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Ray Tracing: Everything you need to know about ray tracing

With improvements in PC hardware and games, there are a lot of graphics and visual features added to PC gaming in the past few years. This includes things like DLSS, smart access memory, low latency modes, and ray tracing. Out of all these, ray tracing is going to be highly noticeable since it completely changes the look of your games and makes them look almost realistic. Games with ray tracing offer immersive and highly detailed lighting effects that are much more appealing and immersive than older rasterized games.

How does Ray Tracing Work?

While ray tracing can completely change your gaming experience, not all graphics cards support it because of its functioning. This is due to the core functioning of ray tracing that handles lighting similar to real life. As per the name, ray tracing simply traces the path of light hitting the different textures and surfaces in the form of virtual photons or light particles. Because of this, all of the light scattering, reflections, look very realistic. When combined with HDR compatible monitors, the colors displayed are also much more vibrant and immersive. 

As all of these lighting visuals are quite demanding, they require powerful and specialized hardware for the same. In other words, you will need to use a graphics card with support for ray tracing. While Nvidia has its 2000 and 3000 series of graphics cards that offer ray tracing support, AMD’s 6000 series graphics cards can also be used for playing games with ray tracing. Both of these cards have special cores that handle ray tracing so that you can enjoy games in the best possible visuals without taking a major hit in terms of performance.

Recommended Graphics Card for Ray Tracing

If you wish to play games with ray tracing enabled on your computer, then you might be looking for an upgrade. Since ray tracing is quite demanding and requires a powerful graphics card, choosing the right one is highly important. Starting with 1080p gaming with ray tracing enabled, a modern 3060 Ti should be more than enough since it will allow you to play at ultra settings at 1080p in almost all games. Moving over to 1440p ray tracing gaming, something like the Nvidia RTX 3070 or the AMD RX 6800 can be a viable option. And for high end 4K gaming with all graphics, it is highly recommended to go for the Nvidia RTX 3080 or AMD RX 6800 XT. Although, for the best possible ray tracing performance, it is advised to go with Nvidia cards since they offer higher frame rates especially when combined with DLSS 2.0 upscaling.

Games with Ray Tracing Support

Before getting a new graphics card for playing games with ray tracing enabled, you should also check if your game supports ray tracing. Unfortunately, not all games support this newer graphics technology. Some of the currently supported PC games include Cyberpunk 2077, Minecraft, Control, Metro Exodus, Battlefield V, Watch Dogs: Legion, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Call of Duty Modern Warfare, Quake II, Wolfenstein Youngblood, Dying Light 2, The Medium, Doom Eternal, and a few others.

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