Can Nvidia's GTX 1060 6GB cope with ray tracing? | Hardware

Donna Miller
April 13, 2019

That said, we're now unclear on whether these will be released publicly or just to the press and Nvidia partners - we've asked for clarification on this point. Update 11/04/2019: The Game Ready Driver for Anno 1800 with extended DXR support for GTX GPUs is available via the Nvidia GeForce driver download page.

The benchmarks from Nvidia illustrate the performance gap. What that means is even though a card like the GTX 1070 (5783 GFLOPS) theoretically has more computational power than the GTX 1660 (5027 GFLOPS), in numerous tests the GTX 1660 ends up being faster with ray tracing-and the more ray tracing that's used, the better the Turing cards do relative to Pascal, so for example in Atomic Heart and Star Wars Reflections, the 1660 even outperforms the GTX 1080. This change "enables millions more gamers with GeForce GTX GPUs to experience ray tracing for the first time ever", as the list of DXR-capable graphics cards from NVIDIA has grown considerably as of today.

Depending on the game and the complexity of the ray tracing it uses, faster GTX hardware is sometimes viable. Meanwhile, the GTX 1080 Ti will only hit an unusable 9.4 fps, or 6.8 fps, 5.2 fps, and 3.5 fps on the GTX 1080, 1070 and 1060 respectively.

Enabling DXR on GeForce GTX gives developers the flexibility to optimize their games for systems that don't necessarily have the RTX enhancements on board. This remains true for AMD; there is no indication thus far that it is planning to enable DXR in any of its card, despite the Neon Noir demo running on AMD hardware. According to Walker, Nvidia hasn't been focused on bringing SLI support to ray tracing.

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NVIDIA just announced that it will be releasing a driver in the next 24 hours to enable real-time ray tracing on the older Pascal based GeForce GTX 10 series graphics cards as well as the GTX 16 lineup. "They all understand this is the way graphics are going to be". Mostly, it appears as if NVIDIA wanted to tamp down expectations before the features are released in the wild - and looking at the numbers, it has succeeded in that.

And now to editorialize briefly, I'll point out that one of the aspects of the RTX launch that did not exactly work to NVIDIA's advantage was (obviously) the lack of software to take advantage of their hardware ray tracing capabilities and DLSS, with just a few high-profile titles to date offering support. See the explainer video featuring Tamasi embedded below.

The situation is pretty much similar in all other tests, including Justice, Atomic Heart, and Reflections RTX tech demos, as well as the Battlefield V game, where only at medium DXR effects, you can get over 60fps on GTX 1080 Ti at 1080p resolution. However as an aficionado for proper tech demo public binary releases - something that's become increasingly rare these days (Tim, I need Troll!) - it's great to see these demos finally released to the public. So dropping to low might get you something a little smoother on the more demanding ray tracing games.

"There's a lot of interest from developers around this", Walker said. The first of those is Atomic Hearts.

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