Meet The GeForce GTX Titan

As we briefly mentioned at the beginning of this article, the GeForce GTX Titan takes a large number of cues from the GTX 690. Chief among these is that it’s a luxury card, and as such is built to similar standards as the GTX 690. Consequently, like the GTX 690, Titan is essentially in a league of its own when it comes to build quality.

Much like the GTX 690 was to the GTX 590, Titan is an evolution of the cooler found on the GTX 580. This means we’re looking at a card roughly 10.5” in length using a double-wide cooler. The basis of Titan’s cooler is a radial fan (blower) sitting towards the back of the card, with the GPU, RAM, and most of the power regulation circuitry in front of the fan. As a result the bulk of the hot air generated by Titan is blown forwards and out of the card. However it’s worth noting that unlike most other blowers technically the back side isn’t sealed, and while there is relatively little circuitry behind the fan, it would be incorrect to state that the card is fully exhausting. With that said, leaving the back side of the card open seems to be more about noise and aesthetics than it does heat management.

Like the GTX 580 but unlike the GTX 680, heat transfer is provided by a nickel tipped aluminum heatsink attached to the GPU via a vapor chamber. We typically only see vapor chambers on premium cards due to their greater costs, but also when space is at a premium. Meanwhile NVIDIA seems to be pushing the limits of heatsink size here, with the fins on Titan’s heatsink actually running beyond the base of the vapor chamber. Meanwhile providing the thermal interface between the GPU itself and the vapor chamber is a silk screened application of a high-end Shin-Etsu thermal compound; NVIDIA claims this compound offers over twice the performance of GTX 680’s grease, although of all of NVIDIA’s claims this is the least possible to validate.

Moving on, catching what the vapor chamber doesn’t cover is an aluminum baseplate that runs along the card, not only providing structural rigidity but also providing cooling for the VRMs and for the RAM on the front side of the card. Baseplates aren’t anything new for NVIDIA, but again this is something that we don’t see a lot of except on their more premium cards.

Capping off Titan we have its most visible luxury aspects. Like the GTX 690 before it, NVIDIA has replaced virtually every bit of plastic with metal for aesthetic/perceptual purposes. This time the entire shroud and fan housing is composed of casted aluminum, which NVIDIA tells us is easier to cast than the previous mix of aluminum and magnesium that the GTX 690 used. Meanwhile the polycarbonate window makes its return allowing you to see Titan’s heatsink solely for the sake of it.

As for the back side of the card, keeping with most of NVIDIA’s cards Titan runs with a bare back. The GDDR5 RAM chips don’t require any kind of additional cooling, and a metal backplate while making for a great feeling card, occupies precious space that would otherwise impede cooling in tight spaces.

Moving on, let’s talk about the electrical details of Titan’s design. Whereas GTX 680 was a 4+2 power phase design – 4 power phases for the GPU and 2 for the VRAM – Titan improves on this by moving to a 6+2 power phase design. I suspect the most hardcore of overclockers will be disappointed with Titan only having 6 phases for the GPU, but for most overclocking purposes this would seem to be enough.

Meanwhile for RAM it should come as no particular surprise that NVIDIA is once more using 6GHz RAM here. Specifically, NVIDIA is using 24 6GHz Samsung 2Gb modules here, totaling up to the 6GB of RAM we see on the card. 12 modules are on front with the other 12 modules on the rear. The overclocking headroom on 6GHz RAM seems to vary from chip to chip, so while Titan should have some memory overclocking headroom it’s hard to say just what the combination of luck and the wider 384bit memory bus will do.

Providing power for all of this is a pair of PCIe power sockets, a 6pin and an 8pin, for a combined total of 300W of capacity. With Titan only having a TDP of 250W in the first place, this leaves quite a bit of headroom before ever needing to run outside of the PCIe specification.

At the other end of Titan we can see that NVIDIA has once again gone back to their “standard” port configuration for the GeForce 600 series: two DL-DVI ports, one HDMI port, and one full-size DisplayPort. Like the rest of the 600 family, Titan can drive up to four displays so this configuration is a good match. Though I would still like to see two mini-DisplayPorts in the place of the full size DisplayPort, in order to tap the greater functionality DisplayPort offers though its port conversion mechanisms.

Who’s Titan For, Anyhow? Titan For Compute
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  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, February 21, 2013 - link

    Congratulations to all you whining amd fanboy freaks who lost the POINT of the rebuttal....

    Some amd fruitcake OWS idiot squealed profits are going through the roof (jhonny dough boy)...

    It was pointed out AMD is a failing, debt ridden, dying, sack of in the red losses loser company just about blwon to bankruptcy smithereens...

    But then when do amd fanboys pay attention to their helping hand demise of their big fave AMD ?
    Answer: NEVER
    Reason: They constantly beg and bag for lower pricing and squeal amd does just that every time. Then they wait for nVidia to DESTROY amd pricing with awesome nVidia hardware... at that point they take their pauper pennies and JUMP on that AMD card-- raping the bottom line into more BILLIONS of losses for amd, while they attack nVidia and scream corporate profit...

    LOL
    Moral of the history and current idiocy of the flapping lipped fools who get it 100% incorrect while they bloviate for their verdetrol master amd.

