Nvidia driver 425.31 enables DXR on GeForce GTX 1060 and better

Nvidia Released A Driver That Made The Gtx 1660 Ti Run As Fast As The Gtx 1080. But There Is One Catch

Specifically, the low-end Pascal family isn't included, so support starts with the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, as well as NVIDIA's (thus far) two GTX 16 series cards, the GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Ti. Headlined by the RTX 2080 Ti, the signature feature of its RTX 20-series was the ability to render ray tracing in real-time, a task that its GTX cards were seemingly unable to compute and barred from trying. That being the 1060 (6GB) all the way up to the Titan XP. However, besides the GTX 1660 TI and GTX 1660, these cards are built on Nvidia's last-gen Pascal architecture, which means the 10-series cards will need to use their CUDA cores to chew through ray-tracing calculations.

Back at the GDC 2019 in mid-March, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang revealed that real-time raytracing technology was about to become available to a lot more Nvidia GPU owners in the coming weeks. With ray-tracing enabled, even the RTX 2060 can outperform the GTX 1080 Ti. Though it will be interesting to see how many developers take advantage of ray tracing now and how restrictive or flexible they are with its use in upcoming games. That managed 8.5fps in Metro Exodus and 24fps in Tomb Raider - the latter nearly matching the GTX 1080's 25fps - but overall, these figures will hardly bowl you over. For something that may not be as intensive (like Battlefield 5's somewhat basic reflections), GTX cards are capable of achieving some respectable frame rates at 1440p with DirectX Ray Tracing (DXR) turned on and game settings cranked up to ultra. Apart from DXR support, the update also brings Game Ready drivers for Anno 1800.

NVIDIA posted the performance comparison of ray tracing across all supported GTX cards.

Nvidia driver 425.31 enables DXR on GeForce GTX 1060 and better
Nvidia driver 425.31 enables DXR on GeForce GTX 1060 and better

That's right, the latest examples of ray-traced visuals do not require a GeForce RTX series graphics card, though RTX hardware (RT and Tensor cores, essentially) will still offer the best experience. 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. This has been done through software update and the newest Game Ready Driver comes with support for this technology. I have yet to try out other titles like Battlefield V or Metro Exodus but if you are using a non-RTX graphics card, it is safe to say that you won't be getting a playable experience using ultra RT settings.

You can finally download and check out the Reflections RTX Tech Demo from NVIDIA. By adding the previous generation of GPUs to the mix users now have a choice, and the new demos are a big a part of the story, too. These cards also come with all new branding to reflect the change: RTX. Showcases ray-traced reflections, ray-traced area light shadows, ray-traced ambient occlusion for characters and Nvidia DLSS technology.

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