A few months ago, NVIDIA dropped a bombshell on us with the revelation that it's working with Microsoft on a real-time ray traced version of the widely popular game Minecraft. Leveraging the dedicated hardware included on Turing-based graphics cards like the GeForce RTX series, NVIDIA is promising some rather dramatic visual upgrades to the notoriously "basic" game with realistic shadows, reflections, and lighting effects.
NVIDIA is now giving us performance targets for this upgraded version of Minecraft, which by itself isn't exactly a very demanding game. However, with a handful of ray tracing effects enabled, NVIDIA says that it is targeting performance of 60fps at 1080p with the GeForce RTX 2060.
For those not in the know, the GeForce RTX 2060 is currently the cheapest card in NVIDIA's inventory with full hardware support for real-time ray tracing (we're not counting the faux ray tracing enabled on GeForce GTX Turing graphics cards). A GeForce RTX 2060 might seem like overkill for a game like Minecraft, but those added effects aren't "free" with respect to hardware resources.
"Ray tracing sits at the center of what we think is next for Minecraft," said Saxs Persson, Franchise Creative Director of Minecraft at Microsoft, back in August when Minecraft RTX was first announced. "RTX gives the Minecraft world a brand-new feel to it. In normal Minecraft, a block of gold just appears yellow, but with ray tracing turned on, you really get to see the specular highlight, you get to see the reflection, you can even see a mob reflected in it."
Just in case you were wondering, the Minecraft RTX will only be supported on the Windows 10 platform, and will be available as a free update for customers. At this time, there is no concrete date set for when the update will be released.