Nvidia Brings Ray Tracing to GTX Cards: Here's How to Enable It

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

Naturally, this demo will also work on those owning any of NVIDIA's Turing GPUs.

The drivers, version 425.31, are available now to download.

Based on the above result, you can pretty much see the performance gap between RTX and GTX cards when it comes to RTX games with DXR option enabled. After all, it's not that other GPUs can't process ray tracing commands issued via DXR (an extension of the DX12 API), but more that Nvidia (and AMD, it should be noted) have - until now - decided that the effect would be too demanding for such GPUs to make enabling it at the driver level worth it.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider, also at 1440p but with "high" details, saw the GTX 1080 Ti rack up 34fps, which is at least just about palatable - but the RTX 2080 Ti hit 84fps, and the RTX 2080 achieved 64 fps (again, with the RTX models using DLSS). 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. However, do note that you won't be getting impressive performance with ray tracing turned on.

It's a neat video that breaks down the various ray tracing technologies into consumable chunks, including ray-traced ambient occlusion, shadows, real-time reflections, and global illumination.

Back at GDC 2019, NVIDIA revealed that it would be bringing ray tracing to some of its GTX cards by way of a new Game Ready driver. The GeForce RTX family has a dedicated Tensor and RT core design which allows them to run ray tracing 2-3x faster over traditional rendering methods of the GeForce GTX lineup.

Second, NVIDIA is limiting ray-tracing support to its last generation Pascal-powered GeForce GTX cards, as well as its more recent Turing-powered GTX 1660 series cards.

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This post originally appeared on Tom's Guide. This was a major advancement that captured global attention, as previously real-time ray tracing at this level of fidelity had been impossible, with all ray tracing instead done offline on big server farms.

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

Still, if you want to see ray tracing with your own eyes, even a Low quality implementation is better than no ray tracing whatsoever, provided the game runs well enough to play.

The company says reflections can be fairly easy, if there aren't many of them on the screen, and they're on a flat surface (like the puddles in Battlefield V). Here is the official list of GPUs supported with the new driver update.

Owners of GTX 10-series cards can start running the ray tracing effects by downloading Nvidia's latest drivers, which will be available on the GeForce website and over Nvidia's GPU optimization tool, GeForce Experience.

Want to try ray-tracing with your GPU now?

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