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Nvidia releases GK110 based Geforce GTX Titan graphics card

A Tesla board for the richest of gamers
Tue Feb 19 2013, 14:00

CHIP DESIGNER Nvidia has announced its Geforce GTX Titan graphics card, claiming it houses the most complex chip the firm has ever designed.

Nvidia's Geforce GTX Titan was perhaps one of the poorest kept GPU secrets in recent times, not least because the GPU it is based on, the GK110, made its public debut last year in the Titan high performance computing cluster and helped it take the top spot in the prestigious Top 500 list. Now Nvidia has taken the same GPU, made some minor tweaks and slapped a £827 price tag on it.

Nvidia's Geforce GTX Titan is essentially a consumer version of the firm's Tesla K20X accelerator board with the same 2,699 core count and, unlike other Geforce branded boards that artificially have their double precision floating point performance limited, the Geforce Titan has the same 1.3 TFLOPS found on its Tesla branded cousin. The firm cites single precision floating point performance of 4.5 TFLOPS, which is actually 13 percent higher than that of the Tesla K20X and on a par with the Tesla K10 that focuses on single precision floating point performance.

Nvidia said that the Geforce GTX Titan's base clock speed would be 836MHz with a boost up to 876MHz, though it stressed that board partners would set their own boost clock limits. Nvidia also touted an updated version of GPU boost that can over-volt the GPU in order to achieve higher overclocks with active GPU temperature monitoring that wasn't present on the Geforce GTX 680, but stressed that the upper limit would be decided by board partners as it might affect the long term life of the GPU.

Nvidia has stuck 6GB of 364-bit GDDR5 memory on the Geforce GTX Titan, clocking it at an effective 6GHz resulting in a bandwidth of 288.4GB/s.

While Nvidia has borrowed the GPU from its Tesla K20X for the Geforce GTX Titan, the firm opted for a modified Geforce GTX 690 cooler. The firm's decision to use a hefty cooler is not in small part due to the 250W TDP of the card, though Nvidia said that users can set the GPU temperature limit through the drivers.

With Nvidia putting a £827 price tag on the card it is pretty obvious that for the vast majority of gamers the Geforce GTX Titan is not a viable option, let alone the fact that the card can be set up in triple-SLI, but that didn't lead the firm to claim that there will be a limited supply of these graphics cards. Instead Nvidia cited its ability to ship thousands of GK110 GPUs for the Titan HPC cluster as evidence of its ability to produce Geforce GTX Titan boards on demand.

Nvidia might claim the Geforce GTX Titan is a gamer's dream, but in reality hard core CUDA and OpenCL programmers will find this board particularly interesting, even if it lacks the software validation of the firm's Quadro and Tesla boards. Benchmarks on Nvidia's latest range topper are due to be published later this week, but it seems likely that the Geforce GTX Titan will firmly hand the single GPU speed crown back to Nvidia. µ


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