Conclusion

This has been quite an enjoyable, if far too short, 3-day exploration for us in evaluating our new GTX TITAN X since Friday of this last week.  It did very well performance-wise comparing it to the the GTX 980 where it brings higher performance. We are totally impressed with this high-performance Maxwell GM220 flagship chip that has such outstanding overclockability and a good price considering its ultra performance at 4K.  It slots well above the GTX 980 and far, far above the R9 290X or the GTX 780, and it offers more advantages except for its pricing.   The TITAN X is not intended as a budget card as it is premium in every sense of the word.

Although the TITAN X is not a budget card, it has been priced identically to the original Kepler TITAN at $999 even though it has double the vRAM and is far more powerful.  We see good overclockability with quietness at stock voltage and fan profile from the reference design GTX TITAN X. Although GTX 970 SLI at approximately 700 dollars may be a better value overall than the $999 GTX TITAN X, a pair of GTX 970s depend on SLI for performance which is not ideal for gaming.

Pros

  • TDP and power draw is superb at 250W for such a large high-performance GPU.
  • Overclockability is excellent – GPU Boost works as advertised and voltage controls seem to be more effective with Maxwell than with Kepler.
  • The reference design cooling is quiet and efficient; the card and well-ventilated case stay cool even well-overclocked on a hot Summer-like day.
  • It is possible to use two to even four of these cards for extreme Quad-SLI performance.
  • 3D Vision 2 and PhysX enhance gaming immersion and Nvidia has made PhysX available free of charge to devs.  And VR becomes possible with TITAN X.
  • GameWorks brings new features to gaming.
  • New MFAA allows for high performance than MSAA, without jaggies
  • DSR allows 4K crispness to come to 1080p
  • New ShadowPlay allows live streaming uploads to 60fps for 4K resolutions
  • G-Sync displays reduce and eliminate stuttering while retaining the advantages of minimizing tearing.
  • The GTX TITAN X is the fastest single-GPU video card – period!  We cannot call price a ‘con’ as it is launched at the same price as the original TITAN.

Cons

  • There is no backplate; not even a removable optional plate for non-SLI users.
  • Price.  TITAN X at $999 is expensive.

 

The Verdict:

  • If you are buying the ultimate flagship video card right now and looking for the highest performance, the GTX TITAN X is the only choice.  It is a halo status card to run in the fastest systems, and not a value card.  It is likely that a pair of GTX 970s will be chosen by the more budget conscious as faster, but SLI will come with the issues that are common to multi-GPU systems that are not inherent to a single card.
  • We would like to award the TITAN X BabelTechReviews Editor’s Choice Award.  It is uniquely powerful and not that much more expensive than a pair of GTX 970s which depend on SLI.

We do not know what the future will bring, but the GTX TITAN X brings a superb top-performer to the GeForce family.  With great features like GameWorks and the GeForce Experience, you can be assured of immersive gaming by picking this card for 1080P, 1600P, 4K, or even higher 5K resolutions including for Surround, 3D Vision Surround, and especially for VR.

If you currently game on any other video card, you will do yourself a favor by upgrading. The move to a GTX TITAN X will give you better visuals on the DX11 and DX12 pathways and you are no doubt thinking of SLI or of even Tri- or Quad-SLI if you want to get the ultimate gaming performance.

AMD offers their own set of features including Eyefinity, GCN 2.0, and Mantle. However, Hawaii is relatively old and less power-efficient architecture and AMD has already had to drop pricing on the reference and stock-clocked R9 290s when the GTX 970 was released.  AMD and their fans are pinning their hopes on a 390X successor to the 290X which would have to make up a lot of ground to be competitive with the GTX 980, nevermind with the GTX TITAN X.

Besides new cards, the other major thing that AMD currently lacks is a good multi-GPU solution.  Hawaii GPUs run hot, and reference versions are the only reasonable choice (except expensive water cooling) for multi-GPU, but the noise that is produced by more than one 290X reference card is intolerable to most gamers.  Aftermarket open-design 290Xes are fine for single GPU, but there is too much heat produced by more than one card that will quickly overwhelm the cooling abilities of most cases.

We hope that AMD will be able to bring out a new and powerful flagship video card as they are losing market share and margins as they drop the pricing on their entire lineup just to compete on price versus performance against Nvidia.  It would be good to have some competition again as the GTX TITAN X is the fifth card from Nvidia to beat AMD’s aging flagship – the GTX TITAN X, TITAN Black, GTX 980, GTX 970 and GTX 780 TI are all faster than AMD’s 290X and also more power efficient.

Stay tuned, there is a lot coming from us at BTR.  Next, after the GTC wrap-up article, we will compare GTX 980 SLI performance with 290X CrossFire and with the TITAN X performance. And don’t forget to check out BTR’s tech community!  You can feel free to comment there or in the comments section on the main site.

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