Nvidia GeForce Titan: supercomputer GPU power for the 1%

By on February 19, 2013, 8:00 AM

Cray's XK7 Titan supercomputer is powered by no less than 18,000 Nvidia Tesla K20x GPUs, which Nvidia is proud to say highly contributes to make the Titan the world's fastest supercomputer. Today, the company is presenting a revised version of the graphics processor optimized for consumer tasks, and of course, gaming. Whoever said about the Titan "but can it play Crysis?", the joke is now on you.

The GeForce Titan specs are simply unheard of for a single GPU, boasting of 2688 CUDA cores versus the 1536 you find on a GTX 680, as well as packing 6GB 384-bit GDDR5 on board. In building this GPU, Nvidia says they faced a challenge of escalating performance without impacting efficiency and power consumption on the same proportion.

The company is playing this performance + efficiency card in two different ways: first for extreme gamers, the Titan is 3-way SLI capable. If the budget somehow allowed for such a luxury -- each card will run for about $999 -- there's a simple answer on how to build the fastest gaming PC ever if you throw three of these on a single machine. On the other hand, thermals and noise levels have been optimized, so Nvidia has been working with boutique PC builders (Origin, Falcon, Maingear, etc) to put the Titan inside small form factor PCs aimed at gamers. After all, a single one of these cards will push more frames than you can imagine.

Nvidia doesn't want us to talk about benchmark specifics for now, and there may be a good reason for it. On paper the Titan looks like a more elegant solution than the dual-GPU GTX 690 which fetches $999, but there's clearly the question of raw performance with a single card. Expect our full review of the GeForce Titan in the coming week or so.

Other interesting highlights about the Titan:

  • The GeForce Titan will have fan control that includes voltage and RPM
  • TDP rating is set at 250w vs. 300w on the GTX 690 and 195w on the GTX 680
  • The Titan will ship with full performance double-precision compute




User Comments: 47

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1 person liked this | LukeDJ LukeDJ said:

Mother of God. Balls to next-gen consoles, I'm investing my cash into one of these monsters.

1 person liked this | ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

Mother of God. Balls to next-gen consoles, I'm investing my cash into one of these monsters.

I was about to say "Mother of God". Let me finish it off with the pic: [link]

I'm not sure this will be worth it. I've been on the fence for a while between getting a 690 and selling my 680 or just buying another 680. I heard this was coming out, but I'm not buying this for $900 when the 690 is only an extra $100 (likely less after the annual price cuts). I'm passing on this one. I'll get my future three-screen setup powered by something for affordable.

JC713 JC713 said:

Don't get too excited yall, people are saying that 2 670s can get better performance for cheaper.

cmbjive said:

I'm glad I didn't buy a graphics card yet.

mevans336 mevans336 said:

Don't get too excited yall, people are saying that 2 670s can get better performance for cheaper.

Yes, but as someone who has two 660 Ti's in SLI, dealing with SLI is a nightmare compared to a single-card. As cmbjive pointed out, I wish I had waited. I would have dropped an extra $300 for this card, especially for the monster double-point (FP64) performance.

To put all of this in perspective, on paper (and at base clocks), GTX 680 can offer just shy of 3.1 TFLOPS of FP32 performance, 128GTexels/second texturing throughput, and 32GPixels/second rendering throughput, driven by 192GB/sec of memory bandwidth.

Titan on the other hand can offer 4.5 TFLOPS of FP32 performance, 187GTexels/second texturing throughput, 40GPixels/second rendering throughput, and is driven by a 288GB/sec memory bus.

This gives Titan 46% more shading/compute and texturing performance, 25% more pixel throughput, and a full 50% more memory bandwidth than GTX 680.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

It's all very nice and all at the moment but I can never imagine myself shelling out the kind of money this card will demand. I'd rather wait until Nvidia releases the GeForce 8 series, then purchase a high/mid range card for a fraction of the price.

I can never quite get my head around someone willing to waste money on such a frivolous item (or two) that'll only have bragging rights for about a year. As nice as this card is, it's just won't be worth it. My opinion only.

3 people like this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

"I can never quite get my head around someone willing to waste money on such a frivolous item (or two) that'll only have bragging rights for about a year."

Mmmm...I could care less about bragging rights. I just like to play games like Far Cry 3 and the new Bioshock at the highest settings on a 2650 x 1440 monitor without any hassles. Computer gaming is a major source of recreation for me and just like anyone else who spends money on their form of recreation, I do the same.

My tax return is due and it comes up to a little over $1,000. I'm seriously considering getting one of these.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

I'm a big fan of single GPU's so this card I like.

But unless your running eyefinity/3DS or you want to max every game with one GPU at 1440p/1600p, this GPU could be overkill.

