NVIDIA announced a few weeks ago that millions of NVIDIA graphics cards would soon support the ray tracing technology . A controller that will appear in the next few hours enables that option for some GeForce GTX of the Pascal series, but the loss in performance is remarkable .
If the ray tracing already imposes a remarkable load on the very powerful GeForce RTX that offer native support for this technology, the impact on the GeForce GTX makes us wonder if it is worth activating it: in some games like Port Royal a RTX 2080 Ti achieved 53.3 FPS at 1440p. The GTX 1080 Ti with activated ray tracing remained at a very low 9.2 FPS . Is it worth having that option?
The truth is that it seems difficult to recommend activating ray tracing in graphics without that native support. The new controller offers this capability in several graphics of the GTX 1000 series, but the absence of the RT cores means that its performance in this area is (at least) very modest.
Things vary from game to game and in fact the figures given by NVIDIA focused on the worst possible case , with the highest level of detail in games and 1440p resolutions that are noticeably more demanding than 1080p resolutions.
Still, there are games in which accessing such an option does not penalize so much. With an RTX 2080 Ti in Battlefield V we will achieve 68.3 FPS with the raytracing activated according to NVIDIA data: the performance drops to 30 FPS in a 1080 Ti according to those same tests, a figure that is clearly lower but still makes this title itself can be playable.
The thing gets worse if we activate the environmental occlusion in which subtle effects of shadows and lighting are rendered. In a technical demo prepared to demonstrate the potential of RTX technology, clearly poor rates were achieved in the old NVIDIA family. We see it in that image in which the performances of the GeForce GTX is a world away from the RTX .
The option is therefore interesting if we want to enjoy these effects to evaluate in GeForce GTX graphics what these technologies contribute visually, but it is likely that in most cases it is not worthwhile before the tremendous negative impact it will have on the game in which we activate them.
Still it is remarkable that at least we have the option to activate the ray tracing to experience the visual changes. It is still early to know if the developers will end up taking advantage of raytracing technology and the promising DLSS in their games in a massive way – titles will appear little by little – but NVIDIA’s bet is of course clear. If you want to enjoy the ray tracing of truth, yes, the message is clear: the GeForce RTX are today the only acceptable option.