The GeForce GTX Titan Black is a product that Nvidia didn't want reviewed whatsoever. When it launched 3-4 months ago Nvidia did not send out samples. There have been a few review on these cards but very little. At that time we as such passed on pursuing a review on the Titan Black, as it is a professional oriented product. The past 2 months though we have been a little surprised that even on Nvidia's own website the Titan Black started to appear in their own gaming benchmarks. This happened roughly at the timeframe when Watch Dogs was released, and we know that title is hungry for graphics memory. So as such we could no longer leave Titan Black 'not revioewed' on Guru3D.com, in fact in the weeks to come you will notice a handful of product review from Nvidia board partners on this website.
Now I understand why Nvidia didn't want any reviews, honestly the 300 EURO cheaper 780 Ti will offer you precisely the same performance, with the one difference you now have 6 GB of graphics memory. And sure, Nvidia always has been a little conservative on graphics memory opposed to AMD. These are decisions on corporate level in regard to BOM (Bill of Materials) costs. But with pending titles like GTA5 and the recently released Watch Dogs, all of the sudden that 3 GB limit was rather marginal. Also Ultra HD gaming took n uplift in the enthusiast space, and at a 4K resolution when you use AA, you'll be very happy to have more then 3 GB memory. That makes 6GB models relevant, in certain conditions. Fact remains, this is a double precision product (irrelevant for gamers) originally aimed at the professional market, but now sits in the consumer gaming domain as well and yeah it is a 1000 USD product.
We had hope to see the 780 Ti being released in 6GB models, but since that would obliterate the Titan Black sales, Nvidia does not allow its board partners to release SKUs based on 6GB. This is why the board partners have been allowed to release the regular 780 with 6GB. And honestly, that is the card I will be recommending here. Tweak that puppy a bit and you'll be in the 780 Ti range performance wise with 6GB of memory at just a 3rd of the price of the Titan Black.
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 780 (Ti), 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 & Noise Levels
The cooling itself really, you can't complain about. A bit annoying 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 in-between 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 roughly 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.
The top side above the GPU at GDDR5 location heats up tremendously bad though, over 110 Degrees C.
The GK110B Kepler GPUs are rated as having a 250 Watt TDP, we measure that to be a little better though, roughly 225~245 Watts (under full stress) per GPU. At this performance level you are looking at a card that consumes 450 to 500 Watts, that is okay. We think an 850 Watt PSU would be sufficient. So while it's not great to have two GPUs consuming 500 Watts it could have been a lot worse really. Also let me state that we measure peak power consumption, the average power consumption is a good notch lower depending on GPU utilization.
The card can be considered to be as fast as the Geforce GTX 780 Ti yet you gain more graphics memory helping you with extreme AA modes in monitor high resolutions. It also makes these cards a little more future proof. Drivers wise we can't complain at all, we did not stumble into any issues. And with a single GPU there's no micro-stuttering (if that ever bothered you) and no multi-GPU driver issues to fight off. Performance wise, really there's not one game that won't run seriously good at the very best image quality settings. Gaming you must do with a nice 30" monitor of course, at 2560x1440/1600. Now, we can discuss the advantages of a 6GB framebuffer, but after the Watch Dogs launch this week we hopefully can all agree, 6GB is justified when you keep games like GTA5 and Watch Dogs in mind. The latter one eats away framebuffer tremendously if you activate Ultra quality settings and apply a few hip AA settings, the game will easily pass 3GB graphics memory utilization -- fast.
The boost modes can be configured with temperature targets relative to maximum power draw and your GPU Core frequency 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 5 to 10% performance already.
The GeForce GTX 780 Titan Black is mucho bueno -- VERY impressive. But it is as impressive as the 780 Ti, with more graphics memory at hand. That alone does not justify the pricetag. As such you really should go with the 6GB GeForce GTX 780, IF you need that extra memory. I mean if you game at 2560x1440 (WQHD) then it's barely relevant to go for 6 GB. That said, it's darn fast in performance. Very fluid framerates is what you'll play your games with. It does so while hardly making any noise and keeps the product at OK temperatures. A GeForce GTX Titan Black with 6GB in return will offer you fluid framerates while gaming with the newest game titles and you get a reserve for titles that like 3GB+ in terms of graphics memory. Now, the card is a hint faster compared to the reference GeForce GTX 780 Ti and is a notch faster faster compared to the the regular GeForce GTX Titan, that's not a bad performance position to be in alright. There still remains to be room left for tweaking. Overall the product is just impressive and has great aesthetics. A lovely product with all the graphics memory in the world you need.
The one remark I can make that possibly reflects you guys the best; the GTX Titian Black is great, but many would have liked to see this card with that small extension, GTX 780 Ti with 6GB. Price wise its too expensive in the consumer domain, here at Guru3D.com we say - go for the regular Geforce GTX 780 with 6GB if you need to stick to NV. It's a third cheaper, tweak it a bit and kablam!, same performance. Otherwise AMD has great offerings at hand with the R9 290X and 4GB.