NVIDIA Titan X test and review: Pascal architecture in SLI

NVIDIA Titan X test and review: Pascal architecture in SLI

NVIDIA many were surprised a few weeks ago, presenting Titan X – the fastest single GPU graphics card with a deep learning networks and games. However, the Titan line is focused not so much on the games, but on professional applications. So NVIDIA and changed its name from GeForce to Titan. In our test lab we received two flagship graphics card, allowing to evaluate their performance in single-player mode, as well as SLI.

Following the presentation of the first gaming cards Pascal, namely GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070, there were rumors that between GPU GP104 and GPU GP100 (used in computational accelerators Tesla P100) should be an intermediate step in a GPU GP102. But until recently it was not clear how interesting this GPU will be for gamers, that is for the consumer segment.

NVIDIA Titan X Graphics cards based on GPU GP102, which is also used in professional video cards Quadro P6000. In the latter case, we get the full version with GPU 3.840 stream processors and 24 GB of video memory. But Quadro graphics cards targeted at the professional market segment, and the same P6000 will be released only in October. Until now, there was no information about clock frequencies, so the performance is difficult to assess. Video Card Titan X, on the other hand, are already available on the market, and their price is about a quarter of the Quadro P6000. The main market Titan X NVIDIA believes universities and companies involved in research in the field of artificial intelligence. But, of course, gamers and such a card can come in handy if they do not mind to pay for her 1,299 euros in Europe. In Russia, the card at the time of publication have not appeared, but NVIDIA indicates that the card can be ordered directly from the company only. Therefore, in retail it may not appear. Titan X graphics card focuses on the FP32 and INT8 computations, so it is equally well suited for the sphere of deep learning, and for the classical rendering / games.

NVIDIA Titan X test and review: Pascal architecture in SLI

Below is a video card Titan X we mean a new model arhitekturePascal. In the case of the previous version of Titan X on the Maxwell architecture, we will do the appropriate additive.

Computing capacity is 11 TFLOPs. In addition, connected to the GPU 12 GB of memory GDDR5X. As might be expected, GPU GP102 produced by 16-nm process technology and FinFET includes 12 billion. Transistors. In GP102 stream processors is about 40% more than the GPU GP104 in the GeForce GTX 1080, although the clock speed a little lower. The base rate is 1.417 MHz, and GPU Boost lowest bracket – 1.531 MHz. Computing performance 11 TFLOPs in a new video card Titan X is 34% higher than GeForce GTX 1080 in games you can expect a corresponding increase. If you are interested in the details Pascal architecture, be sure to check with the review of GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition.

12 GB of memory GDDR5X connected by a 384-bit interface. As a result, the memory bandwidth of 480 GB / s. With such a high capacity card is approaching the level of the first generation HBM. As for ROP, then each 32-bit memory controller they should be eight, giving 96 ROP. Texture units, in full compliance with the principles of Pascal architecture, present in an amount 224. Heat the new GeForce GTX Titan X is up to 250 watts.

If we compare the GP100 and GP102, it is possible to come to the next. GPU GP102 has an area of 471 mm², ie less than 139 mm² GPU GP100, where we got to 610 mm². Both GPU contains the full configuration 3.840 stream processors, although Tesla P100 and Titan X is only 3.584 stream processors. Only a Quadro P6000, which comes out in October, will be available to the full 3.840 stream processors.

Saving chip area it has been achieved by various means. GPU GP102 lost support NVLink, fast execution FP64 / FP16 operations and a large block of registers. The division between the spheres of HPC and games / workstations to NVIDIA now important economically, because the GPU GP102 cost of significantly lower (smaller die size, yield a large proportion of crystals). Previously this was not possible, at least, if both lines were based on an identical GPU.

Titan X graphics card appeal to many gamers, but NVIDIA still directs it to the processing area where important FP32 performance and INT8. Therefore, the company decided to abandon the additives “GeForce” and “GTX”. Previous Titan graphics cards have proven themselves in the field of computing and gaming, but NVIDIA decided to prioritize. Video Card Titan, Titan X and Titan Z is often used as a cheaper alternative for Quadro and Tesla computing. Let’s see how the situation will be with video Titan X in Pascal architecture.

NVIDIA Titan X test and review: Pascal architecture in SLI

NVIDIA Titan X: On practice

We proceed to the evaluation of NVIDIA Titan X in practice.

