Titan For Compute

Titan, as we briefly mentioned before, is not just a consumer graphics card. It is also a compute card and will essentially serve as NVIDIA’s entry-level compute product for both the consumer and pro-sumer markets.

The key enabler for this is that Titan, unlike any consumer GeForce card before it, will feature full FP64 performance, allowing GK110’s FP64 potency to shine through. Previous NVIDIA cards either had very few FP64 CUDA cores (GTX 680) or artificial FP64 performance restrictions (GTX 580), in order to maintain the market segmentation between cheap GeForce cards and more expensive Quadro and Tesla cards. NVIDIA will still be maintaining this segmentation, but in new ways.

NVIDIA GPU Comparison
  Fermi GF100 Fermi GF104 Kepler GK104 Kepler GK110
Compute Capability 2.0 2.1 3.0 3.5
Threads/Warp 32 32 32 32
Max Warps/SM(X) 48 48 64 64
Max Threads/SM(X) 1536 1536 2048 2048
Register File 32,768 32,768 65,536 65,536
Max Registers/Thread 63 63 63 255
Shared Mem Config 16K
48K
16K
48K
16K
32K
48K
16K
32K
48K
Hyper-Q No No No Yes
Dynamic Parallelism No No No Yes

We’ve covered GK110’s compute features in-depth in our look at Tesla K20 so we won’t go into great detail here, but as a reminder, along with beefing up their functional unit counts relative to GF100, GK110 has several feature improvements to further improve compute efficiency and the resulting performance. Relative to the GK104 based GTX 680, Titan brings with it a much greater number of registers per thread (255), not to mention a number of new instructions such as the shuffle instructions to allow intra-warp data sharing. But most of all, Titan brings with it NVIDIA’s Kepler marquee compute features: HyperQ and Dynamic Parallelism, which allows for a greater number of hardware work queues and for kernels to dispatch other kernels respectively.

With that said, there is a catch. NVIDIA has stripped GK110 of some of its reliability and scalability features in order to maintain the Tesla/GeForce market segmentation, which means Titan for compute is left for small-scale workloads that don’t require Tesla’s greater reliability. ECC memory protection is of course gone, but also gone is HyperQ’s MPI functionality, and GPU Direct’s RDMA functionality (DMA between the GPU and 3rd party PCIe devices). Other than ECC these are much more market-specific features, and as such while Titan is effectively locked out of highly distributed scenarios, this should be fine for smaller workloads.

There is one other quirk to Titan’s FP64 implementation however, and that is that it needs to be enabled (or rather, uncapped). By default Titan is actually restricted to 1/24 performance, like the GTX 680 before it. Doing so allows NVIDIA to keep clockspeeds higher and power consumption lower, knowing the apparently power-hungry FP64 CUDA cores can’t run at full load on top of all of the other functional units that can be active at the same time. Consequently NVIDIA makes FP64 an enable/disable option in their control panel, controlling whether FP64 is operating at full speed (1/3 FP32), or reduced speed (1/24 FP32).

The penalty for enabling full speed FP64 mode is that NVIDIA has to reduce clockspeeds to keep everything within spec. For our sample card this manifests itself as GPU Boost being disabled, forcing our card to run at 837MHz (or lower) at all times. And while we haven't seen it first-hand, NVIDIA tells us that in particularly TDP constrained situations Titan can drop below the base clock to as low as 725MHz. This is why NVIDIA’s official compute performance figures are 4.5 TFLOPS for FP32, but only 1.3 TFLOPS for FP64. The former is calculated around the base clock speed, while the latter is calculated around the worst case clockspeed of 725MHz. The actual execution rate is still 1/3.

Unfortunately there’s not much else we can say about compute performance at this time, as to go much farther than this requires being able to reference specific performance figures. So we’ll follow this up on Thursday with those figures and a performance analysis.

Meet The GeForce GTX Titan GPU Boost 2.0: Temperature Based Boosting
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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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