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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  • ehpexs - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Great card, too rich for my blood though. For those who can afford one or two (or four) enjoy. I'll stick to my $550 pair of 7950s. Reply
  • Wreckage - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Remember the 7970's were $1100 at launch. Reply
  • TheCrackLing - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Then how did I manage to pay only $1150 for 2 at launch?

    The 7970s were around $550-600 at launch, nowhere near $1100.
    Reply
  • Wreckage - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    I was (obviously) responding to his statement "pair of 7950s". If I could edit my post I suppose I could change it to CF and up the price $50. Either way Titan is in line with AMD pricing. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    So according to your logic, we can expect to pay 2k for cards that are twice as fast as the titan in the future? Reply
  • just4U - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Well... I recall paying almost 800 for a Geforce3 at launch. So hmmm.. i don't think the high end has gone up much (if at all..) over the past decade. Sometimes it comes down if Nvidia/Amd are duking it out on pricing but overall it's remainded fairly consistant. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    And it shouldn't. These cards get cheaper and cheaper for them to produce. Their profit margins just continue to climb. In other words, we're getting poorer and poorer in comparison to the upper class but nobody is taking notice...game on, until you can't afford to live. Reply
  • shompa - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Cheaper and cheaper to produce? How do you know that? Do you have wafer prices from TSMC and Global foundries? Or are you like many uneducated people who believes everything gets automatic cheaper with smaller process technology? *hint* Wafer prices goes up for each shrink. Thats why the majority of all microprocessors are manufactured at 65-90nm!

    Look also at AMDs profit margins. Oh... They are loosing money. Guess they have zero profit.

    To many uneducated people on the internet!
    Reply
  • rupert3k - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    Is that tone really necessary? Reply
  • TheJian - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    ROFL. AMD lost 1.18B this last year and NV only made 725mil (with a 300mil Intel payment).

    NV made ~800mil in FY07 and lost money in 08 & 09 FY's lost 100mil, '10 made 235, '11 530m, last year finally hitting 725...It's taken them 5yrs to come close to what they USED TO MAKE.

    You apparently don't read balance sheets or earnings reports.

    For AMD I'll just give you the sum of the last 5-6. They lost a total of 5.1B roughly...THEY HAVEN'T MADE MONEY over the last 5 years they lost their fabs, wrote down ATI, laid off 30% of employees etc...They just lost 1.18B last year for christ's sake. You'd better PRAY amd stops giving away games and raises the price of their gpus/cpus before they go bankrupt. At the rate they are burning cash now they will be out of funding by the end of the year. Do you understand that? 5 years=5B+ in losses. Read a balance sheet once in a while before you say junk like this.

    Also note, just looking at NV, they are getting ~300mil per year right now from INTC. So they aren't even making what I said! AMD's margins are at 15%! NV 53%. Regardless of what you think of the price, neither is sticking it to you compared to the performance gains they are giving you every year and what it costs to get them. AMD, looking at the entire life of the company (I'm not going to actually do it), I don't think has actually made a $1 profit...LOL. They're gouging you? Feel free to pull up every year of earnings they have had since existence. I think you'll find they have actually LOST money.
    http://investing.money.msn.com/investments/financi...
    AMD's 10yr, has lost at least a few billion with a quick look. Is this computing in your head yet? In the last 10yrs AMD total has lost ~3-4Billion dollars. They aren't making SQUAT! If it weren't for large backers they'd be bankrupt ages ago. They were just downgraded by Fitch TWO grades to JUNK BOND status (just like USA two downgrades since obama took office)...In financial terms, it means NOT INVESTMENT GRADE.

    They are getting killed by INTC/NVDA. Now a cadre of a good 5 players are entering their cpu/server business. They will continue to lose money and be lucky to make it to 2014 without yet another borrowing fiasco and this time and even higher rates of interest due to junk status.

    NVDA finally hit record cash/revenue this year (and margins, but by a decimal, helped by Intel 300mil), after 5 years! What margins are you talking about? While a FAR better company than AMD, gaining share, entering new markets etc, NV isn't getting RICH either. Their future looks bright (AMD looks bankrupt or bought by 2014 without help), but unless you can prove otherwise they are in no way ripping you off. BOTH companies should be charging $50+ more on every card under $500. Granted the high end is what it is (middle income people don't drive Lamborghini's either), but the low end is costing them both with their current war that's been on for ~5yrs.

