This happens because Titan Xp’s fan speed curve is steeper than the other two cards.
How is it possible for a more complex GPU to operate at a higher frequency, temperature and power limit being equal? Well, the Titan Xp’s fan averages more than 2500 RPM, while 1080 Ti and Titan X both average less than 2400 RPM. All three cards end the test thermally-limited, but greater cooling performance lets Titan Xp bounce around at an advanced clock rate within that 84°C threshold.
Nvidia doesn’t need to spin Titan Xp’s fan as fast in this scenario. Because its 3840-core GPU hits its power limit at a much lower clock rate, the cooler doesn’t struggle to keep up. Instead, it’s the Titan X that strains above 2800 RPM by the time our 10-minute test ends.
Remember that 1080 Ti and Titan Xp both benefit from a freer-flowing thermal solution (at the cost of a DVI output). The design tweak appears to pay off here, though, under extreme duress.
Notice also that GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and Titan X demonstrate a sudden bump in fan speed, corresponding to the point where they overshoot their temperature targets. Such a rapid speed-up is audibly distinct. Meanwhile, Titan Xp’s clock rate starts lower as it immediately runs into a power limit, resulting in a slower temperature increase that never gets away from the fan.
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