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NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN Performance Review and Frame Rating Update

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Manufacturer: NVIDIA

TITAN is back for more!

Our NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN Coverage Schedule:

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.

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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.

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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.

Continue reading our full review of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN graphics card with benchmarks and an update on our Frame Rating process!!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

February 25, 2013 | 10:21 AM - Posted by Elvis (not verified)

Great Article. Nice to see original thought and work in a tech Blog (instead of more useless fps number) .
The Titan has impressive performance, too bad the price is outta my reach :'(
BTW Anyone else notice that 7970GE is starting to kick 680 butt. AMD driver team is on a roll! However CF looks bad and they need to correct it, seeing as they have no single chip competitor to Titan.
@Ryan : To make things interesting, why not benchmark some games which are not as "popular", i.e driver optimized.
Also, in my (humble?) opinion your articles would be more professional(better) if you avoided superlatives and words like beast (so clichéd). They make refutation of bias harder.
Once again, great work.

February 25, 2013 | 10:24 AM - Posted by Elvis (not verified)

@Ryan could you please block the ip of the rabid fan-atic. Really spoils the whole comments section...
@Anonymous : obvious troll. Not gonna bother replying. Sod off!

February 25, 2013 | 10:44 AM - Posted by Trey Long (not verified)

This business of runt frames significantly padding Crossfire's fps numbers is a huge story in the GPU world. There needs to be a major effort to expose the truth of this, whatever it is.

February 25, 2013 | 05:56 PM - Posted by Epoq (not verified)

I agree wholeheartedly. If this is true in it's entirety it would destroy AMD's credibility in the multi-GPU realm. Before this, most people were in agreeance that for high res and multi-display configurations, AMD is the way to go. This would change everything.

March 2, 2013 | 06:19 AM - Posted by Max Klar (not verified)

I doubt that the new 3dMark is reliable. Maybe it's just created to boost Titan.
I did the benchies with GTX680SLI/i7-3930K/X79. In 3dMark11 I get about nearly P16000 @stock and +P18000 occed.
But in Firestrike:
GTX680 single: 6300
GTX680SLI: 4200 (!)

And it's not only my system, you can find these biased or faulty results easily.

So the 3dMark benchmark is a joke at the actual state and should not be used in a professional environment.

March 3, 2013 | 01:06 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Little bumed with your test???? this is a 2d surround card I am running 3 evga 680`s sc at 6000×1200 please let's see the real meat and potatoes people buying this card ( me) want to see ....well let's say three 680`s at 6000×1200 and two titans sli at same res that I think is all that really matters here rite? the 680 only having 2gb men must fail hard against two Titans with its 6gb the titan card is very specifically a hi-res surround gaming card I know you need to test everything but I think you should have started the other way around IMO..

March 3, 2013 | 03:02 PM - Posted by KansasCityTom (not verified)

I just spent a little over $1100 on 3 x 7970's and against my friends new Titan, I basically walk over him in all benchmarks.

March 4, 2013 | 07:55 PM - Posted by Trey Long (not verified)

Except that Crossfire is a sham. You get no better performance than one card. Read the article before spouting. And Tech Report and Hardocp. Runt frames a real disaster for Crossfire as they can be seen, measured, and exposed, unlike the fraps number which includes totally degraded frames in their fps number you rely on. Latencies have long been an issue with AMD cards and this clarifies in Crossfire.

April 3, 2013 | 01:49 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Great work Ryan keep up the great work...by the way how do we support your site make donations !!!!! p.s I'm loving my tri sli titans this is the card I have been waiting for my hole life... been builbing systems starting back in the voodoo days finally 6000×1200 plays like butter nvidia is really something eh!!

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