NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X Video Card PREVIEW

The TITAN X video card has 12GB of VRAM, not 11.5GB, 50% more streaming units, 50% more texture units, and 50% more CUDA cores than the current GTX 980 flagship NVIDIA GPU. While this is not our full TITAN X review, this preview focuses on what the TITAN X delivers when directly compared to the GTX 980.

Introduction

Earlier this month NVIDIA did something a little different in regards to its next video card GPU launch. During the Game Developers Conference event (GDC) in San Francisco, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang held up a brand new video card called the GeForce GTX TITAN X dubbed as "the fastest, most powerful graphics card in the world." Not much was known about the specifications at the time, other than that it has 12GB of VRAM onboard and contains 8 billion transistors and powered some of the demos shown by NVIDIA at GDC.

One and a half weeks later it is finally time to pull the veil off the GeForce GTX TITAN X and see what lies under the hood and find out how it performs. Today's evaluation is a small preview of TITAN X performance explored. We had a, shall we say very small window of time to bring you performance evaluation for this hard launch today. We will be spending much more time with the card and be performing a full evaluation that will be published in the coming weeks. For now, please enjoy these apples-to-apples performance comparisons with VRAM capacities noted in games.

The launch of GeForce GTX TITAN X coincides with a keynote being delivered by Jen-Hsun Huang at the launch event during the GPU Technology Conference (GTC). The keynote takes place between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Pacific today. Please click through to the livestream in the link.

Pricing was not revealed until this keynote. We now know the official MSRP will be $999 for the GeForce GTX TITAN X. NVIDIA states this video card is not for the price conscious in its reviewers guide. This video card is for the gamer who demands the fastest performance. NVIDIA is handling this launch very different from past video card launches, keeping its cards close to the vest until the launch. Now that this has happened, the price is finally known. NVIDIA claims this is a hard launch.

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X

The GeForce GTX TITAN X is Maxwell architecture based using the brand new full GM200 GPU. This GPU contains 8 billion transistors on a 28nm process. NVIDIA has been very vocal both at GDC and probably soon at GTC about its DirectX 12 backing and support with Maxwell GPUs. NVIDIA claims the Maxwell architecture "GM2xx" GPUs support DirectX 12 API feature level 12.1 specifically.

The GeForce GTX TITAN X contains 3072 CUDA Cores with 192 texture units and 96 ROPs. These features are all well over the specs of the GTX 980 in every regard, even the L2 Cache size has increased to 3MB. In addition, NVIDIA is backing the TITAN with a full 384-bit memory bus and 7GHz VRAM. This allows for 336GB/sec of memory bandwidth. There is no memory or ROP trickery here, what you see is what you get. What makes this video card unique in the gaming world is the 12GB of VRAM onboard.

The base clock speed is 1000MHz and boost clock is 1075MHz. However, it does operate faster than that while gaming. We experienced a real-world frequency of 1190 MHz while gaming. Typical reference GTX 980 reaches 1300 MHz for comparison while gaming. The board splits power via a 6-phase power supply to the GPU with overvolting capability. A 2-phase power supply is used for the memory, so this is a 6+2 power design.

NVIDIA states that at a 110% power target the board provides 275W of power for the GPU, TDP is 250W at 100% power target. NVIDIA is also using polarized capacitors (POSCAPS) to minimize board noise as well as molded inductors. NVIDIA also claims to have improved airflow to these components compared to the previous TITAN. All of this is to help facilitate better overclocking as well as stability. NVIDIA is claiming overclocks up to 1.4GHz in its labs on this video card.

NVIDIA has packed all of this into a video card that measures the exact same length as the GeForce GTX 980 at 10.5". Neither size, nor cooler has changed. The GPU temperature still runs about the same as the GTX 980. Oddly though, there is no backplate on the TITAN X. NVIDIA claims this is to better allow cards in SLI to be cooled. One 8-pin and one 6-pin power connector are required as the TDP is 250W. This video card does support 3 and 4-way SLI. Dual-link DVI, HDMI and three DisplayPort connectors are standard.

We have put together a table for you comparing the GeForce GTX TITAN X and GeForce GTX 980.

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