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The Geforce GTX Titan


What’s in a name? If you’re going to name one of your products the “Titan” you better put your money where your mouth is and it looks as if Nvidia have done just that with the Geforce GTX Titan Z. The TItan Z sports two full-fat GK110 GPUs for a staggering total of 5760 CUDA cores. Not even the formidable Quadro K6000 comes close to this as a single-card solution. The Titan Z has 12GB of GDDR 5 RAM, which also matches the memory allocation of the K6000, but since the Titan’s 12Gb is mirrored and split between the two GPUs the actual effective framebuffer is 6GB, which is the number you should keep in mind when considering.

The Titan Z is not the fastest card in terms of per-GPU performance, but in terms of GPU parallel processing there is nothing that puts this many computing elements in this form factor, period. Add to this the fact that the Titan Z sports full-speed double precision and the picture starts to come together. At about $3000 the Titan Z might seem expensive, but when one looks at how favourably its performance compares to professional workstation cards that are much more expensive it really begins to make sense. If you’re looking for GPU computation power, why not just use a Nvidia Tesla card? Apart from the fact that Tesla cards are far more expensive, with the single-GPU Tesla 40C clocking in at a cool $10K, but that it out-specifies it by a large margin.

It may be true that the Titan Z, not officially being an enterprise card, does not have the level of enterprise support that Quadro and Tesla cards have. However, for the user that wants to put the most GPU-computational power into a workstation- or even normal-sized case and have it under a desk, this is essentially the ultimate solution. It’s also the most practical way to get four GK110 GPUs into one tower case. Quadro cards that sport this top-end chip are limited to dual-GPU configurations and for consumer cards such as the Titan Black (the single-GPU version of this card) a quad-card solution is prohibitively complex and extremely power hungry. For thermal reasons the Titan Z is clocked lower than the Titan Black, which means that it is not quite as fast on a per-GPU basis, but this can be rectified by replacing the stock air-cooling solution with liquid cooling or another advanced solution. This would still be far less expensive than enterprise solutions.

In theory you could put two cards in one tower case and have a total of 11520 CUDA cores in one computer that will go under your desk. The best part is that the Titan Z is certified with drivers in the way that normal consumer Geforce cards are, which means that when you are done with your GPU computing task your workstation will happily run all the software and games that any other Geforce card will. More than anything else, it’s this mix of flexibility and uncompromising performance at a great price that really makes the Titan Z stand out.

If you’re convinced that the Titan Z is the card for you, then you can choose it as an option in our X495, X525 or A275 workstation builds.