GeForce GTX Titan X Review: Can One GPU Handle 4K?

Results: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Thief And Tomb Raider

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

A run through Middle-earth’s benchmark at 2560x1440 is child’s play for all of these advanced graphics cards, despite our selection of the Ultra detail preset. The only artifact bothering us is the dual-Hawaii Radeon’s spiky output, which is typically better than Titan X’s, but frequently drops below the GM200-powered card’s performance, too.

The average frame rates in Middle-earth are higher than the other games we’ve looked at thus far, though the finishing order doesn’t change. AMD’s Radeon R9 295X2 finishes on top according to the averages. However, it remains frenetic, dipping under the GeForce GTX Titan X several times.

Both the GeForce GTX 980 and Radeon R9 290X are fairly playable, while the GeForce GTX Titan and 780 Ti flirt with less appealing minimum performance levels.

Thief

Performance consistency continues to affect AMD’s Radeon R9 295X2 in Thief. The frame rate over time looks somewhat similar to what we saw in our initial review of the card. However, several single-GPU boards start the benchmark with stronger frame rates. Still, the averages put AMD on top, followed by GeForce GTX Titan X and GeForce GTX 980.

For the fifth time in a row, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX Titan X shows it can muster an average frame rate high enough to be considered playable. A greater than 30% advantage over GeForce GTX 980 means the difference between using the game’s Very High detail preset and dialing it back. Check out the frame rate over time graph. That performance range right there is a perfect use case for G-Sync. We’ll explain shortly.

Of course, AMD’s Radeon R9 295X2 continues posting higher numbers. The strange dips and spikes aren’t as pronounced; the win appears more clear-cut.

Tomb Raider

The minimum frame rates in Tomb Raider look low—especially for a benchmark run at 2560x1440. But our custom sequence is designed to crush these cards. There’s really only one passage that prominently features the TressFX hair effect, and that’s where performance tanks. Through the rest of our test, they all stay above 50 FPS. Our average frame rate numbers confirm smooth performance.

Tomb Raider is another one of those titles that belies the benchmark results. Averages in the 30s don’t sound impressive; however, you’ll still find most of these cards to be playable through our taxing little run. And if you want to bump frame rates up, choose the Ultra preset instead of Ultimate, disabling the compute-heavy TressFX effect and smoothing out the frame rate dip.

Create a new thread in the US Reviews comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
361 comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • photonboy
    SLI 2xTitan X + GSYNC.

    If money was not an issue that's what I would do.

    *And why do people whine about the COST of any of the Titan cards? NVidia isn't misleading anybody here; if you don't think it's worth the cost then don't buy it.

    I don't complain because my FERRARI wasn't a good value.
  • esrever
    Performance is pretty much expected from the leaked specs. Not bad performance but terrible price, as with all titans.
  • dstarr3
    I don't know. I have a GTX770 right now, and I really don't think there's any reason to upgrade until we have cards that can average 60fps at 4K. And... that's unfortunately not this.
  • Other Comments
  • Yuka
    Interesting move by nVidia to send a G-Sync monitor... So to trade off the lackluster performance over the GTX980, they wanted to cover it up with a "smooth experience", huh? hahaha.

    I'm impressed by their shenanigans. They up themselves each time.

    In any case, at least this card looks fine for compute.

    Cheers!
  • chiefpiggy
    The R9 295x2 beats the Titan in almost every benchmark, and it's almost half the price.. I know the Titan X is just one gpu but the numbers don't lie nvidia. And nvidia fanboys can just let the salt flow through your veins that a previous generation card(s) can beat their newest and most powerful card. Cant wait for the 3xx series to smash the nvidia 9xx series
  • chiefpiggy
    Quote:
    Interesting move by nVidia to send a G-Sync monitor... So to trade off the lackluster performance over the GTX980, they wanted to cover it up with a "smooth experience", huh? hahaha. I'm impressed by their shenanigans. They up themselves each time. In any case, at least this card looks fine for compute. Cheers!

