NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Z Review Hits The Web – Gets Tested At 5K Resolution But Fails To Deliver Substantial Results

Hassan Mujtaba
Posted May 20, 2014
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The first NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Z review has hit the web from Dr.Lee (aka DGLee) testing the card at a high resolution of 5K. During its announcement at GTC 2014, NVIDIA called the GeForce GTX Titan Z as the first 5K compatible graphics card in one of their slides but does it lives up to the claim of being the fastest graphics card in terms of 5K gaming performance?

NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Z Review – Gets Tested At 5K Resolution

Now some of you may remember that a review of the card from an Asian source leaked prior to this but it wasn’t as brief and looked a lot more like a preview of the card. In case you missed the previous news, NVIDIA has failed to launch the GeForce GTX Titan Z which was originally planned for launch on 29th April yet was delayed to 8th May after which it was delayed indefinitely with no words on a new launch schedule by NVIDIA. The only reason to be blamed by several retailers were blamed to be software and driver issues which is taking NVIDIA so long to get the card released that it has missed its launch date twice. If that isn’t enough, the performance of the card is no where as good as was expected against its direct competitor and the much cheaper, Radeon R9 295X2 from AMD.

The GeForce GTX Titan Z is manufactured with two GK110-350-B1 chips under its hood that pack 7.1 billion transistors each. The GeForce GTX Titan Z replaces the GeForce GTX 690 boasting dual-GK110 cores compared to dual-GK104 cores on its predecessor. The GeForce GTX Titan Z will feature two GK110 cores with 5760 Cuda Cores, 448 TMUs and 96 ROPs. The card features a 384-bit x 2 bus which will run across a massive 12 GB VRAM. This is an impressive feature giving developers and games an unprecedented amount of VRAM for use. The memory is clocked at 7 GHz effective clock speed. The core clock speeds are maintained at 705 MHz base and 876 MHz boost clock and the card features a maximum single precision performance of 8.1 TFlops and 2.3 TFlops of double precision.

The design of the GeForce GTX Titan Z is beefier compared to the GeForce GTX 690. The design is similar but the card takes up three slots to provide optimal thermals with the Dual GK110 cores in action. The card will feature dual black colored Vapor chambers placed on top of each GK110 core while a large cooler fan will push air from the internal assembly, cooling the components and letting the heat out of the front exhaust. The display outputs include Dual-DVI, HDMI and a Display Port. The card has a single SLI gold finger to enable two of these cards to function as multiple GPUs. The card is fed through dual 8-Pin connectors which represent a TDP of 375W. The card has a beefy 12 Phase PWM supply and with a 450W heatsink under its hood, the GeForce GTX Titan Z will actually be able to sustain overclocking on air around the 1 GHz mark.

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The NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Z is backed by a steep price tag of $2999 US which will make it look like an enthusiast focused card but NVIDIA did mention that the card is aimed towards both gamers and professionals since the power of GK110 and its CUDA Compute capabilities will be available to users at a much lower price tag compared to their Quadro and Tesla variants. Hence the price tag may make sense to some but for gamers, the competitor Radeon R9 295X2 which is priced at half of what NVIDIA’s asking for their flagship card ($1499 US) is going to look like a better option. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Z has it advantages when it comes to drivers, application support, GeForce optimized titles, 12 GB VRAM (6 GB per GPU) and a cooler that is said to be both silent and aesthetically pleasing for those who are cautious about the looks of their cards.

The one thing I was glad to see about this review is that it showcases the performance of the card on a variety of resolutions which include UltraHD resolutions such as 4K and 5K on which the card is supposed to be benched. All credit goes to Dr.Lee for giving a comprehensive look at the card prior to its launch. Here’s a read from him over at HardOCP Forums:

– 2560 x 1600 (4 million pixels)
– 5760 x 1080 (3-way surround of 1920 x 1080, 6 million pixels)
– 4096 x 2160 (4K, 8 million pixels)
– 7680 x 1600 (3-way surround of 2560 x 1600, 12 million pixels)
– 5120 x 2700 (5K, 14 million pixels)
For the test, all games are to be set at their highest graphics quality option except anti-aliasing : Speaking anti-aliasing, I seperate all test scenarios (except for Bioshock : Infinite) into two groups – one for without AA, another for with 4x AA. For Bioshock, I assumed its DX11+DDOF preset as “with 4x AA” as well as DX11 preset as “without AA” since the official benchmark tool didn’t offer such options.
And to adopt super-high resolutions in ordinary display(s), I used Eyefinity and NV Surround as well as “User Defined Resolution” in NV Control Panel (for NVIDIA, of course). Specifically as follow:
– 2560 x 1600 : Nothing special
– 5760 x 1080 : AMD – Eyefinity / NVIDIA – NV Surround (both 3 x 1920×1080)
– 4096 x 2160 : AMD – Eyefinity (2 x 2048×2160) / NVIDIA – NVCP User Define (single display, upscaled)
– 7680 x 1600 : AMD – Eyefinity / NVIDIA – NV Surround (both 3 x 2560×1600)
– 5120 x 2700 : AMD – Eyefinity (4 x 2560×1350) / NVIDIA – NVCP User Define (single display, upscaled)
(for detailed info, see Ch2 and Ch3 of this article : http://iyd.kr/649)
For 4K and 5K, AMD and NVIDIA are not perfectly variable-controlled. (at least the # of display used are different!) With keeping it in mind, I’m going to analyze how this -AMD’s to control multiple display while NVIDIA’s to control just a single display- affect the overall performance at the end of the article.

It’s no doubt that NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX Titan Z as seen in this and several leaks before it has failed to live up to everyone’s expectations. What was once thought to be an engineering marvel has no turned into a big disaster for NVIDIA. We hope that NVIDIA somehow manage to solve the driver issues and at the least, launch the card since there will always be professionals looking to buy such solutions but for gamers, the best bet would be a dual GeForce GTX 780 Ti solution if you solely stick with the green team. You can see the performance benchmarks at the end of this article.

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Z Specifications:

  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Black Edition AMD Radeon R9 295X2 NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Z
GPU Codename Kepler GK110 Kepler GK110 Kepler GK110 Kepler GK110 Vesuvius Kepler GK110
GPU Process 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm
GPU Transistors 7100 Million 7100 Million 7100 Million 7100 Million 6200 Million 7100 Million
GPU Cores 2304 2688 2880 2880 2816
x 2
(5632)
2880
x 2
(5760)
TMUs 192 224 240 240 176 x
2
240 x
2
ROPs 48 ROPs 48
ROPs
48 ROPs 48 ROPs 64 x 2 ROPs 48 x 2 ROPs
Core Clock 902 MHz 876 MHz 928 MHz 980 MHz 1018 MHz 876 MHz
Memory Clock 1502 MHz 1502 MHz 1752 MHz 1752 MHz 1250 MHz 1752 MHz
Memory Bus 384 Bit 384 Bit 384 Bit 384 Bit 512 Bit X 2 384 Bit X 2
TDP 250W 250W 250W 250W 500W 375W
Power Connectors 8+8 Pin 8+8 Pin 8+8 Pin 8+8 Pin 8+8 Pin 8+8 Pin
Cooling Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Dual Slot Hybrid Tripe Slot
Launch 2013 2013 2013 2014 8th April 2014 8th May 2014
Price $449 US $999 US $699 US $999 US $1499 US $2999 US

 NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Z Benchmarks (Courtesy of Dr.Lee):

NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Z Official Renders:

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