Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan arrives: the world's most powerful gaming GPU costs $999


The Titan — the world's fastest supercomputer — has 18,688 Nvidia GK110 GPUs inside. Each and every one is more powerful than the graphics accelerator in most any gaming PC you'll find. That changes next week: Nvidia's announcing the $999 GeForce GTX Titan, a graphics card that harnesses the very same power to drive PC games. Wrapped in the same attractive aluminum chassis as the GeForce GTX 690, with the same specially designed cooling system and a polycarbonate window to show it off, the graphics card's a sight to behold, and the company claims it'll play some seriously strenuous games as well. Nvidia says it'll be on sale as soon as next week.

Before we tell you what the GeForce GTX Titan truly is, we should probably tell you what it is not. The GeForce GTX Titan might have the fastest GPU, but it's not necessarily the world's fastest graphics card. For the same $999 price as the Titan, you can pick up the aforementioned GeForce GTX 690, which combines two lesser GPUs on a single card, with 3,072 CUDA cores running at 915MHz by default. By contrast, a single GeForce GTX Titan is a little shy with 2,688 CUDA cores at 837MHz, and an Nvidia rep suggested that if you've got a beefy gaming PC with a single monitor attached, the GTX 690 would deliver better performance.

That's only part of the story, though: with 6GB of GDDR5 memory and 384 bits of memory bandwidth (compare to 2GB and 256-bit per GPU in the GTX 690), the Titan could be better suited to deliver higher resolution games across multiple monitors. With a comparatively low 250W TDP and the custom cooling solution, Nvidia says it's also cool and quiet enough to fit into small form factor PCs like the Digital Storm Bolt and Falcon Northwest Tiki — unlike the comparatively hot and heavy GTX 690 or AMD Radeon HD 7970. A variety of OEMs (including both of them) will offer the Titan in living room sized computers soon. And yet where the Titan really shines, Nvidia says, is when you have three of them grouped together in an SLI configuration, where it should beat a pair of GTX 690s handily.

For $999, you'd no doubt expect incredible things out of a graphics card, much less three of them in a single ludicrously powerful gaming PC — it wasn't that long ago we found that a single $500 GeForce GTX 680 was nearly enough power to play the latest games across three 1600 x 900 monitors, let alone a single screen. $3,000 worth of GPUs should be overkill, no?

We'll see soon enough. Crysis 3 is out today, just in time to be (or escape being) Titan lunch.

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