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With Remedy wildly altering Control’s PC system requirements shortly before launch, it’s been difficult to grasp whether we’d be getting ourselves a new graphical benchmark by which all other games are compared or, well, Alan Wake. Having spent some significant time with Control already, the answer is certainly nearer the former. Remedy has rallied together all of its craft and technical know-how to deliver a third-person shooter which massages your eyeballs as much as it itches your trigger-finger.

Control is a monstrously good-looking game, featuring cold Bauhaus-style architecture with sharp angles, towering heights, and glistening glass. It’s a game which is both incredibly stylish and intensely photorealistic, an advancement which is no meant feat. 

But, at what cost does all these fantastic visuals arrive? We’ve taken a look at Control for a series GPU benchmarks alongside our review of the game (which should be along shortly), hopefully providing some insight as to what you can expect from this greatest hits package of Remedy shooters.

Before we continue here are a few other Control articles and content of interest

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

Remedy significantly lowers Control PC system requirements 

Control System Requirements

Control Minimum System Requirements

OS: Windows 7 64-bit CPU: Intel Core i5-4690 3.5 GHz or AMD FX-4350 4.2 GHz RAM: 8 GB System Memory GPU RAM: 3 GB Video Memory GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 or AMD Radeon R9 280X For Ray Tracing: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 DX: DirectX 11 HDD: TBA available space

Control Recommended System Requirements 

OS: Windows 10 64-bit CPU: Intel Core i5-7600K 3.8 GHz or AMD Ryzen 5 1600X 3.6 GHz RAM: 16 GB System Memory GPU RAM: 11 GB Video Memory GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB or AMD Radeon RX 580 For Ray Tracing: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 DX: DirectX 12 HDD: TBA available space

Control Graphics Options

Control comes with a fair rudimentary set of graphics options outside of those juicy raytracing effects. There are less than a dozen settings to mess around with, although each can have a profound impact on visual quality. There also isn’t much granularity either, restricting everything but Texture Resolution to just three choices or less. You won’t really find any Ultra graphics settings in these parts, with ‘High’ taking the mantle of Control’s most demanding graphics preset.

Control Benchmarks

Control benchmarks and frames per second analysis performed on GeForce GTX 1070 8GB | Intel i7-5820K | 16GB DDR4

Unfortunately, there is no official benchmarking tool in Control. The good news is this means all benchmark results you see are going to be taken from actual gameplay. We used a fairly early section of Control to test performance. It features around eight spawning enemies in a large room, lots of debris flying through the air, and plenty of glass windows for those all-important reflections.

When you first boot up Control you’re offered the choice between DX11 and DX12 modes. You’ll need to run in DirectX 12 mode if you want to enjoy real-time ray tracing. Unfortunately, a new patch mid-benchmarking has appeared to disable the choice for the GTX 1070, meaning it’s DX12 or bust.

We ran through these benchmarks at three different graphics presets, taking the average frame rate at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K resolutions.

For this Control benchmark, we used a GeForce GTX 1070 equipped with 8GB video memory. It’s backed up by 16GB DDR4 memory and an Intel Core i7-5820K CPU.

Control GeForce GTX 1070 DirectX 12 Benchmarks @ 1080p, 1440p & 4K

(Click to expand)

DX12 1080p 1440p 4K
Low 102 62 29
Medium 66 37 19
High 50 30 15

As you can see, the solid mid to high-end GeForce GTX 1070 really begins to meet its match here. Console-like performance is very easily achievable but beyond this we see a bit of a struggle. If you want to hit a locked 60 frames per second with zero dips below then 1080p/Low would be your only option. However, both 1080p Medium and High offer decently stable performance with just a few noticeable dips. 

The GTX 1070 arrived in a position of some strength as a 1440p video card but it’s facing an uphill battle here. Some people will be fine playing at 30 frames per second on 1440p/Medium, although we doubt there many who buy a $400 video card to play at 37 frames per second average. 

With all that taken into account, we would recommend you play Control @1080p if you’re using a GTX 1070.

Control benchmarks and frames per second analysis performed on PNY XLR8 GeForce RTX 2060 6GB | Intel i7-5820K @ 4.2GHz | 16GB DDR4

Control PNY XLR8 GeForce RTX 2060 DX11 Benchmarks @ 1080p, 1440p & 4K

DX11 1080p 1440p 4K
Low 136.4 89.7 41.8
Medium 92 57 27.1
High 67.5 45.2 22.3

It’s a far more promising tale for the GeForce RTX 2060 6GB which leaps well ahead of the GTX 1070 in terms of performance across the board. There’s often not too much to separate these two graphics cards but, with ray tracing disable, the GeForce RTX 2060 steamrolls the previous-gen GPU. 1080p/High at a locked 60 fps is absolutely doable, while a sweet point can be found at 1440p/High.

If you’ve got this particular graphics though then it’s unlikely you’re going to want to play without ray tracing enabled. Turn on the RTX features and Control elevates from a decent looking game to a jaw-dropping one. It’s comfortably the best showcase you can demo to your mates who want to see what raytracing is all about.

Control PNY XLR8 GeForce RTX 2060 DX12 Benchmarks @ 1080p, 1440p & 4K

DX12 1080p 1440p 4K
Low 130.9 82 40.3
Medium 79.6 52.4 26.1
High 65.2 41.9 21.8

Several years have rolled by and we’re still unsure about where the heck all those promised DX12 performance benefits are. It opens the door to new tech such as ray tracing, but all that promise of close-to-the-metal performance still hasn’t really materialised. In fact, and for whatever reason, we discovered the DirectX 12 version of Control performs worse, across the board, when compared to the DX11 version. There’s not a great deal in it but it’s noticeable all the same. 

Considering both DX11 and DX12 look visually identical (outside of raytracing), if you’re planning to play Control without ray-tracing then we’d probably suggest you stick to DX11 mode. It’s an odd state of affairs but based on our testing you should be able to squeeze a few more frames out.

But, of course, the real reason you’d want to play control with a GeForce RTX 20 Series graphics card is because of its ray tracing potential. Control ships with the most comprehensive RTX support yet, including ray traced reflections, ray traced transparent reflections, ray traced indirect diffuse lighting, ray traced contact shadows, ray traced debris, and DLSS support. We have the full low-down on the GeForce RTX 2060’s Control ray-tracing performance here.