Why Ray Tracing Could Make the iPhone 15 More Fun for Gaming

Faster and sharper

Fact checked by Jerri Ledford

Key Features

  • The iPhone 15 Pro runs on the new A17 Pro chip, which will enhance gaming.

  • The chip offers hardware-accelerated ray tracing for the first time.

  • Graphics-intensive games will see better performance and battery consumption.

<p>Apple</p> Ray Tracing on iPhone.


Ray Tracing on iPhone.

Your next iPhone could soon perform much like a gaming console.

The iPhone 15 Pro runs on the brand-new A17 Pro chip, with a special emphasis on enhancing GPU capabilities. This advanced "pro-class" GPU features a fresh 6-core architecture, which Apple claims boosts both performance and energy conservation. The device promises a GPU performance that's up to 20% faster and introduces hardware-accelerated ray tracing for the first time.

"Ray tracing provides better level design, better gameplay, and, as a result—better user experience," Pavel Shkarpenin, the platform relations manager at MY, said.GAMES told Lifewire in an email interview. "Apple has been saying for years that we can expect unprecedented quality and gameplay in our pocket—and to be able to bring an ultra-realistic feel to games through advanced lighting techniques like ray tracing means Apple can more effectively deliver on that promise."

An Apple Gaming Phone?

Unveiled at the recent Apple Wonderlust Event, the iPhone 15 Pro will feature an array of AAA games, such as native editions of Resident Evil 4 Remake, Resident Evil Village, Death Stranding, and Assassin's Creed Mirage. Apple also bragged about significant performance enhancements and the introduction of ray tracing for an improved gaming experience on the iPhone.

"The combination of incredible iOS optimization and Apple silicon performance make new iPhones better for gaming than they ever have been before," Shkarpenin said. "While we didn't see a 120Hz (or even 90Hz) refresh rate on the cheaper iPhone 15, their inclusion on the flagship 15 Pro and Max models make both of these exciting prospects."

Ray Tracing, a lighting technique that brings an extra level of realism to games, will help a lot, but also the A17 Pro's new architecture and upscaling are key components, Shkarpenin said.

"Mobile gaming relies heavily on the ability to be efficient because you are using your phone for other things, and you are not necessarily playing while connected to a power outlet every day, which degrades battery life," he added.

The new A17 Pro chip, present in the Pro lineup on iPhone 15, brings two main new features for better gaming: two new GPU cores and Apple's Neural Engine working together with the GPU, gaming company ExitLag's branding and communications coordinator Nate Amaral said in an email to Lifewire. He said that means that Apple's going down the Nvidia path—using the GPU's architecture for better performance with better efficiency.

"The combination of incredible iOS optimization and Apple silicon performance make new iPhones better for gaming than they ever have been before."

"Heavy graphic games, like Asphalt 9 or Genshin Impact, will see not only better graphics but better performance and battery consumption, making the push into 60/120 frames per second in an iPhone 15 Pro / 15 Pro Max a feasible reality," he added. "The new iPhone 15 GPU brings more quality of life for gamers all over the board."

The A17 Pro chip's components will boost its gaming abilities, Steve Athwal, the managing director of The Big Phone Store, pointed out in an email.

"For gaming, the key components will be the GPU and NPU, as these work together to deliver processor-intensive gaming graphics quickly," he added. "When gaming, the Neural engine acts as an 'upscaler', similar to DLSS on an Nvidia RTX graphics card. This allows low-resolution graphics produced by the GPU to be 'upscaled' to higher resolutions—and by running the game at a lower native resolution, the GPU can operate much faster."

The Future of iPhone Gaming

Gaming on the iPhone could soon get even better. The most exciting possibility is that Apple's probably bringing the new GPU Architecture, Ray Tracing, and Upscaling for its M3 lineup, which relies on the A / A Pro chip series, Amaral said.

<p>Apple</p> Gaming on iPhone


Gaming on iPhone

"We can expect M3 Macs and iPads with even better graphics and GPU calculations, which, together with the industry's crescent adoption of ARM/Mobile architecture, paves the way for Apple to be a serious gaming competitor," he added.

Combining a top-notch screen and a new chip could make the new iPhone a formidable competitor to devices like the Valve Steam Deck or the Logitech G Cloud. But for now, at least, serious gamers will still have to turn to Windows computers for the broadest availability of titles.

Read the original article on Lifewire.