Can you use ray tracing without RTX graphics cards?

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060

Ray Tracing is a graphics rendering technique that creates a realistic depiction of lighting and shadows. It uses the same way the light interacts with physical objects and bounces around in the real world. Ray Tracing tech traces the path of light to simulate the effects of light in the graphics. So, ray tracing produces better visual realism.

The company first introduced ray tracing with RTX 20-series graphics cards in 2018. NVIDIA’s RTX series graphics cards support Ray tracing. RTX GPUS have custom-designed cores to accelerate the rendering of ray tracing graphics

Now it is also possible to use ray tracing with GTX graphics cards. NVIDIA released Game Ready Driver in April 2019 which brought DirectX Raytracing (DXR) effects. It is available with GeForce GTX 1060 6GB and higher GPUs. DXR is not as good as Ray tracing in RTX cards but you will experience some of the ray tracing benefits.

Battlefield V was the first game that demonstrated how DXR works. Only a few games truly support DXR. Ray tracing on GTX graphics cards depends on the GPU model and supporting game. For playing games with ray-tracing in GTX graphics cards, you need to alter graphics settings. Nvidia also released benchmarks to show the performance gap between RTX and GTX cards when you enable ray tracing in GPU.

DirectX Raytracing is also supported by AMD graphics cards. AMD’s RX 6000 series supports DXR.

Now you do not need to have an RTX card for experiencing ray tracing in video games, but you need an RTX 20-series GPU or higher to experience true ray tracing. If you play the game on GTX graphics card with ray tracing, you will see drop in the game performance.