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Unreal 5’s Nanite system flexes its muscles in a jawdropping map, with billions of polygons onscreen

Sfeir's Nanite Overload demo features an unprecedented level of detail (Image source: Melhem Sfeir)
Sfeir's Nanite Overload demo features an unprecedented level of detail (Image source: Melhem Sfeir)
Developer Melhem Sfeir demoed Unreal 5's Nanite technology by importing extremely high detail environment assets - several billion polygon's worth - into a scene. Remarkably his GeForce RTX 3070 was able to deliver smooth framerates at 1440p.

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Epic's Nanite rendering technology promised "unlimited" levels of detail, by scaling onscreen polygon counts to perfectly match what the camera can show at a given point of time and at a given resolution. While the Lumen in the Land of Nanite demo was impressive, a developer recently showcased Nanite in a more real world use case.

Melhem Sfeir imported a set of Quixel photogrammetry megascans called "Nordic Coastline," with several billion polygons into the Unreal 5 engine SDK. Nanite seemingly had no problem at all coping with massive number of triangles onscreen, seemingly delivering a fluid 1440p/60 FPS experience with a GeForce RTX 3070

The visuals showcased were photorealistic - a step ahead of even the best environment rendering we've seen this generation, with individual beach pebbles realized with polygons instead of effects like normal and parallax occlusion mapping. 

Nanite's ability to scale geometry LODs on the fly takes advantage of the ultra-fast SSDs found in both the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X/S. If this technology becomes a pillar of ninth-gen visuals, it might spell the end of HDDs, which just aren't fast enough to enable effective streaming. 

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Arjun Krishna Lal
Arjun Krishna Lal - Tech Writer - 465 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 2021 06 > Unreal 5’s Nanite system flexes its muscles in a jawdropping map, with billions of polygons onscreen
Arjun Krishna Lal, 2021-06- 7 (Update: 2021-06- 7)