Building Better Boards
And so we come full circle. I thoroughly enjoyed sitting in a room with the guy who designs Nvidia’s graphics cards and the guy responsible for the GPUs on those cards. I don’t think graphics performance came up once during our discussion. Rather, we had plenty to talk about by just focusing on how both teams are making the high-end graphics experience more special. Particularly after ribbing Intel a bit in Intel's 12-Core Xeon With 30 MB Of L3: The New Mac Pro's CPU? for the lack of innovation happening in desktop processing, Nvidia shows us that it’s able to build a significantly faster graphics architecture that uses less power than its predecessor, is more acoustically-friendly, and is wrapped up in materials like aluminum, magnesium, and polycarbonate.
Yes, the GeForce GTX Titan is very expensive. I’ve said before that there are only two places I’d recommend it for $1000: in a gaming-oriented small form factor chassis, as the fastest single-GPU card you can buy, or in a multi-card configuration where money is no object. But even though its endorsement is neither universal nor emphatic, I’m still very impressed by GK110 and Nvidia’s industrial design. The GeForce GTX 780 was almost equally impressive, though I think that anyone who can afford a fast $600 card would prefer the faster $1000 option instead.
But don’t forget that it was the GeForce GTX 690 that first wowed us back in April of last year. Going from this…
…to this made the sort of impression on me that only ATI’s Rage Fury MAXX, AMD’s FX-51, and the occasional super-early engineering sample have matched.
This stuff is the product of passion, and it’s how we know the enthusiast market is still going strong, despite prognoses that the PC in general is waning. And just look at what Nvidia’s doing next: taking that same Kepler architecture and leveraging its composition to drive the graphics component in its next-generation SoCs.