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Accelerating The Real-Time Ray Tracing Ecosystem: DXR For GeForce RTX and GeForce GTX

Accelerating The Real-Time Ray Tracing Ecosystem: DXR For GeForce RTX and GeForce GTX

From engine updates to exciting games to developer tools, NVIDIA and its partners are making a number of ray tracing announcements at GDC 2019 to drive the ecosystem forward around this exciting new technology.

For decades, NVIDIA has been working towards the dream of real-time videogame ray tracing. It required millions of hours of research and development, focusing on everything from GPU hardware and software, to updated APIs and game engines, to development tools and denoisers. In 2018, all that hard work came to fruition with the launch of GeForce RTX GPUs, the world’s first consumer graphics cards with dedicated RT Core ray tracing hardware, enabling realistic ray-traced effects to run in real-time in high-fidelity and at high resolutions.
In the time since, our software and developer teams have kept working, allowing us to optimize our ray tracing technology, make new software advancements, and help developers further accelerate ray tracing performance in games. Because of this work, we have dramatically sped up ray tracing performance for GeForce RTX GPUs, and can now enable DirectX Raytracing ( DXR ) on GeForce GTX 1060 6GB and higher graphics cards via a Game Ready Driver update, expected in April.

The much larger install base of RT-capable GPUs will fuel developer adoption of ray tracing technology, bringing more games for both GeForce RTX and GeForce GTX users to experience. GeForce GTX gamers will have an opportunity to use ray tracing at lower RT quality settings and resolutions, while GeForce RTX users will experience up to 2-3x faster performance thanks to the dedicated RT Cores on their GPUs, enabling the use of higher-quality settings and resolutions at higher framerates.

Breaking Down Ray Tracing Performance
Ray tracing introduces several new workloads for the GPU to perform. The first is determining which triangle in the game scene a ray will intersect. A computationally-intensive technique called Bounding Volume Hierarchy, or BVH, is used to calculate this. After the rays are calculated, a denoising algorithm is applied to improve the visual quality of the resulting image, so that fewer total rays can be cast, allowing the process to be possible in real-time.

RT Cores on GeForce RTX GPUs provide dedicated hardware to accelerate BVH and ray / triangle intersection calculations, dramatically accelerating ray tracing. On GeForce GTX hardware, these calculations are performed on the shader cores, a resource shared with many other graphics functions of the GPU.

The Turing architecture that GeForce RTX GPUs use was designed from the start for DXR -type workloads. Pascal, on the other hand, was launched in 2016 and was designed for DirectX 12.

To see what this means in practice, let’s examine one frame of gameplay from Metro Exodus, which features ray traced global illumination:

The graphs look at GPU utilization on Pascal, Turing with RT cores disabled (via a special software setting to show GeForce RTX 2080 performance without the use of RT Cores), and Turing with RT cores and DLSS enabled.

For more Details please head over to Nvidia’s Announcmet Page.

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