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Best of Both Worlds? EVGA Geforce Titan X with Hybrid Cooling


The Nvidia GTX Titan X is by anyone’s definition a monster of a GPU solution. 3072 CUDA cores running at 1Ghz couples with 12GB of 7 Gbps GDDR 5 makes for both eye-watering performance and an eye-watering price.

The Titan X has especially proved popular as a “poor man’s choice” compared to the similarly specified Quadro M6000. The raw hardware horsepower between the two cards is essentially the same, but of course the consumer-oriented Titan X lacks the optimized professional drivers and software support the Quadro cards enjoy. Those benefits come at a steep price however, so professionals who don’t strictly need those features have found a champion in the Titan X.

The Titan X is one of the most power hungry cards Nvidia makes, although relative to previous generations Maxwell based GPUs are positively frugal. Better cooling is therefore desirable in itself, but lifting the thermal ceiling also reveals that the Maxwell chip at the Titan’s heart has a bit more performance to give yet.

So it comes at no surprise that the hybrid liquid-cooled EVGA card pushes the GPU clock a little bit. The standard clock is now set at 1152 Mhz, with boost clock speed now hitting 1241 Mhz. So that’s an improvement of between 15% and 24%. In absolute terms for a chip that’s already so powerful that’s a significant improvement.

Memory speeds are the same, which makes sense given the design of the hybrid cooler. The GPU is cooled by a zero-maintenance closed loop system, but the memory and PCB still use plain old air cooling. This is a good move actually, since there’s no lack of memory performance and creating a cooler that covers all of these components would be expensive and fiddly. Especially since separate upgrade kits are available for owners of air-cooled Titan X cards and a full liquid cooler would complicate self-installs.

The hybrid versions of the Titan X carry about a $100 premium over the stock card, but given the market segment, the convenience and the welcome increase in GPU performance it may just be worth it on balance.