The GPU market back in February last year was rocked by the arrival of Nvidia’s GeForce Titan using the Keplar GK110 architecture. The beast had 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM, and 14 of the 15 SMX’s enabled on the GK110 chip providing 2688 Stream Processors. The GeForce Titan was left to rule the high end, with the GTX 780 later being released as a further cut down chip both in terms of Stream Processors and Texture Units, but primarily FP64 performance.
Nvidia’s Titan was soon beaten in terms of pure gaming performance by its own GTX 780 Ti and AMD’s R9 290X. Enter the Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan Black Edition which takes the good points of the GTX 780 Ti (the enabled 15th SMX) and combines this with the Titan’s extra 3GB of GDDR5 RAM and superior FP64 performance. The Black Edition also equals out memory speed and bandwidth to that the GTX 780 Ti, thanks to running its RAM at 7GHZ in place of the 6GHZ (meaning 16 percent higher frequency) than the original Titan.
So you’ll now get FP64 performance that’s 1/3 of the GTX Titan Black Edition’s FP32 compute, which is significantly better than that of the 780 Ti’s 1/24th.
|GTX Titan Black||GTX 780 Ti||GTX Titan||GTX 780|
|Memory Clock||7GHz GDDR5||7GHz GDDR5||6GHz GDDR5||6GHz GDDR5|
|Memory Bus Width||384-bit||384-bit||384-bit||384-bit|
|FP64||1/3 FP32||1/24 FP32||1/3 FP32||1/24 FP32|
|Price At Launch||$999||$699||$999||$649|
For many gamer’s the GTX 780 Ti would likely still be the better choice, unless you’re in need of a card that’s also capable of performing compute tasks. There’s also the extra RAM, which will likely come into its own in situations where the gamer is wishing to play in super high resolutions with Anti-Aliasing in SLI situations. During our recent review of the EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti SuperClock ACX, the memory usage of Crysis 3 during FXAA at 1440P hit a peak of 2.1GB, further raising to 2.4GB or so for MSAA. It’s likely that to currently run games in the resolutions and AA required to hit the 3GB limit, you’ll require SLI to have the shading power. Of course, with that said, some of the texture packs available for titles such as Skyrim can certainly start ballooning the VRAM on a GPU.
The GK110’s core of the GTX Titan Black has also seen a subtle increase in clock speed, but it’s worth noting that both the 780 Ti, 780 and GeForce Titan have been known to overclock well. The Ti for example can typically hit boost speeds even on reference cools in excess of 1200MHZ. That’s not to say that the Titan Black Edition is a ‘bad’ card, it has a specific market. But likely many gamer’s would be better to put their money in a GTX 780 Ti or a R9 290 crossfire. For those who require the extra VRAM, or compute power and also do gaming, the Titan Black Edition is a no compromise solution.