NVIDIA shows how much ray-tracing sucks on older GPUs

NVIDIA shows how much ray-tracing sucks on older GPUs

NVIDIA shows how much ray-tracing sucks on older GPUs

The Titan X and Titan Xp are also supported. At the time of their announcement, NVIDIA announced that this driver would be released in April, and now this morning, NVIDIA is releasing the new driver. We'll certainly be doing the same over the coming days. The initial development of DXR and the first DXR demos (including the Star Wars Reflections demo) were all handled on cards without hardware RT acceleration; in particular NVIDIA Volta-based video cards.

Of course, the elephant in the room in enabling DXR on cards without RT hardware is what it will do for performance - or perhaps the lack thereof. This brings DXR compatibility to most GTX 10-series graphics cards and the new GTX 16-series. This actually has NVIDIA a bit anxious - they don't want someone with a GTX 1060 turning on Ultra mode in Battlefield V and wondering why it's taking seconds per frame - so the company has been on a campaign both at GDC and ahead of the driver's launch to better explain the different types of common RT effects, and why some RT effects are more expensive than others.

Essentially what this means is that you will be able to turn on ray-tracing in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Battlefield V, Metro Exodus and other supported games. 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.

NVIDIA has an obvious vested interest in seeing ray tracing technologies take off in a big way, both in the way they are adopted by developers and implemented into games, and how it is all received by consumers. But as always, the proof is in the results, which everyone will be able to see first-hand soon enough.

In a briefing held earlier today, Nvidia were keen to stress how the performance hit of adding DXR to the mix can vary wildly between different titles. And while they're harmless enough, they are all done at 1440p with everything cranked up to Ultra quality, so they do present a sort of worst case scenario for cards without RT hardware. Using the lowest "medium" setting saw dips to 30 frames per second in the most demanding scenes, once again, at 1440p. Hence why support is being opened up to GTX cards built around Turing and Pascal. That said, we're now unclear on whether these will be released publicly or just to the press and Nvidia partners - we've asked for clarification on this point. Update 11/04/2019: The Game Ready Driver for Anno 1800 with extended DXR support for GTX GPUs is available via the Nvidia GeForce driver download page.

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Overall the new driver is being released this morning at the same time as this news post goes up - 9am ET. Mostly, it appears as if NVIDIA wanted to tamp down expectations before the features are released in the wild - and looking at the numbers, it has succeeded in that. It is the first time that real-time ray tracing has been used for caustics. 3DMark Port Royal features ray tracing reflections and shadows, and the Atomic Heart demo also uses DXR for reflections and shadows.

Atomic Heart RTX tech demo -Atomic Heart tech demo is a beautifully detailed tech demo from Mundfish that features raytraced reflections and shadows, as well as NVIDIA DLSS technology.

Today's the day that Microsoft's DirectX ray tracing tech (or DXR for short) arrives on Nvidia's GeForce GTX 10-series and 16-series graphics cards.

Reflections tech demo - The Reflections tech demo was created by Epic Games in collaboration with ILMxLAB and NVIDIA. The first of those is Atomic Hearts. What that means is even though a card like the GTX 1070 (5783 GFLOPS) theoretically has more computational power than the GTX 1660 (5027 GFLOPS), in numerous tests the GTX 1660 ends up being faster with ray tracing-and the more ray tracing that's used, the better the Turing cards do relative to Pascal, so for example in Atomic Heart and Star Wars Reflections, the 1660 even outperforms the GTX 1080.

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