by Anton Shilov
02/19/2013 | 07:56 AM
Nvidia Corp. on Tuesday formally introduced its long-awaited GeForce GTX Titan graphics card, which combines the power of the supercomputing GK110 GPU with 6GB of ultra-fast memory to enable the highest-performing single-chip graphics solution ever developed. The graphics card will be extremely rare and extremely expensive member of the Kepler family and will shortly become the desire of performance enthusiasts worldwide.
"GeForce GTX Titan is a beast of a GPU – and the only one in the world powerful enough to play any game at any resolution at any time. And yet, all of this immense power is housed in a sleek, sexy design, so gamers can also build beautifully-designed PC gaming machines about the size of a gaming console, yet magnitudes more powerful and always upgradeable," said Scott Herkelman, general manager of the GeForce business unit at Nvidia.
The GeForce GTX Titan does not belong to any formal product series since it will a limited edition product that will be in many ways unique since it is based on the chip designed with high-performance computing, not just graphics in mind.
The GeForce GTX Titan is powered by Nvidia GK110 processor containing 7.1 billion of transistors. The chip has active 2688 stream processors, 224 texture units, 48 raster operating as well as 384-bit memory bus. The monstrous graphics processor is clocked at 837MHz and can boost its speed to 876MHz, which is a result of the extremely high number of transistors. The graphics card comes with 6GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 6GHz.
Up to three Titans can be installed into one personal computer to extreme graphics performance thanks to 3-way SLI multi-GPU technology. According to Nvidia, systems powered by GeForce GTX Titan generally deliver 30% - 40% higher graphics performance compared to similar PCs powered by AMD Radeon HD 7970 or GeForce GTX 680, respectively. Nvidia’s own benchmarks also imply that 3-way GeForce GTX Titan-based gaming systems deliver equal or better performance than two GeForce GTX 690 graphics cards in 4-way SLI (quad-SLI) mode.
Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan graphics card not only sports the world’s fastest graphics processor, but is also features an array of innovative technologies complemented by sleek materials that contribute to the exotic design of the card, including a high-quality exterior aluminum frame and high efficiency vapor chamber cooling. According to Nvidia, GeForce GTX Titan has thermal design power of 250W, which means quite moderate power consumption by today’s standards.
In a bid to create a new darling for overclockers, Nvidia incorporated GPU Boost 2.0 technology into its most powerful single-chip graphics card. The GPU Boost 2.0 automatically boosts graphics performance and supports unlocked voltage and advanced controls for even more gaming control and overclocking customization.
GeForce GTX Titan is also the first GeForce graphics card to ship with full performance double-precision compute. On prior GeForce products, fewer double-precision (DP) units were included in the GPU. For example, the GeForce GTX 680 SMX had 192 single-precision (SP) floating point stream processors (cores), and 8 double-precision (DP) stream processors. As a result, DP operations per clock ran at effectively 1/24 the SP rate. However for GTX Titan, it includes a full 64 DP stream processors per SMX (compared to 192 SP stream processors), or 1/3rd the number of DP cores to SP for substantially more double-precision horsepower. When DP compute is enabled in the drivers the graphics card runs at reduced clock-speeds.
“We have decided to enable full performance double-precision on Titan in order to enable developers all over the world to take advantage of GPU-accelerated computing, giving students, researchers, and engineers over 1TFLOPSof double-precision performance in their desktop PCs. We believe that GeForce GTX Titan will help increase the adoption of GPUs for accelerating applications, by allowing developers to design and optimize applications in an environment closely resembling deployments on teraflop-level (double precision), Tesla GPU accelerator-based clusters,” Nvidia said.
The GeForce GTX Titan GPU will be available starting on February 25, 2013 from Nvidia's add-in card partners, including Asus and EVGA in North America, and additional partners, including Colorful, Galaxy, Gigabyte, Inno3D, MSI, Palit and Zotac outside the U.S. Partner participation will vary by region. Pricing is expected to start at $999.
GeForce GTX Titan will also be sold in fully configured systems from leading U.S.-based system builders, including AvaDirect, Cyberpower, Digital Storm, Falcon Northwest, Geekbox, IBuyPower, Maingear, Origin PC, Puget Systems, V3 Gaming, Velocity Micro, and other system integrators outside North America.
According to unofficial information, only around 10 thousand of GeForce GTX Titan will be made, which is logical for a graphics board that costs like a fully-fledged PC.
The GeForce GTX Titan will not beat the dual-chip GeForce GTX 690 or Radeon HD 7990 in benchmarks, which means that gamers looking for maximum performance should not care about the new product unless they have problems with multi-GPU configuration of the model 690.