    AMD has 1B in cash. If they lose another 1B this year that's gone, how do you think they run the company with no cash? No money coming from consoles will go on the books until the end of the year (and those sales won't be phenomenal IMHO, look at vita/3ds/wiiu failures and cuts), and mobile won't bring them a dime until mid 2014 at best on the books with no ARM until then. Are you doing the math here?

    Get a better job, or quit buying things your budget can't afford! While your at it vote in a president who is PRO BUSINESS and ANTI TAX/SPEND. Start voting for people who CUT GOVT SPENDING & TAXES, then maybe you'll pay a little less in taxes, and more of us we'll be working to cover it because guess what happens when you cut taxes? (see Coolidge presidency, or Reagan, Coolidge was Reagan's hero...LOL...well duh - heard of the ROARING 20's?). Companies hire workers, and people start small businesses...Which causes...Wait for it...REVENUE to come in to cover the tax cuts! It should go without saying you need to CUT spending also when doing this for it to work (they keep kicking the can down the road today, again next month).

    Guess what came after the roaring 20's? A TAX AND SPENDER! What do they create? THE DEPRESSION! LOL. What is Obama creating? The depression v2.0 (well, amped up to 16.5 trillion levels I guess depression v9.9?).

    http://www.calvin-coolidge.org/coolidge-administra...

    He didn't bail out flood victims, didn't bail out farmers (piss off), not even his hometown state when they had a natural disaster! He definitely would have kicked out every one of the 20mil illegals YOU & I are about to pay for medically etc (actually you're already paying, just not getting the service, and the high risk fund is already broke...LOL). When you wonder why your medical is so high in 2015 and why service sucks, you can thank your president and the illegal aliens. Coolidge vetoed every spending bill that was pork too! NO PORK passed his plate. That's how you get the DEBT DOWN.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Hoover
    1929, 8 months later depression...LOL. How does he respond, govt works projects (spend, govt growth) etc...FAILURE. Sound familiar? "SHOVEL READY" anybody?...ROFL. He raised the top tax bracket from 25-63%...ROFL. Sound familiar? Raised taxes on Business! Sound familiar?
    "Hoover's defeat in the 1932 election was caused primarily by his failure to end the downward economic spiral, although his support for strong enforcement of prohibition was also a significant factor". This country just voted in Hoover's big brother TWICE!

    So take away your money, take away your rights (no drinking for you!) and spend spend spend, tax tax tax...Sound familiar? Obama attacking guns, our constitution, spying on everyone, raising taxes, killing business, taxing rich who create jobs (upping the brackets) unemployment everywhere...See the problem?

    Get a better job, or vote your govt out. Those are your options...LOL. Your graphics card price is NOT the problem and even if they give it to you FREE you won't live a better life...ROFLMAO

    $20 says you voted obama.
    http://www.calvin-coolidge.org/president-calvin-co...
    "He was concerned about all Americans, especially the working class man and woman. He wanted them to be free, independent, and self-reliant. Like Jefferson, he wanted them to be able to rise as far as their abilities permitted."

    The exact opposite of WELFARE obama. "you didn't build that"

    A few more for ya: "He never sought to make history for himself."... "his conservative, Constitution-based principles of government". His nickname was SILENT CALVIN.

    Obama's on TV every chance he gets. Obama's nickname? THE WELFARE PRESIDENT. He golfed with tiger woods Sunday...ROFL spent 8hrs with Tiger's coach first, golfed 18 with Tiger who left, obama went another 9...LOL. No time to fix the debt though. Obama believes in destroying the constitution & your ability to be SELF RELIANT. If you rise too high, He'll have to take your money and re-distribute it...LOL. It's YOUR job to make a better life for yourself and the govt's job to get out of your way. I clearly see you think the rich OWE you and desire govt intervention to get what you think they owe you. I want to game on, but I keep having to pay for PEOPLE like you who won't look to themselves to improve their lives. :(
    Reality bites eh? ;)
    Reply

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