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posted by martyb on Friday April 12 2019, @01:11PM   Printer-friendly
from the who-is-Ray-and-who-wants-to-trace-him? dept.

NVIDIA Releases DirectX Raytracing Driver for GTX Cards; Posts Trio of DXR Demos

Last month at GDC 2019, NVIDIA revealed that they would finally be enabling public support for DirectX Raytracing on non-RTX cards. Long baked into the DXR specification itself – which is designed [to] encourage ray tracing hardware development while also allowing it to be implemented via traditional compute shaders – the addition of DXR support in cards without hardware support for it is a small but important step in the deployment of the API and its underlying technology. At the time of their announcement, NVIDIA announced that this driver would be released in April, and now this morning, NVIDIA is releasing the new driver.

As we covered in last month's initial announcement of the driver, this has been something of a long time coming for NVIDIA. The initial development of DXR and the first DXR demos (including the Star Wars Reflections demo) were all handled on cards without hardware RT acceleration; in particular NVIDIA Volta-based video cards. Microsoft used their own fallback layer for a time, but for the public release it was going to be up to GPU manufacturers to provide support, including their own fallback layer. So we have been expecting the release of this driver in some form for quite some time.

Of course, the elephant in the room in enabling DXR on cards without RT hardware is what it will do for performance – or perhaps the lack thereof.

Also at Wccftech.

See also: NVIDIA shows how much ray-tracing sucks on older GPUs

[For] stuff that really adds realism, like advanced shadows, global illumination and ambient occlusion, the RTX 2080 Ti outperforms the 1080 Ti by up to a factor of six.

To cite some specific examples, Port Royal will run on the RTX 2080 Ti at 53.3 fps at 2,560 x 1,440 with advanced reflections and shadows, along with DLSS anti-aliasing, turned on. The GTX 1080, on the other hand, will run at just 9.2 fps with those features enabled and won't give you any DLSS at all. That effectively makes the feature useless on those cards for that game. With basic reflections on Battlefield V, on the other hand, you'll see 30 fps on the 1080 Ti compared to 68.3 on the 2080 Ti.


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by opinionated_science on Friday April 12 2019, @02:28PM (5 children)

    by opinionated_science (4031) on Friday April 12 2019, @02:28PM (#828607)

    IMHO they are doing this so potentially cool stuff will work - and if it is slow, make a demand to upgrade....

    Otherwise, it is *kinda* nice for those of us that ray-trace , but not for games...

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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 12 2019, @03:09PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 12 2019, @03:09PM (#828626)

    It sounds to me that it's more like "our nvidia hairworkx and whatever slow games down enough as it is, enable this too and then join our telemetry club to potentially get valuable discounts on forced upgrades!"

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Friday April 12 2019, @03:24PM (2 children)

    by takyon (881) <> on Friday April 12 2019, @03:24PM (#828633) Journal

    The good news is that AMD will probably be able to respond to Nvidia, and realtime raytracing (using machine learning to reduce complexity) will not be an Nvidia exclusive thing for long. []

    Khronos Vulkan can also be used for raytracing, so no need to be tied to DirectX. []

    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 12 2019, @08:48PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 12 2019, @08:48PM (#828736)

      Spoilers in summary have previous SN article Crytek Demos Real-Time Raytracing for AMD and Non-RTX Nvidia GPUs [], so raytracing is already viable. And that was with AMD Vega 56, not the 64 or some pro model with everything enabled.

      Based in the NVidia RTX demo I saw weeks ago (something Russian looking), I wonder if the GTX are artificially crippled, because the RTX "with raytracing vs without" clearly was, non raytraced games don't have such sucky look today.

  • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Saturday April 13 2019, @02:00AM

    by RamiK (1813) on Saturday April 13 2019, @02:00AM (#828836)

    Or, maybe a different algorithm is possible that would trade off memory or quality so them developing a uselessly shitty backwards compatibility layer would prevent developers from exploring their options.