nVidia recently released their supercomputer-thoroughbred, adequately designated: the Titan. As the name implies, this single chip monstrosity of a flagship card is redesigned from the ground up with a GK110 at its heart. Built for one purpose: Gaming with maximum settings enabled at the highest resolution across multiple screens. From what we have read, this ‘little’ beast is capable of spitting out some impressive figures at blinding resolutions. What has been unanimously agreed upon by all lucky enough to review the card, is that it is the final word on Crysis 3. Capable of running Crytec’s masterpiece, on the highest possible settings and resolution, at an average FPS of 25. The card does well then to catch one’s attention.

nVidia Geforce Titan

If you need to ask how much it costs, you cannot afford it.

It’s not just the cards performance and somewhat pretentious good looks that catches the eye either. The price tag set by nVida will leave you with feelings reminiscent of those you experienced when you were first able to comprehend the price of an Italian thoroughbred sportscar. In fact, POA would be a better expression of the price tag, as nVidia have said, quote: “If you need to ask how much it costs, you cannot afford it.” Yes, $1000 is what one of these will set you back (Around R15000 when it hits our shores) exactly the same as a GTX690 – nVidia’s multi-GPU monster that has been leading the pack for the last 8 months.

So what does she have under the hood?

We have compared nVidia’s new single GPU giant against their Dual GPU Giant that costs exactly the same. We have also thrown in a mid-high end GTX670 (That will set you back around R3500) to put things into perspective:

Nvidia Titan

GTX690

GTX670

Graphics Processing clusters

5

8

4

Streaming Multiprocessors

14

16

7

Cuda Cores

2688

3072

1344

ROP units

48

64

32

Base Clock

836MHz

915MHz

915MHz

Boost Clock

876MHz

1019MHz

980MHz

Memory Clock

6008MHz

6008 MHz

6008MHz

Total Video memory

6144MB GDDR5

4096MB GDDR5

2048MB GDDR5

Memory interface

384-bit

2x 256-bit

256-bit

Total Memory bandwidth

288.4 GB/s

384.4 GB/s (192.2 per GPU)

192.2GB/s

Texter filtering rate

187.5 GigaTexels/s

234.2 GigaTexel/s

102.5 GigaTexels/s

Fabrication Process

28nm

28nm

28nm

Transistor Count

7.1 Billion

7.08 Billion

3.54 Billion

Recommended PSU

600-Watts

650-Watts

500-Watts

Length

10.5-inches

11-inches

9.5-inches

Height

Dual-slot

Dual-slot

Dual-slot

On paper, the Titan is outmatched by its dual-GPU counterpart, the GTX690. Moreover, the GTX690’s Crysis 3 figures are higher –if only marginal- at an average of 28.9 FPS. Why then would you fork out R15000 for a card that is for all intents and purposes, inferior? The answer is simple. You can have more of them. Let’s contextualize: If you are going to fork out R15000 for a graphics card, realistically, you are probably going to buy more than one of them, because when you have that much cash at your disposal for a graphics card, chances are you have more of it lying around somewhere…Well, this is nVidia’s philosophy at any rate, and for profitability purposes, it remains a flawless and uncontested approach.

So, stack three of these bad-boys into a Tri-Sli capable motherboard, and you are going to desecrate all – including 2 GTX690’s, which is about as far as Sli can go. In either instance and if the cards allowed, you’d be playing Crysis 3 on a Cinema-screen equivalent resolution at upwards of 30FPS, but we digress.

 

Tri-Sli - Because you can

Tri-Sli – Because you can

After having read countless reviews on both the GTX690 and the Titan, as well as being a proud (and content) owner of a GTX670, we need to ask ourselves: Does the price justify the 30-odd percent increase in performance over a mid-high end card? Potentially a card that will be obsolete 2 years from now? For the average man on the street, looking to play the latest games at –with the exception of Crysis- the highest possible settings for 2-3 years, why look any further than the middle to mid-higher end cards like the GTX660 or 670 that will set you back a quarter of the price, and hey, if you just happened to by two of them it will still only set you back half the price of one of these monsters. Granted, it is a great piece of hardware, sexy to look at and about 2 years ahead of its time, realistically though, unless you are a lottery winner looking to build a supercomputer, just because you can, the price doesn’t warrant the performance – plain and simple.

So what is it we expect from nVidia’s next generation of mid-high end pixel crunchers, given that they need to tick the following boxes:

  1. Affordability. Resist the COD urge if it costs more than R5000.
  2. Longevity. If I am going to fork out in the region of R4k – R5k on a Graphics card, it must last me at least 2 years, and if it is going to last me longer, or I want to “show off”,
  3. The ability to run Sli or Crossfire.
  4. The ability to run Crysis 3 on Very High
  5. Low power consumption requirements
  6. Some overclocking headroom. None of this ‘boost’ nonsense.

This stated, we have put together a little wishlist based on the specs of the Titan, what one of these “Next-Generation” cards could look like under the hood?

           GTX670     GTX770 Theoretical
Graphics Processing clusters

4

6

Cuda Cores

1344

1800+

Base Clock

915mhz

1000mhz

Boost Clock

980mhz

Nobody cares

Memory Clock

6008mhz

7012mhz + GDDR5/6

Total Video memory

2GB

3GB+

Memory interface

256-bit

256-bit

Total Memory bandwidth

192.2Gb/s

240GB/s

Texter filtering rate

102.5 GigaTexels/s

160+ GigaTexels/s

Fabrication Process

28nm

20nm

Transistor Count

3.54 Billion

4.5 Billion +

Recommended PSU

500 Watts

500Watts

In summary we expect the same from next generation of cards by nVidia as what they have promised us with the release of the Titan. A quieter, cooler, faster solution with a hell of a lot more memory. A Titan offspring for lack of a better term, that is built from the same pedigree as the superior for a fraction of the cost.

Looks like we are not far off from this pipe dream, as rumor has it that the next generation cards from nVida (the 700-series) will be based on the 20nm Fabrication process, but will not be based on a completely new GPU architecture. Meaning we could still get hit with another wave of Keplar Chips that are based on their Supercomputer superiors, the GK114 and GK116 respectively. Time will tell, when it does, we’ll be here to keep you updated. In the mean time, enjoy these images of the new nVidia Titan. A card that looks as if it was constructed by the gods. One can only hope nVidia’s next-gen cards look as sexy.

 

*Supercomputer equivalent of the GK104 – Keplar chip found in the nVidia 6-series graphics cards.