Where Volta stands today

There you have it, our first look at the NVIDIA Titan V is now complete, encompassing a boat-load of gaming tests as well as compute benchmarks. In truth, the Titan V looks excellent in all areas, but for gamers, the cost of the card just doesn't make sense. If you have the cash to spend $3000 on a graphics card, I would recommend instead you invest in faster storage or maybe a killer display setup. Or save that money for when the consumer variants of these cards arrive next year.

If you are a developer or coder that can utilize double precision compute, however, the Titan V looks like a must-have product. That's a touch thing to type out for anything with a price tag in that range, but we are talking about a GPU that offers 10-14x better performance in some key performance metrics including N-body simulation, financial analysis, and shader-based compute. 

The Titan Xp, the previous flagship product in the Titan family, does not integrate a fully unlocked GPU with double precision FP64 cores and as a result it simply cannot keep up with the Titan V. Even the Vega architecture, available in both RX Vega gaming and Vega Frontier Edition professional cards, falls behind the FP64 performance of the Titan V by 3-8x. 

Of course there are some areas where the Titan V is only marginally faster. Those include OpenGL based rendering, single precision compute workloads and anything that utilizes FP16. In those instances we see either a 20-100% advantage for the Titan V (still quite impressive) or a slight performance penalty in the FP16 workloads that AMD's new architecture has the advantage in. 

For cryptocurrency mining, the Titan V is an interesting data point. Though it offers 80% better hashing performance for Ethereum, it does so at a price that is 2-3x the competing cards in our testing, making the crossover for payoff and profitability more complex. But, it can offer that 80% edge in performance without an increase in power consumption over the Titan Xp – another example of the efficiency and architectural advantages NVIDIA has built into Volta.

As it stands now, the NVIDIA Titan V can make the claim of the fastest graphics card we have ever tested at PC Perspective for both gaming and compute workloads. It does so with an exceedingly high price that will limit its target audience, but I think that was expected and planned for by the product team at NVIDIA. If you use your GPU to make money, you should likely be giving the Titan V a look. If you are a gamer, let's hold off a few more months and see where else NVIDIA's Volta architecture might show up.

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