GPU-Z screenshot confirms previous information NVIDIA Titan X.

Tests showed the new GPU from AMD or NVIDIA with alternative cooling systems, the performance is highly dependent on clock speeds and temperatures.

NVIDIA exposed to Titan X 1.417 MHz reference clock, Boost mode, it increases, at least up to 1.531 MHz. However, in our tests, we were unable to obtain a given level. The reason lies in the cooling system GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition, temperature limits Boost frequency. According to NVIDIA, the cooling system GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition is aimed at allocating up to 180 watts of heat. Add to this the low target temperature of the bar that NVIDIA put on 83 ° C. As a result, due to overheating GPU graphics card is forced to reduce the clock frequency and voltage.

From time to time graphics Titan X is heated even before the GPU temperature of 85 ° C. Then breakdowns mechanism Boost. Yet Titan X with TDP 250W uses the same cooler as the GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition with heat 180 watts. And these additional 70 watts need to dissipate into the surrounding space. As you can see, the cooler can not cope with this task. When prolonged intense load on the GPU frequency is decreased in some cases even lower base. It seems to us, should review the NVIDIA Titan X. cooling system, however, all this applies only to NVIDIA reference card. The same EKWB developed with full coverage water block, which is to unleash the power of the graphics card.

GPU-Z demonstrates in a restriction rests card at a time. Pink color indicates the temperature limit bar.

NVIDIA Titan X test and review: Pascal architecture in SLI

NVIDIA Titan X: SLI Assembly

In principle, nothing complicated in the assembly of such a system is not. Of course, the user must make sure that the rest of the system to cope with two such video cards. This also applies to the power supply, which should provide the necessary power. But the processor must have time to apply for both video data stream is sufficient. It is hardly necessary to use Core i3 in a few thousand, but for the Core i7-6950X 130 thousand. Rubles seems too far.

After assembling the system you can start working. The driver recognizes the two graphics cards installed, offering to combine them in an SLI configuration. Also, the driver issues tips for using video outputs. You must install the SLI bridge on which we will focus below. With architecture Pascal and two fastest NVIDIA graphics cards of this generation has introduced a new SLI HB mode. It provides faster data transfer rate through the SLI bridge, which allows for higher resolutions and frame rates.

NVIDIA SLI HB sells new bridges directly at a price of 39.99 euros, they are available in three different sizes. But NVIDIA partners also produce SLI bridges in different design variants. For example, EVGA has introduced its own bridges SLI HB. But let me explain a little bit SLI technology work on new cards.

The SLI systems is a transfer ready frame on the main card through the appropriate SLI bridges. Theoretically possible transmission via PCI Express interface, but there is limited bandwidth and latency is generally higher than allowed requirements SLI. NVIDIA is usually based on the use of one or two SLI bridge on their cards. In high-end models, there are two SLI ports have maps of the middle segment – one end and entry-level graphics card they are deprived. The laptops can communicate through the SLI PCI Express, but there is the frame rate and resolution is usually lower, so no problems there.

NVIDIA Titan X test and review: Pascal architecture in SLI

With the advent of high display resolution and refresh rate of 144 Hz and higher requirements for SLI bridges increased. SLI bridges channels typically operate at 400 MHz, that is at the same frequency as the video output control circuit. In the past, manufacturers such as ASUS, EVGA and MSI are of particular bridges the SLI, which did not work at 400 MHz, and 540 MHz. The corresponding increase in bandwidth allows you to connect monitors with a refresh rate of 144 Hz or above 4K. Yet these bridges out of NVIDIA specifications.

If you wish to collect the configuration of multiple monitors with very high resolution, which is connected to the system SLI of two GeForce GTX 1080, 1070 or the GTX Titan X, the usual SLI bridges and can not cope with its task – the capacity may be insufficient. In such cases, will have to buy new bridges SLI HD, NVIDIA are just offers. The bridges are available in different lengths. So you can choose the desired bridge, depending on the distance between the graphics cards in slots. If you move to another motherboard with a different length, you have to buy a new bridge. NVIDIA does not plan to offer flexible bridges because they can not make enough quality.

NVIDIA recommends using the old bridges for resolutions up to 2.560 x 1.440 pixels with a refresh rate of 60 Hz. If you plan to play in resolving the above 2.560 x 1.440 pixels with a refresh rate of 120 Hz or higher, you should use the new bridges.

