Control Ray Tracing Benchmarks and Performance Cost - GeForce RTX 2060 6GB

Written by Jon Sutton on Mon, Aug 26, 2019 2:00 PM
System Requirements Optimum 1080p PC Build Low vs Ultra Screenshots GPU Performance Chart CPU List That Meet System Requirements GPU List That Meet System Requirements

It's not often we get a new graphical behemoth these days, but Remedy's Control ticks all the boxes we hope for from a graphical powerhouse. Control comes packing extensive real-time ray-tracing support, truly flexing the muscles of the Nvidia GeForce RTX video cards.

I would to have to say, to my eye, Control with ray-tracing enabled is quite probably the best looking game I've ever played. It looks absolutely phenomenal from top to bottom. The reflections are stunning, the ray traced contact shadows help to add genuinely real depth to the world, and the transparent reflections fit this glistening world to a tee. Control is an absolute visual tour de force and I think it's the first must-have example of ray tracing in action.

If you're a raytracing doubter, this is the game to convert. Turn raytracing off and the experience is notably different. The world begins to look a little flat and lifeless. Not terribly so, but enough to make me sure that raytracing is absolutely the future of videogame graphics technology. It's an absolute game changer.

But, most of us are very aware raytracing can make games look fantastic. The elephant in the room has always been the prohibitive performance costs. Control layers in more raytracing effects than any game thus far, comprising ray traced reflections, ray traced transparent reflections, ray traced indirect diffuse lighting, ray traced contact shadows, and ray traced debris. It's the most comprehensive package yet in terms of testing the capabilities of GeForce RTX 20 series GPUs.

With that in mind, we've no doubt you've been itching to find out how Control performs. Here we've benchmarked all of the DXR-powered ray-tracing options which are found in Control, analysing performance on the GeForce RTX 2060 as well as identifying which are the most demanding settings.

Ray Tracing for Control performed on a PNY XLR8 GeForce RTX 2060 6GB XLR8 Graphics Card, Intel Core i7-5820K CPU @ 4.2 GHz and 16GB DDR4 RAM

For our benchmarks, we tested how the GeForce RTX 2060 performs while ray-tracing at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K with raytracing turned Off, set to Medium, and set to High. The non-RTX graphics preset was always set to 'High'. We then took the average frame rates for the results below.

  1080p 1440p 4K
Off 65.2 41.9 21.8
Medium 53 34.2 10
High 40 25.1 8

In terms of the performance hit you can expect from enabling ray-tracing in Control, we found the PNY XLR8 GeForce RTX 2060 6GB took around an 18% hit to the frame rate when setting Ray Tracing to Medium and a fairly chunky 40% for setting Ray Tracing to High. As far as ray tracing goes, these performance hits aren't actually that bad. They're way more demanding than just about any other graphics option but they're also much better to look at as well. 

On Ultra, this does mean the RTX 2060 does dip down below 60fps, averaging 53 fps. However, frame rates in Control are typically very stable and tend to only vary in the single digits. Drop the graphics preset down to Medium and the RTX 2060 can achieve 60fps with ray-tracing enabled.

As for what we'd recommend, we suggest GeForce RTX owners absolutely do drop the graphics settings down a notch to Medium in order to be able to enable ray tracing effects. From our experience with Control it is very much worth the hit to your frames per second in Remedy's Control.

Is it possible to run Ray Tracing at 4K resolution while playing Control?

While the Nvidia RTX 2060 is not capable of running Control at 4K with Ray Tracing on, you may be able to turn some of the Ray Tracing settings on at 1440p. However, the PNY RTX 2060 frame rate numbers above and the in-game experience support ray tracing more comfortably at 1080p screen res and it does look great when you turn it on. Control isn't particularly stuttery even at lower frame rates from 20-30fps, although with ray tracing turned up to High we can see the RTX 2060 will struggle at 1440p.

With ray tracing running Control is one of the most impressive and beautiful games we have encountered to date. If you are interested in getting your ray tracing fairly stable at 4K resolution then you should be looking to pick up an RTX 2080 Super or the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti for the types of sheer power we expect are needed. But of course you will be paying a lot of cash for those (very) pretty reflections and that's got to be up to you and whether you feel it's worth it.

In our opinion, it’s really neat to see what games can become, graphically, as it was starting to feel like gaming visual performance improvements had reached a bit of a plateau.

Control Ray Tracing Performance Breakdown

Just to get a little more granular, we also benchmarked each of the five individual ray tracing graphics options in Control. The first two, reflections and transparent reflections, are enabled when Ray Tracing is set to Medium. All five are enabled when Ray Tracing is set to High.

The further right the bar goes, the more demanding the raytracing graphics option is when enabled. The percentage is based on the frame rate when playing Control at 1080p/Ultra.

Our results here mimic what we saw found in our earlier benchmarks. Enabling the top two settings causes the Control frame rate to drop by around 20%, while enabled all five raytracing options causes ~40% dip in FPS. 

We found both of the reflections settings had the greatest impact on Control's visual fidelity, with ray traced contact shadows narrowly behind. Ray traced debris can be a little tricky to notice so this should be the first to go if you want to squeeze out a few more frames.

