Nvidia unleashes ray tracing on a select few GTX cards

Nvidia’s latest GeForce Game Ready driver update is here, and while we don’t generally write about driver updates, this one enables ray tracing on a bunch of GTX cards.

Ray tracing was the biggest selling point of Nvidia’s new RTX cards, so adding it to all GTX cards from the Pascal GTX 1060 6GB upwards might seem like a surprising move, but Nvidia explained during last month’s announcement that the move creates a bigger install base for developers toying with ray tracing.

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Nvidia’s Turing architecture, which underpins the RTX series, features dedicated RT cores which are solely for real-time raytracing, so the RTX cards are still going to be the king here. However, the new drivers will enable any card in the 10 or 16 series to take adventure of ray tracing.

The 16 series cards, the GTX 1660 TI and GTX 1660 are both built with Turing architecture, but they don’t have the RT cores that make them ray tracing monsters.

As you might expect with anything packing all of this power in,Nvidia says that your mileage may vary when it comes to performance, both based on the card you use and the way ray tracing is implemented in that game. It’s highlighted Metro Exodus, which has one of the most graphically intensive implementations of ray tracing, as one of the worst performing on cards without RT cores.

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Your older cards should work great with those who are using gentler versions of ray tracing. All you need to take advantage of it is Nvidia Game Ready driver 425.31 to get your hands on DXR Ray tracing. Just watch those frame rates, as the performance dip is likely to be substantial.

Let us know how ray tracing performance is for you. We can enthuse about it on Twitter together, over at @TrustedReviews

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