As we approach the end of this generation of graphics cards, it’s exciting to see what’s next for Nvidia and AMD. I’m certainly one of those people who is eager to see what the green team and the red team have, especially if they can do more to prioritize energy efficiency and customer value instead of focusing on power and no one’s Performance – even the planet – can afford.
That said, I’m in a pretty good position relative to most people because I’ve actually been able to play games on pretty much every current-generation graphics card, so I’ve learned a thing or two about the best graphics cards on the market The current state of the industry, and where the next generation of technology needs to go.
Ray tracing is still a work in progress
Ray tracing is a fascinating technology with enormous potential to create stunningly realistic scenes by mimicking the way our eyes actually perceive light, but gosh, it’s too computationally expensive.
The amount of computation required to realistically illuminate a scene in real-time is enormous, which is why real-time ray tracing has long been thought to be practically impossible on consumer-grade hardware. Until Nvidia releases the Turing architecture with GeForce RTX 2000 series graphics cards, of course.
As a first-generation consumer-grade graphics card with real-time ray tracing, it’s understandably a neat experimental feature, but you really can’t do much with it without absolutely dropping frame rates. This is still true even though we are done with Nvidia Ampere generation graphics cards.
These cards are better able to handle real-time ray tracing, especially at lower resolutions, but you still need to make a compromise between resolution and ray tracing. For example, no graphics card other than the RTX 3090 Ti can effectively raytrace a scene at native 4K resolution, not a full slideshow, which was able to match at about 24 fps with ray tracing turned on Bopunk 2077 does ray tracing.
At the same time AMD is launching the first generation of graphics hardware with real-time ray tracing and its performance is definitely where the Nvidia Turing cards are more or less in terms of ray tracing performance, which is not bad, but still definitely the first generation technology.
upgrade the future
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So, if even the best gaming PCs today are having a hard time, how can anyone effectively play any of the best high-res PC games with ray tracing turned on?
I’m glad you asked, because the really revolutionary development in the past few years is not ray tracing, but graphics upgrades. Nvidia Deep Learning Super Sampling and AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (and AMD Radeon Super Resolution) already make PC games playable at high resolutions and settings with ray tracing possible.
In our slideshow above, you can see the difference between native 4K with all settings and ray tracing set to ultra presets and the look of the game without DLSS, with DLSS set to quality, and DLSS set to performance. I can tell you that the difference isn’t noticeable when running benchmarks or playing games.
Without an upgrade, honestly, those with Nvidia GTX 1060s and AMD RX 5700 XTs have little reason to upgrade to a new graphics card.
Some of the best games don’t take advantage of this hardware, and those that do still suck
The point of games is that they’re less about incredible graphics and more about experience. The kind of hardware we’re seeing now makes for some good looking games, but if they’re poorly optimized, what’s the point? You end up with a Cyberpunk 2077, a game that released so badly on PC that it robbed a decent amount of market value from CD Projekt Red, the studio that made it.
Meanwhile, something like Vampire Survivor could pretty much take over Steam, though it looks like it could run on an NES with Adderall added, mostly because it hits the heart of what makes us want to play games in the first place: we want them to be very good. interesting. The truth is, you don’t need an RTX 3090 Ti to have fun, and I think too many of us forget that.
If Nvidia and AMD were smart, they would focus less on making cutting-edge graphics improvements and more on efficiency and value, so those Do Wanting to get the best graphics and performance out of your game can do it without spending a fortune. Gamers will be increasingly unable to buy the best Nvidia Geforce graphics cards and the best AMD graphics cards for years to come, and it would be really bad if we continued to see an already expensive hobby becoming more difficult to come by.