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OpenCL And CUDA Are Go: GeForce GTX Titan, Tested In Pro Apps

Can GeForce GTX Titan Handle Professional Workloads?

We covered Nvidia's still-new GeForce GTX Titan in Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan 6 GB: GK110 On A Gaming Card and Benchmarking GeForce GTX Titan 6 GB: Fast, Quiet, Consistent. As a gaming product, we know it to be the fastest single-GPU board you can buy. But how does the vaunted Titan fare in professional applications? It wasn't possible to run a number of tests for the launch because Nvidia's drivers weren't working in most of the non-gaming titles we tried.

Nevertheless, you'd think that, given its GK110 GPU, first introduced on a couple of Nvidia's Tesla accelerator boards, the GeForce GTX Titan would be a shoo-in for a market that doesn't flinch at $1,000 graphics cards. So, we're taking it, along with a number of other desktop-oriented graphics cards (like the Radeon HD 7970, Radeon HD 6970, GeForce GTX 680, and GeForce GTX 580) to see how the last two generations of flagship gaming products handle workstation-class software.

We're using a Titan card that Gigabyte sent over. It's based on Nvidia's reference design, though Gigabyte does throw in some extras to set its offering apart. There's a large mouse pad, a deck of playing cards, some cables, and obligatory adapters. 

The previous-gen processor in our test bed was swapped out in favor of an overclocked Core i7-3770K to help minimize platform bottlenecks. Getting to the point where we didn't see application performance change based on processor performance took a clock rate of 4.6 GHz, which just goes to show that older software is still CPU-limited. Optimizations for threading, CUDA, and OpenCL are playing a larger role in rendering tasks, but some workloads still aren't being parallelized.

Benchmark System
CPUIntel Core i7-3770K (Ivy Bridge), 22 nm, 4C/8T, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, Hyper-Threading Enabled, Overclocked to 4.6 GHz
RAM32 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum @ 2,066 MT/s
MotherboardGigabyte G1.Sniper 3, Intel Z77 Express
SSD2 x Corsair Neutron 480 GB
OSWindows 7 Ultimate x64 (Fully Patched)
DriversGeForce 314.22 WHQLCatalyst 13.3 Beta 3

We already know what happens when the Tesla's GK110 GPU is tossed into a gaming environment. So, what happens when we put that same hardware to work in a professional sense?

Today's story also serves as a preview for a big workstation graphics card round-up we have coming up with all of the new Kepler-based Quadro cards. We're going to use the same benchmarks (and a lot more) to compare two generations of Nvidia and AMD offerings. Right now, we're still sorting out some driver issues that show why it's so important for these companies to seek out certifications for their premium products. You'll see us add the results from these gaming cards to that piece, too.

  • k1114
    Why are there not workstation cards in the graphs?
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Thanks for all the juicy new benchmarks!

    BTW, I'm hoping the OpenCL benchmarks all make it to the GPU Charts. I'd like to know how the HD 7870 stacks up, at least. Being a new owner of one, I'm pleased at the showing made by the other Radeons. I had expected Titan to better on OpenCL, based on all the hype.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    k1114Why are there not workstation cards in the graphs?Because it would be pointless. They use the same GPUs, but clocked lower and with ECC memory.

    The whole point of Titan was to make a consumer card based on the Tesla GPU. I don't think AMD has a separate GPU for their workstation or "SKY" cards.
    Reply
  • crakocaine
    Theres something weird with your ratGPU gpu rendering openCL test results. you say lower is better in seconds but yet the numbers are arranged to make it look like more seconds is better.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    Too much data here for a proper conclusion. Here is what i conclude :

    In Pro applications :

    1. 7970 is generally quite bad.
    2. Titan has mixed performance.
    3. Drivers make or break a card.

    In more consumer friendly 'general' apps :

    1. 7970 dominates. Completely.
    2. 680 is piss poor (as expected)
    3. 580 may or may not compete.
    4. Titan is not worth having.

    AMD needs to tie up moar with Pro app developers. Thats the market which is ever expanding, and will bring huge revenue.

    Would have been interesting to see how the FirePro version of 7970 performs compared to the HD7970.
    Reply
  • Yuka
    bit_userBecause it would be pointless. They use the same GPUs, but clocked lower and with ECC memory.The whole point of Titan was to make a consumer card based on the Tesla GPU. I don't think AMD has a separate GPU for their workstation or "SKY" cards.
    It isn't pointless, since it helps put into perspective where this non-pro video card stands in the professional world. It's like making a lot of gaming benchmarks out of professional cards with no non-pro cards. You need perspective.

    Other than that, is was an interesting read.

    Cheers!
    Reply
  • slomo4sho
    I would honestly have liked to see a GTX 690 and 7990(or 7970 x-fire) in the mix to see how titan performs at relatively equal price points.
    Reply
  • tiret
    I find the rendered scenes more interesting than the graphs.
    Reply
  • SuperGamerBoy
    I would likd to see the Ares II in action :D
    Reply
  • 260511
    mayankleoboy1Too much data here for a proper conclusion. Here is what i conclude :In Pro applications : 1. 7970 is generally quite bad. 2. Titan has mixed performance.3. Drivers make or break a card. In more consumer friendly 'general' apps :1. 7970 dominates. Completely.2. 680 is piss poor (as expected)3. 580 may or may not compete.4. Titan is not worth having.AMD needs to tie up moar with Pro app developers. Thats the market which is ever expanding, and will bring huge revenue.Would have been interesting to see how the FirePro version of 7970 performs compared to the HD7970.
    Show me one benchmark where AMD actually does well? the amount of fanboyism in your comment is unsettling, go back to your cave, Troll.
    Reply