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Gigabyte GeForce GTX Titan Black: Do-It-Yourself Cooler Swap

A GeForce GTX Titan Black You Modify Yourself

We didn't review Nvidia's GeForce GTX Titan Black when it launched. The company didn't see fit to sample press. And understandably, really, since the Titan Black is largely the same as a 780 Ti with 6 GB of memory and the GK110's full FP64 performance. GeForce GTX Titan Black does sport slightly more aggressive reference clock rates. Its base frequency is 889 MHz to the 780 Ti's 875 MHz. Typical GPU Boost is stated at 980 MHz versus 928. But they both sport similar coolers, display outputs, and graphics card power ratings. 

Take a look over at Newegg, and you'll find an out-of-stock Asus model matching Nvidia's specification, an out-of-stock EVGA board at the same price point, but overclocked slightly, and a water-cooled EVGA card selling for $300 more and boasting an even more aggressive overclock. Really though, it's hard to see the value in a GeForce GTX Titan Black at $1400 when Radeon R9 295X2s are selling for $100 more.

Gigabyte takes a somewhat different approach to its GeForce GTX Titan Black GHz Edition (how's that for a mouthful?). The company hits the same 1006 MHz base and 1111 MHz typical GPU Boost frequencies as EVGA's $1400 Hydro Copper Signature card. But it does so with air cooling. Pop the top on the packaging and you'll see that Gigabyte ships you a reference Titan Black, per Nvidia's requirements. However, you also get the components needed for a built-it-yourself adventure.

Apparently, Gigabyte went with the old adage that rules are meant to be broken (or, in this case, bent really far). You see, Nvidia doesn’t allow its partners to modify the reference cooling solution, so Gigabyte decided to send the modified cooler along for you to install yourself on the already-overclocked graphics card. 

You can still expect to pay dearly for the privilege of owning Gigabyte's take on the Titan Black (it's currently available in Europe and Asia; we're waiting to hear back from Gigabyte on whether it'll ever show up in the U.S.). At least you also get the thrill of tearing the top off of a flagship graphics card and replacing its thermal solution, though. Our aim today is to figure out if the operation is worthwhile. 

First, we'll take a peek into the pricey box. Gigabyte provides an abundance of opulent accessories.

In addition to the reference GeForce GTX Titan Black, we find an HDMI cable, a mouse pad, two four-to-six-pin power adapters, a VGA adapter, a driver CD, and the cooling kit that caught my eye to begin with. Gigabyte’s new WindForce 600 cooler employs a number of changes that we'll dig into.

ModelGeForce GTX Titan BlackGigabyte GeForce GTX Titan Black GHz EditionGeForce GTX 780 TiGeForce GTX Titan
ChipGK110-430-B1GK110-430-B1GK110-425-B1GK110-400
Shader Units2880288028802688
SIMD/Texture Units15/24015/24015/24014/224
ROPs48484848
GPU Base Clock Frequency889 MHz1006 MHz876 MHz837 MHz
GPU Boost Clock Frequency980 MHz1111 MHz928 MHz876 MHz
Computing Power SP (GFLOPS)5645639953454709
Computing Power DP (GFLOPS)188221342231570
Graphics Memory Transfer Rate3500 MT/s3500 MT/s3500 MT/s3004 MT/s
Memory Bus384-bit384-bit384-bit384-bit
Bandwidth (GB/s)336336336288.4
Memory Size (GB/s)6636
PCIe Power Connectors6 + 8-pin6 + 8-pin6 + 8-pin6 + 8-pin
  • bloodgigas
    So we have to change the cooler by our self? now thats wierd.
    Reply
  • ShadyHamster
    13466306 said:
    So we have to change the cooler by our self? now thats wierd.

    If you bothered reading the first page you'd know why.
    Reply
  • bloodgigas
    13466306 said:
    So we have to change the cooler by our self? now thats wierd.

    If you bothered reading the first page you'd know why.

    "Nvidia doesn’t allow its partners to sell the GeForce GTX Titan Black with proprietary cooling. However, Gigabyte now offers a GHz Edition of the card that comes bundled with its WindForce solution, which you can install on the overclocked board yourself."

    This one right? whats the difference between you install it yourself and Gigabyte take the initiative pre-factory installed? or Warranty Void?
    Reply
  • bloodgigas
    13466306 said:
    So we have to change the cooler by our self? now thats wierd.

    If you bothered reading the first page you'd know why.

    "Nvidia doesn’t allow its partners to sell the GeForce GTX Titan Black with proprietary cooling. However, Gigabyte now offers a GHz Edition of the card that comes bundled with its WindForce solution, which you can install on the overclocked board yourself."

    This one right? whats the difference between you install it yourself and Gigabyte take the initiative pre-factory installed? or Warranty Void?
    Reply
  • FormatC
    It is one of Nvidias funny rules.

    Ok, for your better understanding:
    Nvidia doesn’t allow its partners to sell the GeForce GTX Titan Black with factory-installed proprietary cooling.
    Reply
  • envy14tpe
    If you are dropping the cash on a Titan I really wish people would go liquid cooling. Seems to be the best.
    Reply
  • chaosmassive
    Nvidia doesnt permit to install any 3rd party cooling on their chip, now thats weird !
    Reply
  • rohitbaran
    That's some way to circumvent nVidia's rule. Nicely done Gigabyte!
    Reply
  • wolverine96
    Very nice, Gigabyte! I almost wish I had bought one. I have one of those "out of stock ASUS cards from Newegg". I am not disappointed, though. The card handles 84 degrees Celsius just fine!

    Igor Wallossek, I wonder if you could put up a graph for 3D rendering? If you use Blender's BMW scene by Mike Pan (a popular benchmark scene), make sure you properly set the tile size!
    Reply
  • Damn_Rookie
    13466699 said:
    It is one of Nvidias funny rules.

    Ok, for your better understanding:
    Nvidia doesn’t allow its partners to sell the GeForce GTX Titan Black with factory-installed proprietary cooling.
    Silly question probably, but why does nVidia allow only EVGA to break this rule, with their hydro copper signature edition you mentioned? Is it just because it's a water cooled model? Do you think nVidia specially signs off on the design?

    I'm genuinely curious.
    Reply