One Redditor (opens in new tab) has unknowingly purchased an engineering sample (ES) of Nvidia’s GeForce GTX Titan X graphics card, which used to be one of the best graphics cards. While it’s common to find ES samples of Intel or AMD processors on the second-hand market, it’s not every day that you see an ES sample graphics card, much less one from the Titan family.
The rare GeForce GTX Titan X has all the dressing of a retail sample except for the display outputs. While the original has a DVI port, an HDMI 2.0 port, and three DisplayPort 1.4a outputs, the ES sample only retains the HDMI 2.0 and one of the DisplayPort outputs. The lack of video outputs initially made the Redditor believe that someone had scammed him with a fake Titan graphics card. However, an Nvidia forum representative has clarified that the graphics card is an engineering sample, judging by the part number that begins with 699.
“I don’t know where this came from but we sometimes seed engineering cards to partners and unfortunately it occasionally winds up on some marketplace,” replied the Nvidia representative (opens in new tab) in the Reddit thread.
Launched in 2015, the GeForce GTX Titan X leveraged the GM200 (Maxwell) silicon, which measured 601 mm² and housed up to eight billion transistors. At the time, TSMC produced the GM200 for Nvidia on the 28nm process node. The Redditor's GPU-Z screenshot (opens in new tab) didn't reveal anything spectacular about the engineering sample. It still has 3,072 CUDA cores operating at 1,000 MHz and 12GB of GDDR5 memory at 7 Gbps. Being an engineering sample, the graphics card boosted up to 1,076 MHz, 13 MHz lower than on the retail GeForce GTX Titan X.
The GeForce GTX Titan X is too long in the tooth to be a gaming monster by today's standards. The graphics card performs roughly in the same ballpark as the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. The Redditor tested (opens in new tab) it in Red Dead Redemption 2 at 1080p (1920x1080) with maximum preset, and the graphics card only managed to deliver an average framerate of 37.95 FPS. The GeForce GTX Titan X makes for a nice collector's item and belongs on a wall. The Redditor didn't share the price he paid for the ES graphics card, only that he bought it on eBay.
Nvidia launched the GeForce GTX Titan X at $999 seven years ago. It's funny how times changed when one grand could get you a flagship graphics card back then. Nowadays, you can't even buy a GeForce RTX 4080 for the same amount of money.