed things up. If you then further factor in AMD's relative weakness in ray tracing performance, even with the latest Radeon RX 7000 according to AMD's own numbers (opens in new tab), and the fact that Nvidia is hardly likely to have put any effort into getting it running nicely on AMD hardware, the overall implications get pretty ugly. For sure, it's hard to imagine that it will ever support AMD's FSR technology.

That's a pity. After all, Portal is one of the great PC games and the RTX reboot mod is a great reason to revisit it. But it's also worth remembering that Portal was never really about the graphics. If ever a title was primarily about the gameplay, it's surely Portal. So, you don't really need an RTX-rendered excuse to revisit a classic. But if you can experience the full ray-traced spectacle, you probably should.

Head over to the official Nvidia Portal with RTX landing page (opens in new tab) for more info and a video or two.

Jeremy Laird
Hardware writer

Jeremy has been writing about technology and PCs since the 90nm Netburst era (Google it!) and enjoys nothing more than a serious dissertation on the finer points of monitor input lag and overshoot followed by a forensic examination of advanced lithography. Or maybe he just likes machines that go “ping!” He also has a thing for tennis and cars.