PC, Xbox, PS5, everyone boasts about Ray Tracing, will it stay or is it smoke?

Ray Tracing

Four years have passed since the first NVIDIA RTX were launched and the arrival of the Ray Tracing in games it was promised as a kind of Parousia for 3D graphics. After all this time it’s still an optional graphics option for many games and turning it on comes at a pretty severe cost in terms of resolution and frame rate. Is ray tracing a let down on PC and next-gen consoles?

There is no doubt that Ray Tracing in games is a visual extra that stands out and serves to improve the image quality in games. However, not all mount is oregano and many players have decided to do without using it in their games due to the sacrifices in performance that it entails. Has Ray Tracing Arrived Too Soon On Consoles And PC? Well, this question has a simple answer to answer and this is completely affirmative. Which leads us to wonder how long it will take to see a system that can perfectly combine resolution, frames and ray tracing without mortgaging the first two.

Why doesn’t Ray Tracing stand out as expected?

The easiest way to understand the problem of Ray Tracing in graphics cards is to make the analogy with a donut factory, which has always made them in a conventional way, but one day they happen to make them with chocolate. This change means adding new sections in the factory and fully optimizing the resources already available, but suddenly the workers have to work overtime and be controlling two different production lines, but they share resources. We have to start from the fact that these have a limited work capacity and, therefore, this will affect production.

Well, this is what happens with Ray Tracing today. The ideal would have been to create a totally optimized architecture to generate graphics with said algorithm. However, what has been done is to take the already standardized technology and adapt it so that it can perform very limited ray tracing and totally mixed with traditional techniques. In other words, as powerful as graphics cards seem to us today, they are not so powerful when we talk about ray tracing.

Let’s not forget that Pixar movies are rendered using very powerful servers. Therefore, to generate its visual appearance, hardware that is hundreds of times more expensive is needed. And even with such power they are not capable of generating each of the frames at the speed of games. Since there are cases where it can take minutes and even hours to create a single image. So asking a simple PC is asking a lot. Reality? Ray Tracing is currently in its infancy and it will take many years for its final standardization in games.