Black Myth: Wukong's 'Full Ray Tracing' mode will punish every GPU, but looks amazing

Black Myth: Wukong is out next month, and running the game with max settings and 'Full Ray-Tracing' enabled will take some serious GPU power.

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Black Myth: Wukong is out next month, and it's not only one of the most anticipated PC games of the year but also one of the best-looking. On PC, the game features a 'Full Ray Tracing' or 'Path Tracing' mode to deliver realistic and cinematic lighting, shadows, reflections, and more.

Ray-traced Global Illumination in the game will ensure that the "lighting indoors and outdoors is pixel perfect, darkening areas where light is occluded or doesn't reach, and realistically illuminating the world by bouncing light." As we saw with Alan Wake II's and Cyberpunk 2077's path-tracing modes, you'll need a beast of the PC to run it and access DLSS 3 Frame Generation, Super Resolution, and Reflex technologies. The game will also support DLSS 3.5's Ray Reconstruction which dramatically improves visual fidelity on GeForce RTX cards.

With that, NVIDIA has shared some pre-release Black Myth: Wukong benchmarks for the game running in 1440p and 4K - and yeah, unless you've got at least a GeForce RTX 4070, running the game with max settings will bring your rig to its knees. And for 4K, you'll need at least a GeForce RTXC 4080.

Black Myth: Wukong's 'Full Ray Tracing' mode will punish every GPU, but looks amazing 02

The previous-generation flagship, the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti, only manages to hit around 30 FPS in 4K with DLSS Quality mode enabled. This increases to around 80 FPS on the GeForce RTX 4080 with the help of Frame Generation and around 100 FPS on a GeForce RTX 4090.

Looking at the less demanding 1440p resolution, the GeForce RTX 3080 can't even manage 30 FPS with DLSS Quality mode. However, the GeForce RTX 4070 can push performance to 60+ FPS and the GeForce RTX 4070 Ti to around 80 FPS with Frame Generation.

Black Myth: Wukong's 'Full Ray Tracing' mode will punish every GPU, but looks amazing 03

Of course, Path Tracing is incredibly demanding on GPU hardware and, for most, a glimpse at the future of in-game visuals exclusive to the more powerful GeForce RTX 40 Series cards. Black Myth: Wukong will still look fantastic with ray-tracing disabled and run fast on a wide range of hardware; however, RTX On will push even the most potent rigs to their limit.

This is why NVIDIA's new Black Myth: Wukong GeForce RTX 40 Series Bundle excludes GeForce RTX 4060 and RTX 4060 Ti cards and laptops because they'd struggle to go RTX On without sacrificing visual fidelity or resolution. The bundle page confirms that the GeForce RTX 4060 can hit 1080p 60FPS using Medium settings - so yeah, this will be one seriously GPU-intensive game.

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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