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The fight for the fastest GPU – once more!

While AMD has already some High-End GPUs on the market, NVidia’s top
speed card, the NVidia GeForce 690GTX still is using the “old” structure
size for it’s die. The Radeon HD7990 for example builds on the 28nm struc-
ture, while the 690GTX uses the Kepler GPU based on the 32nm structure.

But now, NVidia is going to fight back and is planning the release of the NVidia Titan (a slightly modified 690GTX based on the brand new GK110 GPU which is also built on the 28nm structure.

While the standard GK104 (Kepler) GPU has only 8 Streaming Multiprocessors, 1536 Shader units, 32 ROPs and 128 Texturing units using 4x64bit memory interfaces (=256bit memory bus), the new GK110 (Kepler) comes with 15 Streaming Multiprocessors, 2880 Shader units, 48 ROPs and 240 Texturing units using 6×64 memory interfaces (384bit memory bus). Sounds quite a lot, but while the old Kepler goes with a TDP of 195 Watts (allowing 2x6Pin PCI-E connectors) the new Kepler will be under 300W TDP thus allowing a 6+8Pin PCI-E connector configuration. Also the memory equpment will change. The GK104 Goes with 3GB GDDR5 alongside, while the GK110 can access a whopping 6GB GDDR5

About the memory timings, the GPU timings and the like, there’s not much known yet, the GK104 however is using a 1006/1058 factory GPU clocking, the GDDR5 memory is clocked at 6GHz. The GK110 however is said to clock at 975MHz GPU and 5.2GHz Memory speed (like it’s big daddy, the Tesla K20X). So what does the GeForce Titan contain?

Professionals say, that the GeForce Titan is nothing else than a slightly reduced Tesla K20X. Although, this GPU is slightly skower (5-10%) against a GeForce 690GTX, this is quite remarkable for a Single-GPU! Imagine two of theses puppies onto your mainboard and you’re at almost the speed of a QuadSLI-690-setup (2x690GTX that is!) but with the power demand of only one overclocked 690GTX. So until AMD throws in it’s new 8XXX Radeon HD series, this Graphics card may set a new milestone in graphics computing power . Yet the question will be how both these GPUs will perform in the everyday life when used on games. The Titan is a modified Computing GPU and not a classic GPU as the 690GTX is. However slight modifications made it to a fully-grown GPU aswell. The 8xxx Radeon HD series however is the consequent research on the existing 7xxx series and not a modified Computing GPU (btw. Does AMD have one such Computing GPU in it’s portfolio? They say, the FireGL 10K should be one such but is also classified as High-End Workstation GPU!

Whatever comes to us in the next months, it’ll be interesting again to see both mainstreamers show us their newest pieces of GPU hardware. And who knows, maybe the gaming graphics power sector may be enrolled from scratch once again. Pure benchmarks however aren’t the sole answer to today’s customers (or only those who have too much money laying around and thus investing in such GPUs anyways), it’s the most recent games and their behavior (i.e. frame rate) that is a much more comparable value to the gamers amongst us.

Final conclusion: Unless your GPU is really old, there’s no need to pop one of these onto your mainboard as the price tag for the Titan is tagged with 900 US$ MSRP, what is quite hefty for an instant replacement. While most gamers will be satisfied with the GPU power, a 680GTX SLI is offering (or a 690GTX if you will), Owners of the 4xx GeForce series may consider a replacement of their GPU. However they should pay attention to the rest  of their hardware, too as the Titan is PCI-E 3.0 and also said to demand much of the offered bandwidth, the new 3.0 specification is providing.

The final words will be spoken, when first hardware tech magazines are testing these against each other (say a Titan against an ASUS ARES2 7990) and fork out the frame rates, these two are coughing up when heavily stressed.

Oh and one more thing™: You can’t go with one of these hellish GPUs when your CPU is a lamer like an old Core processor family CPU. You’d better think of a Sandy Bridge I5/i7 or better: an actual Ivy Bridge Core i5/i7

Expect an upcoming test from me when I compare an AMD 1090T (6 cores / 6 threads) against a modern Ivy Bridge I7 3930K (6 cores / 12 threads)…

February 13, 2013 Netspark - 1593 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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