NVIDIA Enables Ray Tracing On Pascal GPUs With New Game Ready Driver

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

You can download the new GeForce Game Ready drivers with DXR support on Pascal-based graphics cards right here. However, one must remember that with their dedicated RT cores, the GeForce RTX 20 range provide up to 2-3x faster performance in raytraced games, facilitating more effects, higher ray counts, and higher resolutions. The best case is seen in the bottom row where the RTX 2080 RT cores are put to task, massively accelerating this rendering task.

Nvidia claims in-game performance will vary drastically across ray tracing implementations, with highly-intensive reflections and global lighting - such as those found within Atomic Heart and Metro Exodus - performing the worst on Pascal graphics cards lacking dedicated silicon.

Not all ray tracing is created equal. The lower-tiered GPUs might need to tune down from ultra settings too. These are Battlefield V, Metro: Exodus and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. If you own any of them, you can try out ray tracing in the above-mentioned games.

According to Nvidia's own benchmarks, GTX 10-series cards will struggle to fully render the ray tracing effects when running applicable games at a 2560 by 1440 pixel resolution on the highest settings. It will also make use of Nvidia's DLSS technology.


Nvidia has officially released the first set of drivers that bring ray tracing to non-RTX GPUs. GeForce product manager Justin Walker says that's because the modern Turing architecture implements concurrent execution, which allows floating point and non-floating point instructions to run simultaneously. On the other side of that coin, if you've been on the fence about buying an RTX card because you're not sure if ray tracing is worth the additional cost, this could be a good way to get a feel for the tech before deciding to take the plunge (assuming, of course, that you've got a supported GTX card in your current rig). This actually has NVIDIA a bit anxious - they don't want someone with a GTX 1060 turning on Ultra mode in Battlefield V and wondering why it's taking seconds per frame - so the company has been on a campaign both at GDC and ahead of the driver's launch to better explain the different types of common RT effects, and why some RT effects are more expensive than others.

Battlefield V, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Metro Exodus now support real-time ray tracing. In addition to this, Nvidia released three tech demos to show off ray tracing to give gamers an idea of what to expect. These include the Star Wars Reflections demo, Justice, and Atomic Heart. But even with that in mind, GTX cards struggled to play Battlefield V whereas their RTX equivalents achieved more than double the frame rates.

Unfortunately, the ray tracing won't be coming to GTX 1060 3GB, GTX 1050 or GTX 1030 cards. GeForce graphics cards work with Nvidia's G-Sync monitors, and as of earlier this year, AMD FreeSync displays as well.

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