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The most important thing to note is like the original Kepler Generation 'GK110' based 6GB TITAN, the TITAN X is a evolution not a revolution over the GTX980. Having 'only' 3072 cores it is not quite two 980 in SLI, and is closer to 1.5 980s. However, SLI scaling does vary game to game.

While it is disappointing the card isn't any faster than it can be due to thermal and power envelopes (but can be pushed with overclocking), the fact that it is 1.5x a GTX 980 on paper in the same form factor is nothing to sneeze at.

Titan X performed well in our testing and while it could have been faster out of the box, it didn't have to be as it delivers the speed-up expected of it. With some tweaking such as using MFAA or No AA at 4K, performance should be improved finally delivering the experience gamers have been begging for out of a single GPU being smooth frame rates at 4K Ultra resolution.

The Elephant in the room is pricing however not performance. The old Titan and Titan Black were infamous for their pricing, as were the old GeForce Ultra cards. With NVIDIA keeping the price from everyone at the last minute, pricing is and was the major factor here. Since we are mainly focusing on the TITAN X here, we have to consider its merits on its own. There are cheaper ways to get similar performance with multiple cards but each has caveats.

A Note on our benchmark testing

We tested 'worst case' performance at 4K resolution with MSAA 4X and where applicable, maximum GPU PhysX enabled. This gives us a baseline to work off, to determine which features in a particular game are crippling performance. Our 8 core 5960X Intel i7 also has a slower multi-core clock speed compared to some of Intel's i7s which have less cores. Lightly-Threaded games will suffer from the clockspeed deficit.

Additionally, once more applications supporting (Maxwell) CUDA 5.2, DirectX 12 and enabling features such as MFAA or VXGI will open up more performance.

Also a single 4K (3840x2160) 3D scene with 4x Multi Sample Anti Aliasing (MSAA) typically uses under 4 Gigabytes of Video Memory and it will take some effort or multiple Ultra HD screens to fully utilise the 12GB capacity, something which will be detailed in subsequent reviews. For our launch review we just went with the standard testing.


  • TITAN X provides a reasonable speed-up over a GTX 980 in the same physical form factor
  • Up to 7 TFLOPs from a single GPU, or 8 when overclocked.
  • Power requirements are reasonable and do not require an extreme Power Supply
  • Fan noise is comfortable and temperatures are controlled
  • Future proof 12GB Frame Buffer, especially for DX12 and VR applications
  • NVIDIA's attention to detail regarding all aspects of board design
  • Best available single GPU board at time of writing


  • A single Titan X board is still not quite enough for 4K 60 FPS Ultra with AA across a variety of games.
  • Aesthetic brand ID doesn't tell your friends that you have the 'fastest GPU in the world', Titan branding hidden from view.
  • Priced higher than delivered performance increase
  • GPGPU students or enthusiasts needing higher than 1/32rd performance double precision math are better served by older Titan/Quadro/Tesla products or AMD Radeon.
  • Lack of backplate may not be to the taste of some
  • Difficult to determine if the updated components have a positive effect, power limit is set to only 110% (275 Watts)
  • AMD are supposed to have a much more powerful GPU due this year.
  • Full Capability of the TITAN X reliant on DirectX 12/VULKAN and updated CUDA applications.

The TITAN X is for a particular set of users. Those who do not or can not use SLI, Those who need a single card with a large frame buffer, those which a single GTX 980 is not enough and some students or developers who practice GPU computing.

If you are a typical gamer/enthusiast, your needs may be best met with regular GTX 980s, especially some of the top overclocked models such as the ASUS ROG Matrix GTX 980 board we used in this review, which is 'only' a 2 slot model and uses 2x 8pin power sockets.

Overall, TITAN X is an impressive feat of engineering but at US$999 it is not for everyone. We are keen to see what a dual GM200 TITAN replacement for the Dual Kepler TITAN Z or a 'GTX 980 Ti' may deliver.

Although US$999 is a traditional price for a flagship GPU, the TITAN X performs well enough that those who can afford one or more should be proud to own the TITAN X.