Can Nvidia's GTX 1060 6GB cope with ray tracing? | Hardware

Ruben Fields
April 13, 2019

Previously, this was exclusively the domain of RTX cards, but in March, Nvidia promised us broader support for ray tracing to include GTX cards, and not just Turing models (like the GTX 1660) but previous-generation 10-series cards.

The long and short of it being that simple reflections and shadows can be had without awful performance drops on cards that lack RT hardware, however the more rays an effect requires, the worse the performance hit gets (or perhaps, the better an RTX card would look).

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

While speaking with journalists, Nvidia product manager Justin Walker said he recommends playing the games at a 1920 by 1080 resolution, and perhaps downgrading other settings. Here's a peek at some of NVIDIA's own internal benchmark results. That said, we're now unclear on whether these will be released publicly or just to the press and Nvidia partners - we've asked for clarification on this point. Update 11/04/2019: The Game Ready Driver for Anno 1800 with extended DXR support for GTX GPUs is available via the Nvidia GeForce driver download page. Much to my own surprise however, NVIDIA says that they aren't expecting to see game developers release patches to take into account DXR support on cards without RT hardware; this of course isn't required since DXR abstracts away the hardware difference, however it's up to developers to account for the performance difference. Fundamentally, it's a case of increasing the amount of DXR-enabled hardware. The game is rumoured to be in development hell. The RT quality settings GTX card owners will want to use will be much lower than what NVIDIA does here. According to Walker, Nvidia hasn't been focused on bringing SLI support to ray tracing. "They all understand this is the way graphics are going to be".

Indeed, the new 425.31 GeForce Game Ready Drivers support ray tracing via DirectX Raytracing (DXR) on the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 1660, along with the GTX 1080 Ti, GTX 1080, GTX 1070 Ti, GTX 1070, and GTX 1060 (6GB). And while NVIDIA hasn't confirmed the driver build number or given the press an advanced look at the driver, this driver should be the first public driver in NVIDIA's new Release 430 (?) driver branch. The RT Cores found within Turing just make ray-tracing operations faster.

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With that being said, it should come as no surprise that the Android parent is updating Google Play Services on a regular basis. Google's developers are constantly releasing new updates for the Google Play Store and a brand-new one has arrived today.

Aside from the new driver and demos, Nvidia is also explaining more about the various aspects and implementations of ray tracing, and which types are more or less demanding.

Now, before you get all excited, there are one or two points that we need to make clear about NVIDIA's DXR largesse. What I'm being told is that Reflections and Justice will be hosted directly by NVIDIA, whereas Atomic Heart will be hosted off-site, for anyone keeping the score.

Nvidia has also pushed out three tech demos that show off ray tracing tech further: Atomic Heart, Justice, and Reflections, the latter of which was created by Epic Games.

Finally, NVIDIA is also calling attention to a reflections tech demo that we have seen before. As a result, lighter DXR games will naturally work better with lower-end GTX graphics cards, and heavier DXR games will likely be completely unplayable.

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