Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang showed off his company’s gaming chops at his annual CES presentation Sunday.
Before a packed crowd at the MGM Grand Conference Center, Huang unveiled the GeForce RTX 2060, the chipmaker’s new, lower-priced graphics card. The card costs 49 (about £270 or AU90) and will go on sale Jan. 15. In comparison, the more powerful RTX 2070 is 99 and RTX 2080 is 99.
Huang also said 40 new laptops in over 100 configurations will be powered by laptop versions of the 2060, 2070 and 2080 RTX graphics card and available Jan. 29. 17 of these laptops will offer a Max-Q design, which allows for a thinner body but at the expense of a slightly less powerful machine.
‘I think we have redefined mobile gaming,’ Huang said on stage.
The announcements should help Nvidia keep supporting its gaming business, which is its primary source of sales. While the chipmaker has expanded into data centers and automotive, those businesses aren’t nearly as big as gaming.
Huang said Nvidia will expand its G-Sync monitor program, which certifies gaming monitors that reach Nvidia’s standards for smooth gameplay and sharpness of picture. The company said Sunday it’s starting a new validation program to test out hundreds of non-G-Sync monitors and certifying a handful of them G-Sync compatible.
The RTX cards have offered a big boost in computer graphics with the help of ray tracing, a subject Huang called a fundamental piece of graphics technology and spent a considerable amount of time describing.
Ray tracing simulates what lighting looks like in the real world when it’s reflected off objects. Ray tracing doesn’t only mean mirrors look more real; all forms of light behaves more realistically, giving a much more true-to-life experience when gaming.
Using a series of videos, Huang showed how ray tracing is used to create the reflection of fireworks in street puddles or bright lights reflecting off of a shiny, futuristic metal suit.
‘You look at the course of the last 15 years and the technology has advanced tremendously, and yet it looks largely like a cartoon,’ he said, blaming much of that issue on poor lighting effects.