New driver update brings Ray-Tracing technology support to Nvidia GTX GPUs

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

Laptops which are running the mobile version (or Max-Q) counterparts of these GPUs are also capable of whipping out some real-time ray-traced lights after installing the latest update.

The new 425.31 drivers also provide optimizations for Anno 1800, and fixes for some game crashing bugs, including random crashes in ARK: Survival Evolved with GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards.

Some initial performance numbers were provided by NVIDIA for a number of games across the newly supported GPU stack, including games such as Battlefield V, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Metro Exodus. Nvidia was the first to really begin pushing that boat with the launch of RTX graphics cards, featuring specific hardware to make ray-tracing faster and more efficient.

In Battlefield V, for example (above, click to enlarge), the GTX 1660 Ti is actually neck-and-neck with the GTX 1080, as is the GTX 1660 with the GTX 1070. These are far less computationally intensive and will not necessitate RT Cores depending on how game devs have implemented these effects.

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Now, before you get all excited, there are one or two points that we need to make clear about NVIDIA's DXR largesse.

Ray tracing is an enhanced illumination technique used to render lighting, shadows and reflections that look more realistic.

NVIDIA DXR support on GTX cards.

It should be noted that all of these initial benchmarks were generated at 2560×1440, which is an unrealistic resolution for the low-end 1660 and 1060 cards, and to some extent, even the GTX 1080 Ti.

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

This post originally appeared on Tom's Guide. If you don't have any of those games, Nvidia is also releasing a trio of tech demos that show off RTX's chops.

There's plenty to discuss, but testing ray tracing performance on GTX cards will require some time-more than I can do in just a couple of hours. Such cards can run the benchmarks, but you'd never want to try and play games this way. People who own RTX cards don't get much out of this update, other than the ability to say, "welcome to the party" to people with lesser GPUs in the comment sections of websites such as this. 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. For NVIDIA of course it's in their own best interests to put their best foot forward with RT, and to have something a bit more curated/forward-looking than the current crop of games; though I don't imagine it hurts either that these demos should bring any GTX card to its knees rather quickly. While these cards feature the Turing architecture, both are missing the dedicated RT Core silicon to augment the ray tracing experience.

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