TITAN is back for more!
We are back with our full performance review of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN graphics card based on GK110!
Our NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN Coverage Schedule:
- Tuesday, February 19 @ 9am ET: GeForce GTX TITAN Features Preview
- Thursday, February 21 @ 9am ET: GeForce GTX TITAN Benchmarks and Review
- Thursday, February 21 @ 2pm ET: PC Perspective Live! GTX TITAN Stream
If you are reading this today, chances are you were here on Tuesday when we first launched our NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN features and preview story (accessible from the link above) and were hoping to find benchmarks then. You didn't, but you will now. I am here to show you that the TITAN is indeed the single fastest GPU on the market and MAY be the best graphics cards (single or dual GPU) on the market depending on what usage models you have. Some will argue, some will disagree, but we have an interesting argument to make about this $999 gaming beast.
A brief history of time…er, TITAN
In our previous article we talked all about TITAN's GK110-based GPU, the form factor, card design, GPU Boost 2.0 features and much more and I would highly press you all to read it before going forward. If you just want the cliff notes, I am going to copy and paste some of the most important details below.
From a pure specifications standpoint the GeForce GTX TITAN based on GK110 is a powerhouse. While the full GPU sports a total of 15 SMX units, TITAN will have 14 of them enabled for a total of 2688 shaders and 224 texture units. Clock speeds on TITAN are a bit lower than on GK104 with a base clock rate of 836 MHz and a Boost Clock of 876 MHz. As we will show you later in this article though the GPU Boost technology has been updated and changed quite a bit from what we first saw with the GTX 680.
The bump in the memory bus width is also key, being able to feed that many CUDA cores definitely required a boost from 256-bit to 384-bit, a 50% increase. Even better, the memory bus is still running at 6.0 GHz resulting in total memory bandwdith of 288.4 GB/s.
Speaking of memory – this card will ship with 6GB on-board. Yes, 6 GeeBees!! That is twice as much as AMD's Radeon HD 7970 and three times as much as NVIDIA's own GeForce GTX 680 card. This is without a doubt a nod to the super-computing capabilities of the GPU and the GPGPU functionality that NVIDIA is enabling with the double precision aspects of GK110.
The look and styling of the GeForce GTX TITAN design is very similar to that of the GeForce GTX 690 that launched in May of last year. NVIDIA was less interested in talking about the make up of the materials this time around but it is obvious when looking at and holding the GTX TITAN that it is built to impress buyers. Measuring only 10.5-in long the TITAN will be able to find its way into many more chassis and system designs than the GTX 690 could.
Output configurations are identical to that of the GTX 680 cards including a pair of dual-link DVI connections, a full-size HDMI port and a DisplayPort. You can utilize all four of the outputs at once as well for 3+1 monitor configurations.
With TITAN, NVIDIA will be releasing an updated version of GPU Boost they claim will allow for even higher clocks on the GPU than the original technology would have allowed. This time the key measurement isn't power but temperature.
his updated version of GPU Boost can increase the maximum clock rate because the voltage level is controlled by a known, easily measured data point: temperature. By preventing a combination of high voltages and high temperatures that might break a chip, NVIDIA can increase the voltage on a chip-to-chip basis to increase the overall performance of the card in most cases.
This new version of GPU Boost definitely seems more in line with the original goals of the technology but there are some interesting caveats. First, you'll quickly find that the clock speeds of TITAN will start out higher on a "cold" GPU and then ramp down as the temperature of the die increases. This means that doing quick performance checks of the GPU using 3DMark or even quick game launches will result in performance measurements that are higher than they would be after 5-10 minutes of gaming. As a result. our testing of TITAN required us to "warm up" the GPU for a few minutes before every benchmark run.