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Brute Force With Three-Way SLI...

Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan 6 GB: GK110 On A Gaming Card
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There are few different scenarios where I personally think Nvidia’s GeForce GTX Titan makes sense (and many where it doesn’t). A very high-end gaming PC is, naturally, one of the applications for this board. I’m not talking about a $2,000 machine with one really nice graphics card. Think bigger—like multiple flagship GPUs operating in concert. That’s the rarified air of gaming-oriented hardware.

See, if you’re satisfied with a single dual-slot card, and you plan to game at 2560x1600 or 5760x1080, one GeForce GTX 690 is the most elegant option (albeit at $1,000). Beyond that, you’re looking at two GeForce GTX 690s or two/three GeForce GTX Titans as the most beastly combinations available. Of course, we could also get into three or four GeForce GTX 680s and Radeon HD 7970s, but until we can get capture-based frame time analysis going in the lab, it’s going to be difficult to quantify the experience those super-parallel setups deliver.

Nevertheless, in order to demonstrate the very upper limits of what GeForce GTX Titan can do, Nvidia had Geek Box build us one of its Ego Maniacal X79 gaming systems with three cards. The box is a monster, centering on SilverStone’s Temjin TJ11B-W. Aluminum though the big case might be, it still weighs darned near 40 pounds completely empty. Packed with hardware, it took a FedEx semi-trailer, a pallet, and a big lift gate to get it into my garage.

All set up, though, the finished product clearly reflects the Geek Box crew’s attention to detail. Cable management is easily handled through the use of individually-sleeved power supply wires, while water-cooling applied to the CPU and motherboard voltage regulation circuitry helps address the typical standing-air issues we bring up any time we debate cooling strategies.

Not that air flow is an issue in the TJ11B-W. In fact, fan noise is perhaps this setup’s most prescient weakness. It’s not loud, per se. But when Nvidia is trying to demonstrate the sound of three Titans running quietly, and all you can hear is air moving through radiators, well, we call that an exercise in futility. The good news, of course, is that three Titans, back to back to back, are incredibly quiet.

To be fair, the Ego’s acoustic output is likely a product of its Core i7-3970X processor running at a stable 4.6 GHz—likely set in an effort to mitigate the potential for platform bottlenecks behind three potent GPUs. The six-core CPU sits on Asus’ Rampage IV Extreme motherboard, and is fed data through 32 GB of Corsair Dominator memory in a quad-channel configuration. Two of the company’s Neutron GTX SSDs form a 480 GB striped array, pretty much guaranteeing that you won’t spend any time waiting for levels to load.

Because the machine’s acoustic properties would have interfered with some of our benchmarks, we transplanted the Titans into our test bed. But not before jumping into 3DMark 11 and generating scores in excess of (redacted—look out for benchmarks in a couple of days) using the Extreme preset and GPU clock rates in excess of 1,100 MHz.

Completely unrelated to the Ego Maniacal’s performance, it’s really interesting that Geek Box is borrowing liberally from BMW M GmbH with its logo. Although I’m an AMG guy myself, the colors and lines are very classy. Still, I’d think someone in Germany might take issue with the homage.

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Top Comments
  • 27 Hide
    Trull , February 19, 2013 12:19 PM
    Dat price... I don't know what they were thinking, tbh.

    AMD really has a chance now to come strong in 1 month. We'll see.
  • 26 Hide
    tlg , February 19, 2013 12:27 PM
    AMD already said in (a leaked?) teleconference that they will not respond to the TITAN with any card. It's not worth the small market at £1000...
  • 22 Hide
    jaquith , February 19, 2013 12:19 PM
    Hmm...$1K yeah there will be lines. I'm sure it's sweet.

    Better idea, lower all of the prices on the current GTX 600 series by 20%+ and I'd be a happy camper! ;) 

    Crysis 3 broke my SLI GTX 560's and I need new GPU's...
Other Comments
  • 22 Hide
    jaquith , February 19, 2013 12:19 PM
    Hmm...$1K yeah there will be lines. I'm sure it's sweet.

    Better idea, lower all of the prices on the current GTX 600 series by 20%+ and I'd be a happy camper! ;) 

    Crysis 3 broke my SLI GTX 560's and I need new GPU's...
  • 27 Hide
    Trull , February 19, 2013 12:19 PM
    Dat price... I don't know what they were thinking, tbh.

