We had rumors for months as to what the next NVIDIA card would be, when it would release, and what it would cost. But, we are getting closer to a possible release. NVIDIA only goes so long before they release a new card. So…
Ray Tracing is a way of rendering a scene. Its big advantage is in rendering very realistic images. For instance, most of an Ikea catalog is made from rendered images that for a long time I thought were RL photos.
The reason it isn’t used so much in games is the cost of rendering the images. So, software like AutoDesk’s AutoCAD use it as real time rendering isn’t needed. The primary task is prototype product images, pictures of products not yet existing in RL. Only within the design process… a computer. Making it more of a snapshot thing than a movie camera.
NVIDIA adding in a Ray Trace feature will being higher quality graphics to more games. Less time will be spent calculating the effect of lights and shadows.
For use in Second Life it isn’t going to be a big plus or even a change. The SL render engine is required to support older systems. So, adding a ray trace feature to the engine is not going to be a high priority, if it is even a consideration.
However, the card will be faster and likely have faster video memory.