Can you use ray tracing without RTX?

A not-so-important feature, but a nice feature, so can you run it?

Updated: December 7, 2022 3:45 p.m

Some Nvidia RTX features, like DirectX Raytracing, can now be used without an Nvidia RTX card. Any game that supports DXR can now be activated by anyone with a GTX 1060 6GB or higher. Download the latest driver update from the GeForce Experience app.

However, ray tracing is overwhelming even for RTX cards. However, Nvidia has some answers. Generally, you get 60fps at 1440p on high settings. However, certain ray tracing implementations work better than others on older devices.

Developers now use ray tracing to create reflections, shadows, ambient occlusion, and global illumination. In general, an RTX card is required to produce playable global lighting. However, on a GTX 1070 or 1080, reflections, shadows and ambient occlusions may work smoothly.

DXR has been used most commonly to add reflections and shadows to games. Served as Nvidia’s first demo workhorse, Battlefield V uses DXR exclusively for reflections. And among the implementations, this one might work properly on GTX cards.

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Finally, any non-RTX graphics card will likely struggle to provide global illumination. You can only soften GI slightly, unlike reflections or shadows. It would help if you had a lot of rays in each shot for this effect to take effect.

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It has incredible visuals when it works well, like in Metro: Exodus. You’ll need an RTX card to do that though. So DXR can run on GTX, but should it be enabled at all?

Yes, but most likely to check how it appears. With DXR on low you should be able to play some games at 1080p if you have a 1080 Ti. However, most users only have graphics cards that are comparable to the GTX 1060; So this feature really exists to persuade you to upgrade.

You’ll also find that few games actually support DXR. As long as that’s true, this ability allows you to see the future before it actually happens.

However, for full ray tracing you will need a newer card, an RTX Nvidia GPU or an RX 6000 AMD card and above. But it’s a hard processing function.

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