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NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN Performance Review and Frame Rating Update

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: NVIDIA

DiRT 3 - Single Card

DiRT 3 (DirectX 11)


 

A continuation of the Colin McRae series, but without his name, DiRT 3 is one of the top racing games in the world and offers stunning imagery along with support for features of DirectX 11. 

Our settings for DiRT 3

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In the lower 1920x1080 testing we see that the GTX TITAN is actually running on par with the GTX 690 and about 30% faster than the GTX 680.  Look at our frametime graph though - see a big problem?  The GTX 690 absolutely exploded on individual frame rate results going anywhere from under 2 ms (a frame rate of 500 FPS!) to over 15 ms (66 FPS).  This exactly why new and unique ways of monitoring performance are important.  While the average FPS of the GTX 690 and GTX TITAN are close, the experiences clearly weigh in favor of the TITAN.

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As we jump up the resolution you'll find the GTX 690 comes out ahead a bit more over the GTX TITAN and the frame rate variance has come down considerably.  It's likely that we are seeing less of a CPU bottleneck on the system as whole at this level and thus the GPU is no longer stalling and waiting.

February 21, 2013 | 09:21 AM - Posted by DeadOfKnight (not verified)

I see Dirt 3 Graphs on the Crysis 3 page.

February 21, 2013 | 10:00 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Fixed!

February 21, 2013 | 09:22 AM - Posted by j0hndoe

Man, that card is a BEAST. Look forward to reading more thoughts on it as you have more time with it! Great write up, Ryan. Thanks

February 21, 2013 | 10:03 AM - Posted by YTech2 (not verified)

TITAN is back for more! - Clarification - From photo provided, card offers 1 dual-link DVI-I and 1 dual-link DVI-D. For those using a DVI to VGA (Analogue) adapter would use the DVI-I.

Yes, various Analogue displays are still being used.

I do wonder about the performance of the TITAN in Stereoscopic Systems.

February 21, 2013 | 10:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Well from what I'm seeing three gtx 680sc are better (faster) than two titans and I'm running 6000×1200 I could only afford two and with the limited quality of titan cards I think I'll pass...

February 21, 2013 | 10:22 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

meant to say limited quantity I'll be passing......

February 26, 2013 | 02:18 PM - Posted by John Doe (not verified)

Indeed, while the fuckers are eVGA are eating their hamburgers over those shitty "SuperClocked" cards they ripped you off $20 each.

"Superclocking" is flashing the cards BIOS 50 Mhz over the stock clock and HOSING BLIND FUCKERS.

sigh...

April 9, 2013 | 09:22 AM - Posted by Cito (not verified)

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! 20$ WOW!!! they are robing people blind.....

Dude chill its just 20 bux i did it might as well.

But if you were to talk about the signature edition now then i would agree with you.

February 21, 2013 | 10:28 AM - Posted by D1RTYD1Z619

Finally a BF3 2560 x 1440 gtx 680 2gb sli benchmark. Do you think you'll bench the Titan against the 680 4gb versions?

February 21, 2013 | 11:05 AM - Posted by tackle70 (not verified)

BTW the temporary fix for CF stuttering is to either use Radeon Pro or MSI Afterburner to limit the framerate. If you are in a setting where you can get fairly consistent framerates at or above your monitor's refresh rate, you just limit the framerate to your refreshrate (60 in most cases). Otherwise, you limit it to around your average FPS.

It's not a perfect solution, but it does reliably deal with stutter on crossfire 7970s.

March 28, 2013 | 04:24 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm so vindicated, and so disappointed...

" We aren't ready to show our full sets of results yet (soon!) but the problems lie in that AMD's CrossFire technology shows severe performance degradations when viewed under the Frame Rating microscope that do not show up nearly as dramatically under FRAPS. As such, I decided that it was simply irresponsible of me to present data to readers that I would then immediately refute on the final pages of this review - it would be a waste of time for the reader and people that skip only to the performance graphs wouldn't know our theory on why the results displayed were invalid. "

AMD sucks so badly, standard apologist mantra is issued.
This is the sub par life of AMD video cards.

They really suck, but our test that is more accurate than fraps shows that, so we will refute our own test and say they don't really suck, so we won't show you the pathetic cheaty runt missed frame data and PROVE AMD HAS BEEN CHEATING LIKE HECK FOR YEARS ON END!

Some of us always knew it, and always said it, and we were attacked relentlessly.
Well, let the attacks continue, as the cover up is still ongoing.

Maybe by now AMD has fixed their YEARS LONG ISSUES so a just cleaned up totally new result can be shown soon --- FORGETTING THE YEARS AMD USERS SUFFERED WITH THE AMD CRAP THAT WON'T BE SHOWN UNTIL IT IS "FIXED".

Then of course the bank robbers get off scott free.
Good job AMD, the Mob wishes it had that kind of pull, as does every politician in the entire world.

February 21, 2013 | 11:54 AM - Posted by Dan (not verified)

So, if you have $1k to power a 5760x1080 gaming setup, do you personally go with the Titan, 2x7970, 2x680 or a 690?

