Wednesday, 23 October, 2019

Nvidia Delivers Ray Tracing to GTX GPUs Along With Tech Demos

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
Emmett Howard | 15 April, 2019, 00:16

With the driver available now, owners of GeForce GTX GPUs can try out the real-time ray tracing features in some of the top AAA titles.

All of this might make ray tracing on GTX graphics cards seem pointless, and largely it is. As usual, take these with a grain of salt, but most of the numbers appear to be in line with what I'm seeing.

NVIDIA also provided some benchmarks of their own to compare and contrast the performance difference in the presence of dedicated RT cores. We have talked about real-time ray-tracing here previously. Shadow of the Tomb Raider, appropriately, confines its ray tracing to shadows. Above, left to right you can see that RT Ambient Occlusion isn't going to cause much strain on a GPU, while Global Illumination relies on considerably more intense calculations. Last but not least, the Justice RTX Tech Demo packs ray-traced reflections, shadows and caustics.

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Justice tech demo - Justice tech demo hails from China, and features ray traced reflections, shadows, and NVIDIA DLSS technology. These GPUs would use normal shaders to ray trace scenes, albeit at much lower fidelity and at the expense of performance. Specifically, only the GTX 1060 6GB, GTX 1070, GTX 1070 Ti, GTX 1080, GTX 1080 Ti, TITAN X, TITAN Xp, GTX 1660, and GTX 1660 Ti will be able to utilise real-time ray-tracing.

In its defense, these benchmarks were run at 2560x1440 resolution with graphics settings set to Ultra. Justin Walker said in a statement that, "With a 1080 Ti in Battlefield V you'd be able to play at 1080p, with RTX down from Ultra [setting]". Shadow of the Tomb Raider with high quality DXR shadows gets up to 52fps on the 1080 Ti, but that's about as good as it gets. Nvidia's Tech Marketing VP has highlighted the GTX 1080 Ti SM processing of raytracing imagery with a green box.

The technology will work in laptops, where the equivalent graphics processors of the Pascal and Turing architectures are used. Any Pascal 10-series card more powerful than, and including, the GTX 1060 6GB is now DXR-compliant. 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. Fundamentally, it's a case of increasing the amount of DXR-enabled hardware. But the company has duly warned the users that the experience of the technology on the GTX GPUs will not be close to that of the RTX GPUs because the RTX cards were made with hardware that is supposed to amplify this technology. Sure, the GTX 1060 performance looks pretty terrible in 3DMark Port Royal, but it's not that bad in Battlefield 5 with medium DXR.

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