Nvidia to enable real-time raytracing on GTX 1060 or higher

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Nvidia also announced Integration of real-time ray tracing into Unreal Engine and Unity game engines as well as Nvidia GameWorks RTX, which are tools and rendering techniques to help developers add ray tracing to games. "Real-time ray tracing support from other first-party AAA game engines includes DICE/EA's Frostbite Engine, Remedy Entertainment's Northlight Engine and engines from Crystal Dynamics, Kingsoft, Netease and others".

In April Nvidia will expand the "raytracing-capable GPU installed base to tens of millions". According to the green team, a new driver will enable all GTX10XX series graphics cards, from GTX1060 all the way up to the GTX1080Ti, to run real-time ray tracing via the DXR API.

Nvidia admits that on these older Pascal GPUs, and on the new GTX16 series, raytraced effects will execute on shader cores. But, before you get too excited, know that the cards will only support basic ray-tracing effects and low ray counts.

The game builds off the progress made by Schied's Q2VKPT, but instead of relying on path tracing to create a single ray tracing algorithm to unify all lighting in a game, Q2RTX uses ray-tracing alongside Vulkan, which is no small feat for a game released in the late '90s. Nvidia said the tools are available to developers under the open source GameWorks license and that it will have plugins ready for Unreal Engine 4.22 and the 2019.03 Unity release.

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At GDC Nvidia debuted a number of games and experiences utilising real-time raytracing.

Earlier this year NVIDIA unveiled a cheeky project - an attempt to bring back ray-tracing, with all its bells and whistles, to Quake 2. Ray tracing reproduces how light behaves in the real world improving shadows and reflections to give games a more photorealistic look and immersive feel.

Unfortunately, the new drivers won't prevent the ray tracing from dragging down a game's frame rate. The cards are expected to perform much better with games like Battlefield V which uses ray tracing for just reflections on some surfaces as compared to games like Metro Exodus which uses much larger workload for illumination effects on a wider scale.

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