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NVIDIA’s RTX ray tracing put to the test

Metro Exodus is the first game to support ray tracing for global illumination, but how well does it work?

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Welcome to the first episode of our new explainer series, Upscaled. We're going to be examining the components and gadgets that are helping move technology forward, and in this first episode, we're looking at graphics cards.

Five months after Nvidia announced its RTX graphics cards, we finally have a game that really shows off this new technology. Metro: Exodus is the first game to use the RTX cards to enable ray-traced global illumination. This is a lighting system that promises to get us closer to photorealistic light and shadows in the game. But how exactly does ray tracing work in Metro, and is it worth all the fuss? We take a close look at how RTX is implemented, but you'll have to decide for yourself whether it's worth a new graphics card.

If you want more deep dives into the bits of tech that make our world run, be sure to subscribe on YouTube, we'll have new episodes out regularly.

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Chris Schodt is a former lab technician who switched to media production after realizing people would actually pay him to take photos. He received his master's in journalism from UC Berkeley, and worked as a freelance producer before joining Engadget. His twin passions for video production and video games are secretly just excuses to keep rebuilding his desktop PC.

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