Ray tracing is the big topic in graphics cards industry in these days. In a past half of a year actually. And it's just starting.


Nvidia said they are going to enable DXR real time ray tracing on GTX 10 and 16 series graphics cards. So you will be able to RTX ON on your GTX 1070 GPU. So RTX ON, GAME ON, let's play!

Play what? And when?

What do you want to play first? A shooter? An RPG? How about some RTS game? Well, you and I both know it's really simple choice because there are still only two games you can play with DXR - Battlefield V and Metro Exodus. Not bad choices, but also not for everyone. My choice will be Metro as soon as the new driver comes out.

Nvidia will enable a DXR option for GTX cards in April driver update. The exact release date is unknown, but we expect it around the half of the month. There are probably going to be also updates of those two games to fully support this. Game developers tightly cooperate with Nvidia engineers and this is reason to believe that if there would be a game update, it'll be around the same date.


The thing is, if Nvidia spent 10 years of developing tensor units so they can provide a real time ray tracing, how they can just enable this function on CUDA cores graphics cards?

It's not "just enable", that's how it appears to us, consumers. Tensor cores are made for this purpose and they are still hotter than Titan X in its calculating prime time, that's why many need a triple slot cooler design. But they are still computing units like CUDA, only more powerful. So there is nothing that would prevent to use a DXR on them.

Nothing but a raw power. Simply put - tensor cores are more powerful than CUDA cores so they can calculate the light paths faster and are more efficient.

In reality we expect very functioning real time ray tracing, just not very playable experience. You know how are games that everybody complains about how not optimized they are? It could be like that, just in this case it's not about optimization, but about addition - you add the ray tracing.

Why do that?

It the experience is not supposed to be playable? Why? Ray tracing is a future in gaming graphics. You may not like it but it's not changing the fact. Nvidia put a lot of effort and even more money to develop this technology, to put it inside something this small and now they market the sh*t out of it. Next generation of RTX cards is going to be even more into it.

They want to show consumers how the ray tracing looks in games. Yes, it's probably because they want you to buy an RTX card, but for me it's doing something else - showing even more of their effort, that they want this trend to continue and that is worth investing in the new RTX video card because they keep working on it.

In April I'll get back to this and tell you about the real experience from DXR on GTX 1080 Ti.

Published 25.03.2019 17:17
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Tom J.

Tom is a founder and CEO of Profit Visions company. He has big passion for tech, video game, science and sci-fi stories, which he writes about.

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