Last month at GDC 2019, NVIDIA revealed that they would finally be enabling public support for DirectX Raytracing on non-RTX cards [anandtech.com]. Long baked into the DXR specification itself – which is designed 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 [anandtech.com] 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 [wccftech.com].
See also: NVIDIA shows how much ray-tracing sucks on older GPUs [engadget.com]
[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.
Microsoft Announces Directx 12 Raytracing API [soylentnews.org]
Nvidia Announces Turing Architecture With Focus on Ray-Tracing and Lower-Precision Operations [soylentnews.org]
Nvidia Announces RTX 2080 Ti, 2080, and 2070 GPUs, Claims 25x Increase in Ray-Tracing Performance [soylentnews.org]
Q2VKPT: An Open Source Game Demo with Real-Time Path Tracing [soylentnews.org]
AMD and Nvidia's Latest GPUs Are Expensive and Unappealing [soylentnews.org]
Nvidia Ditches the Ray-Tracing Cores with Lower-Priced GTX 1660 Ti [soylentnews.org]
Crytek Demos Real-Time Raytracing for AMD and Non-RTX Nvidia GPUs [soylentnews.org]