Nvidia driver 425.31 enables DXR on GeForce GTX 1060 and better

Sarah Tew  CNET

Sarah Tew CNET

The new driver should be available at GeForce.com (or from GeForce Experience) by the time you read this.

For the unfamiliar, ray tracing is created to bring enhanced lighting and shadow effects to game environments, making them look even more realistic.

Depending on the card, expect to squeeze out between 12 to 30 frame rates per second -far below the more optimal 60 fps- when running titles such as Battlefield V or Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Nvidia's Turing architecture features dedicated silicon up to the task of real-time ray tracing called RT Cores. Nvidia went public with its decision to enable DXR in March - a surprise to many considering it is the signature feature of the RTX 20-series.

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Shadow of the Tomb Raider, also at 1440p but with "high" details, saw the GTX 1080 Ti rack up 34fps, which is at least just about palatable - but the RTX 2080 Ti hit 84fps, and the RTX 2080 achieved 64 fps (again, with the RTX models using DLSS). However, with some tweaking to settings and a resolution of 1080p, some games may in fact be playable with DXR enabled. Showcases ray-traced reflections, ray-traced area light shadows, ray-traced ambient occlusion for characters and Nvidia DLSS technology. DLSS requires Nvidia's Tensor cores, which are not present on the GTX 10 or GTX 16 GPUs.

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.

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. Interestingly, Nvidia says the concurrent integer and float processing found in the Turing architecture means the GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 1660 will perform better relative to older Pascal parts, with Nvidia's own figures (pinch of salt required) suggesting the GTX 1660 Ti can match the GTX 1080 in certain ray tracing workloads as a result.

This post originally appeared on Tom's Guide.

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Ray-tracing has always been possible on non-RTX graphics cards. It is the first time that real-time ray tracing has been used for caustics. And the company wants to make sure owners of those cards (as well as RTX owners) have some new ways to play with this much-hyped feature, with new ray tracing-focused demos arriving as well.

You can finally download and check out the Reflections RTX Tech Demo from NVIDIA. Here is the official list of GPUs supported with the new driver update. A couple of hours ago, we informed you about the new driver that allows NVIDIA's Pascal GPUs to run real-time ray tracing effects via the DXR API.

Nvidia has delivered the promise they made.

Still, if you want to try out DXR on a GTX 10-series or 16-series card, now you can.

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