"I just like to play games like Far Cry 3 and the new Bioshock at the highest settings on a 2650 x 1440 monitor without any hassles. Computer gaming is a major source of recreation for me and just like anyone else who spends money on their form of recreation, I do the same.

Bioshock and Far Cry 3? :lol: A single GTX 660Ti/7950 could run those games maxed at 1440p/1600p at 60FPS. Buying a GTX Titan for those games at 1440p would be a gigantic waste of money, like the fools who bought a 690 for 1080p.

1 person liked this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

"A single GTX 660Ti/7950 could run those games maxed at 1440p/1600p at 60FPS."

Well smart guy, guess what? I'm running two GTX 660Ti's in SLI and have Far Cry 3 maxed out and it sounds like a 737 engine taking off during some of the scenes. Plus there can be occasional choppiness. Try reading some of the bench marks in the reviews before you mouth off about what a waste this would be.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

I'm running two GTX 660Ti's in SLI and have Far Cry 3 maxed out and it sounds like a 737 engine taking off during some of the scenes.

You should have did more research on GPU's, sounds like you made a poor choice. I love my Windforce 3X 670, overclocked to the hills and quiet as hell.

Try reading some of the bench marks in the reviews before you mouth off about what a waste this would be.

Calm down young padawan, you will learn in time.

1 person liked this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

LOL...do some research? You really are a bright one, aren't you? I always go out and buy expensive cards without doing any research. The reviews showed that the GTX 660ti's I own actually outperformed some of the GTX 670's at the time and was the highest rated "bang for your buck" card at the time. In fact it's nothing more than a GTX670 with a 192 buss. Read it and weep Mr. Expert:

[link]

[link]

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

I bought my 670 right at release, the 660 didnt release till weeks or months later.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

With AMD seemingly not releasing anything for a while it could mean the $999 price tag is going to stay for a while

1 person liked this | bielius bielius said:

So much hate here!

Well, I just managed to buy myself a nice 7950 and really enjoying those FPS'es. No upgrade for me for the following years...

1 person liked this | Littleczr Littleczr said:

"A single GTX 660Ti/7950 could run those games maxed at 1440p/1600p at 60FPS."

Well smart guy, guess what? I'm running two GTX 660Ti's in SLI and have Far Cry 3 maxed out and it sounds like a 737 engine taking off during some of the scenes. Plus there can be occasional choppiness. Try reading some of the bench marks in the reviews before you mouth off about what a waste this would be.

Yes to everything. I'm running 2gtx 560tis at 2560x1440 and the cards get hot and I agree it sounds like a jet engine taking off. I am also contemplating using my tax refund to buy one of these.

JC713 JC713 said:

Yes to everything. I'm running 2gtx 560tis at 2560x1440 and the cards get hot and I agree it sounds like a jet engine taking off. I am also contemplating using my tax refund to buy one of these.

^ lol, good use of your refund

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

A quick roundup from around the interwebz

PCGH measured power draw at 214 watts loaded...also seems pretty quiet

A lot of overclocking headroom if Hilberts 1176 MHz core (40% overclock) is any indication. Since OC/boost is tied directly to thermal envelope, the $999 card is likely to benefit from a $100-150 waterblock

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Did Nvidia just announce a card without any silly numbers or letters? It's just "Titan", and that's all there is to the name?!

I must say: I'm quite proud of them for that!

I imagine at some lunch table they had this discussion and said, "It's the best card we make. There's nothing better, so we don't need to do all the silly letters and numbers and such. Just call it Titan and be done with it!"

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

They make 'em, people will buy them. A mugs game really

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

"A single GTX 660Ti/7950 could run those games maxed at 1440p/1600p at 60FPS."

Well smart guy, guess what? I'm running two GTX 660Ti's in SLI and have Far Cry 3 maxed out and it sounds like a 737 engine taking off during some of the scenes. Plus there can be occasional choppiness. Try reading some of the bench marks in the reviews before you mouth off about what a waste this would be.

I dunno. To me it sounds more like a DC 10 landing but it could be the reverse thrust that's fooling me.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Yes to everything. I'm running 2gtx 560tis at 2560x1440 and the cards get hot and I agree it sounds like a jet engine taking off. I am also contemplating using my tax refund to buy one of these.

Easy come, easy go eh?

soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

This card alone already embarrasses the next gen of consoles a year away from release lol. Time to upgrade my 2 3Gb 580s to one of these bad boys. I game at 2560 x 1600 res.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Performance aside, It looks fantastic.

Guest said:

Time to upgrade my Nvidia GF110 GPU to GK110 GPU! ;)

The real Fermi architecture

GF110 GPU

The real Kepler architecture

GK110 GPU

Every thing else is just cut down!

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Look mom, I can now run my game at 300fps instead of 80fps. The irony? By the time an owner of this card is seeing games that challenge it, we buy a better card than this for less money.

