Thursday, April 11th 2019

NVIDIA Extends DirectX Raytracing (DXR) Support to Many GeForce GTX GPUs

NVIDIA today announced that it is extending DXR (DirectX Raytracing) support to several GeForce GTX graphics models beyond its GeForce RTX series. These include the GTX 1660 Ti, GTX 1660, GTX 1080 Ti, GTX 1080, GTX 1070 Ti, GTX 1070, and GTX 1060 6 GB. The GTX 1060 3 GB and lower "Pascal" models don't support DXR, nor do older generations of NVIDIA GPUs. NVIDIA has implemented real-time raytracing on GPUs without specialized components such as RT cores or tensor cores, by essentially implementing the rendering path through shaders, in this case, CUDA cores. DXR support will be added through a new GeForce graphics driver later today.

The GPU's CUDA cores now have to calculate BVR, intersection, reflection, and refraction. The GTX 16-series chips have an edge over "Pascal" despite lacking RT cores, as the "Turing" CUDA cores support concurrent INT and FP execution, allowing more work to be done per clock. NVIDIA in a detailed presentation listed out the kinds of real-time ray-tracing effects available by the DXR API, namely reflections, shadows, advanced reflections and shadows, ambient occlusion, global illumination (unbaked), and combinations of these. The company put out detailed performance numbers for a selection of GTX 10-series and GTX 16-series GPUs, and compared them to RTX 20-series SKUs that have specialized hardware for DXR.
Update: Article updated with additional test data from NVIDIA.

According to NVIDIA's numbers, GPUs without RTX are significantly slower than the RTX 20-series. No surprises here. But at 1440p, the resolution NVIDIA chose for these tests, you would need at least a GTX 1080 or GTX 1080 Ti for playable frame-rates (above 30 fps). This is especially true in case of Battlefield V, in which only the GTX 1080 Ti manages 30 fps. The gap between the GTX 1080 Ti and GTX 1080 is vast, with the latter serving up only 25 fps. The GTX 1070 and GTX 1060 6 GB spit out really fast Powerpoint presentations, at under 20 fps.
It's important to note here, that NVIDIA tested at the highest DXR settings for Battlefield V, and lowering the DXR Reflections quality could improve frame-rates, although we remain skeptical about the slower SKUs such as GTX 1070 and GTX 1060 6 GB. The story repeats with Shadow of the Tomb Raider, which uses DXR shadows, albeit the frame-rates are marginally higher than Battlefield V. You still need a GTX 1080 Ti for 34 fps.
Atomic Heart uses Advanced Reflections (reflections of reflections, and non-planar reflective surfaces). Unfortunately, no GeForce GTX card manages performance over 15.4 fps. The story repeats with 3DMark Port Royal, which uses both Advanced Reflections and DXR Shadows. Single-digit frame-rates for all GTX cards. The performance is better with Justice tech-demo, although far-from playable, as only the GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti manage over 20 fps. Advanced Reflections and AO, in case of the Star Wars RTX tech-demo, is another torture for these GPUs - single-digit frame-rates all over. Global Illumination with Metro Exodus is another slog for these chips.
Overall, NVIDIA has managed to script the perfect advertisement for the RTX 20-series. Real-time ray-tracing on compute shaders is horrendously slow, and it pays to have specialized hardware such as RT cores for them, while tensor cores accelerate DLSS to improve performance even further.
It remains to be seen if AMD takes a swing at DXR on GCN stream processors any time soon. The company has already had a technical effort underway for years under Radeon Rays, and is reportedly working on DXR.

Update:
NVIDIA posted its test data for 4K and 1080p in addition to 1440p, and medium-thru-low settings of DXR. Their entire test data is posted below.

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111 Comments on NVIDIA Extends DirectX Raytracing (DXR) Support to Many GeForce GTX GPUs

#1
TheLostSwede
Great, so I can chose between playable frame rate or DXR...
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#2
wrathchild_67
The RTX line really must not be selling as well as Nv would like.
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#3
HellZaQ
Quake 2 with RTX mod work now on GTX 10xx?
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#4
TheLostSwede
HellZaQ said:
Quake 2 with RTX mod work now on GTX 10xx?
Yeah, at 10fps...
Posted on Reply
#5
londiste
TheLostSwede said:
Yeah, at 10fps...
Did you try it?
Honest question.