    AMD really has a chance now to come strong in 1 month. We'll see.
  • 3 Hide
    firefyte , February 19, 2013 12:20 PM
    Anyone else having problems with the 7th page?
  • 10 Hide
    tlg , February 19, 2013 12:23 PM
    The high price OBVIOUSLY is related to low yields, if they could get thousands of those on the market at once then they would price it near the gtx680. This is more like a "nVidia collector's edition" model. Also gives nVidia the chance to claim "fastest single gpu on the planet" for some time.
  • 26 Hide
    tlg , February 19, 2013 12:27 PM
    AMD already said in (a leaked?) teleconference that they will not respond to the TITAN with any card. It's not worth the small market at £1000...
  • -8 Hide
    wavebossa , February 19, 2013 12:36 PM
    wavebossa"Twelve 2 Gb packages on the front of the card and 12 on the back add up to 6 GB of GDDR5 memory. The .33 ns Samsung parts are rated for up to 6,000 Mb/s, and Nvidia operates them at 1,502 MHz. On a 384-bit aggregate bus, that’s 288.4 GB/s of bandwidth."12x2 + 12x2 = 6? ..."That card bears a 300 W TDP and consequently requires two eight-pin power leads."Shows a picture of a 6pin and an 8pin...I haven't even gotten past the first page but mistakes like this bug me


    Nevermind, the 2nd mistake wasn't a mistake. That was my own fail reading.
  • 21 Hide
    infernolink , February 19, 2013 12:46 PM
    Titan.. for those who want a Titan e-peen
  • 5 Hide
    ilysaml , February 19, 2013 12:47 PM
    Quote:
    The Titan isn’t worth $600 more than a Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition. Two of AMD’s cards are going to be faster and cost less.

    My understanding from this is that Titan is just 40-50% faster than HD 7970 GHz Ed that doesn't justify the Extra $1K.
  • 15 Hide
    battlecrymoderngearsolid , February 19, 2013 1:11 PM
    Can't it match GTX 670s in SLI? If yes, then I am sold on this card.

    What? Electricity is not cheap in the Philippines.
  • 14 Hide
    Fulgurant , February 19, 2013 1:20 PM
    Ninjawithagun$1000 per Titan card is a bit hard for most mid-range gamers and even high-end gamers to afford.


    Titan is a luxury product. It's not supposed to offer a competitive price/performance ratio, just as a Ferrari's price isn't based on its horsepower or fuel efficiency. Titan is a statement moreso than it is a bona-fide money maker for nVidia.

    The idea of status-symbol computer components strikes me as a little silly, of course, but I'm not in the target market. Neither are most gamers, whether high end or not.

    If you generally spend $1600 on the graphics' subsystem of your computer, then I'm not even sure you fit in the so-called high-end. Super-high-end, maybe. You are the 1%. :) 
  • 2 Hide
    azraa , February 19, 2013 1:22 PM
    Waaaay too much hype :/ 
    Its an engineering beauty, but what could make us wish it? Most gamers already have enough with 7970Ghz or 670s so... not a smart choice.
  • 19 Hide
    mindless728 , February 19, 2013 1:23 PM
    Quote:
    "Twelve 2 Gb packages on the front of the card and 12 on the back add up to 6 GB of GDDR5 memory. The .33 ns Samsung parts are rated for up to 6,000 Mb/s, and Nvidia operates them at 1,502 MHz. On a 384-bit aggregate bus, that’s 288.4 GB/s of bandwidth."

    12x2 + 12x2 = 6? ...


    the chips are Gb (Gigabit) not GB (Gigabyte) which is a difference of 8x

    so 12x2Gb+12x2Gb = 48 Gb = 6GB

    chips are commonly refereed to in capacity as the bit size not byte size
  • 13 Hide
    oxiide , February 19, 2013 1:23 PM
    wavebossa12x2 + 12x2 = 6?

    Assuming proper notation is being observed (often its not), "b" is a bit and "B" is a byte.

    6 Gigabytes = 48 Gigabits as 1 Byte = 8 bits.
  • 9 Hide
    renz496 , February 19, 2013 1:31 PM
    to me this thing is in the same league as Asus ARES II. both product are not something you discuss about price/performance.

    btw very interested how far this 'beast' will overclock
  • 8 Hide
    bl1nds1de13 , February 19, 2013 1:41 PM
    When compared to the GTX690 I would have to differ on saying that " there's no real reason not to favor it over Titan " ..... Any SLI or crossfire solution, including dual board cards like the 690, will have microstutters when compared to a single card setup. This has been thoroughly shown in several tests, and have seen it myself. A single card will never have scaling issues or microstutters.

    BL1NDS1DE13
  • 2 Hide
    Au_equus , February 19, 2013 1:45 PM
    Quote:
    Unfortunately, Nvidia says the 690’s magnesium alloy fan housing was too expensive...
    o.O and $1000 is cheap? The 690 sold for around the same price and nothing was said then. Can they come up with a better excuse? Idk, like aliens stole our magnesium... smh.
  • 11 Hide
    hero1 , February 19, 2013 1:48 PM
    Pass! I don't think it's worth forking out $2000 for 2 of these cards no matter how good or rare or awesome they are. $2000 gets you a nice i7 rig with 2x AMD Radeon 7970 GHz Ed./ GTX 680 SLI that are more than capable of handling anything you throw at them. Time to go ahead and place that order for GHz cards. Nice to see your face Titan but you ain't selling at the price we are looking for!
  • 2 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , February 19, 2013 2:01 PM
    if i really want ultra performance, i would get 2xHD7970. Would get better gaming and compute performance.
  • 3 Hide
    aberkae , February 19, 2013 2:02 PM
    I cant wait for the review
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