NVIDIA DXR Ray-Tracing Support For Pascal GPUs Does Include Vulkan Support

Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 11 April 2019 at 11:24 AM EDT. 3 Comments
As has been expected the past several weeks, NVIDIA rolled out a driver update today providing DXR ray-tracing support going back to non-RTX Pascal GPUs. While NVIDIA has mostly been trumpeting the DirectX 12 ray-tracing abilities now with these older GPUs lacking RTX cores, their work does include enabling of Vulkan VK_NV_ray_tracing support on these graphics processors.

As of writing, NVIDIA hasn't issued a Linux driver update offering VK_NV_ray_tracing for Pascal/Volta GPUs, but I'd suspect that to happen with their next public Linux driver build. When checking out the Windows driver release today, VK_NV_ray_tracing is indeed flipped on for GeForce GTX 1000 series graphics cards and thus with the shared driver code-base should be coming to Linux too... Just like NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible took a bit longer to come to Linux due to the difference release cadences.

More details on NVIDIA's new driver ability to expose DXR ray-tracing for pre-RTX GPUs can be found via this lengthy NVIDIA.com page. NVIDIA is enabling DXR going back to Pascal GPUs but not the DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling, which is Windows-only anyhow).

Vulkan really hasn't been talked about for pre-RTX GPUs, so it's great to see today that too is being enabled going back to Pascal and just not DirectX 12, thus opening up the door to relevance for NVIDIA Linux users.

Now if only there were Linux games using Vulkan ray-tracing or any sort of support through Wine/Proton...
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