NVidia is introducing the much idolized raytracing feature to a few candidates in the GeForce GTX 10 and 16 lineups, thanks to an upcoming driver support package that the company plans to unveil in April. The new driver update will add DirectX Raytracing (DXR), allowing RTX graphics to run on select Pascal and 16-series GPUs.
The range of supported cards includes the 6GB GTX 1060 up to the GTX 1080 Ti, and the fresh GTX 1660 and 1660Ti. These cards will not require you to update your games since ray-tracing is built on the DXR API which is compatible with the current hardware units.
Real time ray-tracing introduces new workloads for the GPU to compute, which is why cards at the lower end of the GeForce GTX spectrum won’t be receiving the feature. Even the featured cards won’t run games as smoothly as the new Turing RTX cards. Pascal cards lack specialized hardware for running ray tracing tasks, instead requiring them to run concurrently with other graphics rendering tasks.
RT cores are at the top of the list when it comes to hardware prerequisites for raytracing. The RT cores in NVidia’s new RTX cards handle all BVH traversal and ray-triangle intersection testing tasks. Older GPUs would have to use shader operations, resulting in a computationally intensive process that’s impractical to perform in real time without hardware-based ray tracing acceleration.
Gamers waiting to use NVidia GTX 10 and 16 series for raytracing should expect lower FPS and performance. Enthusiasts who want supreme performance should go for RTX cards.