vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
facebook rss twitter

Review: Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X in SLI

by Tarinder Sandhu on 27 March 2015, 09:30

Tags: NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacp7e

Add to My Vault: x

Introduction, System Setup

The Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X duly took single-GPU graphics performance to another level when launched last week. Outfitted with an 8-billion transistor die consisting of 3,072 cores based on the energy efficient Maxwell architecture - big numbers everywhere - Titan X is the first card to offer relatively smooth performance at a lusty 4K resolution.

Equipped with 12GB of RAM and having no performance peer until the AMD Radeon R9 390X makes its much-awaited bow in the next few months, Ā£870 is the steep asking price for turning all the eye candy on.

There's no real need to house the 10.5in-long card in a huge box, either. ASRock is busy readying a mini-ITX version of the powerful X99 chipset, so, potentially, you could have an Intel Core i7-5960X eight-core processor and Titan X card in a pint-sized chassis.

The standard 250W TDP of Titan X and SLI compatibility does offer up the chance to see how much more performance is available when a second card is added to the system. Designed to boost 4K gaming performance to another level - Nvidia should be targeting 4K60 at a minimum - it's worth investigating if the large-die Maxwell GPU continues to scale well. To this end we've got ourselves a second reference Titan X GPU, lashed the two together via SLI, and chuckled at some of the numbers produced at lower resolutions.

Without further ado, let's get onto them there benchmarks.

GPU Comparisons

Graphics Card GPU Cores Base Clock
(MHz)
Boost Clock
(MHz)
Memory Size
(MB)
Memory Clock
(MHz)
Memory Bus
(bits)
Graphics Driver
Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X SLI (12GB) 3,072 x2 1,002 1,076 12,288 x2 7,012 384 x2 347.84
Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X (12GB) 3,072 1,002 1,076 12,288 7,012 384 347.84
Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 (4GB) 2,048 1,127 1,216 4,096 7,012 256 347.84
Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan (6GB) 2,688 837 876 6,144 6,008 384 347.84
AMD Radeon R9 295X2 (8GB) 2,816 x2 N/A 1,018 4,096 5,000 512 x2 15.3 beta
AMD Radeon R9 290X (4GB) 2,816 N/A 1,000 4,096 5,000 512 15.3 beta
AMD Radeon R9 290 (4GB) 2,560 N/A 947 4,096 5,000 512 15.3 beta

HEXUS Graphics Test Bench

Hardware Components HEXUS Review Product Page
Processor Intel Core i7-4770K (quad-core, overclocked up to 4.40GHz) June 2013 Intel.com
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-D15 April 2014 Noctua.at
Motherboard Asus Z97-A May 2014 Asus.co.uk
Memory 16GB Corsair Vengeance Pro (2x8GB) DDR3 @ 1,866MHz - Corsair.com
Power Supply Corsair AX760i - Corsair.com
Storage Device Crucial M500 240GB SSD July 2013 Crucial.com
Chassis Corsair Graphite Series 600T October 2010 Corsair.com
Monitor Philips Brilliance 4K Ultra HD LED (288P6LJEB/00) - Philips.co.uk
Operating system Windows 8.1 (64-bit) October 2012 Microsoft.com

Benchmark Suite

Synthetic Benchmarks
3DMark Fire Strike, Fire Strike Extreme and Fire Strike Ultra
Gaming Benchmarks
Title Settings at 1,920x1,080
(FHD)
Settings at 2,560x1,440
(QHD)
Settings at 3,840x2,160
(4K UHD)
Alien: Isolation SMAA-T2x, Maximum Quality SMAA-T2x, Maximum Quality FXAA, Maximum Quality
BioShock Infinite AA Enabled, Ultra Preset inc. Depth of Field AA Enabled, Ultra Preset inc. Depth of Field AA Enabled, Ultra Preset inc. Depth of Field
Grid Autosport 8xMSAA, Maximum Quality Settings (Soft Ambient Occlusion On, Advanced Lighting On, Global Illumination On) 4xMSAA, Maximum Quality Settings (Soft Ambient Occlusion On, Advanced Lighting On, Global Illumination On) 4xMSAA, Maximum Quality Settings (Soft Ambient Occlusion On, Advanced Lighting On, Global Illumination On)
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Ultra Quality Preset Ultra Quality Preset Very High Quality Preset
Tomb Raider FXAA, Ultra Quality Preset, TressFX Disabled FXAA, Ultra Quality Preset, TressFX Disabled FXAA, Ultra Quality Preset, TressFX Disabled
Total War: Rome II Ultra Preset Ultra Preset Ultra Preset
General Benchmarks
Power Consumption To emulate real-world usage scenarios, we record system-wide mains power draw both when idle and while playing Grid Autosport.
Temperature To emulate real-world usage scenarios, we record GPU core temperature both when idle and while playing Grid Autosport.
Noise A PCE-318 meter is used to record noise levels when idle and while playing Grid Autosport.
Overclocking Maintaining out-the-box voltage, we increase the card's power target and aim for an optimal balance of core and memory overclock. With the heightened frequencies in place, the 3DMark and Total War: Rome II tests are re-run.

Notes

All cards have been benchmarked from scratch using the latest drivers at the time of testing.

To minimise the impact of any CPU bottlenecks, our test platform is configured with a quad-core Intel Core i7-4770K overclocked up to 4.4GHz. 16GB of Corsair Vengeance Pro DDR3 is set to run at 1,866MHz using the built-in XMP profile.

For our ultra-high-end benchmark suite, we have an array of games tested at full-HD (1,920x1,080) QHD (2,560x1,440) and 4K (3,840x2,160) resolutions. In order to maintain playable framerates in the latter mode, the level of anti-aliasing may be reduced and any such changes are highlighted using bold in the above table. Readers should note that, despite running with lowered settings, games often look considerably better at 4K as a result of the huge increase in on-screen pixels.

Where applicable, any vendor-specific enhancements such as PhysX and TressFX are disabled to help even the playing field.

In-game benchmark results are recorded as average frames per second, and to provide further analysis, we report the percentage of frames rendered within a specified time, as well as the time taken to render the slowest one per cent of frames during the benchmark run. We choose 25ms at 4K which equates to a full 40 frames over a second. This number is chosen for two reasons: it's the lowest we reckon is passable for smooth gameplay and, secondly, is where refresh-rate-adjusting technologies such as G-Sync and FreeSync begin to have a real frame-smoothing impact.