Sci-tech

Nvidia GeForce GTX Driver With Ray Tracing Support Out Now

Nvidia GeForce GTX Driver With Ray Tracing Support Out Now

The brand new NVIDIA driver update with version number 425.31 enables real-time ray-tracing for most GTX cards.

The explainer video, above, is an in-depth, but still accessible look at what ray tracing technology means for games. The new driver should be available at GeForce.com (or from GeForce Experience) by the time you read this. They also bring support for Anno 1800.

Battlefield V, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Metro Exodus now support real-time ray tracing. That's because the last-generation GTX cards use traditional shader cores and don't have dedicated RT cores like the new RTX components. But there is a distinction to be made between RTX, which is specific to Turing cards that pack RTX cores, and DXR, an API and ray tracing feature set that's now baked into Windows 10. Nvidia's Tech Marketing VP has highlighted the GTX 1080 Ti SM processing of raytracing imagery with a green box. It depends on the game and resolution. So dropping to low might get you something a little smoother on the more demanding ray tracing games. Battlefield 5 uses ray tracing for reflections, and Metro Exodus uses ray tracing for global illumination and ambient occlusion.

NVIDIA DXR support on GTX cards.

Nvidia also released some benchmarks of the RTX and GTX GPUs running the only few games that support ray tracing, namely, Battlefield V, Metro Exodus and Shadow of the Tomb Raider in 1440p resolution. That's deliberate, though. What Nvidia is doing is giving gamers access to the look of ray tracing in games in the hopes that they'll want to experience it at a decent frame rate and buy an RTX GPU to help fix that.

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This post originally appeared on Tom's Guide. In a presentation to the media, Nvidia's Director of Product Management Justin Walker gave Battlefield V as a point of comparison, stating that even a 1080 Ti would only be able to use all of its ray tracing features at just 1080p.

Still, if you want to see ray tracing with your own eyes, even a Low quality implementation is better than no ray tracing whatsoever, provided the game runs well enough to play. It's just that performance isn't great, even on some of the most powerful of them. 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. The big question though will be performance, and based on NVidia's own internal benchmarks, I wouldn't expect much.

In addition to the driver release which enables the visual goodies associated with real-time ray tracing, NVIDIA has also released a trio of tech demos on GeForce.com which you can freely download to check out ray tracing first hand on GTX and RTX graphics cards.

Unfortunately, the ray tracing won't be coming to GTX 1060 3GB, GTX 1050 or GTX 1030 cards.