Up For Debate - How much of a priority is a ray tracing GPU for you?

Written by Jon Sutton on Fri, Aug 2, 2019 4:21 PM

Everywhere you look these days you’ve got developers and tech evangelists shouting about the benefits of ray-tracing from the rooftops. Quantic Dreams president David Cage has said the future of graphics tech is not pixels, textures, or polygons, but lighting. An Nvidia representative has said GPUs without ray-tracing could be completely phased out by 2023. Both Microsoft and Sony are claiming their next-gen consoles can do it, in however gimped a form. 

It’s happening, basically, whether you like or not. Nvidia and AMD are going to take ray-tracing and force it down your throat like a gull feeding its young. You either upgrade or you get left behind, all the big question is going be ‘when’. 

Personally, I’m all for it. PC gaming is all about pushing technology forward. We aren’t hindered by fixed console designs. There is no rest in PC gaming hardware. We get dozens of new graphics cards and processors every year; higher-speed memory, ultra-fast SSDs, and the sort of refresh rates on monitors which make an 8K telly look like a very pretty slug. The choice is ours and the momentum is relentless. 

Ray-tracing is just another one of these technologies which was pioneered on PC and will look best on PC. While the performance hit on the early GeForce RTX GPUs is a little hard to swallow for some, I think we can all get behind the idea that making games look better is a good thing, surely? Ray-tracing is going to become an industry standard; it improves gaming visuals dramatically and, sooner or later, we’re all going be enjoying the benefits.

Every game with confirmed Nvidia RTX ray-tracing and DLSS support

But, and it’s a big but, so to speak, enjoying ray-tracing right now means splashing a fair chunk of cash as well as taking an even larger hit on frame rates. Each game tends to only focus on just a single facet of ray-tracing as well, whether that’s Battlefield V’s reflections or Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s shadows. The performance just isn’t there yet to do it all, so what we’ve ended up with is an expensive, embryonic version of what will become an industry standard.

With all that said, it becomes difficult to judge whether upgrading for ray-tracing technology is actually worth it. Those who buy an RTX graphics card are getting on the ground floor yet paying a price premium and enjoying a fairly rudimentary version of the tech. But, it’s admittedly exciting to try it out first hand and see where it’s all head.

So, what are your thoughts, is a graphics card capable of ray-tracing a top priority for your next upgrade? Or do you just think it’s not worth the extra cash? Let us know your thoughts below!

Do you have an RTX graphics card?

When do you plan to upgrade to a ray tracing graphics card?

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23:59 Aug-08-2019

I'm fine with my 1070 now,no needed RTX card....not yet cuz its useless in some games,eats a lot of resources,less fps.In single player must be nice but in multiplayer like Battlefield V i don't see the benefit of rtx when i'm in heavy action i don't have time to watch the nice burning car reflected on the water.

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20:03 Aug-08-2019

I wasn't interested in the least until I won an RTX2080 from Linus Sebastian himself at LTX2019. Now I need all of the ray tracing. Although the card will be a Folding@home workhorse for years to come. 1.5million PPD.

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15:28 Aug-08-2019

Kinda salty thread...

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14:39 Aug-09-2019

most stuff from jon is

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09:23 Aug-08-2019

when rtx gpu will give 1080p 60 fps minimum

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14:06 Aug-07-2019

It´s too expensive to me for now. The price tag has to come down and the performance has to become better.

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23:12 Aug-06-2019

I bought this card instead of a 1660ti, cause i liked what ray tracing could do.
Now i have the card, and see ray tracing in action, i dont regret not buying the 1660ti.
If optimized well, ray tracing is definitely a blast to have.
But the 200€+ price tag.. I decided to pay it, but i understand that not everyone is willing to make that choice

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00:45 Aug-06-2019

I'll likely upgrade to a 1080ti next, then skip the 2080 gen altogether.

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09:38 Aug-06-2019

If you aren't planning to upgrade the rest of your rig that's a very good call.

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10:08 Aug-06-2019

which model exactly? I've been keeping an eye on ASUS Strix OC and EVGA FTW3 as those two seem to be best 1080 Ti cards on the market now :)

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21:42 Aug-05-2019

I have a RTX2060 but I use it as G TX2060. I am guessing my first ray tracing card is probably a RTX4000 or RX 7000.

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20:58 Aug-05-2019

Ray Tracing has been used for years in movie and games industry, during the dev, what we are talking about is real time ray tracing for end user, and that is quite new, meaning that the actual GPU can do just a basic ray tracing, it will take at least 5 years to "refine" this tech, so to buy a new 2080 now is useless. In 2 or 3 years a new generation of GPU with more advanced ray tracing will be released, and after the second generation we should really consider to upgrade. This does not apply only to ray tracing but to every new tech.

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18:34 Aug-05-2019

Don't need it but when i'm upgrading i'm gonna see where amd is at then.

