In the end, the GTX Titan Black throws up no surprises – it's slightly faster than the GTX 780 Ti, is a touch higher on the power and thermal readings and is an equally good overclocker. Then again, we didn't really expect any different. Nvidia didn't even bother sampling it, it simply wanted to make it the best card in the GeForce range for both gaming and compute, which it should be given its £785 price tag.
To many, us included, this is a silly price to pay for a graphics card, especially as it's really only software that holds back the double precision performance of the lower-tier GK110 products. Nevertheless, Nvidia's reluctance to lower the pricing and the update to the Titan name here indicates that there's a clear place for it in the market. As a gaming solution, it's ludicrously expensive, but for professional, workstation use in compute and CUDA development applications it's an affordable alternative to the professional Quadro and Tesla range of cards. Even for original Titan owners, though, benefits in these areas are unlikely to be enough to warrant an upgrade.
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Even if you're chasing the very best gaming performance, GTX Titan Black is a waste of money (though we're sure that still won't stop some people buying four). Pre-overclocked GTX 780 Ti cards will outperform it with ease, and even stock cards have a tonne of headroom for extra performance. For now, the 6GB of VRAM does nothing to boost performance in games, even in demanding triple screen and 4K tests.
Given the necessary use of the reference cooler (we're still bitter that it isn't actually black), differences between board partners will come down to pricing and bundles. If GTX Titan Black is for you, you should simply pick whatever is cheapest. Zotac's games and accessories bundle here is fine, but it's unlikely to be of much use to most Titan Black buyers – it would be interesting to see trial versions of professional software offered instead, for example. Regardless, this is still an awesome bit of kit, and while we think any gamer or hardware enthusiast would be mad to buy it over the GTX 780 Ti, that doesn't make it any less drool-worthy...