DirectX Ray tracing and Today’s Windows 10 October 2018 Update

Less than two weeks ago, NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 20-series GPUs launched, giving devs and consumers first access to hardware which are fast enough for real-time ray tracing.  Ray Tracing has long been referred to as the “Holy Grail of Graphics” and this is an important update.

To take advantage of the new hardware, today’s Windows 10 October 2018 Update, brings the first public support for Microsoft DirectX Raytracing (DXR).  Once you update, DirectX Raytracing will work out-of-box on supported hardware.  We are updating Windows for our RTX enabled PC right now for these important two reasons:

  • DXR’s industry-standard application programming interface (API) gives game developers access to GeForce RTX’s hardware support of ray tracing as well as for hardware from all vendors.
  • DXR adds support for ray tracing to the Windows operating system, so DirectX 12 Windows PCs can execute the apps that support it.  We are looking forward to the new games and demos that will be out shortly as real-time ray tracing offers a level of realism beyond traditional rendering techniques.

Along with other games in development, three AAA game will support real-time ray tracing: Battlefield VMetro Exodus and Shadow of the Tomb Raider Shadow of the Tomb Raider has already been released and we are waiting on a patch to enable ray tracing.  Other developers have also announced support for NVIDIA RTX.  UL’s 3DMark has also announced two new benchmarks for ray tracing titles, the first to be released this month.

Game developers are quite excited about ray tracing since they will be able to save time creating and generating custom lightmaps, shadow maps and ambient occlusion maps for each asset while achieving better overall realism for games.  And PC gamers can look forward to the first wave of next-generation titles with ray tracing.

Happy Gaming!