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The New Titan X: The King is Dead, Hail to the King


Letís be honest here, the Nvidia 1080 caught almost everyone off guard when it came out. The Pascal architecture represented a performance leap that spanned a few generations worth of what we had been used to until now. This is partly thanks to the skipping of a process generation. From Maxwell to Pascal we see the process size halve from 28nm to 14nm. This brought massive drops in power usage and temperature while kicking the clock speed to unseen heights. At the same time Nvidia squeezed in more CUDA cores and while high-bandwidth memory has yet to feature on their cards, the Pascal generation has been blessed with insanely fast GDDR5.

The sum effect of this is that the $700 1080 thoroughly trounced the Maxwell based Titan X in every way, instantly rendering the previous top-end card obsolete in a single stroke. What were all those Titan X ownerís to do? We were all expecting a Ti model of the 1080 and of course another Titan.

Finally Nvidia has released its replacement for the outgoing Titan X, which they have inexplicable named...Titan X.

Yes, itís pretty confusing, but I guess they may have reached a dead end with the whole letter thing. For convenience sake people are referring to the new Titan X as the Titan XP. Obviously thatís not the official name, but thatís what weíre going with in order to keep the confusion down.

By the Numbers
The most important number for most people is actually going to be the price of the Titan XP. Whereas the Titan X it replaces was released for $1000, but the XP comes in at a hefty $1200 and thatís only the recommended price. Demand is likely to push the price up as it did for the 1080, which has run into supply problems thanks to that GPUís popularity.

What do you get for this huge chunk of change? 3584 CUDA cores with 12GB of GDDR5X memory on a wide 312-bit bus. A power rating of 250W, a 1417Mhz base clock and boost frequency of over 1531Mhz with stock cooling and settings. We've already a few people hitting 2Ghz with improved cooling. It was perhaps inevitable, but seeing nearly 2Ghz on a GPU after the previous generation achieved just over half that it mind-boggling.

There is no doubt that as of today, for however long it lasts, the GP102-based Titan X is the fastest graphics card that money can buy, from anyone, anywhere.

Value Mart
Hereís the thing though. The Titan XP is almost twice as expensive as the 1080, but in benchmarks at stock itís only about 40% faster. Running two 1080s in SLI will trounce a single Titan XP. So if you want the best performance per dollar thereís just no way that the Titan XP will be it.

Well, that is if what you are looking for is the best value gaming card. If however you are using your GPU to generate money the value proposition changes. Nvidia is not only marketing the Titan XP to wealthy enthusiast gamers, but also to professional users who want to apply it to machine learning applications and other GPU intensive tasks. Seen in this context an additional 40% of performance may be totally worth it, if that increase in performance will pay for the premium. Of course that depends on exactly what the GPUís will be working on, so thatís a call each buyer will have to make on their own.

The Final Verdict
There is no doubt that, taken on its own, the new Titan X is an incredible piece of hardware. For the person simply looking for the most performance-per-buck, stay away from the Titan XP. If however money is not your main concern, this is as good as it gets today.