Published: Mon, April 15, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

NVIDIA Releases Ray-Tracing Driver For GeForce GTX Cards

NVIDIA Releases Ray-Tracing Driver For GeForce GTX Cards

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).

Some other tidbits to get to before we look at the Nvidia-provided benchmarks: The company says most of the heavy lifting with ray tracing is handled by the GPU, not the processor.

The Geforce 425.31 Game Ready driver is available for 64-bit Windows 7 and Windows 10 OS and supports all Geforce graphics cards since Geforce 600 series.

At GDC previous year, we saw multiple tech companies begin discussing the potential for bringing real-time ray-tracing to video games.

Shadows, as demonstrated in Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Justice, can also be much more demanding if there are multiple light sources, the type of light source (s) and the geometry of the scene.

The big question, though, is whether DXR will end up nuking these cards' performance without the aid of proper RT (or ray tracing) Cores found on Nvidia's RTX GPUs. In a demo, the firm shows that Metro: Exodus, a graphically-intense game, will chug along at 16.4 frames per second (fps) on a GTX 1080 Ti at 1440p resolution with ray tracing set to "ultra" details; by comparison, with DLSS, the RTX 2080 Ti will hit a 65.7 fps, while the RTX 2080 manages 52.7fps. It depends on the game and resolution. For example, Battlefield V uses the technique for simple reflections whereas Metro Exous features Global Illumination, which produces accurate lighting by taking every object in an environment into account. Also, NVIDIA already said that performance would be poor, but now can see exactly how much they accelerate those effects compared to the older cards.

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Nvidia's ray tracing technology is arriving to GTX 10-series cards today.

This post originally appeared on Tom's Guide. The Turing architecture is advanced and provides more room for ray tracing as it can execute floating point and integer instructions at the same time. If you want ray tracing with playable frame rates though, only an RTX branded graphics card will be able to pull that off.

What this means is that despite NVIDIA's promise to offer ray-tracing on Pascal, the features are largely unworkable for real-life gaming. On top of that, NVIDIA has also launched a collection of new ray tracing tech demos that anyone with a supported GeForce card can download to get a better sense of what ray tracing adds to a game.

Note that these results do not include frame times, which typically rose on Turing GPUs when performing DXR calculations.

If you're a GTX graphics card owner with a taste for trying ray tracing, an adaptive sync monitor should help significantly.

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