    The amd fanboys have just about destroyed amd as a going venture...

    I congratulate the clueless FOOLS for slaying the idiot crash monkey lousy video card junk producer amd.
    Reply
  • Scott586 - Thursday, February 21, 2013 - link

    Wow TheJian, shut up already. We stopped reading 1/2-way thru the 2nd sentence. Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, February 21, 2013 - link

    Thanks for taking what was a relevant comment correcting the previous poster and turning it into an inaccurate, ill-informed vitriolic rant about politics. That was... unprecedented. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, February 24, 2013 - link

    I enjoyed it, a lot. It was not however unprecedented, mr liar.

    As I so clearly recall, very recently on another little review here, the left wing raging amd fan OWS protester went on a wild diatribe cursing out those who dared not use their powerful system to organize political action and other such ventures like curing cancer, thus "disusing" their personal systems...

    So no, the wacko collectivist beat him to it.
    Reply
  • BurtGravy - Thursday, February 21, 2013 - link

    That escalated quickly. Reply
  • iEATu - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - link

    I stopped reading when you started talking about Reagan and cutting taxes creates businesses. Based off of history with Reagan, revenue did NOT come in because big businesses took advantage of the tax cuts and nothing changed except to make big business more powerful and the richest people richer. Reply
  • 3DPA - Saturday, August 10, 2013 - link

    Wow....this certainly got off topic. The only hope for America is for the US to became a tax haven for the rest of the world...similar to what Singapore did (and they are hugely prosperous). When you factor in under funded pensions, social security and medicare, the real US debt comes to around $86 trillion. You need to drop the US corporate tax rate from the highest in the world (I think around 30% to 35%) to the lowest. When you look at electronics manufacturing, the cost of building off-shore in China really only saves you 7% in labor because 90% of electronic assembly is automated. So you save 7%, but then you lose 4% shipping it back to the US thanks to the price of oil. So you really end up saving 3%. Given all the hassles of dealing with manufacturing half-way around the world, 3% savings is really not that attractive. So why do companies move electronics manufacturing over-seas? Because they save on tax...to the tune of 10% to 15%. You want to bring electronics manufacturing jobs back to the US? Just lower the corporate tax rate to something more globally competitive like 15% to 20%. This will create HUGE influx of job growth in the US. And what happens when more people are working? You broaden the tax base so tax revenue increases. Also, remember that close to $1 Trillion of corporate profits is sitting in foreign banks ($100 Billion of that belongs to Apple) because they don't want to pay the huge US corporate tax rates. Lower that tax rate and all that money flows back into the US where it can be used for investment in the US...which creates more opportunity...etc....etc...etc...

    So don't believe it when the Obama administration can't solve the US debt issue. It can be solved. But it just kills a socialist/communist president to cut corporate America a break even though not to do so causes us even more harm.

    You know.....I have yet to meet anyone that actually thinks Obama is doing a good job or is good for the country. I hear more negative talk, more jokes, seen more negative books published about him and heard more dooms-day scenarios with his name at the middle of it than any other president in memory.

    So how did he get re-elected?

    Well...there is one good thing I can say about Obama: He made me appreciate Bill Clinton.
    Reply
  • azixtgo - Sunday, November 10, 2013 - link

    higher prices mean fewer sales. Lower prices mean lower margins. They have to find some balance and I doubt anyone here knows enough to know where that balance is. My thinking is that both companies make too many chips (desktop market). They price desirable chips too high for the average person. Maybe they should make fewer chips and make upgrades more desirable.

    Both consoles have sold millions already. I doubt it will be that game changing for them. Another thing is that AMD is letting their desktop CPU market suffer. They have not put out better chipsets for their FX processors in a good while so even people who would buy the fx processors may not do so when they see what they get with the motherboard (they do not even have mATX motherboards for these processors AFAIK.) I doubt the APUs will make up for the FX shortfalls. Intel on the other hand offers a less complicated setup. Companies do not just lose profits on lower prices and I am inclined to think the prices can stand to be lower based on what both nvidia and amd have done recently

    eg. 280X is a 7970 being sold for $300. GTX 780 now sells for 499. Are they at the balance point? I don't know. i just don't think they are optimizing their market presence at all
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    No, the GK110 isn't cheaper to produce, not by a long shot, and Intel's profit margin for their CPUs are quite a bit higher than Nvidia's or AMD's for the graphics solutions. It's pretty amazing considering the GPUs are far bigger.

    I was hoping for a price around $800, but expecting it to be $900-1200. Sure, I wish it was less, but Nvidia isn't out of line here.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, February 24, 2013 - link

    I agree. It's quiet, it sips power, it's the fastest, it has the features amd lacks, which are many and considerable. It has stable drivers, it is well built, it has 6G of ram, thus making it the most future proof to date, just recently of utmost importance to all the amd fanboys 3G quacking Skyrim mods baggers, now they can eat dirt, then mud from the delicious tears.

    Yeah pretty sick of the constant CEO price "absolutears" here on every dang release, squealing out price perf bang for buck whines and lies and pauper protestations in betwixt bragging about their knowledge and prowess and spewing fanboy fave.

    If you're a fanboy get off your butt and toss a few papers so you can buy a ding dang video card without wailing like a homeless vagrant.
    Reply

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