A Number of GeForce GTX Graphics Cards Will Now Support Ray Tracing

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

Have any of you downloaded the new driver yet? In early 2018, ILMxLAB, Epic Games and NVIDIA demonstrated a cinematic called Reflections.

Today there are several ways to implement real-time ray tracing, and the effect of each method on performance depends on a number of aspects. But the move also raised many questions regarding performance, or lack thereof. The official announcement was made back in March, where NVIDIA stated that ray tracing will be enabled on selected GTX cards. The GTX 1080, on the other hand, will run at just 9.2 fps with those features enabled and won't give you any DLSS at all. Star Wars Reflections is a good demo of ambient occlusion, but the company says it also uses a lot of advanced reflections, which makes it more demanding on non-RTX cards. We'll need to test these games at far lower visual settings and 1080p resolution. The performance cost of having all these features running at once would be too big to make them a worthwhile option in gaming titles right now and I think it's better to wait for a generation or two until Ray Tracing performance gets there.

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This new driver version enables some existing Pascal cards and also the GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Ti to run real-time ray-tracing as well.

While Nvidia coaxed ray tracing into working on non-RTX GPUs with this driver, the experience won't be optimal. And while they're harmless enough, they are all done at 1440p with everything cranked up to Ultra quality, so they do present a sort of worst case scenario for cards without RT hardware. On Thursday, Nvidia released Game Ready drivers that unlock DirectX Raytracing support on the GeForce GTX 1660 and 1660 Ti, and on GTX 10-series graphics cards from the 6GB GTX 1060 on up. Mostly, it appears as if NVIDIA wanted to tamp down expectations before the features are released in the wild - and looking at the numbers, it has succeeded in that. The older GTX 10-series cards, on the other hand, were never created to render the lighting and shadow effects with the same efficiency as their RTX counterparts. It's just that performance isn't great, even on some of the most powerful of them.

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These three demos are the Star Wars Unreal Engine 4 demo, the Atomic Heart demo and the Justice demo.

NVIDIA fans, we've got even greater news for you today.

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Finally, NVIDIA is also calling attention to a reflections tech demo that we have seen before. All three demos can be downloaded at NVIDIA's official page. 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. The latest driver was announced last month by NVIDIA at GDC 2019, allowing non-RTX graphics cards to provide users with the ability to render real-time ray tracing effects.

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