Littleczr Littleczr said:

Look mom, I can now run my game at 300fps instead of 80fps. The irony? By the time an owner of this card is seeing games that challenge it, we buy a better card than this for less money.

If you have a display panel higher then 1080p with all the graphics features turned on, this card will meet its match. If your just a regualr 23 inch monitor 1080p user this card is not for you.

cmbjive said:

I'm glad that people who are in the 1% of tax refund recipients are getting this card. I, on the other hand, am in the 99% of taxpayers who need to pay Uncle Sam. I hope your cards blow up in your PCs and melt your motherboards to the casing.

I'm not jealous, really I'm not.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

That price... I don't know what they were thinking, to be honest.

AMD really has a chance now to come strong in 1 month. We'll see.

Guest said:

Pay on that 1000$ titan which costs same as gtx 690(1000$) still way underperforms...ares 7990 is 1300$-1500$ and 20% faster than 690 and 40-50% than titan....look at nvi outrageous pricing again and again and marketing hype as always

Guest said:

Titan my ass....overpriced arse

1 person liked this | mevans336 mevans336 said:

I'm running two GTX 660Ti's in SLI and have Far Cry 3 maxed out and it sounds like a 737 engine taking off during some of the scenes.

You should have did more research on GPU's, sounds like you made a poor choice. I love my Windforce 3X 670, overclocked to the hills and quiet as hell.

Try reading some of the bench marks in the reviews before you mouth off about what a waste this would be.

Calm down young padawan, you will learn in time.

Two 660 Ti's will demolish your single 670.

1 person liked this | GeforcerFX GeforcerFX said:

Did Nvidia just announce a card without any silly numbers or letters? It's just "Titan", and that's all there is to the name?!

I must say: I'm quite proud of them for that!

I imagine at some lunch table they had this discussion and said, "It's the best card we make. There's nothing better, so we don't need to do all the silly letters and numbers and such. Just call it Titan and be done with it!"

It's called "Titan" because the GPU is based off the 18,000 GPU's that were used in the recent Titan Super computer, the most powerful super computer in the world, and prob for awhile, unless IBM gets to quantum computing anytime soon.

Littleczr Littleczr said:

I'm glad that people who are in the 1% of tax refund recipients are getting this card. I, on the other hand, am in the 99% of taxpayers who need to pay Uncle Sam. I hope your cards blow up in your PCs and melt your motherboards to the casing.

I'm not jealous, really I'm not.

You got your figures all wrong. If you need to pay uncle Sam you make way more money then me. If uncle Sam pays you money at the end of the year it means you make < 35k a year. Which should be around 17% of americans.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

If it can play Crysis 3 maxed out at 2560x1600, I'm in for it. Still running a 480 and it seems to do ok until DX11 is flipped on.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I've been using a GTX285 for a couple of months, that card was expensive has hell when it came out but my god does it still run most of todays games pretty damn fine! of course though, DX10 is its limitation but they still look pretty impressive.

I would be up for shelling out money for this beast!

wiyosaya said:

With full double-precision compute performance, I think this is aimed more at people who want Tesla-like compute performance without spending in excess of $2,500.00 US. In my opinion, this is a card more appropriate for a low-cost CAD/CAE workstation. More and more CAD/CAE programs, such as SolidWorks and Maple, are integrating GPGPU support into their packages.

As to why this card at this price point is coming out at all, I think nVidia is realizing that people are balking at paying the "big bucks" for Tesla's. Still, had this card been available when I was building my last machine, I would not have bought it. It is far too pricy, at this point, for me. Even though 680s were available, I bought a 580 instead due to the fact that the double-precision compute performance on the 680s is dismal at best in comparison the the 580 DP compute performance.

2 people like this | amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Two 660 Ti's will demolish your single 670.

We need a user called 'Captain Obvious' to like comments of this nature so when we get these ridiculous unrelated posts like the one quoted, it will say "Captain Obvious likes this".

cmbjive said:

I'm glad that people who are in the 1% of tax refund recipients are getting this card. I, on the other hand, am in the 99% of taxpayers who need to pay Uncle Sam. I hope your cards blow up in your PCs and melt your motherboards to the casing.

I'm not jealous, really I'm not.

You got your figures all wrong. If you need to pay uncle Sam you make way more money then me. If uncle Sam pays you money at the end of the year it means you make < 35k a year. Which should be around 17% of americans.

You're making an assumption about how much I make. My entire household income for 2012 is $61,000 and because I don't own a home (the primary reason to itemize deductions) I have to take the standard deduction for married filing jointly. I am paying on a student loan so I can claim the interest but I am out of school so I don't get any education deductions. I made too much money to qualify for the Earned Income Credit and after all deductions and exemptions I owe Uncle Sam $235.