    Paying almost double for a 30% increase in performance??? Shenanigans alright xD
  • rolli59
    Would be interesting to comparison with cards like 970 and R9 290 in dual card setups, basically performance for money.
  • esrever
    Performance is pretty much expected from the leaked specs. Not bad performance but terrible price, as with all titans.
  • dstarr3
    I don't know. I have a GTX770 right now, and I really don't think there's any reason to upgrade until we have cards that can average 60fps at 4K. And... that's unfortunately not this.
  • hannibal
    Well this is actually cheaper than I expected. Interesting card and would really benefit for less heat... The Throttling is really the limiting factor in here.
    But yeah, this is expensive for its power as Titans always have been, but it is not out of reach neither. We need 14 to 16nm finvet GPU to make really good 4K graphic cards!
    Maybe in the next year...
  • cst1992
    People go on comparing a dual GPU 295x2 to a single-GPU TitanX. What about games where there is no Crossfire profile? It's effectively a TitanX vs 290X comparison.
    Personally, I think a fair comparison would be the GTX Titan X vs the R9 390X. Although I heard NVIDIA's card will be slower then.
    Alternatively, we could go for 295X2 vs TitanX SLI or 1080SLI(Assuming a 1080 is a Titan X with a few SMMs disabled, and half the VRAM, kind of like the Titan and 780).
  • skit75
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Interesting move by nVidia to send a G-Sync monitor... So to trade off the lackluster performance over the GTX980, they wanted to cover it up with a "smooth experience", huh? hahaha. I'm impressed by their shenanigans. They up themselves each time. In any case, at least this card looks fine for compute. Cheers!
    Paying almost double for a 30% increase in performance??? Shenanigans alright xD


    You're surprised? Early adopters always pay the premium. I find it interesting you mention "almost every benchmark" when comparing this GPU to a dual GPU of last generation. Sounds impressive on a purely performance measure. I am not a fan of SLI but I suspect two of these would trounce anything around.

    Either way the card is way out of my market but now that another card has taken top honors, maybe it will bleed the 970/980 prices down a little into my cheapskate hands.
  • negevasaf
    IGN said that the R9 390x (8.6 TF) is 38% more powerful than the Titan X (6.2 TF), is that's true? http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/03/17/rumored-specs-of-amd-radeon-r9-390x-leaked
  • chiefpiggy
    1472755 said:
    People go on comparing a dual GPU 295x2 to a single-GPU TitanX. What about games where there is no Crossfire profile? It's effectively a TitanX vs 290X comparison. Personally, I think a fair comparison would be the GTX Titan X vs the R9 390X. Although I heard NVIDIA's card will be slower then. Alternatively, we could go for 295X2 vs TitanX SLI or 1080SLI(Assuming a 1080 is a Titan X with a few SMMs disabled, and half the VRAM, kind of like the Titan and 780).


    What games dont have a crossfire profile? And why bother comparing a Titan X SLI vs a 295x2 when the SLI would cost almost 4x as much? Sure the performance would marginally be better (30-40% max), but at what cost? At a performance per dollar perspective the Titan X and Tian X SLI would be scraping the very bottom of the barrel.
  • giovanni86
    I was hoping for far better results. Though priced at $1k may seem worth wild, will be waiting to see if EVGA releases something.
  • chiefpiggy
    192459 said:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Interesting move by nVidia to send a G-Sync monitor... So to trade off the lackluster performance over the GTX980, they wanted to cover it up with a "smooth experience", huh? hahaha. I'm impressed by their shenanigans. They up themselves each time. In any case, at least this card looks fine for compute. Cheers!
    Paying almost double for a 30% increase in performance??? Shenanigans alright xD
    Your surprised? Early adopters always pay the premium. I find it interesting you mention "almost every benchmark" when comparing this GPU to a dual GPU of last generation. Sounds impressive on a purely performance measure. I am not a fan of SLI but I suspect two of these would trounce anything around. Either way the card is way out of my market but now that another card has taken top honors, maybe it will bleed the 970/980 prices down a little into my cheapskate hands.


