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AMD's Hangar 21 demo video shows off Big Navi RX 6800 XT ray-tracing chops, drops on November 19th

AMD highlights that its architecture powers graphical effects on next-gen consoles (Image source: AMD)
AMD highlights that its architecture powers graphical effects on next-gen consoles (Image source: AMD)
AMD's been very tight-lipped about ray-tracing capabilities on its Big Navi cards. However, AMD announced it'll be releasing the Hangar 21 demo video on November 19th, showcasing a whole range of DX 12 Ultimate effects. While benchmarks have indicated relatively modest ray-tracing capabilities on Big Navi, the demo will be a good indicator of what we could expect from upcoming console releases.
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AMD recently released a teaser for its Hangar 21 ray-tracing and DirectX 12 Ultimate demo video. The teaser was released shortly before Big Navi reviews arrived and tempered expectations about AMD's ray-tracing capabilities. 

While the Radeon RX 6800 XT falls significantly behind the GeForce RTX 3080 in ray-traced workloads, and while AMD's AI upscaling solution is still months away at best, Hangar 21 is an interesting capability demonstrator. While AMD didn't specifically name-drop ray-tracing, it mentioned that Hangar 21 showcases DX 12 Ultimate, a significant component of which is DXR ray-tracing. A range of effects in the game, from reflections to indirect lighting, showcase Big Navi's hardware-accelerated ray tracing chops. 

It's interesting to see the demo in motion because it's far more ambitious than the ray-tracing efforts we've seen so far on console. With AMD's AI upscaling tech MIA, developers have been forced to limit ray-tracing to sub-native or 30 FPS modes. Once FidelityFX Super Resolution arrives next year, consoles (and Big Navi PC graphics cards) should have much more GPU headroom. It'll be interesting to see developers push the boat out with Hangar 21-like effects in-game. 

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Arjun Krishna Lal
Arjun Krishna Lal - Tech Writer - 453 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2019
I've had a passion for PC gaming since 1996, when I watched my dad score frags in Quake as a 1 year-old. I've gone on to become a Penguin-published author and tech journalist. Apart from working as an editor at Notebookcheck, I write for outlets including TechSpot and Gamingbolt. I’m the Director of Content at Flying V Group, one of the top 5 digital marketing agencies in Orange County. When I'm not traveling the world, gathering stories for my next book, you can find me tinkering with my PC.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 11 > AMD's Hangar 21 demo video shows off Big Navi RX 6800 XT ray-tracing chops, drops on November 19th
Arjun Krishna Lal, 2020-11-18 (Update: 2020-11-19)