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02:50 Aug-04-2019

I will upgrade to a new Ray Tracing GPU when my current card mantain 60fps@1080p.

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22:24 Aug-03-2019

until there is a game like Ape Escape (with the breathe of analog control) in functionality with ray tracing or reflections with some kind of puzzle game, I still don't see ray tracing as fully arrived just yet

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17:35 Aug-03-2019

Right now, I’ll wait and see if ray tracing becomes popular in the coming years. I’m not going to run out and buy a laptop or desktop with an RTX 2080 because that’s the only card that can handle ray tracing and maintain a playable framerate. The salesman said an RTX 2060 isn’t powerful enough for it. Maybe the 2070. It’s not going to matter if the game is crap; ray tracing won’t make a bad game good.

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21:15 Aug-03-2019

Games like Control,Cyberpunk,Atomic Heart and Final Fantasy are bad games? The RTX 2060 Super it's pretty decent for 1080p ray tracing , and if you play at higer resolutions you can always lower other settings a bit (like AA, or shadows which don't make that big of a difference in comparison ) .

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14:36 Aug-03-2019

I don't give a s**t about ray tracing. As long as I can just play and enjoy the game, I'm happy

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12:15 Aug-03-2019

If they release more oldies patched with raytracing/pathtracing like Quake II RTX - that alone is worth it xD

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03:53 Aug-05-2019

Imagine Doom 3 or some other game were lighting is a major part of the game.

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11:36 Aug-03-2019

Personally, I don't plan on buying a ray tracing card... but I do plan on upgrading my r9 380x and I don't expect there to be many cards that won't support ray tracing when I do.

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10:34 Aug-03-2019

as soon as there will be a gpu which supports G-Sync, supports MacOS and Windows, will perform at least 85% better than my current 980Ti Classified, will cost no more than what my 980Ti cost when new (770€), will be same or less noisy while being under 80°C without thermal throttling;
sadly so far even RTX 2080 Ti Strix OC is only 56% better, costs over 1300€, isn't supported by MacOS at all, and no AMD gpu supports G-Sync

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11:15 Aug-03-2019

Actually that's the 1080ti that's around 70% faster. The 2080ti is 100% faster than a 980ti i dont know how much faster the classified version is but this site isn't the best indication for me it says my gpu is 26% when it's close to 70% if you look at benchmarks you are way better off with a used 1080ti than 2080ti.

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11:32 Aug-03-2019

Here's a benchmark comparison i don't think these are AIB cards so add about 5-10% for those. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--UHIlV11wg i still think the 980ti is good but definetly showing it's age and it only get worse. If you got a decent used market try going with the 1080ti for now unless you got an extra 1000

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12:40 Aug-03-2019

I checked some real comparisons of 980 Ti vs 1080 Ti at 3440x1440 and I am actually considering used 1080 Ti Strix OC as a "mid-step" as the prices are about okay, but I'm in no hurry :)

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12:59 Aug-03-2019

Yeah for 60Hz the 980ti is still good :) if you get the 1080ti it's great for high refresh rate or yo could wait it out for navi or 7nm NVIDIA next year cards im sure the 980ti will still be good for the next 2 years.

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13:56 Aug-03-2019

I'm running 3440x1440 100Hz screen, so I guess even 1080Ti wouldn't drive it max stable

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14:39 Aug-03-2019

Not sure even a 2080ti could do that but what fps are you getting with the 980ti on it? im guessing on max settings its dipping below 60 most of the time? Depending on the game they both 2080ti and 1080ti can push above 60 or 120fps from a few benchmarks i saw. This does depend on the game though (2080ti 10-30% faster)

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17:45 Aug-03-2019

yea I get around 60 in most games, demanding ones drop even below 40 in some moments

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12:13 Aug-03-2019

You have unrealistic expectations. Ditch the damn mac xD
Or have two GPUs in the system - one for mac boot, since you need something crappy for that one, and a good GPU for windows boot.

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12:41 Aug-03-2019

that is also an option I'm not completely ditching - once I will have to move forward from i7-5820K, most nowadays cpus offer integrated gpu, which would be enough for MacOS and I could use dedicated gpu only within Windows environment

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09:59 Aug-03-2019

Not until it can be delivered at an average consumer price point without ludicrous gimmicks and pricing.

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09:25 Aug-03-2019

RTX is not a priority right now. Even the games it is included in , it seems more like an added feature than it being built from the ground up like in some of the early tech demos. Even if they were to implement that more advanced version of Ray tracing, our gpus would be struggling to get a stable frame rate. I think RTX could have been held back a few years atleast. It will be big later.

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08:12 Aug-03-2019

When do you plan to upgrade to ray tracking Graphic card?
when they make an affordable one.


heck just bought a new gtx 1660 to replace my dead gtx 1060.

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