Update: Nvidia Titan X Pascal 12GB Review

Conclusion

Now that we have power, thermal, and acoustic data, we can wrap up our evaluation of Nvidia's Titan X conclusively. The card clearly uses more power, gets warmer, and generates more noise than the GeForce GTX 1080, which shares its cooling solution. Naturally, we expected as much. But Nvidia manages those variables reasonably well, even if it means pulling clock rate as the GPU heats up. Unfortunately, we won't see any of the company's partners take a stab at cooling GP102 more effectively; Titan X is only available from Nvidia, and only on geforce.com.

We also have a good sense for how Titan X performs in games. On average, at 3840x2160, it’s almost 29% faster than GeForce GTX 1080, which was already 34% faster than GTX 980 Ti at the same resolution.

Whereas GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition hit the scene for $700, or just above the 980 Ti’s launch price, you’ll pay a 70%+ premium for Titan X’s extra speed. Forget the value calculation—that word has no place here.

Nvidia expects to sell most Titan X cards into the deep learning market. But there’s no doubt that GP102’s pedigree is shared with the gaming-oriented GP104. So, if you disagreed with my claim that GeForce GTX 1080 was the first card to enable playable performance at 4K with detail settings cranked up, here’s your chance to procure something better. Righteousness will run you an easy $1200.

How about a couple of GeForce GTX 1070s instead? That seemed to be the crowd favorite in Best Graphics Cards. Truth be told, though, I’m gun-shy about SLI for several reasons. First, there was Nvidia’s retreat from supporting three- and four-way configurations, which quietly acknowledged the difficulty in extracting satisfactory scaling. Further, though VR is still in its infancy, mGPU support remains conspicuously absent (aside from Nvidia’s own VR Funhouse). Lastly, we’ve talked to more than one developer about the challenges facing AFR moving forward, and they’re not easily surmountable. That’s why I prefer one powerful GPU to two cheaper cards. It’d be a shame to spend $900 on 1070s, only to discover a game you were ready to enjoy at 4K doesn’t (and may never) scale the way you want it to.

That’s why, no matter what Nvidia chooses to charge for its highest-end hardware, there will always be a contingent of investment bankers ready to buy, buy, buy. While $1200 is a crazy amount of money, we’ve tested pricier CPUs and SSDs—and a fast graphics card has a greater impact on your gaming experience than any other component. If you can afford one, Titan X performs superbly. If you can’t, well, both AMD and Nvidia are ramping up a brand new generation of 14/16nm GPUs already delivering unprecedented performance per dollar. Look there instead.

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  • ingtar33
    $1200 for a gpu which temp throttles under load? THG, you guys raked AMD over the coals for this type of nonsense, and that was on a $500 card at the time.
  • Other Comments
  • chuckydb
    Well, the thermal throttling was to be expected with such a useless cooler, but that should not be an issue. If you are spending this much on a gpu, you should water-cool it!!! Problem solved
  • Jeff Fx
    I might spend $1,200 on a Titan X, because between 4K gaming and VR I'll get a lot of use out of it, but they don't seem to be available at anything close to that price at this time.

    Any word when we can get these at $1,200 or less?

    I wish I was confident that we'd get good SLI support in VR, so I could just get a pair of 1080s, but I've had so many problems in the past with SLI in 3D, that getting the fastest single-card solution available seems like the best choice to me.
  • ingtar33
    $1200 for a gpu which temp throttles under load? THG, you guys raked AMD over the coals for this type of nonsense, and that was on a $500 card at the time.
  • Sakkura
    Interesting to see how the Titan X turned into an R9 Nano in your anechoic chamber. :D

    As for the Titan X, that cooler just isn't good enough. Not sure I agree that memory modules running 90 degrees C is "well below" the manufacturer's limit of 95 degrees C. What if your ambient temperature is 5 or 10 degrees higher?
  • hannibal
    No problem, the card will throtle down even more in those cases...
  • hotroderx
    Basically the cards just one giant cash grab... I am shocked toms isn't denouncing this card! I could just see if Intel rated a CPU at 6ghz for the first 10secs it was running. Then throttled it back to something more manageable! but for those 10 secs you had the worlds fastest retail CPU.
  • tamalero
    Does this means there will be a GP101 with all core enabled later on? as in TI version?
  • hannibal
    TitanX Ti... No, 1080ti is cut down version. Most full ships will go to professinal cards and maybe we will see TitanZ later...
  • blazorthon
    An extra $200 for a gimped cooler makes for a disappointing addition to the Titan cards.
  • Sakkura
    Anonymous said:
    Does this means there will be a GP101 with all core enabled later on? as in TI version?


