Nvidia latest driver enables DXR on more GPUs

Alfred Osborne
April 15, 2019

The GTX GPUs that support the new Ray-Tracing technology update are GeForce GTX 1660ti, GTX 1660, Titan XP (2017), Titan X (2016), GTX 1080ti, GTX 1080, GTX 1070ti, GTX 1070, GTX 1060 6GB and the laptops that are equipped with equivalent Pascal and Turing-architecture GPUs.

All AAA games with ray tracing use different methods.

The new DirectX Raytracing drivers are available now to download, and support raytracing on GTX cards, surprisingly.

The drivers also arrive with optimizations for Anno 1800 and some fixes for game crashing bugs.

That's right, the latest examples of ray-traced visuals do not require a GeForce RTX series graphics card, though RTX hardware (RT and Tensor cores, essentially) will still offer the best experience.

Previously, this was exclusively the domain of RTX cards, but in March, Nvidia promised us broader support for ray tracing to include GTX cards, and not just Turing models (like the GTX 1660) but previous-generation 10-series cards. At the same time, you can also see that the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is nearly as fast as the GTX 1080 despite having lower compute horsepower. This matched the RTX 2060 without DLSS but I think the resolution and settings are something you should consider when running RTX titles on non-RTX cards. 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. Battlefield 5 uses ray tracing for reflections, and Metro Exodus uses ray tracing for global illumination and ambient occlusion. Note that all of Nvidia's benchmark results below show Pascal and Turing cards running the existing games and demos at 1440p.

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The GeForce Game Ready 425.31 WHQL driver enables support for Microsoft DXR Real-Time Ray Tracing API which is required for the feature to work.

Despite these limitations, Nvidia clarified that developers will not adjust their games to have a lower-quality ray tracing, nor will they update them for GTX cards.

This post originally appeared on Tom's Guide. But the GTX cards are much slower with ray tracing, so the CPU used won't matter much there.

All of this might make ray tracing on GTX graphics cards seem pointless, and largely it is.

To celebrate, Nvidia released three ray tracing demos.

While this is indeed big news, it's probably best not to get too excited about the prospect of ray tracing on GTX GPUs. At the very least, you'll be able to see what the effect is like at home, on your own display, before investing in expensive new hardware. For NVIDIA of course it's in their own best interests to put their best foot forward with RT, and to have something a bit more curated/forward-looking than the current crop of games; though I don't imagine it hurts either that these demos should bring any GTX card to its knees rather quickly.

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