Testing Nvidia's $1,000 Graphics Card: GeForce GTX Titan Review

By Julio Franco · 104 replies
Mar 7, 2013
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  1. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,718   +860

    Huh...well I think I'll hang on to my GTX 660ti SLI setup then. :)
  2. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Evangelist Posts: 621   +122

    Oohhh a magnesium shroud!? If you're in a pinch it might double as a good fire starter! Might be worth the 1000 bucks!
  3. Draconian

    Draconian TS Enthusiast Posts: 52   +12

    Why is Nvidia obsessed with the $1,000 price point? It's so absurd. They go from $500 for the 680 and then skip all the way to $1,000. Despite review sites gushing over this card, the fact is that it performs worse than a 690 for the same price. This card would be a winner at $800 or even $900. It offers performance comparable to two overclocked 670's, which can be had for $800.
  4. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    I'm not a 1%er but if I had the money I would buy the card. I'm only looking to utilize a single-card GPU in my setup and this card delivers the goods.
  5. PC nerd

    PC nerd TS Booster Posts: 317   +41

    So it performs less than a 690, but costs the same?

    What is the point?
  6. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    It performs much better in certain circumstances - like when you exceed the frame buffer of the 680 or if the title you're playing doesn't have good SLI support.
  7. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Probably because Nvidia don't actually want the Titan flying off the shelves and being permanently on back-order.
    The rationale here is, that every graphics review pits the new card against current reference designs. At this point in time the HD 7970GE is top (single GPU) dog, and every published bar chart at every review site becomes a mini-advertisement for the card/vendor at the top of those charts....enter the Titan, reclaim the top spot for the balance of the year. High price ensures constant stock without the need to divert these GPUs from $4500 Tesla K20X, $3200 Tesla K20/K20C, or the likely more astronomically priced Quadro (K6000?) version.
    As LNCPapa noted, the 690 is at the mercy of SLI profiles and game-by-game dual-GPU scaling
    The Titan is already deemed a winner. A simple look at the amount of forum threads, discussion, review charts, and the run of benchmark records falling to Titan should be proof enough...even if the owners thread over at OCN I linked to in my previous post isn't.
    The kind of people buying Titan aren't interested in performance-per-dollar, they are interested in performance. One Titan will fall to two GTX 670's, but two Titans ? or three ? or four ?
    Titan is not for anyone who is using performance-per-dollar as a criteria for purchase. The same people buying the cards now (and many seem to be buying at least two), will likely sell their cards as soon as the more voltage unlock friendly MSI Titan Lightning and other non-reference cards make an appearance- at an even higher price point.
  8. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    Same here. I bought my GK-104/670 at release, expecting to go SLi for my rez (1600p) about this time but its performed very well at this resolution by itself, so I am in no hurry to upgrade.
    There is nothing like having a single GPU and its surprising to see so many people confused as to why its priced so high......where have you people been for the last 15 years? The top dog always pulls a premium, just because its top dog.
    And I like that the reviewer included frame latency, AMD has improved greatly here but thier overall quality of drivers/Vsync performance still has a ways to go.
  9. Phr3d

    Phr3d TS Guru Posts: 404   +84

    I would appreciate a verbal or chart reference to power consumption and temp when over-clocking - with this guy well up in the temp range, it -seems- like it would have trouble at a~30% OC? As there is no mention of it and you fully benched it on several titles, I conclude that there is Not, but stating that fact would be welcome, as would a reference power supply size - I would avoid a 1250W power supply unless you believe it is necessary, lotta' watts for nuthin' some large percentage of the time.

    If it is as steady at that OC as it seems to be and it doesn't risk early death from slow meltdown, the price begins to seem almost reasonable, given the card's longevity from buying groundbreaking performance out of the gate (and NON-SLI).
  10. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Titan has dynamic boost similar to the other boosted Keplers. The 837 base/ 876 boost numbers are basically meaningless, since the cards' boost is based upon temperature profile and GPU usage. From Anandtech, here are the measured peak boost frequencies encountered:

    The card doesn't use appreciably more power than the 7970 GE, and since the voltage is locked at 1.2v (software), and I believe, 1.21v in BIOS (good for ~ 1150-1180MHz boost clock), the card stays relatively frugal on power usage. 85C is the GPU thermal throttling limit.
    [ Anandtech: http://www.anandtech.com/show/6774/nvidias-geforce-gtx-titan-part-2-titans-performance-unveiled/15 ]
    Phr3d likes this.
  11. AMD: Release the Kraken!
  12. AnilD

    AnilD TS Enthusiast Posts: 39   +23

    Only 25 to 50%? That could be a game changer my friend. Pricing, well...
  13. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    I really want to see what AMD is cooking up, if they are cooking up the rumored 7990 dual GPU card instead of a single GPU, they are sunk. But on the other hand they are said to come out with 2 7990 models, 1 with dual gpus, another with a single GPU, I wont be surprised if they guzzle up a lot of power.
  14. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,046   +680

    Turn off Tessellation.
  15. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    We have tested Tomb Raider and that review will be online next week. Tessellation accounts for only a very tiny performance hit for Nvidia graphics cards. Right now Nvidia's cards cannot handle depth of field when set to ultra, back it off to high and you will see a massive increase in performance. Of course TressFX does also impact performance greatly as well but you will find DOF is the main culprit here.

    I thought we explained that in the review. The GTX Titan is a much better solution than the GTX 690.
  16. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Plus the Titan has 2 more GB of GDDR5. Better for higher resolutions.
  17. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    Something is wrong with the 7950. The first two games have the Xfire fps more than double single-card.
  18. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    1. Double sing card? 2. Isnt it normal for xfire to perform better?
  19. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    How can two cards perform better than x2 single card? :S Xfire scaling can't beat physics.
  20. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,046   +680

    I wasn't referring to the review. It was for spyder. I've heard turning Tessellation off can stop crashes with nVIDIA cards running Tomb Raider. nVIDIA is claiming they didn't get the final code until after the game was released, so that could have something to do with the issues with their cards right now.

  21. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    I wasn't referring to this review on the GTX Titan either. I was referring to our upcoming Tomb Raider coverage and was also answering spyders question and trying to help him with the performance issue. I saw no evidence that Tessellation would help with crashing or performance based on our testing. What I did find as I mentioned previously is that DOF has a seriously negative impact on performance so that is where I would start if I was a GeForce owner.
  22. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    It doesn't really have to beat the laws of physics- just the vagaries of driver optimization. HardOCP's recent SLI and Crossfire comparison threw up the same anomaly (as do other sites)

    Notice that the Crossfire solution doesn't have the low framerate issue in the first 200 seconds of the gameplay graph- hence 105.2% scaling.
    [Source: http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/12/05/far_cry_3_video_card_performance_preview/3#.UTl5rJA5QuU ]
  23. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    Ah, of course, because we're only looking at average fps here. My mistake!
  24. Conclusion: the card is ooh and aah

    (I'm hoping to see the non-reference card of Titan, sadly nVidia don't allow that)
  25. Scavengers

    Scavengers TS Booster Posts: 110   +21

    I have 2 7870's in crossfire now that cost me $455 total.
    So Titan buyers get to keep their milliseconds and I get to keep my $445.

    UNKNOWN9122 likes this.

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