NVIDIA brings ray tracing to some GeForce GTX cards today

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Here's a peek at some of NVIDIA's own internal benchmark results. As usual, take these with a grain of salt, but most of the numbers appear to be in line with what I'm seeing. DLSS requires Nvidia's Tensor cores, which are not present on the GTX 10 or GTX 16 GPUs. Shadow of the Tomb Raider, appropriately, confines its ray tracing to shadows. In it, NVIDIA walks us through the different types of ray tracing - reflections, shadows, ambient occlusion, and global illumination - and how each one is being implemented in games.

Along with today's driver release, NVIDIA and its partners are also releasing a trio of previously announced/demonstrated DXR tech demos.

Justice tech demo - Justice tech demo hails from China, and features ray traced reflections, shadows, and NVIDIA DLSS technology.

Nvidia's response is an interesting one: release a driver enabling ray tracing in its more recent GTX GPUs, thus allowing technical press and consumers to turn the effect on in games and - presumably - show clearly the difference that RT Cores can make, while allowing existing customers to not feel left out.

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You can see from the header up the top there which techniques are being used by current ray tracing-enabled games. 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.

"With a 1080ti in Battlefield V you'd be able to play at 1080p, with RTX down from Ultra", he said. These include the Star Wars Reflections demo, Justice, and Atomic Heart.

NVIDIA is careful to temper your exceptions with ray tracing performance on Pascal and Turing GeForce GTX hardware, stating that performance will be lower than GeForce RTX class hardware and visuals fidelity won't be as good. This change "enables millions more gamers with GeForce GTX GPUs to experience ray tracing for the first time ever", as the list of DXR-capable graphics cards from NVIDIA has grown considerably as of today. In this case, it sounds like game devs are satisfied that they've provided enough DXR quality settings that users will be able to dial things down for slower cards. Whether or not gamers want to use the DXR effects, with these new drivers the installed base of DXR cards just became many times larger. I'll be testing this out myself very shortly, but to help give you an early idea of what to expect, Nvidia have released some handy performance graphs. Sure, the GTX 1060 performance looks pretty terrible in 3DMark Port Royal, but it's not that bad in Battlefield 5 with medium DXR. The more demos showcasing the effects possible with NVIDIA's ray tracing hardware available, the more Pascal GPU owners will have the ability to check out these features on their own systems without making a purchase of any kind, and if they find the effects compelling it just might drive sales of the RTX 20-series in the endless quest for better performance.

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