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What is ray tracing? ( And What it means for PC Gaming)

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Everything You Need to Know About Ray tracing

Ray Tracing is frequently referenced in PC gaming. This is the buzzword that started with a ground-breaking announcement by Nvidia. At Gamescom 2018, the brand announced its Nvidia Turing graphics cards. This is the latest technology in gaming that is nothing less than a revolution.

However, if you do not know what the terminology means, we have got you covered. This article entails all the necessary information that you need to know about ray tracing. And we are going to explain this to you in simple words.

The Basics of Ray Tracing

We are going to provide you with basic information about ray tracing. You will get to know what ray tracing is and how it differs from traditional rasterization. Moreover, we will discuss how ray tracing might impact the purchase of your next device (gaming desktop PCs or gaming laptops).

What is ray tracing?

Ray tracing is an image rendering technique used in computer-generated scenes to create realistic lighting effects. In simple words, you get visuals that look more lifelike, authentic, and convincing. Game developers use ray tracing to produce natural reflections and shadows.

How ray tracing works

The light beams in ray-tracing function nearly the same as they do in real life. In real life, photons of light move through and bounce across objects. Our eyes catch these photons, and the brain puts out a complete picture after catching different rays. However, in ray tracing the process works in the opposite direction.

This is more like what most of us have seen in the tenet movie. Instead of moving forward the ray tracing simulates the vision backwards.

What does ray tracing do?

Ray tracing light is inside the software and it moves from the camera lens (viewer) towards outward. The light maps out a path and bounces across various objects that come in its way. Sometimes, the light even takes on the reflective property and colour of the objects. This continues until the software verifies the right light source(s) that may alter that specific ray.

Ray tracing is made possible through a process named “denoising.” In this process, only limited yet the most important rays are traced. And then through using the machine learning algorithms, gaps are filled to smooth out everything. This is a far more efficient way (handling simulating vision backwards) to trace the rays.

Why is Ray Tracing a big deal?

Ray tracing is a big deal for PC gamers who crave lifelike graphics. In terms of graphics performance, this is a thing of considerable importance. So, if you want to get the most out of your video game through appealing, attractive images, go for ray tracing. This is the feature you need to truly savour the game.

Does Ray tracing make a difference?

Ray tracing makes a subtle difference and provides realistic visuals. You will only notice the change when your game has the RTX option. But if your game has a ray tracing option, you are bound to go through an eye-widening experience. Ray tracing improves the reflections, shadows, and lighting in the game.

How to turn on ray tracing on your graphics card

To savour the ray tracing, check whether your game supports the RTX. If yes, then go to your game settings and look for “RTX”, “DXR”, or “Ray tracing” option. Turn the option on and if you experience poor performance, activate the DLSS as well.

Does ray tracing improve FPS?

Yes, ray tracing changes the visuals of the game with every frame. To give you more realistic visuals, the Ray Tracing adds shadows and textures which lowers the FPS to some extent. For this to happen, ray tracing requires support from both GPU and CPU. The CPU directs the GPU to handle ray tracing (RTX) as it needs more cores.

Is Ray Tracing worth it?

Yes, and No! the answer to this depends on your gaming needs. Ray tracing is totally worth it If you like lifelike eye-candy images. However, if you only need better FPS, ray tracing is not for you.

Does AMD have ray tracing?

Yes, there are some AMD cards that support ray tracing. The best AMD GPUs for ray tracing are:

  • AMD RX 6900 XT – RTX 3090 alternate
  • AMD RX 6800 XT –RTX 3080 alternate
  • AMD RX 6800 – RTX 3070 alternate
  • AMD RX 6700 XT – between RTX 3060 Ti & RTX 3070

What is the best GPU for Ray Tracing?

The answer depends on your budget and gaming requirements. If you are game at 1440p and love 4K gaming, NVIDIA RTX 3080 is the best ray-tracing graphics card. For mid-range gaming, Nvidia RTX 3070 is the best choice for ray tracing. NVIDIA RTX 3060 is the most affordable GPU that you can buy for ray tracing.

Best Gaming Laptop for Ray Tracing – ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17

Display17.3 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080)
CPUIntel Core i7-10875H / 2.30GHz Max. Turbo Speed 5.1GHz
GPUNVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (GDDR6, 8GB)
Memory Size32 GB
Storage Capacity1TB SSD
OSWindow 10

The ROG Strix Scar 17 is one of the best 32GB RAM gaming laptops. It comes with the RTX 2080 GPU which makes it ideal for ray tracing gameplay at high settings. Its splurging hardware includes the Core i7-10875H processor and massive storage of 1TB SSD. Furthermore, there is a large 17.3 inches display that provides smooth 1080p gameplay.

Budget Gaming PC for Ray tracing – HP OMEN 30L

CPUIntel Core i7-10700K / 3.8GHz Max. Turbo Speed 5.0GHz
GPUNVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER (GDDR6, 8GB)
Memory Size16 GB
Storage Capacity512 GB SSD & 1TB HDD
OSWindow 10

The OMEN 30L is a powerful HP prebuilt gaming PC. It has many iterations, but the model we are talking about here has the Core i7-10700K processor. This is one of the top 16GB RAM gaming computers. HP has loaded it with the RTX 2070 Super card and combo storage. You will get SSD storage of 512Gb with a 1TB hard drive.

HP OMEN 30L is a budget gaming PC for ray tracing. The GeForce RTX 2070 Super GPU let you enjoy ray tracing with DLSS turned on. You can relish 4K gaming with 60Hz which is more than enough for budget gamers.

Final Words

Ray tracing delivers crispy images that are closer to life. This is a trend that is slowly gaining steam and becoming a norm. However, it also takes a toll on the overall performance of your game. Simply put, not every game offers ray tracing and not every GPU can bear the burden. You will need one of the best graphics cards to relish ray tracing.

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