Control Ray Tracing On vs Off Comparison

Slide your cursor over the image to compare

 

Our favourite comments:

I won't care about Ray Tracing until the tech proliferates all the way down Nvidia's AND AMD's product stacks. All the way from top tier down to low-end GPUs. I'm not falling for the "first-to-market" gimmick. When tech achieves widespread availability it works better and becomes cheaper. Leave the "bleeding edge" for the pawns.

Alonzooka

is it just me or does the game looks pretty average, Jon in previous article sayed how the game looks amazing and probably there are many people to share his opinion but to me this looks just like Quantum Breal if not worse

david988

It looks considerably better than Quantum Break imo. In action this is one of the best looking games I've ever played, Quantum Break doesn't even get a look in

Jon

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01:54 Aug-31-2019

Having played around 5 hours on rtx2060 my 2c:
I honestly wasnt sold of the rtx feature despite having an rtx card up until I played this game. And I have to say I look forward to seeing where rtx goes after playing, the game is stunning.

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13:36 Aug-27-2019

I haven't been a fan of RTX in gaming this far, but I gotta say this looks nice, and the game seems to be good in general also. Not worth the performance cost with a 2060 though. Will surely want to test this game with RTX whenever I get my next GPU, which will probably be a 3070.

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16:10 Aug-27-2019

Yeah pricey for sure but will be great once we move on a few gens and it's standard

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16:35 Aug-27-2019

Hey since you have the game please tell me there is a way to turn off this motion blur i cant find any info on it. Its so ugly but atleast the game runs like a dream unlike quantum break.

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17:09 Aug-27-2019

Can't see an option anywhere in there

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17:12 Aug-27-2019

i know i tried even editing the renderer.ini file as it appears to have all graphical options in it with stuff like motionblur =false and 0. It still didnt work i hope it gets patched out cuz at low settings it applies less motion blur but on max settings the blur strenght is increased. I dont know why they did this -.

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17:35 Aug-27-2019

bit obvious but have you tried changing it in the .ini and then setting it to read only? Makes it stick in some games

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17:48 Aug-27-2019

Yep but then i get an error when i get to the "press enter" screen about renderer.ini and i have to alt-ctrl-del it or it just crashes. I think the game is constantly reading and writing to the .ini file as when i have it set to not "read only" it just wipes what i type into it resets settings to medium

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06:20 Aug-27-2019

physx all over again

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08:59 Aug-27-2019

Time will tell

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04:30 Aug-27-2019

The 20 series is for rich beta testers lol

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21:41 Aug-26-2019

I won't care about Ray Tracing until the tech proliferates all the way down Nvidia's AND AMD's product stacks. All the way from top tier down to low-end GPUs. I'm not falling for the "first-to-market" gimmick. When tech achieves widespread availability it works better and becomes cheaper. Leave the "bleeding edge" for the pawns.

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16:22 Aug-26-2019

looks good on RT, but the gameplay? is it fun?

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15:43 Aug-26-2019

The differences are noticeable in the reflection and on some of the shadows, looks good but still not worth the massive performance hit.

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15:13 Aug-26-2019

Doesn't RTX mean less time devs have to spend on lighting details, shadows, reflection ect, or am I missing something?
I know nothing about this stuff sooo....

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15:19 Aug-26-2019

its supposed to be an easy solution provided by nvidia so that devs dont have to recode their entire engines as that would eat alot of dev time. Its not exactly a simple or ez solution but it takes less time than recoding the engine for ray traycing support. so devs spend more time with nvidia to get this to work

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14:52 Aug-26-2019

Will we get a DLSS performance and image quality comparison?

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14:39 Aug-26-2019

is it just me or does the game looks pretty average, Jon in previous article sayed how the game looks amazing and probably there are many people to share his opinion but to me this looks just like Quantum Breal if not worse

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15:27 Aug-26-2019

It does actually look a lot like Quantum Break, but Remedy Entertainment made both games, so I'm not too surprised with that. The performance in Control looks pretty bad, so like Quantum Break then. I had to turn the lighting and effects in Quantum Break to Medium and then turn Upscaling off to get good FPS. The upscaling actually made the game look worse with it on.

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15:30 Aug-26-2019

I too think this, everyone saying its graphically amazing but i look at it and go Meh, dont get me wrong im still getting the game but it aint all that in the graphics department lol

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09:05 Aug-27-2019

It looks considerably better than Quantum Break imo. In action this is one of the best looking games I've ever played, Quantum Break doesn't even get a look in

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23:39 Aug-27-2019

iv tried out the game past hour and to me its really not one of the best looking, its a blurry mess its like there using that upscale crap again, performance aint that great either, turning off msaa and rtx stuff and still tiny fps drops here and there, need alot of patches

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Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-10700 8-Core 2.90GHz GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600X 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 720p
Pentium Dual Core E6300 2.8GHz GeForce 210 3GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB 8GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 7 2700X GeForce RTX 3060 Ti MSI Ventus 3X OC 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i7-2600K 4-Core 3.40GHz GeForce RTX 2060 MSI Gaming Z 6GB 16GB
| Ultra, 1080p
Core i3-9100F 4-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1070 Gigabyte Windforce OC 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-6600K 3.5GHz GeForce GTX 1060 MSI Gaming X 3GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
Core i5-4460 3.2GHz Radeon RX 570 XFX RS Black 4GB 8GB
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Core i5-2310 2.9GHz GeForce GT 1030 8GB