The GeForce GTX Titan, as-yet unconfirmed by Nvidia but rumoured for a launch later this month, appears to be based on the company's Tesla K20 accelerator board.
Rumours of a new top-end graphics card design from Nvidia, dubbed the GeForce GTX Titan, appear to have been confirmed by a Danish retailer ahead of a purported launch later this month.
Claims that Nvidia is looking to win back the performance crown with a new single-GPU graphics card based on the same GK110 graphics processing unit as the Tesla K20 accelerator board have been circulating for weeks, but with little beyond bare rumour we've been loath to comment. A listing for an Asus-manufactured GeForce GTX Titan board on Danish retailer Proshop's website suggests that the rumours are true, however, so it's time to take stock.
While the original product listing, likely sent live in error, has since been removed, VideoCardz.com
has captured a screengrab which offers tantalising details: the device is claimed to include 6GB of GDDR5 memory with a single GK110-based Kepler GPU, two DVI connections, one HDMI connection and one DisplayPort connection all packed onto a PCI Express 3.0 x16 bus.
If 6GB and a single GK110 sound familiar, that's because Nvidia's existing Tesla K20X board, a GPU-based accelerator board for high-performance computing, has almost the same specification - but lacks the GeForce GTX Titan's graphics outputs. If so, that provides a hint as to the remainder of the specifications: a K20 board features a 384-bit memory bus made of up six 64-bit controllers running in parallel and 15 Streaming Multiprocessor (SMX) units with 192 CUDA cores each for a total of 2,880 processing cores.
The GeForce GTX Titan, however, is unlikely to reach these heady heights: comments made at the unveiling of the GK110
by Nvidia boss Jen-Hsun Huang suggested the company would look at using chips that didn't pass muster for its Tesla products in lower-grade devices - meaning it's perfectly possible that the GeForce GTX Titan is made from edge-case GK110 chips with faulty or marginal SMX units disabled.
Accordingly, rumours suggest that the GeForce GTX Titan will feature 14 activated SMX units to the Tesla K20X's 15, for a total of 2,688 CUDA cores. That's still an impressive figure: the company's current flagship GeForce GTX 690 design packs more at 3,072 cores, but these are split between two GPUs with 1,536 CUDA cores each. The GeForce GTX Titan, by contrast, is a single-GPU design.
Comments made on the Rage3D forum
by the site's news editor point to review units already being out with selected establishments - under Nvidia's usual non-disclosure agreement, of course, meaning nobody who has a board will be saying anything until given a green light - with early indications pointing to an impressive sub-300W thermal design profile (TDP) that may reach as low as 235W. That may sound on the low side for such a top-end graphics card, but it fits nicely with the Tesla K20 and K20X accelerator boards on which the Titan appears to be based: the Tesla K20 boasts a TDP of 225W, while the more powerful K20X hits 235W - aided, Nvidia claims, by massive efficiency gains in the 28nm GK110 design.
Finally, price. While there are no official figures to speak of, Proshop's listing suggested a Danish retail price of €900 for the Asus GeForce GTX Titan - translating to around £770 in the UK. While that's a top-end price for a consumer-grade product, it's a significant discount compared to the Tesla K20's £2,600 retail value.
Nvidia, naturally, isn't talking about as-yet unnanounced products - but with Proshop's listing claiming retail availability by the 24th of February, Nvidia fans won't have long to wait to see if the rumours are true.