    No. The same chip with all the cores enabled would still be the same chip. However, it does mean there could eventually be a new Titan card with a fully enabled GP102. The same way the original Titan was succeeded by the Titan Black.
  • filippi
    This was just the final step before the gpu we actually want to see...
  • xapoc
    If this was only $800..
  • Sammy10
    and 1200 dollars later , Nvidia did not find it in their heart to toss a hybrid cooler on tob that baby! CheapoVidia.
  • DeerSpotter
    I repeat, will it play crysis?
  • Sammy10
    Anonymous said:
    I repeat, will it play crysis?


    For that you need the glorious Gtx 480
  • cub_fanatic
    Lol @ reviewing this card like it actually is a gaming GPU complete with several game results comparing it to $400-$450 cards like the Fury and GTX 1070. I wonder how many people actually buy Titan series cards with the sole purpose of playing video games. I wonder how that figure compares to the number of people who buy Titan cards for non-gaming applications. When the first Titan came out, it seemed like it was more of a budget Quadro instead of an ultra high end gaming part. Now, it feels like the Titan's sole purpose is to get a few hundred extra bucks out of the wallets of impatient high end gamers in between the release of the GTX x80 and the GTX x80ti cards. Once they sell enough of these Titans to those people then they'll release a GTX 1080ti that might have a few GB less VRAM, maybe less FP64 performance but the same CUDA cores and everything else and which games just as good as the Titan X for hundreds of dollars less. Once the 1080ti is out, nobody would see a reason to buy a Titan X if all you are doing is gaming. It is a pretty smart business move by Nvidia.
  • Sakkura
    Anonymous said:
    Once they sell enough of these Titans to those people then they'll release a GTX 1080ti that might have a few GB less VRAM, maybe less FP64 performance but the same CUDA cores and everything else and which games just as good as the Titan X for hundreds of dollars less. Once the 1080ti is out, nobody would see a reason to buy a Titan X if all you are doing is gaming. It is a pretty smart business move by Nvidia.


    The Titan X already has the FP64 performance nerfed into the ground. A lowly R9 280X would crush a Titan X in FP64 performance. On paper, even the old Radeon HD 5870 would beat the Titan X.
  • _MOJO_
    This new architecture, which definitely delivers, is so ludicrously expensive. I paid close to $600 for a GTX 580 a few years ago. That was a good investment in hind sight since I made half back several years later, but these prices are insane, especially considering the price to performance.

    $1200 to play 4K at 60 fps? My 4GB 980 still plays everything I want beautifully at 1440p. I just cannot wrap my mind around this yet- not at that premium price. I'll wait for more games coming out, the evolution of VR, and the prices on these cards dropping.
  • tps3443
    Save up your money.. Buy a graphics card when it is first released, and enjoy it! The GTX 980 had a life cycle of nearly 2 years before the GTX1080 was released. And the GTX980 is still fast for gaming! Especially once Overclocked!

    I love my Nvidia GTX1080 Founders Edition! I've adjusted the default fan profile a little, send some air flow it's way, from my case fans. Overclocked it to 2128/11,400 memory. And it is a screaming demon! And, I plan to use it for it least another 18 months.

    I can play 4K, and enjoy it, with a very smooth experience!

    The Titan X Pascal is great! It is 15-30% faster than a GTX1080. But, you've gotta pay to play! I could hardly afford my GTX1080. If I could afford a Titan P , I would buy it in a second!

    Bare in mind though, you can overclock a GTX1080 Founders Edition to roughly 20% more performance out of the box.

    Happy life, happy gaming, happy overclocking, this is what it's all about people!