Ray Tracing: Don’t Underestimate This Technology

ray tracing illustration and gpu


        What exactly is ray tracing, and how can it impact your gaming experience? I am Azhar, and in this blog post, we’ll thoroughly define the function of ray tracing, the graphics cards that support it, and some well-known ray tracing games that have demonstrated its potential until now.

What is Ray Tracing?

A breakthrough technology called ray tracing has generated a lot of excitement in the game industry in recent years. By using real time ray tracing technology, we can feel the realism in the game environment by seeing how an object is treated in the sense of light. If the game characters are in an outdoor area, their shadows are being formed, if they are changing their positions, the light, reflections, and shadows should trace them and vary according to their positions.

Ray tracing is a graphics method that mimics how light behaves in a virtual setting. Unlike traditional rasterization methods used in most games, which approximate how light interacts with objects, ray tracing accurately calculates the path of light rays, allowing for more realistic lighting effects. It traces the path of light from its sources, such as a virtual sun or a lamp, as it interacts with objects and surfaces in the game world.

How Do Games with Ray Tracing Work?

The ray tracing method is used to copy the physical properties of light, such as reflection, refraction, and dispersion. A light beam can reflect off, refract through, or absorb into an item when it comes into contact with it. By tracing the path of each ray of light, the technology determines how it interacts with various objects and surfaces in the scene. This process results in accurate and lifelike lighting effects, including realistic shadows, reflections, and global illumination.

List of Ray Tracing Graphics Card

The introduction of ray tracing to the gaming world was made possible by the release of NVIDIA’s RTX series graphics cards. These cards feature specialized hardware called Tensor Cores and RT Cores, which accelerate the ray tracing process. The Tensor Cores handle the AI and machine learning aspects of ray tracing, while the RT Cores perform the ray calculations. The combination of these dedicated cores allows for real-time ray tracing in games, providing an unparalleled level of visual fidelity.

Nvidia GeForce RTX

  • 2060
  • 2060 Super
  • 2070
  • 2070 Super
  • 2080
  • 2080 Super
  • 2080 Ti
  • 3050
  • 3060
  • 3060 Ti
  • 3070
  • 3070 Ti
  • 3080
  • 3080 Ti
  • 3090
  • 3090 Ti

AMD has also entered the ray tracing arena with its Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards which getting improved over time. While they may not have dedicated hardware like NVIDIA’s RTX cards, they utilize software-based ray tracing techniques to achieve similar effects. The AMD cards leverage their powerful computing capabilities to handle ray tracing calculations, bringing enhanced visuals to gamers who prefer AMD hardware.

  • AMD Radeon RX 6000 series
  • AMD Radeon RX 7000 series

Ray Tracing Games

Cyberpunk 2077

The futuristic game Cyberpunk 2077 developed by CD Projekt Red, uses ray tracing to create a realistic environment virtually. With ray tracing enabled, the game offers stunning reflections on wet surfaces, realistic shadows, and lifelike lighting throughout its dystopian open world. Ray tracing truly elevates the visual fidelity, making the game feel more immersive and cinematic.


“Control” from Remedy Entertainment is another title that exemplifies the power of ray tracing. The game takes place in a supernatural office building, and with ray tracing enabled, the environment comes to life with realistic lighting effects and reflections. The interplay of light and shadows enhances the eerie atmosphere, creating a visually striking experience.

Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus game represents a scene from a post-apocalyptic environment and is a first-person shooter game developed by 4A Games. The game uses ray tracing to create a realistic and immersive experience. With ray tracing enabled, the game features stunning reflections, realistic shadows, and lifelike lighting. It enhances the dramatic look and creates excitement among players.

What is ray tracing in computer graphics?

In computer graphics, ray tracing is a rendering method used to model the path of light as it interacts with scene elements. It enables the creation of highly realistic and immersive visuals by accurately calculating the way light behaves in a virtual environment.

How does ray tracing work?