People have been awashed with class warfare for such a long time that they forget about the intricacies of taxation. It isn't just the 1% that are paying taxes.

2 people like this |
Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

Not a single "but can it play Crysis" comment yet

[Attachment: click here to see]

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

I think more people should just do what I do and save themselves the grief...

buy used.

Seriously, I bought a 3 month old HD7970 for $250, a card that still goes for $400-$500 new. Nothing wrong with it, terrific performance Crysis 3 blah blah blah. I don't play the "who's got the shiniest, fastest and soon to be bested graphics card" game anymore. I look at my desired performance window, and then seek out a preowned unit for nowhere near retail price.

Looking back I haven't bought a brand new graphics card in probably 5 years.

XB99Z XB99Z said:

What a waste of time and money. An overclocked 670 outperforms a 680 even a moderately overclocked 680. Two of them are better than a 690 and MUCH cheaper. All you really pay for here is the 6GB of VRAM. PC games are so badly made now, they are worthless console ports, if PC gaming wasn't such a joke and the card was 300-400 dollars cheaper then sure but over $900 for what..nothing........a fool and his money...........

GeforcerFX GeforcerFX said:

What a waste of time and money. An overclocked 670 outperforms a 680 even a moderately overclocked 680. Two of them are better than a 690 and MUCH cheaper. All you really pay for here is the 6GB of VRAM. PC games are so badly made now, they are worthless console ports, if PC gaming wasn't such a joke and the card was 300-400 dollars cheaper then sure but over $900 for what..nothing........a fool and his money...........

For a single monitor or tv running in 1080p, yes this is over kill, hell, a 670 or 7950 is still a bit too much for that resolution. But a lot of gamers have been going to multi-monitor gaming setups or high resolutions monitors at 1440p or 1600p. At extremely high resolutions they need this much horse power when they power 3 monitors at 2560 x 1600 each.

mevans336 mevans336 said:

We need a user called 'Captain Obvious' to like comments of this nature so when we get these ridiculous unrelated posts like the one quoted, it will say "Captain Obvious likes this".

Captain Obvious has now liked my post.

Would you care to explain how my post was unrelated? It seems to me you were stating that your 670 was somehow superior to a 660 Ti SLI setup?

mevans336 mevans336 said:

For a single monitor or tv running in 1080p, yes this is over kill, hell, a 670 or 7950 is still a bit too much for that resolution. But a lot of gamers have been going to multi-monitor gaming setups or high resolutions monitors at 1440p or 1600p. At extremely high resolutions they need this much horse power when they power 3 monitors at 2560 x 1600 each.

If you want the game to look as good as possible, a 670 or 7950 really aren't. If you want to crank anti-aliasing all the way up at 1080p and maintain 60fps - you need a 680, 7970, or SLI. In some cases (like Crysis 3) a Titan can't even provide the performance.

IMHO, I think the Titan is about one-upping AMD on the compute front and nothing more. Mainstream Kepler can't compete with AMD's GCN in compute, so they release Titan ... which is a fully unrestricted Kepler.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

If you look at benchmark results a 7950 and 670 just about max everything or close to it at 1920 X 1080. 1080p is small chips. There might be a few cases like Crysis 3 but that game makes any GPU work hard. If you need SLi for playing at a measly 1080p then your cards are weak. 670's and 7950's effortlessy overclock to be as fast, sometimes faster then a 680/7970 so that comment doesn't hold any water. Even in stock vs stock form they are only 5-15 FPS behind anyways.

If you look at the review on this site about bargain eyefinity, you will see SLi GTX660Ti's beating a 680/7970 by only 5-15FPS in many games. Thats pitiful, my 670 Windforce 3X is faster then a stock 680/7970.

My 670 plays Crysis 2 @ 1600p 4X/4X PhysX+DX11+Highres Textures on very high locked at 60 FPS(Ultra and Extreme textures push me into the 30's), and will completely max out games like BF3 and Borderlands 2 @ 1600p locked at 60FPS.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

^^^^ You would need to define "completely max". Full screen antialiasing tends to take a toll on any card- the sheer size of the render is enough to saturate the framebuffer and internal bandwidth of pretty much any card.

Note the Super sampling benchmarks:

Alan Wake (DX9)

The Witcher (DX9)

Far Cry 3 (DX11)

Even multi sampling can provide less than satisfactory framerates- Hitman Absolution being a prime example ( here and here ), and with gaming devs now looking at the everything-including-the-kitchen-sink approach to post process effects, I'd doubt that upcoming games such as Metro: Last Light for example are going to reverse the trend of shrinking framerate under fully maxed conditions.

Guest said:

If this is 1% power of supercomputer Titan, then they should upgrade the the supercomputer with a 100 of these instead of the 18000 gfx cards at the moment

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