Final Words

When NVIDIA introduced the original GTX Titan in 2013 they set a new bar for performance, quality, and price for a high-end video card. The GTX Titan ended up being a major success for the company, a success that the company is keen to repeat. And now with their Maxwell architecture in hand, NVIDIA is in a position to do just that.

For as much of a legacy as the GTX Titan line can have at this point, it’s clear that the GTX Titan X is as worthy a successor as NVIDIA could hope for. NVIDIA has honed the already solid GTX Titan design, and coupled it with their largest Maxwell GPU, and in the process has put together a card that once again sets a new bar for performance and quality. That said, from a design perspective GTX Titan X is clearly evolutionary as opposed to the revolution that was the original GTX Titan, but it is nonetheless an impressive evolution.

Overall then it should come as no surprise that from a gaming performance standpoint the GTX Titan X stands alone. Delivering an average performance increase over the GTX 980 of 33%, GTX Titan X further builds on what was already a solid single-GPU performance lead for NVIDIA. Meanwhile compared to its immediate predecessors such as the GTX 780 Ti and the original GTX Titan, the GTX Titan X represents a significant, though perhaps not-quite-generational 50%-60% increase in performance. However perhaps most importantly, this performance improvement comes without any further increase in noise or power consumption as compared to NVIDIA’s previous generation flagship.

Meanwhile from a technical perspective, the GTX Titan X and GM200 GPU represent an interesting shift in high-end GPU design goals for NVIDIA, one whose ramifications I’m not sure we fully understand yet. By building what’s essentially a bigger version of GM204, heavy on graphics and light on FP64 compute, NVIDIA has been able to drive up performance without a GM204-like increase in die size. At 601mm2 GM200 is still NVIDIA’s largest GPU to date, but by producing their purest graphics GPU in quite some time, it has allowed NVIDIA to pack more graphics horsepower than ever before into a 28nm GPU. What remains to be seen then is whether this graphics/FP32-centric design is a one-off occurrence for 28nm, or if this is the start of a permanent shift in NVIDIA GPU design.

But getting back to the video card at hand, there’s little doubt of the GTX Titan X’s qualifications. Already in possession of the single-GPU performance crown, NVIDIA has further secured it with the release of their latest GTX Titan card. In fact there's really only one point we can pick at with the GTX Titan X, and that of course is the price. At $999 it's priced the same as the original GTX Titan - so today's $999 price tag comes as no surprise - but it's still a high price to pay for Big Maxwell. NVIDIA is not bashful about treating GTX Titan as a luxury card line, and for better and worse GTX Titan X continues this tradition. GTX Titan X, like GTX Titan before it, is a card that is purposely removed from the price/performance curve.

Meanwhile, the competitive landscape is solidly in NVIDIA's favor we feel. We would be remiss not to mention multi-GPU alternatives such as the GTX 980 in SLI and AMD's excellent Radeon R9 295X2. But as we've mentioned before when reviewing these setups before, multi-GPU is really only worth chasing when you've exhausted single-GPU performance. R9 295X2 in turn is a big spoiler on price, but we continue to believe that a single powerful GPU is a better choice for consistent performance, at least if you can cover the cost of GTX Titan X.

Finally on a lighter note, with the launch of the GTX Titan X we wave good-bye to GTX Titan as an entry-level double precision compute card. NVIDIA dumping high-performance FP64 compute has made GTX Titan X a better graphics card and even a better FP32 compute card, but it means that the original GTX Titan's time as NVIDIA's first prosumer card was short-lived. I suspect that we haven't seen the end of NVIDIA's forays into entry-level FP64 compute cards like the original GTX Titan, but that next card will not be GTX Titan X.



View All Comments

  • stun - Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - link

    I hope AMD announces R9 390X fast.
    I am finally upgrading my Radeon 6870 to either GTX 980, TITAN X, or R9 390X.
  • joeh4384 - Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - link

    I do not think Nvidia will have that long with this being the only mega GPU on the market. I really wish they allowed partner models of the Titan. I think a lot of people would go nuts over a MSI Lightning Titan or something like that. Reply
  • farealstarfareal - Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - link

    Yes, a big mistake like the last Titan to not allow custom AIB cards. Good likelihood the 390X will blow the doors off the card with many custom models like MSI Lightning, DCU2 etc.

    Also $1000 for this ??! lol is the only sensible response, none of the dual precision we saw in the original Titan to justify that price, but all of the price. Nvidia trying to cash in here, 390X will force them to do a card probably with less VRAM so people will actually buy this overpriced/overhyped card.
  • chizow - Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - link

    Titan and NVTTM are just as much about image, style and quality as much as performance. Its pretty obvious Nvidia is proud of the look and performance of this cooler, and isn't willing to strap on a hunking mass of Al/Cu to make it look like something that fell off the back of a Humvee.

    They also want to make sure it fits in the SFF and Lanboxes that have become popular. In any case I'm quite happy they dropped the DP nonsense with this card and went all gaming, no cuts, max VRAM.

    It is truly a card made for gamers, by gamers! 100% GeForce, 100% gaming, no BS compute.
  • ratzes - Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - link

    What do you think they give up when they add DP? Its the same fabrication, was for titan vs 780ti. If I'm mistaken, the only difference between cards are whether the process screwed up 1 or more of the smps, then they get sold as gaming cards at varying decreasing prices... Reply
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - link

    Lot's of die space, since they used dedicated FP64 ALUs. Reply
  • chizow - Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - link

    @ratzes, its well documented, even in the article. DP/FP64 requires extra registers for the higher precision, which means more transistors allocated to that functionality. GM200 is only 1Bn more transistors than GK210 on the same process node, yet they managed to cram in a ton more functional units. Now compare to GM204 to GK204 3.5Bn to 5.2Bn and you can see, its pretty amazing they were even able to logically increase by 1.5x over the GM204, which we know is all gaming, no DP compute also. Reply
  • hkscfreak - Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - link

    Someone didn't read... Reply
  • nikaldro - Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - link

    fanboysm to the Nth p0waH.. Reply
  • furthur - Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - link

    which meant fuck all when Hawaii was released Reply

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