Next month, real-time ray tracing is coming to Pascal GPUs next time. Beginning with the GTX 1060 all the way up to the Titan XP, Pascal GPUs will support ray tracing according to Nvidia after the official driver update is released in April.
With that being said, if you want to see the tech running for yourself, it is not a must to purchase one of the new RTX GPUs. However, you will come against a couple of caveats. The RTX GPUs, according to Nvidia, will be faster than GTX ones, about three or two times more, thanks to their RT cores.
Instead, the GTX 10 cards series will perform ray tracing calculations such as Bounding Volume Hierarchy (BVH), and on their shader cored ray/triangle intersection, while already handling the other tasks in the rendering traditionally rasterized.
Nvidia GTX 10 series of graphics cards will get real-time ray tracing as of April
For example, the Metro Exodus has been used by Nvidia to demonstrate, compared to Turing, how much slower Pascal GPUs are at ray tracing, even after disabling the RT cores of the latter. You can take a look at the comparison in the screenshots below, but do not forget that in the third row the DLSS is included.
In the set of images, the DLSS is indeed a separate point of comparison because it shows performance in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Metro Exodus, and Battlefield 5. Compared to the RTX 2080, as you can see, even the powerful 1080 Ti is significantly slower.
It is possible that ray tracing runs on non-Turing GPUs and we figured that out after Crytek showed that the tech could run on AMD hardware. However, we are still waiting to get an official confirmation. Do not forget that ray tracing support will not be featured in every single Pascal GPU.
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