Friday, 19 April, 2019

New Nvidia Drivers Unlock Ray Tracing on GTX Cards

Nvidia Delivers Ray Tracing Driver for Previous-Gen Pascal Cards, New Demos NVIDIA GeForce Game Ready Driver Now Supports RTX on GTX Cards – Performance Benchmarks in RTX Titles Unveiled, GTX 1660 Ti As Fast As GTX 1080
Katie Ramirez | 13 April, 2019, 00:24

NVIDIA GeForce RTX cards are fine-tuned with architectural enhancements to run RTX features such as Ray Tracing Shadows, Reflections, Global Illumination, and Ambient Occlusion.

So if you have a Pascal card-from a "lowly" 1060 to the previous-gen 1080 Ti flagship- and you're curious about what it can do, you have some downloading and testing to do.

The long and short of it being that simple reflections and shadows can be had without awful performance drops on cards that lack RT hardware, however the more rays an effect requires, the worse the performance hit gets (or perhaps, the better an RTX card would look).

Ray traced shadows and ambient occlusion, however, may be within Pascal's grasp.

This all varies with the game and the settings used, of course. In other words, gamers running games at Full HD resolution should see some improvement in performance. Not only will these demos give you a taste of what you might expect from games that incorporate DXR features, but like any good demo they will help users get a sense of how their system might handle these effects. But as always, the proof is in the results, which everyone will be able to see first-hand soon enough.

The benchmarks from Nvidia illustrate the performance gap. According to NVIDIA, there are several techniques of doing ray tracing and the performance impact of each technique depends on a few aspects.

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Indeed, the new 425.31 GeForce Game Ready Drivers support ray tracing via DirectX Raytracing (DXR) on the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 1660, along with the GTX 1080 Ti, GTX 1080, GTX 1070 Ti, GTX 1070, and GTX 1060 (6GB). "They all understand this is the way graphics are going to be". And while NVIDIA hasn't confirmed the driver build number or given the press an advanced look at the driver, this driver should be the first public driver in NVIDIA's new Release 430 (?) driver branch. See the explainer video featuring Tamasi embedded below. The more demos showcasing the effects possible with NVIDIA's ray tracing hardware available, the more Pascal GPU owners will have the ability to check out these features on their own systems without making a purchase of any kind, and if they find the effects compelling it just might drive sales of the RTX 20-series in the endless quest for better performance.

Aside from the existing Tomb Raider, Metro Exodus, and Battlefield V titles that make use of ray tracing in various ways, there are now three additional demos available to the general public: Justice and the often-shown Star Wars Reflections demo will be available on GeForce.com, and Atomic Heart will be available from the publisher.

Essentially what this means is that you will be able to turn on ray-tracing in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Battlefield V, Metro Exodus and other supported games.

Finally, NVIDIA is also calling attention to a reflections tech demo that we have seen before.

"There's a lot of interest from developers around this", Walker said.

The download page for the tech demos can be found here. What I'm being told is that Reflections and Justice will be hosted directly by NVIDIA, whereas Atomic Heart will be hosted off-site, for anyone keeping the score.

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