What is Real-Time Ray Tracing and what does it mean for gamers today?

August 28, 2018 |

greater than 4 minutes

If you are anywhere near the gaming industry, you will know by now that the whole world is ecstatic because of the new rendering technique called Ray Tracing. Even though, this method of image tracing has been known for a while, and as the industry grows, so does the potential to produce more realistic image in computer games. And of course, the main hype is focused on the fact that now, with the new NVIDIA’s RTX 20-series graphics hardware, you will actually be able to implement this new technology to your own computer.

Of course, it’s still a long way to go with regards to the compatibility with the rest of your device, but the first steps have already been made. In this article, we will research at length what real-time ray tracing is and how it can enhance your gaming experience to a level that you hardly even dreamed of.

What Ray Tracing does essentially is rendering the light and shadow effects in a way that they become more vivid and realistic on the screen and faster to change

This is possible because of the tracing of the trajectory of the rays of light that are bouncing off the objects. As a result, you can get more realistic 3D interpretations of the shadows, reflections, and refractions of the objects on the screen.

This technique has been around for a long time and is used in creating CGI scenes for movies and TV shows, so what was the hold up for the gaming industry? In many respects, it was the limitations of personal devices that were the reason. The technology and computational power required to interact with the prerequisites of Ray tracing were not compatible with the capabilities of personal computers. But as the world goes on to discover the new exciting technology, so does the hardware industry, and now the new NVIDIA’s RTX platform will allow ordinary users to experience ray tracing. If you are, however, concerned about the health and overall performance of your computer, we suggest using the great tool Auslogics BoostSpeed to ensure that all your RAM is used in the right places.

Remember to keep your system optimized.

But before we give in to the massive hysteria and start making room for the new hardware piece, it’s important to understand what exactly the market is offering us nowadays and if it’s worth investing in. For example, the hype has been around because of the NVIDIA’s “Reflection” demo featuring stormtroopers. Apart from the fact that the marketing is genius and all gamers have a soft spot for some beautifully rendered shiny surfaces, it is a Star Wars themed promo, so of course, people were a tiny bit distracted. Also, you should understand that the really cool ray tracing technology is shown on a $60,000 “personal supercomputer”, which makes it slightly less possible to envision this type of quality on your home screen. But one can definitely dream of it.

So, what can an ordinary user expect with the development and implementation of ray tracing?

NVIDIA spared no expense to show users how the real-time ray tracing could run on consumer GPUs in games that we all use. These demos showcase the best of the features and are clearly very near to the actual result that you will be seeing on your computer screen. But what you should be aware of is that not all graphics will be improved on by the real-time ray tracing technology. If you already have NVIDIA RTX, then you will have the support of this feature, but if not, there will not be any visible difference. Make sure to look through this list of games that NVIDIA announced – they will have the support necessary to perform at the peak of ray tracing capabilities:

  • Assetto Corsa Competizione
  • Atomic Heart
  • Battlefield V
  • Control
  • Enlisted
  • Justice
  • JX3
  • MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries
  • Metro Exodus
  • ProjectDH
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider

So, if you are sold on the idea of getting the rendered image of the highest quality and realistic shadows, here is an overview of the market possibilities:

NVIDIA offers three separate GPUs in the GeForce RTX 20 series. And if RTX 2070 cards can start at $499, the next generation RTX 2080 will cost from $699 with a whopping RTX 2080 Ti card starting at $999. Of course, you should keep in mind that this is more than a generous offer, considering the alternative of $60 000 supercomputers.

The reason for this price surge is, of course, the rise of cryptocurrencies that have spiked the market value of GPUs. But as the trend is no longer as strong, it is possible that the market will eventually stabilize and they will be more affordable for gamers. Of course, you are not just investing in a better quality of your screen picture, but also in the longevity of your computer as these NVIDIA cards are the fastest that you can buy nowadays. So, even if your primary goal is to get the best of the gaming experience, you can still help your computer out by giving it the best and fastest GPUs.

Also consider the newly announced the DLSS technique (stands for Deep Learning Super-Sampling) from NVIDIA, which is a feature that uses the deep learning and AI to make predictions based on the data that it collects in pixels. This potentially can collect enough data to render very realistic imagery. It won’t work in all games, but NVIDIA has assured everyone that it will provide the necessary support. In any case, you will be able to disable the ray tracing feature for games that do not support it.

The question of buying the new NVIDIA RTX 20-series hardware depends on the reasons why you want this feature to be integrated into your computer. As the new kid on the scene, it hasn’t even proved its worth yet, only announced the value, and the cool trailer also helped to produce hype. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to rush into buying the new shiny thing just because the internet said it was cool. As we mentioned earlier, there are plenty of options to get your computer to work at its full capacity and speed without investing more than $600. But of course, the choice is yours, and if you are really interested in the way the ray tracing can enhance the illusion of the gaming experience and you already have the software that you are dying to get your hands on, then, why not?

We hope this article was helpful in understanding what ray tracing is and how it can enrich our digital experience. Use Auslogics BoostSpeed to make sure you are using all possible ammunition in your gaming arsenal to have a visually satisfying experience.

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