NVIDIA Titan X: Impressions

Before we move on to the NVIDIA Titan X detailed review, let me give you a cooler specification, PCB, etc.

Already on the first photographs Titan X, it became clear that the card looks nearly identical versions of the Founders Editions GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070. The same can be said after studying the specifications. video length is 266 mm, PCB also has the same length. Below we look at the video card details.

Titan X length is 266, and this also applies to the cooler and the PCB. The height of the PCB and the graphics card is 100 mm (without PCI Express slot). According to the thickness of the card takes up two slots. In general, the size of the graphics card to be expected for high-end models of the category with one GPU. The cooler should be previously submitted design cards Founders Editions, but the top model it is completely black.

NVIDIA Titan X test and review: Pascal architecture in SLI

Behind NVIDIA has installed a metal plate – like the GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition. It completely covers the PCB. NVIDIA did not add to the back plate slots, although it is possible to notice a pattern of grooves – he did more for reasons of appearance, rather than improve cooling. The plate can be seen the NVIDIA logo and the inscription “GeForce GTX Titan X”. Yes, you read that right, “GeForce GTX Titan X”, even though NVIDIA has recently emphasized that the video card is simply called Titan X. After installation of the graphics card in the computer label is in the correct orientation.

When the Titan X graphics cards running in SLI configuration, you may have two graphics cards close location of the situation (if the PCI Express slots are through the slot from each other). In this case, a second graphics card fan will get enough air. In the case of GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition and Titan X NVIDIA has provided the solution – enough to remove a small portion of the back plate. At Titan X is removed is not a small part of the back plate, and almost half. As a result turns the radiator radial clearance of a few millimeters, through which it can receive more air.

NVIDIA radial fan located in the rear of the video card, it has a diameter of 65 mm. The fan draws air from the top, and then blows it through a slot radiator in the direction of the plug. In idle mode the fan rotates at a speed of 1,100 rev / min, full stop is not provided. Under load, the speed can be up to 2,400 rev / min.

NVIDIA added a chrome rim around the radiator, as well as kruglyash centered. Such decoration on a black background graphics card cooler gives an elegant look. Good fit and Torx screws.

Next to the slot plug is an inscription Titan X. It stands out well on black NVIDIA cooler housing. Here we can clearly see that NVIDIA has made angular design, and added decorative holes, air vents reminiscent of a sports car.

A cover made of plexiglass, you can see the heat sink. It is equipped with a large number of aluminum fins extending along the direction of the video card to plug slot. The fan blows air through the radiator fins, and then hot air is blown through the slot holes stub.

We continue the detailed examination of Titan X:

For the video card GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition NVIDIA settled for one 8-pin auxiliary power, but Titan X has received one of 6- and 8-pin jack. As a result, the video card can theoretically serve to 300 watts of power. NVIDIA indicated thermal design of 250 W, so that there is a certain margin. In the case of GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card with an alternate design, some manufacturers even use two 8-pin auxiliary power to facilitate overclocking.

The rear plate Titan X graphics and end can be seen “GeForce GTX” logo. Frankly, it does not really fit, since NVIDIA does not cease to indicate that the card should be called only Titan X. But even Titan X while working we see a bright logo “GeForce GTX”. In fact, the reason is simple: NVIDIA did not want to spend money on the development of another cooler, simply taking the cooling system of the GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition.

NVIDIA has set on Titan X, two SLI connectors. If you plan to use the SLI configuration with multiple monitors and / or high resolution and refresh rate, require new SLI bridges the HD, which we considered a little earlier. They solve the problem of lack of capacity in the transmission frames finished with a secondary video on the primary. With two ports SLI you can combine three or four video cards in SLI Titan X.

At the back of the video card NVIDIA added hole. So that a small portion of air captured by the fan may escape through this aperture and remain inside the PC case. From this angle is clearly seen similarities with the design of some Italian sports penalties.

Another angle to the back plate. It is clearly seen that the right side is removed. Enough to unscrew five small Phillips screws need a screwdriver with a thin blade.

In the slot we have a standard plug interface configuration. However, NVIDIA has updated HDMI and DisplayPort interfaces to the new standards, even the old DVI output has been updated and lost analog contacts. However, hardly anyone will miss them. As in the case of GeForce GTX 1080 we get 3x DisplayPort 1.3 / 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.0b and 1x dual-link DVI.

The remainder of the slot-perforated triangular plug the holes through which hot air is expelled outside the PC case. This approach avoids accumulation of hot air inside the housing.

