Nvidia’s older cards will soon support some degree of ray-tracing

Nvidia’s older cards will soon support some degree of ray-tracing

Nvidia’s drive into ray-tracing isn’t exclusive to its new line of RTX graphics cards.

DirectX Raytracing, or DXR, will be brought to older GTX 1060 and higher cards starting this April. The software solution aims to drastically improve ray-tracing capabilities on hardware not built with the bespoke parts for the tech.

In a blog post, the hardware firm claims that making the demanding new technology a little more accessible to the GTX line-up’s higher install base will help push interest in ray-tracing.

“The much larger install base of RT-capable GPUs will fuel developer adoption of ray tracing technology, bringing more games for both GeForce RTX and GeForce GTX users to experience,” said Nvidia’s Andrew Burns.

“GeForce GTX gamers will have an opportunity to use ray tracing at lower RT quality settings and resolutions, while GeForce RTX users will experience up to 2-3x faster performance thanks to the dedicated RT Cores on their GPUs, enabling the use of higher-quality settings and resolutions at higher framerates.”

Don’t expect to be running high framerates on raytraced games with your former-flagship GTX 1080 card, however. Benchmarks for games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Battlefield V show that GPU hitting a little below and above 40 frames per second respectively.

Metro Exodus, meanwhile, struggles to hit 20 fps, while 3D benchmarking software 3DMark Port Royal has the GTX 1080 straining for even 10.

It’s a neat trick to push ray-tracing. But it seems the technology is still a while off for those who can’t afford the jump to the more expensive, breakthrough RTX cards.

Staff Writer

Natalie Clayton is an Edinburgh-based freelance writer and game developer. Besides PCGamesInsider and, she's written across the games media landscape and was named in the 2018 100 Rising Star list.