Skip to main content

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

Results: Battlefield 4, Far Cry 4 And Metro Last Light

Battlefield 4

Naturally, we didn’t have time to test Hardline before the Titan X’s launch, so Battlefield 4 stands in once more for the Frostbite engine.

Every card on this chart can play Battlefield 4 smoothly at 2560x1440—QHD is hardly a challenge, even with the detail preset dialed to Ultra. Still, a 30% victory over GeForce GTX 980 is impressive for Titan X, particularly after we were just impressed by GM204 a few months back.

Radeon R9 295X2 sweeps in with a victory overall though, yielding impressive performance for less money than any of Nvidia’s cards. Notably missing is GeForce GTX Titan Z—a board that was outperformed by AMD’s dual-GPU solution.

The GeForce GTX 780 Ti, Titan, and 980 are all on the slow side for a smooth experience at 3840x2160. So too does AMD’s Radeon R9 290X lag behind a bit under the same taxing Ultra preset.

Averaging 40 FPS (and dipping down to about 27), Nvidia’s GeForce GTX Titan X shows up on the wrong side of most enthusiasts’ 60 FPS target. However, after playing through a significant portion of the single-player campaign to test G-Sync, I can assure you that the game is enjoyably fluid.

Again, AMD’s Radeon R9 295X2 does deliver a 27%-better result at lower cost. You’d simply have to be alright with its higher power requirement, bulky closed-loop water cooling solution and dependence on CrossFire profiles to favor it in a gaming build.

Far Cry 4

On paper, the Radeon R9 295X2 enjoys a commanding 32% advantage over Nvidia’s GeForce GTX Titan X in Far Cry 4 at 2560x1440 using the Ultra quality preset. But a look at frame rate over time shows that card’s lead to be sporadic. At times, it’s actually slower than the more consistent GeForce GTX Titan X.

Meanwhile, the Titan X leads Nvidia’s own GeForce GTX 980 by 30%, surpassing the original Titan by an even more astounding 74%.

Even on high-end hardware at relatively modest settings, Far Cry 4 just doesn’t run like a mature first-person shooter. The stereotypical reaction to this sort of control interface and jerky performance is, “ugh, console port.” And despite similar average frame rates as Battlefield 4, the Far Cry 4 experience doesn’t feel as smooth.

That’s bad news at 3840x2160. The Radeon R9 295X2 does enjoy another technical win, but again starts the benchmark with frame rates under the Titan X, touching Radeon R9 290X territory. Perhaps this is related to the fact that AMD still hasn’t officially released a CrossFire profile for Far Cry 4; it’ll make its debut in the driver we’re testing in a couple of days.

Metro Last Light

The Radeon R9 295X2 posts a great benchmark run, beating GeForce GTX Titan X by 29%. Really though, all of the cards we’re testing demonstrate playable frame rates under Metro’s Very High detail setting. QHD isn’t supposed to be an obstacle for these high-end cards, though. Ultra HD is where the real glory lies.

The performance numbers don’t change much at 3840x2160 in Metro Last Light. The GeForce GTX 780 Ti, Titan, and 980 all average around 30 FPS, while Nvidia’s new Titan X comes closer to 40 FPS. The Radeon R9 290X fares admirably given its current price, but again shouldn’t be considered a 4K-capable card if you’re looking for maxed-out settings. AMD’s dual-GPU flagship gets us close to 60 FPS, beating the Titan X by 41%, at a price point below what Nvidia’s asking.

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.