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NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN Preview - GK110, GPU Boost 2.0, Overclocking and GPGPU

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: NVIDIA

Display Overclocking and Double Precision Performance

With the GeForce GTX 680 NVIDIA introduced a couple of unique features that weren't directly related to GPU performance.  One of them was Frame Rate Target that allowed users to set a maximum frame rate for a game that might be older and not need the full power of the GPU powering your system.  Another was Adaptive VSync that enabled a GPU to run with Vsync enabled when going OVER 60 Hz (or 120 Hz on an appropriate panel) but turn it off when dipping below 60 FPS. 

Great stuff that improved game play experiences without being directly related to performance.

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With the GTX TITAN NVIDIA is doing it again - this time with display overclocking. 

With GPU Boost 2.0, we’ve added a new feature that makes this possible: display overclocking. Using tools provided by our add-in card partners, you may be able to overclock the pixel clock of your display, allowing you to hit higher refresh rates.

The implications with this are pretty impressive and I am eager to try out the ability to overclock the various displays in our office and report back with results.  NVIDIA claims that this is pretty safe and a simple test will determine if your monitor can handle higher refresh rates.  This wasn't enabled in the version of Precision X we were using but hopefully we'll get it working by the end of the week.

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Also, because this is a GK110 based part, I can hear the GPGPU users out there salivating over the idea of getting this much compute power for "only" $1000.  Good news!  All of the double precision capability is accessible in this chip on the GeForce branded card though you do have to go into the control panel and enable the double precision modules. 

The hard coded switch is necessary because the GK110 GPU down clocks pretty heavily with DP enabled, and thus gamers would get much lower gaming performance if left on while running Crysis 3, for example.

By default, GeForce GTX TITAN runs the DP cores at 1/8th their full clock speed, and given each SMX has 1/3rd the number of DP cores vs SP cores, the DP operations would run at 1/24 the SP rate, similar to GeForce GTX 680.

February 19, 2013 | 09:57 AM - Posted by Kyle (not verified)

Yeah, but will it run Crysis?

February 19, 2013 | 10:01 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

We'll find out on Thursday.  :)

February 20, 2013 | 03:49 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

no

February 22, 2013 | 07:07 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Actually, the better question is: will it blend?

February 19, 2013 | 10:03 AM - Posted by I don't have a name. (not verified)

Crysis 3, more like. :) Can't wait to see the performance results!

February 19, 2013 | 10:05 AM - Posted by I don't have a name. (not verified)

Might the GTX Titan review be the first to use your new frame-rating performance metric? Can't wait! :)

February 19, 2013 | 10:06 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

I can tell you right now that it won't be the full version of our Frame Rating system, but we'll have some new inclusions in it for sure.

February 19, 2013 | 10:21 AM - Posted by stephenC (not verified)

I am really looking forward to seeing how this card will perform with crysis 3

February 19, 2013 | 10:40 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I think I'll get one. I have no need for it, but it looks cool. So, from someone who knows very little about computers or gaming, I take it this would be "overkill" to have my buddy build me a new system around this?

February 19, 2013 | 10:43 AM - Posted by Prodeous (not verified)

Hope to see some GPGPU testing and comparsion to 680. I can assist with Blender3D as it support GPGPU rendering on CUDA cards if you guys want.. Need to find out if I need to start putting coins away for another puchase ;)

February 19, 2013 | 11:31 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Point me in the right direction!

February 19, 2013 | 10:16 PM - Posted by Riley (not verified)

+1 for blender render times! Go to blender.org to download blender (looks like it is down as I post this, probably for v2.66 release).

blendswap.com could be used to find stuff to render. That way the files would be publicly available to anyone who wanted to compare your times to their own. Just make sure the files use the cycles rendering engine (not blender internal).

Instructions at http://www.blenderguru.com/4-easy-ways-to-speed-up-cycles/ can be followed to swap between CPU and GPU rendering.

February 20, 2013 | 05:22 PM - Posted by Gadgety

I'm looking to replacing three GTX580 3GB mainly for rendering. With 6GB memory and the massive amount of CUDA cores I'm really looking forward to Blender Cycles speeds, but also Octane, VRay-RT. This must be one of the usage scenarios for the Titan, rather than pure gaming.

February 21, 2013 | 05:49 PM - Posted by Prodeous (not verified)

Download blender from:
http://www.blender.org/download/get-blender/

Windows 64bit install is the simplest.

The most common test for GPGPU rendering is to use the link below. "The unofficial Blender Cycles benchmark"
http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?239480-2-61-Cycles-render...

And then use the information provided by Riley:

http://www.blenderguru.com/4-easy-ways-to-speed-up-cycles/

February 19, 2013 | 11:12 AM - Posted by Jumangi (not verified)

*shrug* I guess its fun for the reviewer to get something new in the office but this might as well still be a myth as 99.99% of users will never even think about getting something this expensive.

Give us something new that regular people can actually afford...

February 19, 2013 | 11:18 AM - Posted by Rick (not verified)

i agree with above. one of these or two 670? i hope we see that comparison in your review.

February 19, 2013 | 11:32 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

670s are too cheap - you'll see two GTX 680s though.

February 19, 2013 | 01:12 PM - Posted by mAxius

ah the nvidiots will gladly put out $1000.00 for a graphics card that is nothing more than a 680 on roid rage... i know im not touching this card unless i win the lotto and get hit in the head with a brick making me mentally incapacitated.

February 19, 2013 | 01:38 PM - Posted by Oskars Apša (not verified)

If PcPer'll have the time and blessing of Nvidias highers and Geekbox Gods, make a review with a system comprised of these cards in sli and dual Intel Xeons and/or AMD Opterons.

February 19, 2013 | 01:52 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Sweet mother of GOD!

I want! I can't wait to see the benches. They outta make Titan version the norm for future generations to bring down the x80 series lol.

February 19, 2013 | 02:23 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It would be nice is someone would test this card with blender 3d to see how it rates for rendering against the Quadro GPUs that cost way more! Does anyone know of websites that benchmark open source software using GPUs, as most of the benchmarking sites are using Maya and other high priced software, and little opensource free software for their tests.

February 19, 2013 | 02:30 PM - Posted by PapaDragon

ALL that POWER from one Card, shame about the price. This is is my Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects dream card, plus gaming! Too bad for the price.

Anyhow, a lot of great features, cant wait for the review, great informative video Ryan!

February 19, 2013 | 03:23 PM - Posted by David (not verified)

I wish NVIDIA had been a little more aggressive on the price but I still couldn't have afforded it. Just upgraded both my and my wife's system to 7970 GHzs because the bundle deal was too good to pass up.

That said, for all the people who say cards like this are overkill, my current Skyrim install would give this card a run for its money even at 1080p60.

February 19, 2013 | 03:32 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Can I mount a 4-way Titan SLI?

February 19, 2013 | 06:44 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

I don't know, that sounds uncomfortable.

February 19, 2013 | 05:53 PM - Posted by ezjohny

AMD here is your competition, What do you have in mind.
"NEXT GENERATION" gameplay AMD!
This graphic card is going to pack a punch people!!!

February 19, 2013 | 05:59 PM - Posted by Evan (not verified)

What is this? Lucky i got a ps3 last week! it looks better and pre ordered crysis 3 and it has blu ray so its better graphics!

February 19, 2013 | 07:32 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Lol... the sad part is there are some people who actually believe that.

February 19, 2013 | 08:20 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The sad part is people who go from SD to HD and see no difference.

February 19, 2013 | 06:18 PM - Posted by papajohn

i will take out a loan to buy this card! :)

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