Nvidia driver 425.31 enables DXR on GeForce GTX 1060 and better

Sarah Tew  CNET

Sarah Tew CNET

The drivers, version 425.31, are available now to download. But the move also raised many questions regarding performance, or lack thereof. Even the GTX 1060 can squeeze above 30 fps in Battlefield V. For those looking for independent results, PC Gamer has confirmed its own numbers broadly conform to Nvidia's own. Here, at 1440p resolution, the GTX 1080 Ti hit a more impressive 50.6 fps, with the GTX 1660 Ti on 36.8fps, naturally considerably behind the RTX cards like the vanilla 2080 which managed 72.8 fps (with DLSS).

NVIDIA GeForce RTX cards are fine-tuned with architectural enhancements to run RTX features such as Ray Tracing Shadows, Reflections, Global Illumination, and Ambient Occlusion. First announced three weeks ago, Nvidia's latest Game Ready driver, out today, will allow everyone with a 6GB GTX 1060 upwards to take advantage of all the shiny shadow and reflection enhancements in games such as Metro Exodus, Battlefield V and Shadow of the Tomb Raider now only enjoyed by their Nvidia RTX cousins.

Depending on the game and the complexity of the ray tracing it uses, faster GTX hardware is sometimes viable. In this case, it sounds like game devs are satisfied that they've provided enough DXR quality settings that users will be able to dial things down for slower cards. 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.

This Game Ready Driver is compatible with a fairly decent range of GTX cards, starting with the 6GB GTX 1060 and going all the way up to the recently released GTX 1660 and 1660 Ti. And while NVIDIA hasn't confirmed the driver build number or given the press an advanced look at the driver, this driver should be the first public driver in NVIDIA's new Release 430 (?) driver branch.

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NVIDIA gave us some idea of just how capable GTX cards will be when it comes to ray tracing. See the explainer video featuring Tamasi embedded below. With the driver available now, owners of GeForce GTX GPUs can try out the real-time ray tracing features in some of the top AAA titles. All three demos can be downloaded at NVIDIA's official page.

NVIDIA is careful to temper your exceptions with ray tracing performance on Pascal and Turing GeForce GTX hardware, stating that performance will be lower than GeForce RTX class hardware and visuals fidelity won't be as good.

Essentially what this means is that you will be able to turn on ray-tracing in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Battlefield V, Metro Exodus and other supported games.

When Atomic Heart launches next year, it will feature RTX support, with ray-traced ambient occlusion, real-time reflections, and shadows. What I'm being told is that Reflections and Justice will be hosted directly by NVIDIA, whereas Atomic Heart will be hosted off-site, for anyone keeping the score. 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.

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