Control RTX/Raytracing PC Analysis

Conclusion

Control RTX PC Analysis

Raytracing

- Update - We have now released our full Control PC Performance Analysis and Optimisation Guide

Even without raytracing, Control is an incredibly demanding game. With it, Control quickly jumps into the realms of insanity. If you want to max this game out at 4K 60FPS, you will need a time machine, as today's hardware is not up to the task. 

That said, Control clearly shows us where the future lies when it comes to PC graphics. As it stands, Control offers the broadest level of raytracing support that any modern title possesses. As such, the game has allowed us to see what raytracing can provide us as we approach the next-generation of gaming hardware. 

Control's game world is filled with shiny, polished objects, making raytraced reflections an ideal application for Nvidia's RTX series hardware. We have seen this before in Battlefield V, but Control takes things to a new level. 

When looking through windows in Control, we were wowed by the fact that we could see reflections while also seeing what's on the other side. This is what Remedy calls Transparent Reflections, and it adds an extra sense of realism to the game, especially when within office environments.      

Raytraced Diffuse Lighting and Contact Shadows also comes into play in Control, enabling the game to take on a CGI look, rather than the rasterised "gamey" look that most modern titles posses. Materials and objects look grounded within the game world, presenting a level of realism that is unmatched in other recent releases. 

Sadly, what lets Control down is the game's performance, and sadly that's the price that needs to be paid when we want next-generation graphics. When we look at Control, we see the future of gaming. We have no doubt that other developers will be looking at Control's use of raytracing with interest. We can definitely see rival developers implement similar features within their game engines in the coming years. 

DLSS

Control offers Nvidia's strongest implementation of DLSS to date. This allows RTX users to gain significant performances boost while offering better visuals than standard resolution upscaling (in mist cases). Yes, it still has its faults, but the graphical downsides are not as harsh as what we have seen in other titles.

On page 3, we see that DLSS can offer smoother visuals than standard resolution upscales. That said we can also see that DLSS doesn't come without a cost, especially when using low base resolutions. Some graphical features, such as transparent effects, hair, and high-contrast mesh-like objects can look a lot worse than native resolution renderings or image upscales. DLSS can look both better and worse than image upscales. 

Performance-wise, DLSS performs almost identically to the resolution which it is upscaled from. For example, 4K with DLSS set to 1440p runs almost identically to a native 1440p render. The same also applies to other resolutions. For the most part, DLSS enhanced images appear clearer, and smoother than normal resolution upscales, though the before mentioned issues/artefacts are worth remembering. 

 At 4K, running DLSS at 1440p represents a great compromise between performance and graphics. Performance gains can be used to add raytracing into the mix or simply enable the game to run at a smoother framerate. DLSS can often deliver a 1.5-2x (sometimes larger) boost to performance, which can be well worth it in some cases.    

Conclusion

Control is an incredibly demanding title, a factor which is further compounded by the addition of raytracing. That said, Remedy has delivered what can be truly be considered next-generation level graphics with Control. Thankfully, much of the game's performance woes can be remedied by the addition of Nvidia's DLSS technology, albeit with graphical trade-offs.   

Return to OC3D in the coming days to read our full performance analysis of Control's PC version, where we will look in-depth at the game's other settings and highlight how you can get the best performance out of your hardware in Control. 

- Update - We have now released our full Control PC Performance Analysis and Optimisation Guide

You can join the discussion on Control's RTX performance on the OC3D Forums

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Most Recent Comments

29-08-2019, 09:56:46

tgrech
Attempting to do anything remotely resembling accurate full-world reflections without RT would have a signifiantly greater performance hit than RT implementations even on todays DXR hardware. The difference is that with RT most lighting effects are both easier to implement and inherently accurate. For instance almost all modern efficient implementations of traditional reflections rely on pre-baked cube maps, which are only useful for static worlds, and don't capture anything that's moving, animated or dynamic, which of course includes player models, other lighting effects and particles. In order to simulate reflections of moving objects you basically have to render the scene twice, so this is often done super selectively, with all sorts of other tricks thrown in to try and law back performance(The simplest being rendering "PIP-style" reflections at a fraction of the resolutions and then scaling and blurring them, which you can get away with for dirty surfaces).Quote
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