February 22, 2013 | 01:35 AM - Posted by Eric B (not verified)

3x7970

February 21, 2013 | 11:58 AM - Posted by grommet

Where are the promised "TITAN up the graphics" quotes?
I am disappointed.

February 21, 2013 | 12:18 PM - Posted by luciano (not verified)

Your framerate rating method looks like the best.
Could you guysreview, as other user comment here suggests, the frame cap "fix" results?
Thanks for the great review

February 21, 2013 | 12:28 PM - Posted by Tommy (not verified)

No 2560x1600?

No 690 sli in the sli results?

February 23, 2013 | 11:12 AM - Posted by btdog

No answer to your first question, but to your second question, a 690 is technically already in SLI (it's two 680s SLI'd on one card)

February 24, 2013 | 08:03 PM - Posted by Tommy (not verified)

I should have been more specific. By 690 SLI I mean quad-sli 690s.

February 21, 2013 | 01:19 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I take it when they bring out a dual-GPU TITAN to compare against the 690s, it will be far better? Then you can test SLI for both dual-GPU TITAN and 690s. Will watch this space

February 21, 2013 | 01:36 PM - Posted by MarkT (not verified)

Feels like the drivers for titan are premature, Ryan is this the kind of perforance Nvidia is expecting or are there upcoming driver enhancements for this card?

February 21, 2013 | 01:53 PM - Posted by Zorkwiz

I'm not sure why this review justified a Gold Award at the $1000 price point. Sure, it's the best single GPU card you can get and the power/thermals look impressive, but the conclusion basically says that it's beaten in single screen setups by both the 690 and 680 SLI, which are the same price or cheaper.

I'm not convinced that the promise of better multi-monitor gaming performance gives it the Gold, especially since you guys have such a limited set of benchmarks for those setups thus far.

I'd still love to own one, but I feel like $899 would have made it a viable option, not $999.

February 21, 2013 | 06:31 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

How could $100 really matter in a card this pricey?

Your other point is fair, but I HAVE seen the 5760x1080 numbers and the potential perf advantage there is realized.

February 25, 2013 | 03:59 PM - Posted by HeavyG (not verified)

The people willing to pay for this card are going to buy it regardless if it is $999, $899, or $1099. There is a specific market for it, and it surely isn't the "best bang for your buck" target.

Heck, I bought a 690 just for the cool factor. I have the space on my board, and the 680s would have squeaked by a bit more in terms of performance. The 690 looked way cooler and I liked the idea of one day adding a 2nd 690. This card is really no different.

And by all means, you can still buy 680 SLIs if you want. Nobody is stopping you and nobody is saying that it isn't the right choice for you.

February 21, 2013 | 02:32 PM - Posted by Kitten Masher (not verified)

It's great to see some concrete frame rating data, but I feel like your presentation and analysis of it is a bit off.

Specifically, when you're looking at the distribution of rates, you're using a bar graph to try to help us infer the variance. Why don't you just show us a graph of the distribution of the frame ratings instead? I think visually it would be much easier to compare looking for a "skinnier" distribution with a smaller variance, and you can still mark up the distribution percentiles on it. I'm really curious to see how that might look with the crossfire data you showed, I would almost expect to see two 'mounds' on either side of the mean (although I could be wrong).

Also, your analysis feels a bit hollow, sometimes just reiterating what we saw in the graph without telling us what truly matters: do we care? Was there 'stuttering'? This is especially true since you can't just base it off of a % difference in the times across the percentiles. The actual time taken is also important, and it is also relative to the recorded FPS. All in all, what frame rate times actually mean to the end user isn't as black and white as "lower is better".

OR I'm completely clueless as to what's going on.

Anyways, it's still awesome to see some frame rating data and I look forward to seeing more in the future!

February 21, 2013 | 07:05 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Appreciate the feedback, I'll look into that presentation option for data this week.

As for the analysis, I was kind of purposefully vague as I have a lot more data and compile to present the "whole" picture of CrossFire versus SLI.  

February 22, 2013 | 11:30 AM - Posted by Lord Binky (not verified)

Some games like Mechwarrior Online do not support SLI, so single GPU performance is still relevant.

February 25, 2013 | 04:07 PM - Posted by HeavyG (not verified)

It is relevant, but MOST games support SLI. Games that don't support it on release typically don't do very well. Take Rage, for example.

As for Mech Warrior... it is still in beta, right? It is using CryENGINE 3, right? I don't see it being a problem for too long, but I have been wrong before. After all, I pre-ordered Aliens Colonial Marines.

February 21, 2013 | 03:29 PM - Posted by serpico (not verified)

thank you, I appreciate the frametime graphs.

February 21, 2013 | 06:21 PM - Posted by 6GB Guy (not verified)

Could you test the TITAN against the GTX 680 4GB versions and the Sapphire HD 7970 TOXIC Edtion? It would be interesting to see how well a 6gb 7970 does against the Titan.

February 21, 2013 | 08:40 PM - Posted by ocre (not verified)

man you really went the extra mile on your frame time method. I second that it could be the best method so far. Great work. cant wait till your finally the point you can reveal all your findings. I know you put so much work into it. It seems very promising.

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