Nvidia announced its second “designer card” two days ago, the $999 GeForce GTX Titan, based on its GK110 GPU on 28nm Kepler DX11.1 architecture. This new 7.1 billion transistor single-GPU flagship card is a continuation of Nvidia’s strategy for an exotic card that is aimed at the highest end of PC gamers and we are going to measure its performance. We will use 30 modern games and 7 synthetic benchmarks to compare it to the other top performing video cards in the world - the GTX 690, GTX 680, and the GTX 590, plus the HD 7970 GHz edition, and the HD 6990. The industrial designs of the GTX 690 and the Titan are aimed particularly at gamers who might spend over $3000 on three video cards for Tri-SLI and who want the absolute fastest, and yet a reasonably quiet PC – at any cost.Titan is also aimed at the small form factor PC to give them a powerful but small video card, and finally at the smaller cost-conscious programmers to grow CUDA by allowing full double precision for the first time in a “gaming” GPU even though it does nothing for gaming.
The GTX Titan is the culmination of years of Nvidia’s efforts with their new DX11.1 Kepler architecture, their single-GPU flagship video card. Yet this card does not replace the GTX 690 which also retails for $999. Nvidia believes that they both have their place in their product line-up. This time, Nvidia is aiming for just-below dual-GPU GTX 690 performance on a single card. The specifications of the Titan are quite impressive:
Because we received a Titan from Nvidia on Monday, we will bring you the second part of our two-part review now. Today, we are comparing the performance of the GTX 690 with the new Titan, as well as with AMD’s very fastest single-GPU offering, the HD 7970 at GHz edition speeds. There are also two very limited editions of the dual-GPU HD 7970-X2 cards made by AMD’s partners which each retail for $1500 but they are halo cards as only 1000 cards of each were made.
We will also compare the GTX 680 as well as the dual-GPU GTX 590 from the last generation and AMD’s last generation, HD 6990 which consisted of two downclocked HD 6970s on a single PCB. Both of these last generation 40nm dual-GPU cards were faster than the GTX 680 and HD 7970 when the new 28nm cards launched, and we shall see if there are any changes due to driver improvements. In particular, AMD’s Catalyst drivers have shown good performance improvents over the past few months, and the HD 7970 GHz edition has taken the single-GPU performance crown from the GTX 680 – and Nvidia wants it back!
Soon you will see us pit the stock and overclocked GTX Titan against the reference GTX 690, GTX 680 and GTX 590 against our PowerColor reference design HD 7970 at GHz edition at boost speeds (1050MHz) and the HD 6990, using 30 modern games and 7 synthetic benchmarks mostly using 1920×1080 and 2560×1600 resolutions, as well as 13 game benchmarks at 5760×1080 using the GTX 690, Titan, GTX 680 and HD 7970 GHz. We are also comparing the performance of our last generation reference dual-GPU video cards, HD 6990 and the GTX 590 (below) as they were – up until today – the fastest video cards of AMD’s and Nvidia’s last 40nm generation.
We shall also compare Nvidia’s 3-panel Surround working now off of a single GTX Titan at 5760×1080 resolution with the GTX 690, 680 and with the HD 7970′s 3-panel Eyefinity. Lastly, we also bench PhysX, ‘on’ versus ‘off’.
To recap the architectural and other features of the GTX Titan, check out our Part 1 Introduction published on Monday. First, let’s take a closer look at the new GTX Titan.