And then we reach the end of the single GPU reference article of the Titan. We had a great time testing this one GPU, but as you know we'll be showing SLI scaling and multi-monitor (5760x1080) game performance as well as an article dedicated to overclocking. Check the links below to read up on that content.
For the Titan series Nvidia figured, it's gonna be an expensive card so let's do everything right. And that certainly shows, the looks are terrific really and if you quickly look at the card your first impression would be that it is a GTX 690, as it looks that similar. The GeForce GTX logo on top some might dislike, it surely doesn't bother me though and that see-through Plexiglas in the cooler makes it look quite nice. So I think everybody will agree with me it's just a great looking and sturdy product.
Cooling and noise levels
The cooling itself really, you can't complain about. New are of course the temperature targets that Nvidia is using. The default setting for this will be 80 degrees C, which Nvidia feels is a nice balance inbetween performance, power consumption and temperature. Most of you would however prefer something a little lower. You can obviously change the temperature target of the fan RPM yourself. But at 80 degrees C and at that level the noise levels are just fine. Really, with one card installed you are absolutely fine. In idle you barely can hear the cooling solution and under stress, well you can hear some airflow and that's it. Perfectly fine would sum it up well.
Again not bad, the card is rated at as having a 250 Watt TDP. From the top of my head that's the same number as GeForce GTX 580 had a two years ago. Compared to that product you have nearly double the performance at the same wattage. That 250 Watt TDP also will make running multi-GPU solutions a bit more easy. With two card we think an 800 Watt PSU would be sufficient. So yeah, it's not great to have a GPU sucking up 250 Watt, but you'lll agree with us that it could have been a lot worse, really. If you look at the dual-GPU based ARES II for example, that card alone draws 500 Watt / 250 Watt per GPU. So, perspective is the word I like you to keep in mind.
GeForce GTX Titan in most scenarios will be a slower than the GTX 690, roughly 15% to 20%. Realistically again I should be comparing towards GTX 680. However I really can't as the GTX 690 and Titan will be priced roughly the same. Now though the price might be fair, it will definitely be too much to swallow for most of you. On average you'll see 20% less performance then a GTX 690 versus the very same pricetag.
Then again perspective, there's no micro-stuttering (if that ever bothered you) and no multi-GPU driver issues to fight off. Not that Nvidia has a bad reputation here, contrary... but some people like the simplicity of one powerful GPU in their PC, knowing that they'll never have to fight off any weird multi-GPU related driver issues. And it's for those kind of persons that a GTX Titan can make a lot of sense.
Performance wise really there's not one game that won't run seriously good at the very best image quality settings. And you do it all with a nice 30" monitor of course, at 2560x1440/1600. I mean Sleeping Dogs at high quality is still oozing out 60 FPS there. Or what about Hitman Absolution with 60 FPS at 2560x1600 High quality and 2xMSAA? We'll soon update with Crysis 3 as well of course. It's really nice performance, but sure... the GTX 690 at these resolutions could offer you a little more boom-boom-pow.
Overclocking then, as stated we'll address an entire article on overclocking. A thing or two have changed, the new boost modes now also can be configured with temperature targets relative to maximum power draw and your GPU Core freqeuency offsets. Saying that I realize it's sounds complicated, but you'll have your things balanced out quite fast. This GPU can take 1100 MHz fairly easily really, and at that stage you added another 10% performance already. More on that in our overclocking article though.
Price and final words
Is the GeForce GTX Titan a limited edition series cards? Well yes and no. What is limited? The 1500 USD ASUS ARES II with a 1000 cards worldwide that's what I call limited. The Titan will become available in multiple thousands. Maybe 10K~20K in the first batch and we are sure we'll see additional batches fairly soon depending on sales.
Now we'll share the manufacturer suggested retail prices.
EUR 800 Ex VAT
GBP 827 Inc. VAT
USD 999 Inc. VAT
I will not judge on pricing, we know that if they would be pricing the cards at 1500 EUR they would still sell them, the coolness factor for Titan is high and its gonna end up at Tier 1 system builders for high-end builds and case mods. Truthfully I had hoped to see the price 20% lower then a GeForce GTX 690 though. mind you though that the afrementioned prioces are MSRP, street/retail and etail prices as such when time passes, will become a good chunk lower.
It is time to wrap this review up. The GeForce GTX Titan really was never designed to become a consumer graphics card for gaming, the extra DP units alone reveal that much. It however works out well. The card is a significant chunk faster compared to the GeForce GTX 680 and the Radeon HD 7970 GHz edition. Compared to equivalent multi-GPU products that dynamic changes though but I'm not even certain if we should compare to that. No multi-GPU driver issues is music in my ears. Combined with a rather silent product and the brute performance to play any game to date with the very best image quality settings and high monitor resolutions the GeForce GTX Titan is a win no-matter how you look at it. But to see a chip this size running stable (tweaked) over 1100 MHz... is just amazing. And as such we take our hats off and bow to Nvidia on a mission accomplish well.
As promised, here's our other GeForce Titan content
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