Edit:
The new set of drivers has DXR implementation, that is DirectX 12.
I really do not know if Nvidia actually made the Vulkan stuff Q2VKRT uses to work on non-RTX hardware. Probably not as Vulkan's extensions should be low-level enough.
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#6
kastriot
Is it possible to use 2 cards one for normal operations and other as dedicated RTX using bridge cable or just faster PCI-e 3.0 or that would add too much latency?
Posted on Reply
#7
HellZaQ
TheLostSwede said:
Yeah, at 10fps...
I try tomorrow on my 1070Ti, if this mod work properly I happy with it, 10fps is good for screenshot :D
Posted on Reply
#8
bonehead123
As long as we can play Crysis on it at 641.379K FPS, it don't really matter what card we use, right ? :)
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#9
Casecutter
MARCH this way.... A··Bout-Face!
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#10
jabbadap
Actually 30FPS on gtx1080ti BFV DXR ulta at 1440p does not sound even bad. @W1zzard are you going to test these drivers?
Posted on Reply
#11
W1zzard
jabbadap said:
@W1zzard are you going to test these drivers?
i'm not sure yet, i got lots of other things to test and nvidia has provided numbers anyway. it'll also be a ton of work to test all this.

i'm thinking about adding a rtx section with just one game (metro?) to future gpu reviews
Posted on Reply
#12
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
wrathchild_67 said:
The RTX line really must not be selling as well as Nv would like.
More like developer interest has been...nonexistent...and they're hoping expanding support will spur more developer interest. I think developers seeing these numbers will laugh and walk away.
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#13
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
Casecutter said:
MARCH this way.... A··Bout-Face!
It’s not an about face. It’s a clever move by Nvidia to show that the top Pascal card can only do RTX barely, at a playable FPS.

It’s meant to convince the hesitant people to get RTX cards after they see what their Pascal’s cannot or can only barely do.
Posted on Reply
#14
jabbadap
W1zzard said:
i'm not sure yet, i got lots of other things to test and nvidia has provided numbers anyway. it'll also be a ton of work to test all this.

i'm thinking about adding a rtx section with just one game (metro?) to future gpu reviews
Well maybe some short test with only gtx1080ti and maybe with 1660ti, if they can't run it no other old card or non RT core card from nvidia can(excluding TitanV of course). Nvidia numbers are only at 1440p I'm quite interested to see if DXR can be at least ran at decent fps at the lower resolution.
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#15
kings
I think this move was made with total intention!

Now that people are going to see the shitty work the GTX cards do with Ray Tracing, they start to think the RTX cards are really good after all ...
Posted on Reply
#17
jabbadap
londiste said:
Did you try it?
Honest question.

Edit:
The new set of drivers has DXR implementation, that is DirectX 12.
I really do not know if Nvidia actually made the Vulkan stuff Q2VKRT uses to work on non-RTX hardware. Probably not as Vulkan's extensions should be low-level enough.
Well according to Phoronix, nvidia indeed added Pascal RT support on Vulkan too.
Posted on Reply
#19
Crackong
Remember there are less than a handful of games supports ray tracing for 7 months since release.
PhysX did better.
Posted on Reply
#20
jabbadap
Crackong said:
Remember there are less than a handful of games supports ray tracing for 7 months since release.
PhysX did better.
You might want to reconsider that and look back to how successful Ageia PPU were at the beginning.
Posted on Reply
#21
R0H1T
rtwjunkie said:
It’s not an about face. It’s a clever move by Nvidia to show that the top Pascal card can only do RTX barely, at a playable FPS.

It’s meant to convince the hesitant people to get RTX cards after they see what their Pascal’s cannot or can only barely do.
Oh cool I wonder if they're gonna market this to the die hard RTRT fans, presumably with hundreds of games to follow o_O
Posted on Reply
#22
ebivan
Wow, now we got about 10 GPUs that do RT but only three games, that support it...
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#23
danbert2000
I already struggle to play my games at 4k with a 1080. I don't think fancy raytracing without the specialized cores is going to be a better experience at 1080p than my medium-to-ultra settings mix to get to 1440p+. I'm always up for being proven wrong, though. It will be fun to play with at least.

This may be the first time ever that Nvidia did something nice for us last-gen card owners. Just goes to show that their RTX push isn't going as smoothly as they wanted. Maybe it's to give us a taste of the good stuff so we jones for more and convince ourselves to buy up.
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#24
Maximuspop
metro is a slideshow on my 1070@1080p 18-20fps dxr eats up 50+ fps and i still cant tell whats being traced lol

This wont make a 10 series owner run out and get a 20 series.
Posted on Reply
#25
bug
rtwjunkie said:
It’s not an about face. It’s a clever move by Nvidia to show that the top Pascal card can only do RTX barely, at a playable FPS.

It’s meant to convince the hesitant people to get RTX cards after they see what their Pascal’s cannot or can only barely do.
I believe this is a try-before-you-buy move. You can at least fire up an RTX enabled title or demo and check whether you deem it worthy before shelling out the $$$ for Turing.
Also, it seems to have flown under eveybody's radar, but these drivers seem to also have enabled Vulkan RTX.
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