GeForce GTX Titan: Fast, But Not A Workstation Card
Is The GeForce GTX Titan Good For As A Workstation Card?
Good question. There's no doubt that the GeForce GTX Titan is a great gaming card, but its price is just too high for the performance it offers in professional applications, added on to the fact that its drivers simply aren't certified for most of the software we tested.
There is a handful of CUDA-optimized titles where the Titan does really well. Blender, 3ds Max, and Octane all show Nvidia's single-GPU flagship with a commanding lead over the GeForce GTX 680 and prior-gen 580. Bottom line: if you're thinking about using a Titan for rendering, check the application you're using first.
This card's OpenGL performance is a mixed bag. It posts solid numbers in most 3D workloads, though not by enough to justify a $1,000 price tag compared to the other gaming-oriented boards we tested. We're certainly curious to see how the Titan fares when we insert its results to the upcoming workstation graphics card round-up. However, we wouldn't recommend it (and we don't think Nvidia would either) for everyday work in a design studio. Quadro and FirePro boards are the right tools for that job, primarily due to their properly optimized and certified drivers.
When the Titan launched, Nvidia directed us to a switch in the card's driver to enable full FP64 performance, and we demonstrated the benefit that can have in certain scientific workloads using SiSoftware Sandra. But even then, the company suggested that the feature is most useful to developers, and probably won't see much action in a production environment.
So, what are we left to conclude, then?
The GeForce GTX Titan that Gigabyte sent over is a sweet card able to beat the gaming-optimized GeForce GTX 680 in most professional tasks using its GK110 graphics processor. But we don't see many folks spending $1,000 on a desktop product when the true business-oriented boards are the ones that include the right drivers and compatibility guarantees.
Gigabyte puts together a nice package that might make you happier about dropping a grand for the fastest single-GPU desktop card, but we maintain that you're only going to want to if you, one, have that much money to spend and, two, have a mini-ITX-based or multi-GPU gaming system. Otherwise, there are several other options that'd yield better value.