As the end of this generation of graphics cards is nearing the end, there’s a lot of excitement about what’s coming next for Nvidia and AMD. I am certainly one of those people who want to see what Team Green and Team Red have up their sleeve, especially if they can do more to prioritize energy efficiency and customer value rather than focusing on power and performance that no one – even a planet – it can afford.

That said, I was in a fairly privileged position compared to most people as I was actually able to play almost any current generation graphics card for work, so I learned a few things about the current state of the market for the best graphics cards and where the technology needs to go in next generation.

Ray tracing is still in progress

Woodcut depicting the artist and the apprentice using a taut string and a perspective window to draw an abbreviated image of a lute, an analogue ray tracing technique developed by Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer. (Image source: public domain)

Ray tracing is a fascinating technology that has great potential to create stunning, realistic scenes, mimicking the way our eyes actually perceive light, but wounds, it’s computationally expensive.

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