Should you use Ray Tracing or Frame Rate mode in Gran Turismo 7?

Gran Turismo’s graphics are always state of the art, but Gran Turismo 7 pushes visual fidelity to the next level.

Thanks to the power of PS5, GT7 runs at 4K resolution at 60fps, while the addition of ray tracing allows for life-like lighting. GT7 has two graphics modes: Prioritise Frame Rate and Prioritise Ray Tracing. But what’s the difference?

Let’s find out.

Ray Tracing mode

GT7’s Ray Tracing and Frame Rate modes are equivalent to graphics and performance modes in other games. Both modes target a 4K resolution, but there are a few differences. 

Ray tracing technology accurately simulates how light interacts with different surfaces. In GT7, this means the paint reflections on cars are staggeringly realistic. But this fidelity comes at a cost.

Gran Turismo 7 ray tracing
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With Ray Tracing mode enabled, paint reflections look more realistic

Because ray tracing takes up a lot of resources, it’s always disabled during races. In this mode, ray tracing is “enabled in race replays and 3D scenes” and “disabled in sections where response times are important.” When active, cars displayed in the menus and Scapes have ray-traced reflections.

A recent analysis by Digital Foundry shows how the paint reflects other cars as well as the environment. In replays, the frame rate is capped at 30fps with ray-tracing enabled, but the analysis shows that performance can dip below 30fps.

Due to the less powerful hardware, ray-tracing is not available in the PS4 version of GT7.

Frame Rate mode

As the title suggests, this setting allows GT7 to run at the highest possible frame rate. This means GT7 will run at a stable 60fps for a silky-smooth driving experience. Replays are also shown in 60fps with this mode enabled. To achieve this, there are a few compromises, though.

According to Polyphony, “the highest possible frame rate will be used throughout the game” in this mode. However, ray tracing is “disabled or simplified" and enabled “in certain 3D scenes and in Photo Mode.” It's also disabled in replays.

Frame Rate vs. Ray Tracing mode – which is best?

GT7 looks undeniably stunning with Ray Tracing mode enabled. But the shinier cars are only noticeable in replays and ray-tracing is never enabled in races. With this in mind, we recommend prioritising frame rate to make GT7 run as smoothly as possible.

With ray-tracing disabled, the higher frame rate creates a better sense of speed in replays and the image quality is still excellent.   

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