Technology 2 min read

NVIDIA to Provide Support for Ray Tracing Tech on Older GPUs

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During the Game Developers’ Conference on Monday, NVIDIA announced that support for its ray tracing tech (DXR) will soon be available on several GeForce GPUs. To date, only the company’s highest-end GPU, the GeForce RTX 20-series graphics card, has ray tracing capabilities.

Many speculate that the move might be due to the gaming industry’s slow adoption of this new technology. Since RTX’s debut last year, only a handful of games released with RTX-enabled features.

A driver update will arrive this April to unlock basic DirextX 12 DXR support in GTX 16-series GPUs like the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and in the last generation of GTX 10-series GPUs starting with 6GB GTX 1060 onward.

NVIDIA Raytracing Tech

With DXR coming to many GTX GPUs, gamers will soon be able to play some ray-traced games like Battlefield V and Metro Exodus. Battlefield V uses DXR to enhance optical reflections while Metro Exodus uses the tech to create highly realistic Global Illumination effects.

Ray tracing tech has enabled developers of Metro Exodus to simulate lighting from the real world. It is also considered the first game to unlock the potentials of RTX GPUs which helped generate excitement about the tech.

While NVIDIA’s announcement has revived the hopeless souls of gamers who can’t afford the expensive RTX series cards, users still have to face one key issue. DXR is computationally intensive, meaning GPUs that don’t have RTX tensor cores may experience slow performance.

NVIDIA explained that while its developers were still designing the next-gen RTX tech, they discovered that chips running on Pascal tech (GeForce 10-series), which don’t have integer and tensor cores, were monster-sized and had consumed up to 650 watts of power.

At the moment, this doesn’t sound like a big problem since no games other than Battlefield V have taken real advantage of ray tracing tech’s capabilities. However, NVIDIA announced that both Unity Engine and Unreal Engine will now start supporting ray tracing so, more DXR-enabled games may be coming out soon.

Read More: Next-Gen Graphics Get An Upgrade With Ray Tracing

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Chelle Fuertes

Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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