Remedy Reveals Frames Per Second Performance Hit of Ray-Tracing in Control

Written by Jon Sutton on Wed, Oct 17, 2018 12:44 PM
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Control developer Remedy Entertainment has been talking about both the possibilities of raytracing and its performance hit, during GTC (GPU Technology Conference) Europe 2018.

Unsurprisingly, there’s been plenty of concern about the demands of real-time ray tracing effects ever since we discovered the $1200 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti was struggling to run Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1080p/60fps. As ever with these early demos though, a lot can change in the intervening months as the technology is refined and GPU drivers are improved.

Alan Wake and Control developer Remedy has handily broken down just how expensive raytracing effects are in the upcoming Control though. Control will be one of the earliest games to support raytracing, and to eye-catching effect based on the recent trailer.

Control is being built within Remedy’s in-house Northlight engine and will feature many advanced raytraced effects such as contact and sun shadows, reflections, and Indirect Diffuse Illumination. Each process carries with it a performance cost that increases rendering time.

Breaking it down, contact, sun shadows, and noise rejection are calculating two beams of light for every pixel and require 2.3ms per frame in order to render. Reflections are the most demanding effect of the bunch and require 4.4ms to render, while global denoising lighting requires an additional 2.5ms. In total, these raytracing effects cost 9.2ms for every frame rendered in Control.

A game running at 60fps requires and every frame to be rendered within 16.6ms, meaning the raytracing effects will command a 55% performance overhead. 30fps requires each frame to be rendered within 33.33ms, providing more leniency for ray-tracing effects. At 30 frames per second, raytracing would have a 27.6% overhead.

In short, the RTX GPU will need to work harder to achieve the same frame rates and compensate for the raytracing effects. While the numbers are evidently in flux right now, at 1080p we can expect a 9.2ms overhead for Control’s frame rendering times. The higher the frame rate, the greater the performance delta, meaning proportionally more resources would be spent on raytracing effects.

Unfortunately, these aren’t the sort of numbers that we can transfer from game to game. Remedy is using very specific raytracing effects in Control; not every lighting effect is being raytraced. These features are going to vary from game to game, with Battlefield V focusing on real-time reflections, for example, while Shadow of the Tomb Raider uses ray-traced shadows.

Source: Golem

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19:53 Oct-17-2018

What I really want here is SLI/NVLink support. Having two GPUs computing raytracing would enable much higher framerates/resolutions. Just like we commercially use multiple GPUs for CGI rendering. We can use any number of GPUs to do pathtracing for a single image. It happens at a much slower pace, but the results are outstanding.
In my work, 10 minutes to render this on two cards is fvcking amazing.

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10:17 Oct-18-2018

Wow, that rendering is incredible!


Nice rig too btw :-)

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15:15 Oct-18-2018

Thanks :)
Jon had to make a 2080Ti SLI page just for me xDDDD

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22:42 Oct-18-2018

Heyy , im asking for a friend , he really likes your render and has a few questions , was that Unreal Engine ? And how much time did it take to make the picture ( pre render time ) ?

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00:41 Oct-19-2018

That's what we in CG industry call an "offline" render. It's not in a game engine, it's something I made in Autodesk 3Ds MAX software. The rendering engine I used is called FStorm and it runs on Nvidia GPUs (CUDA).


The walls are my own apartment walls, so I measured those up and made a quick model. Made the rug, the composition, materials, etc. I think before I started rendring out previews it took me about an hour, maybe more to make.

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07:07 Oct-19-2018

Thanks :D

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16:57 Oct-19-2018

We're hoping that with later iterations of RTX these renders will become more or less realtime :)

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18:21 Oct-17-2018

Looking forward to this. Quantum Break had potential but it fell flat, so hopefully they learned from its mistakes and get back to making great games like Alan Wake and Max Payne.

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13:59 Oct-17-2018

I do like Remedy shooter games. but lately they are trying too hard on some aspect that doesn't pay off too well. Quantum Break was disappointed. Alan Wake is pretty good. Max Payne is Awesome.

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14:33 Oct-17-2018

I'm basically along the same lines as you. Quantum Break was pretty boring and it's obviously got a lot of parallels with this game. Hopefully this is the one where they get back on track though

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20:04 Oct-17-2018

am i the only one who liked Quantum Break..

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22:16 Oct-17-2018

No i actually really liked it , and the game had a good concept

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02:35 Oct-18-2018

Wasn't terrible, but it also could've been so much more than what we got.

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12:14 Oct-18-2018

It was okay in its own way, just never anything more than okay. There weren't enough enemy types either, so I felt like I'd done all there was to do in the combat by the half way point.

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