    Just because it's one gpu doesn't mean people should pay twice for less performance. If you can't see that than I honestly do not understand... And they're supposed ace in the hole is the 12 GB of vram and G-Sync performance, but for a "4k" card I for one and not impressed
  • chiefpiggy
    1490340 said:
    IGN said that the R9 390x (8.6 TF) is 38% more powerful than the Titan X (6.2 TF), is that's true? http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/03/17/rumored-specs-of-amd-radeon-r9-390x-leaked


    It's completely up to you whether or not to believe the rumors that come out over time, but I would usually just wait until the actual card to come out and then compare the benchmarks :p

    Unless of course we're talking about the GTX 970 scandal
  • backoffmanImascientist
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Interesting move by nVidia to send a G-Sync monitor... So to trade off the lackluster performance over the GTX980, they wanted to cover it up with a "smooth experience", huh? hahaha. I'm impressed by their shenanigans. They up themselves each time. In any case, at least this card looks fine for compute. Cheers!
    Paying almost double for a 30% increase in performance??? Shenanigans alright xD
    Your surprised? Early adopters always pay the premium. I find it interesting you mention "almost every benchmark" when comparing this GPU to a dual GPU of last generation. Sounds impressive on a purely performance measure. I am not a fan of SLI but I suspect two of these would trounce anything around. Either way the card is way out of my market but now that another card has taken top honors, maybe it will bleed the 970/980 prices down a little into my cheapskate hands.


    Single (and Crossfired) 295X2 vs 2 GTX Titans in SLI coming right up, read and weep:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-r9-295x2-crossfire-performance,3808-4.html
  • Amdlova
    nothing to see here. another epic fail
  • photonboy
    SLI 2xTitan X + GSYNC.

    If money was not an issue that's what I would do.

    *And why do people whine about the COST of any of the Titan cards? NVidia isn't misleading anybody here; if you don't think it's worth the cost then don't buy it.

    I don't complain because my FERRARI wasn't a good value.
  • 10tacle
    I've bought Nvidia cards for the last 5 years, my last AMD card being a 5770. However, I have a bad taste in my mouth left with the 970 snafu (although currently I'm okay with the performance of mine at 1440p...for *now*...but I bought it for tomorrow too). Between that and this less-than-stellar result of this new Titan, I'm just not getting the warm and fuzzy feeling of confidence I used to with Nvidia. And who knows if THIS card's specs are truly correct, huh?? Depending on what AMD trots out with the new Radeon 3xx series, I just may be switching back to the Red Team as I make the move to 4K next year.
  • Cash091
    Quote:
    1472755 said:
    People go on comparing a dual GPU 295x2 to a single-GPU TitanX. What about games where there is no Crossfire profile? It's effectively a TitanX vs 290X comparison. Personally, I think a fair comparison would be the GTX Titan X vs the R9 390X. Although I heard NVIDIA's card will be slower then. Alternatively, we could go for 295X2 vs TitanX SLI or 1080SLI(Assuming a 1080 is a Titan X with a few SMMs disabled, and half the VRAM, kind of like the Titan and 780).
    What games dont have a crossfire profile? And why bother comparing a Titan X SLI vs a 295x2 when the SLI would cost almost 4x as much? Sure the performance would marginally be better (30-40% max), but at what cost? At a performance per dollar perspective the Titan X and Tian X SLI would be scraping the very bottom of the barrel.


    It totally comes down to a performance per dollar thing. I'm shocked that with the 295x2 beating this in benches, they went with such a high price tag. $700 would have been a decent, yet high, price point for this card. I can see the appeal of this card, but the 295x2 outshines it. As the article states, the only people who want this are ones who don't have room to cool the 295x2 in their cases. What would be interesting to see, is 2 of these vs. 2 295x2's(or 290x/295x2)!
  • TechyInAZ
    Impressive at 4k resolutions. I thought this card would run for $1500, glad it's only $1000 (even though I can almost guarantee you I won't buy it, even if I had the money).

    I wish they did at least 2 way SLI tests, that would of been fun.

    Any chance of trying three 4k monitors with a 3 or 4 way SLI titan X config?

    I prefer the silver finish on the regular titan and titan Z also, pure black doesn't look that great. :)