Ray tracing simulates how light rays interact with scene elements by following each pixel’s path from the viewer’s eye through the screen. It involves casting virtual rays that bounce off surfaces, reflect, refract, and eventually reach a light source or the background. By calculating the interactions of these rays, realistic lighting and shadow effects are achieved.

What are the benefits of ray tracing?

Ray tracing offers several benefits in computer graphics. It provides more accurate and realistic lighting, reflections, and shadows, resulting in visually stunning and immersive experiences. It also simplifies the creation of complex visual effects, such as global illumination and caustics. Modern graphics cards now support real-time ray tracing thanks to hardware and technological advancements.

Are there any drawbacks to ray tracing?

While ray tracing produces visually impressive results, it can be computationally intensive and require significant processing power. Real-time ray tracing in complex scenes may lead to reduced frame rates and performance in video games or real-time applications. However, advancements in hardware and optimization techniques are addressing these challenges.

Which industries benefit from ray tracing?

Ray tracing has applications in various industries, including entertainment, architecture, automotive, and product design. In the entertainment industry, it enhances the visual quality of movies, animations, and video games. Architects can use ray tracing to create realistic renderings of buildings and environments. Automotive and product designers can leverage ray tracing to visualize designs with accurate lighting and reflections.

What hardware is required for ray tracing?

Ray tracing heavily relies on graphics processing units (GPUs) that support ray tracing acceleration. NVIDIA’s RTX series and AMD’s RDNA2-based GPUs are examples of hardware specifically designed to accelerate ray tracing operations. These GPUs feature dedicated ray tracing cores or hardware-based ray tracing acceleration, making them capable of handling the computational demands of ray tracing effectively.

How does ray tracing differ from traditional rendering techniques?

Traditional rendering techniques, such as rasterization, focus on rendering individual polygons and applying textures and lighting to them. In contrast, ray tracing simulates the behavior of light by tracing rays of light throughout the scene. Ray tracing provides more accurate and realistic lighting effects, reflections, and shadows, while traditional rendering techniques may require additional workarounds or approximations to achieve similar results.

Can ray tracing be used in real-time applications?

Yes, with the advancements in hardware and optimization techniques, real-time ray tracing has become possible. Graphics cards with dedicated ray tracing cores or hardware acceleration, combined with efficient algorithms and optimizations, enable real-time ray tracing in applications like video games.

How is ray tracing used in video games?

Ray tracing is revolutionizing the graphics in video games. It enables developers to create visually stunning and lifelike environments by accurately simulating the behavior of light. Ray tracing enhances the rendering of lighting, shadows, reflections, and global illumination, making games more immersive and realistic.

Can ray tracing be used in virtual reality (VR) applications?

Yes, ray tracing can be used in virtual reality applications to enhance the visual quality and realism of virtual worlds. Realistic lighting and reflections contribute to a more immersive VR experience. Although the computational requirements are higher for real-time ray tracing in VR, advancements in hardware and optimization techniques are making it more feasible for VR developers to incorporate ray tracing into their applications.


Ray tracing is a revolutionary technology that ups the level of realism in video games. Simulating the behavior of light, enables accurate lighting effects, reflections, and shadows, greatly enhancing the visual fidelity of games. NVIDIA’s RTX series and AMD’s Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards have brought ray tracing capabilities to gamers, making it more accessible than ever before. Games like “Cyberpunk 2077” and “Control” demonstrate the immense potential of ray tracing in creating immersive and visually stunning experiences.

Ray tracing is not without its limitations. It can be computationally expensive, requiring powerful hardware to run at full fidelity. Ray tracing is getting more affordable and available, nevertheless, as hardware advances. As a result, in the next few years, it seems possible that we may see an increasing number of games utilizing this technology.

Gameplay could undergo a revolution thanks to ray tracing. By creating more realistic and immersive environments, ray tracing can make games more engaging and enjoyable. It will be interesting to observe how ray tracing alters the gaming industry as it spreads.

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