NVIDIA has always been a company to keep an eye on for gamers across the globe. NVIDIA announced their new RTX Series of graphics cards, the RTX 2060 and RTX 2080 Graphics cards this year. Since then, One word has been stuck on the minds of gamer’s everywhere, “Raytracing”. Raytracing is the latest innovation by NVIDIA which was announced for their RTX series graphics cards, but yesterday, it was announced that Raytracing for GTX 1060 and above can be expected soon by a driver update.
Before we jump on the hype train, what exactly is Raytracing ? how is Raytracing for GTX 1060 and above going to help gamers?
Every year, new innovations push the boundary between games and reality. Along the years, video games have come a long way from moving pixelated characters to highly detailed avatars. Ray-tracing is a new innovation in the gaming industry that will being more realism to games. The name hints what it does. It traces light rays and simulates light in the virtual world improving the quality greatly. It’s a much more advanced and lifelike way of rendering light and shadows in a scene. So in a nutshell, Ray tracing is a rendering technique that can produce incredibly realistic lighting effects.
What it does is that an algorithm trace’s the path of light, and then simulate the way that the light interacts with the virtual objects it ultimately hits in the computer-generated/Game world. This makes possible, dynamic shadows and realistic reflections. Ray tracing allows for dramatically more lifelike shadows and reflections, along with much-improved translucence and scattering.
Raytracing for GTX 1060 and above
So turns out you dont really need an expensive RTX Graphics card to enjoy the power of RayTracing. NVIDIA has announced that raytracing will be supported for GTX 1060 and above graphics cards but with lower performance compared to the RTX series. How low a performance are we expecting ? looks like the RTX cards are supposed to be three times better at handling Raytracing than their GTX counterparts. The performance difference is clearly represented by the chat below.
With a driver update GTX 1060,1070 and 1080 users can still enjoy raytracing but its going to cause some major drops in frames and performance. This is because the RTX cards are specifically created to handle the extra load generated by the raytracing algorithm.
Furthermore, To help developers in their work of preparing raytraced games, Nvidia has introduced GameWorks RTX.Nvidia is making GameWorks RTX code available as well as plugins for Unreal Engine 4.22 and Unity’s 2019.03. This means we can expect a number of games to bring raytracing into them.
Quake II RTX is the first ray-traced game using Nvidia VKRay, a Vulkan extension that allows any developer using Vulkan to add ray-traced effects to their games. This game has now become a prime example on just how much raytracing can have an impact on the game, as it is now cleaner and beautiful looking than before the RTX addition.