Nvidia GeForce GTX Driver With Ray Tracing Support Out Now

Nvidia Delivers Ray Tracing Driver for Previous-Gen Pascal Cards, New Demos

You can download the new graphics driver from Nvidia in order to enable this functionality, but keep in mind that "basic RT" effects are limited to just Pascal GPUs, and the GTX variants of its Turing cards, such as the GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 1660 (as well as laptops with equivalent GPUs). You can also pick up the latest Game Ready driver here, or by checking GeForce Experience if you have it installed.

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). This list of graphic cards does not have dedicated RT cores, hence its ray-tracing capability is limited. The drivers, which have always been baked into the DirectX Ray-tracing (DXR) API, will now enable GeForce GTX graphics cards to utilise the feature, albeit on a software level.

While speaking with journalists, Nvidia product manager Justin Walker said he recommends playing the games at a 1920 by 1080 resolution, and perhaps downgrading other settings.

If DXR is set to become the next evolution of DirectX, as Nvidia suggests, increasing the adoption rate of DXR in games will get us there sooner.

Battlefield V uses it for reflections, and Metro Exodus is using it for illumination and ambient occlusion. GTX cards tend to struggle with advanced reflections and ambient occlusion in particular, as the 1080 Ti only manages an average of 9.4 frames per second at 1440p in NVIDIA's Reflections DXR tech demo.

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.

NVIDIA gave us some idea of just how capable GTX cards will be when it comes to ray tracing.

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NVIDIA is careful to temper your exceptions with ray tracing performance on Pascal and Turing GeForce GTX hardware, stating that performance will be lower than GeForce RTX class hardware and visuals fidelity won't be as good.

This post originally appeared on Tom's Guide.

Most RTX-supported games offer a range of image quality settings to hit different levels of performance.

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

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.

As for those aforementioned tech demos, there are three in all: there's the Mundfish-made Atomic Heart RTX tech demo, the Justice tech demo, and the previously-referenced Reflections, which was created by Epic Games in partnership with NVIDIA and ILMxLAB. By adding the previous generation of GPUs to the mix users now have a choice, and the new demos are a big a part of the story, too. I believe that 1080p would be a sweet spot but only for those who want to try the feature to see the difference and to assess whether getting an RTX card is worth it or not.

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