Since we did not want to disrupt the thermal characteristics of graphics cards, we have abandoned the removal of the cooler. But NVIDIA sent us a picture of PCB with the cooler removed. we drew attention to the free space with the soldering points at the Titan X components are already installed on them in case of PCB of GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition. So that NVIDIA has chosen an identical PCB for video Founders Edition GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070, as well as the Titan X. cooler compatible with GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition, you need to step up and Titan X. But we still recommend to wait for the appropriate applications for compatibility from manufacturers of coolers.

NVIDIA Titan X test and review: Pascal architecture in SLI

NVIDIA Titan X: conclusion

The GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition NVIDIA was presented a few weeks ago. Titan X again raises the bar even higher, with the GPU presentation sequence at different stages of the implementation Pascal architecture for many a surprise. First elected to customers in early summer there accelerators Tesla P100 on GPU GP100. Then came 1080 and GeForce GTX GeForce GTX 1070 GPU GP104. Later NVIDIA GPU GP106 introduced with the GeForce GTX 1060, and now GPU GP102 and Titan X. It turns out, for the six months NVIDIA is able to bring to market a complete range.

Titan X graphics card turned out to be 10-30 percent faster GeForce GTX 1080. Compared to the GeForce GTX 980 Ti increase up to 65%. This increase in performance is immediately noticeable – of course, if we agree on such an impressive supplement. But you get a record level of performance with a single GPU. The computing GPU performance is well balanced with the available memory capacity of 12 GB. 384-bit memory interface GDDR5X 2.500 MHz bandwidth provides 480 GB / s, an excellent level. In the video card GeForce GTX 1080 observed here and there problems with the resolution of 3.840 x 2.160 pixels, but the Titan X shows a lot better.

I have to mention the failed cooler, which is the weakest link of the video card. Under load it can not cope with the heat, so the graphics card does not work at full clock speed. After a brief loading period, card resets the frequency to Boost level or even lower. Of course, the cooler fan can run faster. But it is quite a loud video card becomes even more noisy. If you decide to install an alternative cooler on the graphics card price 1.299 euros, we recommend to do it. PCB identical to the GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition.

Video card NVIDIA Titan X can only buy directly from NVIDIA. Partners it will not sell in retail officially she did not appear. Here NVIDIA follows its strategy with the GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition, which is also only available directly from the NVIDIA (but generally not available in Russia). A somewhat different situation with the GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition, because the partners are selling them too. But there is no difference, both cards are also available directly from NVIDIA.

Price NVIDIA Titan X graphics card is 1.299 euros, so the good price / performance ratio can not count. NVIDIA graphics card is positioned as an inexpensive alternative to the Quadro. Video Card Quadro P6000 also relies on the GPU GP102, but with the increased number of stream processors and twice the memory capacity, the price will be about 7,000 euros. Quadro M5000 on the previous generation architecture will cost 4,500 euros or 147 thousand. Rubles in Russia. Therefore, with the price of 1.299 euros graphics Titan X – a great alternative for those who are critical computing performance. In this case the absence of the driver Quadro not become an obstacle.

It is not whether Titan X is not clear, it will be the final stage of architecture Pascal for the consumer market. The GeForce GTX Ti 1080 with 3.840 stream processors, that is, with full configuration of GPU GP102, seems quite probable. But it all depends on NVIDIA. Video Card Quadro P6000 on the same GPU will hit the market in October, and if the company is able to provide a good share of the yield of crystals, then the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti are good prospects.

Here I would like to complain about the lack of competition from AMD. Neither the Radeon can not close and give Titan X. level of performance in some games Titan X outperforms Radeon R9 Fury X twice. The reasons are many. AMD has chosen a different orientation for its latest products, but the gap between the two companies today, large as ever.

Benefits NVIDIA Titan X:

  • The fastest single-GPU graphics card
  • 12 GB GDDR5X
  • You can easily play in the resolution of 3.840 x 2.160 pixels (although in some places will have to reduce the level of detail)
  • HDMI 2.0b and DisplayPort 1.3 / 1.4

Disadvantages of NVIDIA Titan X:

  • High price
  • Very quickly it limited by the temperature limit
  • Noisy cooler

Source: guru3d

NVIDIA Titan X test and review: Pascal architecture in SLI was last modified: August 14th, 2016 by Tomas Shellby