Nvidia Titan X (Pascal) Review

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The Prodigal Son ReturnsThe Nvidia Titan X (Pascal) Benchmarked - Tested - Reviewed

In this article we'll look at something that rises like the Phoenix, the new generation Nvidia Titan X based on that all new Pascal GPU. Armed with 12GB of GDDR5X graphics memory and that all new GP102 GPU, we are certain we're gonna break some records today as it is a first and true 4K60 GPU.

There is no way of denying it, the 'new' Nvidia Titan X has been released a little silently and perhaps may I name it awkward? See, Nvidia this week made the Pascal iteration of the Titan X available on the market, you can purchase it from selected system builders as well as their website. Now, I called this a bit backwards as two days ago I was talking to a staff member about the Titan X. And he said, "huh, but the Titan X is already in your benchmark charts ever since last year" ...and that's the awkward bit. See, Nvidia released a 'new' Titan X, the 'older' one was released back in March 2015 and it is based on Maxwell GPU architecture. The new model comes with the new Pascal GP102 graphics processor and faster memory. That GP102 graphics processor features 3584 shader cores and has been tied to 12GB of GDDR5X memory running over a 384-bit bus, a product that is selling for give or take $1200. You have been able to see very few reviews on this new product, Nvidia really isn't aiming at gamers with this release. it is supposed to be a professional series or pro-sumer product aimed at deep-learning, really that is what this iteration of Pascal GP102 is about. But we all know (including Nvidia) that a product like this will be worshipped and embraced by many gamers in the sense of having that Ferrari in their PC opposed to the Porsche. As such, for gamers the new Nvidia Titan X isn't even going to make much sense as at 1920x1080 you'll be hugely limited by your processor, yes, even the fastest eight and 10 core processors will not be able to keep up properly. The few gamers that can and will purchase this product will need to focus on Ultra HD gaming mostly. Below that resolution, honestly... go look at a GTX 1070 or 1080. The Pascal GP102, fabbed at a 16nm node with fins, that smaller 16nm FinFET fabrication process works out really well for Nvidia. The 1060, 1070 and 1080 have been a high clocked success story ever since their launch. Meanwhile the GP102 really wasn't supposed to be launched already (we think), but it is the Summer of 2016 and both AMD and Nvidia decided to unleash everything and anything that normally launches in an entire year, within a 3 month time-frame. 

GeForceTitan X (2015)Titan X (2016)GTX 1080
GPU GM200 GP 102 GP104
Architecture Maxwell Pascal Pascal
Transistor count 8 Billion 12 Billion 7.2 Billion
Fabrication Node TSMC 28 nm TSMC 16 nm TSMC 16 nm
CUDA Cores 3072 3584 2560
SMMs / SMXs 24 28 20
ROPs 96 96 64
FP64 1/32 FP32 1/32 FP32 1/32 FP32
GPU Clock Core / Boost 1002 MHz / 1076 MHz 1417 MHz / 1531 MHz 1607 MHz / 1733MHz
Memory Clock 1753 MHz 2500 MHz 1753 MHz
Memory Size 12 GB 12 GB 8 GB
Memory Bus 384-bit 384-bit 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth 337 GB/s 480 GB/s 320 GB/s
FP Performance 7 TFLOPS  11 TFLOPS 9 TFLOPS
GPU Thermal Threshold 91 Degrees C 94 Degrees C 94 Degrees C
TDP 250 Watt 250 Watt 180Watt
Launch MSRP $999 $1200 $699

Hey, 16nm works out well for Nvidia and they very simply moved forward the introduction as, starting right now, you will spot the Titan X for sale in the Nvidia store and at selected system builders. Much like the 1080 architecture you'll again spot high clocks and again a very nice memory configuration (10 GHz effective!) and again a product series that will be massively interesting, but surely expensive. It's never been a busier Summer, but hey, we aim to please and as such today we offer a review on the reference card from Nvdia. The Nvidia Titan X will receive a similar looking design just like the 1070/1080 Founder edition coolers with some aesthetic tweaks of course. The Pascal based Titan X is a bit of a beast alright. Tied to a 7+2 phase power delivery the GPU die size is 471 sq mm. If you look at the entire current product stack, then a GeForce GTX 1080 has 2,560 shader processors, the GeForce GTX 1070 has 1,920 shader processors, the GeForce GTX 1060 has 1,280 of them. The Nvidia Titan X has an astounding 3584 shader processors active inside that GP102 GPU, I say active here deliberately as it isn't even a fully enabled GPU. This means it is has 28 SMs active (28 streaming multi-processors x 128 shader cores (2x64). The cards will be equipped with fast GDDR5X memory as well for this 12 GB model. That memory is tied to a 384-bit wide bus locked in at 2,500 MHz which is 10 GHz (GDDR5X-effective). The combination of that memory type and clock frequency gives the Titan X an effective memory bandwidth of 480 GB/s. But let's compare some arbitrary numbers a bit in order to realize what the product can do. 

  • Nvidia Titan X (Pascal GP102) offers just over 11 TFLOP/s Single-precision floating point performance
  • GeForce Titan X (Maxwell GM200) offers just over 7 TFLOP/s Single-precision floating point performance
  • GeForce GTX 1080 offers just over 9 TFLOP/s Single-precision floating point performance
  • GeForce GTX 1070 offers just over 6 TFLOP/s Single-precision floating point performance
  • GeForce GTX 1060 offers just over 4 TFLOP/s Single-precision floating point performance
If you combine the specs you will get a bit dizzy I guess, but considering we'll be looking at the product from a gaming point of view, I can say this card will run terrifically in the Ultra HD domain with titles like GTA-V, Total War, Warhammer, The Division and many other hip 'n trendy game titles. Over the next pages, we'll go a little deeper into the technology and architecture, but not too deep as we have a lot to cover. The graphics card has been fitted with a powerful dual-slot single-fan cooler. The temperature of this card will sit at the 80 degrees C marker under full load, and is reasonably quiet. The new Titan X runs up-to a boost clock of 1531 MHz (1417 MHz base clock). The memory is clocked reference at 10 Gbps. The card is fitted with both a 6 and 8-pin power connector and yes, we'll overclock today as well. Let's get this review started, but not before you have had a chance to actually look at the card of course.


Nvidia Titan X 2016 edition with the Nvidia GP102-A1 GPU (1,417 MHz core  / 1,531 MHz boost  / 10,010 MHz memory)

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