Nvidia’s heavily touted new RTX graphics cards series is getting competition from its previous models. The futuristic graphics technology known as ray tracing is now also available for owners of the previous GTX cards via the newest graphics drivers. But be warned, achieving good performance looks to be a massive headache.
Ray tracing has long been hailed as the holy grail of graphics technology. Promising highly realistic and sophisticated visuals in form of lighting models, shadows, reflections and more. There’s a reason why ray tracing wasn’t a thing prior to the release of Nvidia’s new RTX graphics cards. It’s simply too taxing for even the beefiest hardware. This all changed with the arrival of Nvidia RTX cards. Specifically designed to enable the futuristic technology with acceptable performance, RTX cards include modern RT & Tensor cores which are making ray tracing in real time reality.
For some reason, Nvidia has now decided to enable ray tracing functions on their older GPU models. Specifically the GTX 1060 and higher. Don’t feel left out in case you own an older card however, as even these comparably new cards are having a rough time to keep up with ray tracing. Nvidia shared their own performance comparisons between RTX and GTX cards and for what it’s worth, it looks like ray tracing on 10-series cards will be little more than just a teaser.
Any card shy off the ultra-high-end GTX 1080Ti simply struggles to deliver 60fps with ray tracing enabled. A bitter pill for users who spend well above the price of an entire gaming console on a graphic card. You can read more in detail about various games and effects tested on Nvidia’s blog post here.
Nvidia has been doing good work by including more users to enjoy their proprietary tech lately. Just earlier this year, Team Green allowed the use of Freesync on Nvidia cards, and with ray tracing expanding onto 10-series GPUs, it’s hard to fault anyone for at least not trying.