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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.

  • 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!
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply
  • chiefpiggy
    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
    Reply
  • rolli59
    Would be interesting to comparison with cards like 970 and R9 290 in dual card setups, basically performance for money.
    Reply
  • esrever
    Performance is pretty much expected from the leaked specs. Not bad performance but terrible price, as with all titans.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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...
    Reply
  • 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).
    Reply
  • skit75
    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.
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply