Enable raytracing on GTX Graphics cards

Ray tracing has been introduced by NVIDIA recently and so far the visuals look amazing. Ray tracing if used properly can really bring out the best of a game. It improves the quality and brings the game closer to reality than ever before. We can talk about Raytracing all day long but most of us already know about it. What you probably didn’t know is that you don’t necessarily need an RTX card to experience it. If you have a GTX 1060 you could probably get a sneak peek into raytracing, by sacrificing a little of your fps. So let’s take a look at how to enable raytracing on RTX Graphics cards.

First off, you need to download the latest game ready driver for your graphics cards. Hurray! you can now enable raytracing on GTX cards. Not all Graphics cards support Ray tracing so be sure to check the list below to know if your card supports Ray tracing.

Supported Cards

Below are the list of GTX cards that will support Ray tracing. Note that all RTX graphics cards support Ray Tracing and hence are not mentioned in this list.

  • GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
  • GeForce GTX 1660
  • GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
  • GeForce GTX 1070
  • GeForce GTX 1070 Ti
  • GeForce GTX 1080
  • GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • NVIDIA TITAN Xp (2017)
  • NVIDIA TITAN X (2016)

Since GTX cards use traditional shader cores and don’t have dedicated RT cores like the new RTX components, your graphics experience might drop. In order to comfortably play the current crop of games that support ray tracing your graphics settings will need to be dialed down as they were not designed to handle raytracing and will slow down due to additional processing.

Difference in performance

Benchmark released my NVIDIA

The above benchmark released by NVIDIA compares the performance of RTX and GTX cards with ray tracing enabled for the game Metro Exodus. From the graph, it’s clearly seen just how much of a performance difference is there between the RTX and GTX cards. Even GTX 1080 cards struggle with the processing and for higher frame rates its better to rely on RTX cards.

The Final Verdict

Even though ray tracing is possible on the above mentioned GTX cards, it does not necessarily mean you should jump right in and turn ray tracing ON. From the bench marks its clear that GTX 1060 cards that enable ray tracing will have a severe drop in frame rate and probably make the gaming experience worse. Since these cards were not intended to handle it in the first place, its not a big surprise. Still if you want to sacrifice frame rate to experience ray tracing, be warned that your experience might not be so pleasant unless you are using a 1080.

The bottom line is that GTX GPU owners who want the benefits of ray tracing on their gaming PC will need to drop to 1080p resolution while Geforce GTX 1070 and GTX 1060 users might be better off keeping ray tracing off altogether.

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4 Thoughts to “Enable raytracing on GTX Graphics cards”

  1. T Karlsson

    This doesn’t work on the Nvidia GTX 1080 with the latest game ready driver 431.60

  2. Ben

    You never said how to enable it. Worthless article.

    1. Vivek

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and let me know that you thought the article I spent quite a few hours on was worthless (Maybe it really is.. It has been a long time and it’s quite outdated).
      “First off, you need to download the latest game ready driver for your graphics cards. Hurray! you can now enable raytracing on GTX cards” – I did mention this in the article, I hope you’ve noticed. That’s just about all you need to do to enable raytracing.
      Not all games support ray-tracing and for the ones that do support it, you just have to enable it in-game just like how you would enable other features like motion blur, brightness, contrast, etc…
      Oh and do realize that that article is quite old now. So some inaccuracies are to be expected. I hope you aren’t disappointed by my answer.
      please do feel free to let me know if I’ve missed anything else. I always enjoy learning something new.
      Once again thanks so much for letting me know how you feel. Its thanks to you, that I can make better content next time.

      1. Vivek

        By the way, Minecraft looks absolutely stunning with RTX on, but if you are playing it, I highly recommend an RTX 2070 or higher for a decent experience.

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