Graphics Cards

NVIDIA TITAN X 12GB Graphics Card Review

Price / Where to Buy:

US – Approx. $1000 – NVIDIA TITAN X on Amazon
PH – Approx. Php54,000

The Maxwell architecture is NVIDIA’s greatest achievement as of late given its efficiency compared to the last generation. While it doesn’t serve as a great leap in terms of performance, many people are still convinced by the excellent performance-per-watt ratio. Both the GTX 980 and GTX 970 have been largely in-demand primarily for the efficiency but the Maxwell-based GTX GPUs also introduced some new features including NVIDIA Voxel Global Illumination (VXGI), Multi-Frame sampled AA (MFAA), and Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR). Maxwell GPUs also support Microsoft’s upcoming DirectX 12 API.

The NVIDIA TITAN series of GPUs have always been the company’s playground for demonstrating their technical abilities and showing off the power of their GPUs. Recent years have seen numerous TITAN branded GPUs from NVIDIA, and the latest aims to spark renewed interest in the GPU arms race: introducing the TITAN X.

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TITANX_FINAL

Official product page

ABOUT THE TITAN X

The TITAN X has 3072 CUDA Cores with 192 texture units and 96 ROPs running at 1000Mhz and has a Boost clock of 1075Mhz. This is complemented by a full 384-bit memory bus running at 7Ghz.  There is a total of 12GB of VRAM on the TITAN X, the largest we’ve seen so far.

Product Gallery

Overclocking

Overclocking any graphics card is pretty straightforward nowadays provided you know what to do and given that most companies also have their own overclocking software, makes it so much more approachable. We use the latest GPU Tweak software for this test.

gpuz

gpuz_OC

The GTX TITAN X is an overclocking beast. We can feel the card has so much more room to push itself but we are being held back by the reference cooler with the card throttling down when temps go upwards of around 83*C. This can easily be remedied by watercooling the card but we wanted to see how far we can push it on stock configuration and we managed to get a lofty 1226Mhz bump on the card and overclocked the memory to 8000Mhz.

PERFORMANCE

Test Setup

Processor: Intel Core i7 3770K 4.4Ghz
Motherboard: MSI Z77 Mpower
Memory: Kingston HyperX Beast DDR3-2400 16GB
Storage: Kingston HyperX FURY 240GB
PSU: Seasonic P1000
Cooling: Custom loop (XSPC Raystorm block, XSPC D5 Dual Bayres, BlackIce Stealth GT 240 rad)
Monitor: LG 42UB820T UltraHD TV
VGA: NVIDIA GTX TITAN X 12GB

We test our graphics card with a full-level playthrough of our selected game or the games’ built-in benchmark tool. We record the run with Fraps. Game settings are indicated in the charts. Resolutions are shown in the charts. Unlike our standard benchmarks. For this tests, we’ve changed a few things so some of games that we follow built-in options we’ve retained results from other results but for those other games that we’ve changed options, we’ve provided newer results and indicated settings also.

FullHD (1920×1080)

Battlefield 4 is one of the hottest titles of 2013 and continues to prove itself a worthy game. Based on DICE’s Frostbite Engine 3, this game’s lush details and visuals are just stunning but can really stress any modern GPU. Level tested is the escape from Baku with wide open space and collapsing building showing what the Frostbite 3 engine can do.

NVIDIA_TITAN_X_1080_0001

The most visually intense game to ever been made. Prophet is back to take on the Ceph and Cell after a long sleep and the world isn’t what it was when before he got frozen. CryEngine 3 is behind this beautiful beast that will put a lot of systems to their knees. The opening level shows off the particle and water rendering of the engine.

NVIDIA_TITAN_X_1080_0002

The reboot of the gaming phenomenon Tomb Raider puts players in Lara Croft’s hiking boots as she explores the ruin of Yamatai in this origins game. Powered by a modified Crystal Engine, the game features TressFX which creates beautifully rendered hair animation.

NVIDIA_TITAN_X_1080_0006

The most popular game on Steam and the biggest competition in eSports; DOTA 2 is powered by the Source engine. The game is fairly light on low to medium settings but maxed out with heavy action on screen especially during clashes can really stress some systsems.

We use the built-in timedemo and benchmarking tool. DOTA2 only shows average FPS so we will be reflecting that in this test. Our timedemo features a heavy clash in the bottom lane for the maximum real-world system load the game can generate. With the recent visual update, DOTA2 has received some graphic makeover that adds a bit of hit for the system and all our date are updated to reflect this.

