Last month at GDC 2019, NVIDIA found that they would finally allow public support for DirectX Raytracing on non-RTX cards. For a long time to the DXR specification itself, which is designed to encourage the development of ray trace hardware, and allow it to be implemented with traditional computer shaders – adding DXR to cards without hardware support is a small but important step in deploying the API and its core technologies. . At the time of their announcement, NVIDIA announced that this driver will be released in April, and this morning NVIDIA releases a new driver.
As we discussed in the first driver announcement last month, it was something a long time for NVIDIA. The initial development of the DXR and the first DXR demonstrations (including the Star Wars demonstration ) were processed on cards without hardware acceleration of the RT; in particular NVIDIA Volta graphics cards. Microsoft used its own spare layer for some time, but for public release it was up to the GPU manufacturers to provide support, including their own back-up layer. So, we expected the release of this driver in one form or another for some time.
Of course, the elephant in the room, which allows the use of DXR on cards without hardware RT, is what he will do for execution – or perhaps his absence. The high-quality RT features are already suppressing the best NVIDIA RTX graphics cards that have hardware for the task, not to mention their non-RTX cards that are either older (GeForce 10 series) or lower (GeForce 16 series) than the GeForce 20 flagship cards. series In fact, it's a bit of a concern for NVIDIA – they do not want anyone in the GTX 1060 to turn on Ultra mode in Battlefield V and did not know why it took seconds for the frame – so the company was running a campaign both in GDC and ahead of the driver to run to better explain different types of common RT effects, and why some RT effects are more expensive than others.
Long and low, that simple reflections and shadows can be without terrible performance on cards that do not have RT hardware, but the more radiation it requires, the worse the impressive performance (or perhaps RTX card will look better). Hence, especially impressive effects such as global RT illumination and clear occipital excursions still go away, but cheaper reflections (which are always crowd supporters) are more affordable.
It all depends on the game and the settings, of course. NVIDIA collaborates with partners to improve the implementation of the DXR effect – attempts that have been successful over the past six months, passing through some of the first games – but this is still a matter of compromises depending on the game and the graphics card. However, to our surprise, NVIDIA says that they do not expect game developers to release patches to take into account DXR support on cards without hardware RT; this, of course, is not necessary because DXR is abstracted from the difference in equipment, but developers will have to take into account the difference in performance. In this case, it seems that game developers are pleased that they provided enough quality DXR quality settings that users can type for slow cards. But as always, evidence in the results, which everyone will be able to see firsthand soon enough.
In front of this release of drivers, NVIDIA has released some of its own performance numbers. And although they are quite harmless, everything is done at 1440p, with everything included in the Ultra quality providing the worst case scenario for cards without RT equipment. The RT quality parameters that GTX card owners will want to use will be much lower than what NVIDIA does.
Not all of these cards are supported while the NVIDIA DXR layer is aimed at Pascal and Turing packets that do not have RT hardware. In particular, it does not include the seven low-end Pascal, so support comes with GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, as well as NVIDIA (still) two GTX 16, GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Ti cards.
Generally, a new driver is released this morning, at the same time as this news story is rising – at 9 am ET. Although NVIDIA did not confirm the driver number or provided the driver with an advanced driver view, this driver should become the first public driver in the new NVIDIA Release 430 (?) Driver. In this case, there will be many more events with this driver than simply adding DXR support to more cards; The NVIDIA support schedule requires Mobile Kepler to be shipped to this month's legacy, so I hope it will be the first driver to exclude support for these parts. The new driver branches are one of the most interesting versions of NVIDIA drivers since they tend to be breakpoints where they introduce new features under the hood, so I want to see what they were before the time when the R415 / R418 was first released. back
DXR Tech Demos Releases: Thoughts, Justice and Atomic Heart
Along with today's release of drivers, NVIDIA and its partners also release three previously announced / featured DXR technology demonstrations. These include "Star Wars" Reflections Justice and Atomic Heart .
These demonstrations were widely exhibited by NVIDIA, Epic and others, so of course there is nothing new that you would not have seen on your YouTube videos. However, as a fan of proper technical demo-public releases, something that is becoming less common these days (Tim, I need Troll! ) – It's nice to see how these demonstrations are finally published. In the end, we see faith; and seeing something that is displayed in real time is much more interesting than seeing a recoded video of it.
One way or another, all three demonstrations will be released through NVIDIA today. I was told that Reflections and Justice will be posted directly to NVIDIA, while Atomic Heart will be posted outside of the site for those who keep score. For NVIDIA, of course, it is in their own interest to put the best step forward with RT and have something more curatorial / perspective than the current game harvest; although I do not think it hurts that these demonstrations should bring any GTX card to their knees quickly enough.