A look at the Titan
Nvidia has redesigned their GEFORCE logo and the Titan and the GTX 690 are described as “Exotic Industrial Design”. They are the first “designer” cards from either Nvidia or AMD and its “looks” are part of the design for efficiency and cooling.
Like with the GTX 690, the frame of the GTX Titan cover is made of cast aluminum, and it is protected with trivalent chromium plating. Trivalent chromium gives the GTX Titan its look and is is very durable. The fan housing of the GeForce GTX Titan is made from injection molded magnesium alloy which is used for its light weight, heat dissipation, and acoustic dampening properties.
A 10-phase power supply with a 10-layer 2oz copper PCB provides high-efficiency power delivery with less resistance, lower power and less heat generation. Lower power and less heat also enhances the board’s longevity, while the added PCB layers provide maximum signal integrity.
To create the intricate geometries required for the fan housing, Nvidia used a form of injection molding called thixomolding, in which liquid magnesium alloy is injected into a mold. Each Kepler GPU has its own distinct cooling unit. A clear polycarbonate window allow you to see the vapor chamber that plays such a critical role in cooling the GK110 GPU.
The GeForce GTX logo on the edge of the Titan board is LED backlit. The lettering is laser-etched, ensuring precise design. This LED acts as a power indicator which lights up when the board is in use. The intensity of this LED can be manually adjusted using tools provided by the AIB manufacturers. With some cards, the intensity can be based on GPU utilization, so the LED will shine brighter as GPU utilization increases.
We got EVGA’s LED control but haven’t had a chance to use it.
Here are the connectors on the Titan backplate:
Here it is compared with the GTX 690′s 3 DVI connectors and mini-DisplayPort (left):
Titan has two dual link DVI ports, a full-sized Display Port and a HDMI port. Typically, only one adapter is needed for 3-Panel gaming using Nvidia’s Surround whereas two are generally needed for an AMD HD 7970.
Titan’s self-contained cooler consists of a copper vapor chamber and a dual-slot heatsink while an aluminum baseplate provides additional cooling for the PCB and board components.
Nvidia uses an axial fan that has optimized the fin pitch and angle at which air from the fan hits the fin stack as the smoother the airflow, the lower the noise output. The section of the baseplate directly underneath the fan is carved with low-profile channels to encourage smooth airflow, and all components under the fan are low-profile to minimize turbulence and create an efficient airflow.
The gamer using a GTX Titan gets treated to a less-perceptible noise. When you listen to the fan alone – even at 80 percent, it’s clean and smooth – and this is especially contrasted with the HD 6990, a very noisy card, and to a lesser extent even with the GTX 590, and it is even quieter than the GTX 680.
Sixty percent is the point where the Titan’s becomes noticeable and the stock fan profile rarely allows it to reach it. In fact, the 80C that Nvidia uses for their default temperature target is set rather low. We frequent throttled our Boost at that temperature, and our early benchmark results were slightly variable as boost went on and off as the temperatures neared 80C. We found that 85C with the stock fan profile was more ideal for us and the card never throttled Boost at its stock voltage and fan profile while we observed it.
At regular fan profiles we never reached an intrusive noise level over our Cooler Master Seiden Water cooler and the Thermaltake case fans – even under maximum load in gaming; we generally did not hear the GTX Titan’s fan over our PC’s other cooling fans.
SLI and Tri-SLI
The GTX Titan is set up for Tri-SLI by using three GTX Titans.
That’s $3,000 worth of Titan pictured above. Nvidia claims that it is significantly quieter than GTX 680 Tri-SLI to say nothing of HD 7970 TriFire accoustics.
The Titan specifications look extraordinary with solid improvements over just about anything else with the exception of the GTX 690. Let’s check out performance after we look at our test configuration on the next page.