NVIDIA_TITAN_X_1080_0005

Batman: Arkham Origins is the prequel to the highly successful Arkham series of Batman games from RockSteady. Rocking Unreal Engine 3, the game has superb detail and puts a decent load on modern systems.

NVIDIA_TITAN_X_1080_0003

Ubisoft’s hacker action puts you in the shoes of Aiden Pearce as you piece together a crime that has been haunting you since its occurrence. Rage through Chicago as presented by Ubisoft with its Disrupt engine utilizing vast video memory for high-resolution textures for visually stunning graphics.

NVIDIA_TITAN_X_1080_0004

2560×1440

Battlefield 4 is one of the hottest titles of 2013 and continues to prove itself a worthy game. Based on DICE’s Frostbite Engine 3, this game’s lush details and visuals are just stunning but can really stress any modern GPU. Level tested is the escape from Baku with wide open space and collapsing building showing what the Frostbite 3 engine can do.

NVIDIA_TITAN_X_1440_0001

The most visually intense game to ever been made. Prophet is back to take on the Ceph and Cell after a long sleep and the world isn’t what it was when before he got frozen. CryEngine 3 is behind this beautiful beast that will put a lot of systems to their knees. The opening level shows off the particle and water rendering of the engine.

NVIDIA_TITAN_X_1440_0002

The reboot of the gaming phenomenon Tomb Raider puts players in Lara Croft’s hiking boots as she explores the ruin of Yamatai in this origins game. Powered by a modified Crystal Engine, the game features TressFX which creates beautifully rendered hair animation.

NVIDIA_TITAN_X_1440_0004

The most popular game on Steam and the biggest competition in eSports; DOTA 2 is powered by the Source engine. The game is fairly light on low to medium settings but maxed out with heavy action on screen especially during clashes can really stress some systsems.

We use the built-in timedemo and benchmarking tool. DOTA2 only shows average FPS so we will be reflecting that in this test. Our timedemo features a heavy clash in the bottom lane for the maximum real-world system load the game can generate.

NVIDIA_TITAN_X_1440_0005

Batman: Arkham Origins is the prequel to the highly successful Arkham series of Batman games from RockSteady. Rocking Unreal Engine 3, the game has superb detail and puts a decent load on modern systems.

NVIDIA_TITAN_X_1440_0006

Ubisoft’s hacker action puts you in the shoes of Aiden Pearce as you piece together a crime that has been haunting you since its occurrence. Rage through Chicago as presented by Ubisoft with its Disrupt engine utilizing vast video memory for high-resolution textures for visually stunning graphics.

NVIDIA_TITAN_X_1440_0003

4K UltraHD – GTX 980 vs Titan X

Battlefield 4 is one of the hottest titles of 2013 and continues to prove itself a worthy game. Based on DICE’s Frostbite Engine 3, this game’s lush details and visuals are just stunning but can really stress any modern GPU. Level tested is the escape from Baku with wide open space and collapsing building showing what the Frostbite 3 engine can do.

NVIDIA_TITAN_X_4K_0001

The most visually intense game to ever been made. Prophet is back to take on the Ceph and Cell after a long sleep and the world isn’t what it was when before he got frozen. CryEngine 3 is behind this beautiful beast that will put a lot of systems to their knees. The opening level shows off the particle and water rendering of the engine.

NVIDIA_TITAN_X_4K_0002

The reboot of the gaming phenomenon Tomb Raider puts players in Lara Croft’s hiking boots as she explores the ruin of Yamatai in this origins game. Powered by a modified Crystal Engine, the game features TressFX which creates beautifully rendered hair animation.

NVIDIA_TITAN_X_4K_0004

The most popular game on Steam and the biggest competition in eSports; DOTA 2 is powered by the Source engine. The game is fairly light on low to medium settings but maxed out with heavy action on screen especially during clashes can really stress some systsems.

We use the built-in timedemo and benchmarking tool. DOTA2 only shows average FPS so we will be reflecting that in this test. Our timedemo features a heavy clash in the bottom lane for the maximum real-world system load the game can generate.

NVIDIA_TITAN_X_4K_0005

Batman: Arkham Origins is the prequel to the highly successful Arkham series of Batman games from RockSteady. Rocking Unreal Engine 3, the game has superb detail and puts a decent load on modern systems.

NVIDIA_TITAN_X_4K_0006

Ubisoft’s hacker action puts you in the shoes of Aiden Pearce as you piece together a crime that has been haunting you since its occurrence. Rage through Chicago as presented by Ubisoft with its Disrupt engine utilizing vast video memory for high-resolution textures for visually stunning graphics.

NVIDIA_TITAN_X_4K_0003

TEMPERATURE & POWER CONSUMPTION

To measure both power consumption and heat, we stress the video card and record the peak values for heat and wattage. We use default values on the cards and stress test them using a mix of Kombustor Dx11 Burn-In Test with Post-FX.

NVIDIA_TITAN_X_1080_0007

NVIDIA_TITAN_X_1080_0008

With most of the Maxwell cards featuring a semi-passive mode, the reference cooler from NVIDIA doesn’t feature such a trick and while it is pretty quiet for the most part, it does get pretty hot under load even with the fan blowing at more than 80%. This is quite disappointing as it is one of the limiting factor we’ve noticed in the TITAN X’s rather incredible performance capabilities with Boost clock readily going past 1150Mhz on stock with the right temperature condition and load. Consumption overall though is ridiculously low and only a few watts above of last generation’s high-end. This is truly an amazing card and imagine the possibilities if it were cooled for effectively.

CONCLUSION

NVIDIA_TITAN_X_Review_0001

Let’s break down the verdict:

Performance. The NVIDIA TITAN X decimated our charts proving it is without a doubt there is no competition for it right now. Both 1080p and 1440p gaming were smooth but it was at 4K resolution that really made the TITAN X stand-out finally allowing 4K gameplay possible on a single card with really smooth frame rates. Overclocking the card was a bit of a task because of the cooling but those in cooler climates or are watercooling can expect this card to go past anything you’ve ever used before.

Build Quality.  Brandishing a 12GB framebuffer is just incredible and there’s a limited number of applications for that capacity but NVIDIA proves once again they can take whatever they want and put it in their TITAN graphics cards. The card is well-built and we’ve found everything to be of good worksmanship from the PCB to the cooling solution, albeit the cooling performance though is a bit lacking.

Functionality. This card will easily play any game you throw at it making it the ultimate, play-it-all solution. While past TITAN models feature somewhat better double precision than their consumer-class counterparts, the TITAN X won’t hold a candle to the TITANs of the past in terms of double precision performance and this might be something worth noting for those looking to use the card for GPU compute applications. Otherwise, for pure gaming, the TITAN X is the top card at the moment and its various display output make it highly varied.

Bundle. Depending on when you bought it, the card could include a game bundle but searching online and during launch day we found the card offered as is so no game bundle.

Value.  Displacing the previous TITAN BLACK, the TITAN X now takes over the $1000 price spot in NVIDIA’s lineup and for this price it is simply not a card anyone could afford. While many would wait for the mainstream variation (the presumed GTX 980 Ti) the TITAN X is an easy buy for anyone looking for the ultimate UltraHD experience without compromise.

Aside from the inadequate cooling, there’s really no fault in the TITAN X. It is marketed as a gaming card so we won’t dock it for the reduced double precision numbers and ultimately, it is by far the most capable card to date to accept any game at 4K resolution and with a bit of adjustment, reach 60FPS numbers without going to low settings as demonstrated best by Battlefield 4 putting up 60FPS at Ultra settings.

The most obvious question is “should you buy it?” The answer is simple: if you want the bleeding edge of gaming graphics and play predominantly in QuadHD or UltraHD, then the GTX TITAN X is the best choice. Once prices go down, a second TITAN X would easily ramp up performance toppling over GTX 980 SLI configurations. But with the looming GTX 980 Ti launch, it is going to be a tough call as of yet and we’ll have to wait to see how those cards performance. But still, if you want the best in 4K performance, the TITAN X is your only choice.

Depending on the AIB partner you go with, warranties vary from 2-3 years. We award the NVIDIA TITAN X our first ever triple crown of 2015 with a B2G Performance Award, B2G Gold Award and a B2G Editor’s Choice!

Price / Where to Buy:

US – Approx. $1000 – NVIDIA TITAN X on Amazon
PH – Approx. Php54,000

B2G_Gold

B2G_Performance

B2G_EditorsChoice


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BossMac Suba

Owner and lead reviewer for Back2Gaming. More than 10-year of corporate IT experience as well as consumer IT journalism. His extensive skill set and experience in communicating complicated technical details into easily understandable bits. He's been with you since dial-up and the ISA slot. His favorite animal is the scapegoat.

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