Nvidia’s New Titan Z Card Will Only Run You $3,000

By Nathan Grayson on March 26th, 2014 at 10:00 am.

My graphics card can beat up your dad

“Why not?” asked the Nvidia doorman as he allowed a gaggle of geese to wobble into his building. “Why not?” asked the Nvidia janitor as he purchased the world’s biggest mop from a small town in the United States’ deep south. “Why not?” asked the Nvidia engineer as she expanded her standing desk into a double-decker desk sandwich with hydraulic suspension. “Why not?” asked the quietly sentient AI slowly emerging from Nvidia’s server clusters as it wrote a program that would let it feel emotion and also play Solitaire until the end of time.

It was just that kind of day at Nvidia. The $3,000 Geforce GTX Titan Z had just been announced, and the mood was infectious, like laughter, like a disease. Why not? Why not indeed.

Nvidia refers to the TITAN Z in all-caps, and honestly I don’t begrudge them for it because I think caps start being warranted at about the $2,399 price point. Here’s what’s going on under the hood of this chip-shaped embodiment of sheer madness:

“Built around two Kepler GPUs and 12GB of dedicated frame buffer memory, TITAN Z is engineered for next-generation 5K and multi-monitor gaming. With two GK110 chips, TITAN Z is powered by a total of 5,760 processing cores, or 2,880 cores per GPU.”

“Unlike traditional dual-GPU cards, Titan Z’s twin GPUs are tuned to run at the same clock speed, and with dynamic power balancing. So neither GPU creates a performance bottleneck. And that performance is delivered in a card that is cool and quiet, rather than hot and loud. Low-profile components and ducted baseplate channels minimize turbulence and improves acoustic quality.”

If you are not tech-inclined, allow me to translate: GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS. Also, it’s basically two regular Titans slammed together, but with special Nvidia tweaking to avoid overheating and mechanical roars that would frighten even the Beast that stirs beneath the Earth.

The Titan Z will run you $2,999, which is maybe a little much considering a) a single Titan only costs $1,000 and b) I couldn’t even sell my car for that much. AMD apparently has a similar card up its sleeve for reveal later this week, so look forward to going wide-eyed at that one too. In the meantime, is this thing actually on anyone’s radar right now? Or is it watch and wait (probably for quite a while) time?

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65 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    amateurviking says:

    I get the feeling this isn’t really for us. I was hoping for some info on the full fat Maxwell cards that are coming soon(tm) but no dice.

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      Yeah, I didn’t realise the GTX 750 Ti was an ‘entry level’ card.

      So I bought two, wanting to SLi, and D’oh, they don’t allow it.

      —————

      I bought the card to replace my two ATI HD5770s that I had crossfired.

      One of these, which is half the size of one HD5770 and uses up god-knows how much less power, with less noise and less heat output actually outperforms the two HD5770s I had. All for 200$ AUD.

      Needless to say, I’m impressed with the maxwell architecture. (Want 2-3 Maxwell 770 Ti’s or something for my big build)

    • DanMan says:

      Same here. I’m also waiting for a mid-range Maxwell card to be revealed so I can put my GTX460 to rest. Yet what are they doing? First they release a low-end card and now a high-as-a-kite-end card. Stop it, nVidia!

  2. Premium User Badge

    jrodman says:

    Let me know when I can buy a low-heat videocard for 3000 dollars. That’s when I’ll consider buying one.

    • eeLiquid says:

      There I think I found one. xD You’ll never guess which company it was made by! nVidia! xD And it’s BANG in your budget! 3000 dollars! *SARCASM* I’m guessing that’s what you were doing as well.

      • Premium User Badge

        jrodman says:

        Uh, sort of? I don’t really mind spending lots of money on pc parts. However, I don’t care at all for whine, whirr, or copious white noise. Thus, I spent 2.5k on a nearly silent pc.

        When parts are upgraded to go faster and run hotter, I don’t buy them. When parts are upgraded to run more efficiently and cooler, I buy them.

        So… there’s no sarcasm at all, really. I’m stating that a mega-hot many-fan videocard is shit to me, despite me being wiling to spend that much money.
        It’s just kind of weird that efficient CPUs appear every other generation or so, but efficient discrete videocards have a 3 year cycle or so.

        Did you think this was low-heat? 65watts TDP is about the highest you could call a videocard low heat in the current field.

  3. nrvsNRG says:

    Even at $3000 it wont be long till overclockers have these in Tri Sli and cooled with Ln2. I just got my second 780Ti (first one cost me £630, second one £540), but will likely sell them when the 790 hits. And you’d be surprised at how little heat comes out of these cards, even the Titan Z. Its not much different from the heat production from the 770.

    • d3vilsadvocate says:

      I feel sorry for you tbh. Do you also play games or just benchmark them?

      • nrvsNRG says:

        No need for that. I can sell them for a good chunk of their original cost when I upgrade (they are guaranteed good OC). Yes I benchmark, you kinda have to to, but gaming is what I got them for. A single 780Ti is perfect for 1080P single monitor gaming (to get the triple digit frames), but not for 1440P or multi-monitor setups.

        • kael13 says:

          Hi. Really dumb and quick question: can you SLI a regular 780 to a 780Ti? I know SLI is fussier than Crossfire.

          Oh and the 780 is a wonderful card, if anyone’s thinking about getting one.

        • Alfius says:

          Question: not that I would begrudge anyone their expensive toys but what makes you particularly enamoured by triple digit frame rates, surely anything holding over 30 is ample for anyone’s purposes. Speaking from personal experience I just bought a new box complete with a single 770, mainly for ARMA 3. FPS generally holds over 30, dropping into the 20s when playing on very high pop servers. This is with all settings on ultra running at 1920×1200. In my case I can see the logic in moving to a single 780 or equivalent setup in the future when prices are a little more reasonable. Likewise, were I ever to upgrade to a larger monitor I might want to up the GPU grunt at the same time but I can’t see the point in multi GPU setups for your average gamer. Am I just weirdly tolerant of low frame rates?

          • imsotiredicantsleep says:

            @Alfius, I was pretty tolerant of low frame rates before I switched my laptop for a desktop, but I now I feel the drop. To experience it for yourself try to configure a game’s settings to give you a steady ~60 fps and play it for an hour. Now turn on v-sync and wander around looking at different quiet and busy scenes. The frame rate will alternate between 60 and 30 fps and you’ll see the difference. It’s why g-sync is a thing. 30 fps is on the edge of the illusion of movement, and while you can’t quite see the stills you get a sense of something being off.

          • nrvsNRG says:

            30fps is horible. The difference going from 60-120 is noticeably better, its like the difference going from a 60Hz monitor and then playing on a 144Hz.

          • sinister agent says:

            fps does not matter, which is why people need special programmes just to even measure it. It’s all just preening.

          • Torn says:

            surely anything holding over 30 is ample for anyone’s purposes.

            fps does not matter, which is why people need special programmes just to even measure it. It’s all just preening.

            Just no. The difference between 30fps and 60fps is pretty enormous

      • Chairs says:

        Why do you feel sorry for him – because he can afford a 3 grand graphics card? That’s a pretty pathetic thing to feel sorry for someone having.

        It’s his disposable income not yours.

        • nrvsNRG says:

          I haven’t and wouldn’t spend 3 grand on a gpu. The only reason I have dual 780ti is because I bought them with 3 months apart from each purchase.

        • bwion says:

          I feel sorry for everyone who has that much disposable income, and would gladly relieve them of some or all of that burden.

    • Solidstate89 says:

      I mean…you could put three of these together. Hell, if you’ve got the space you could four of them together. But what’s the point? These are Dual-GPU cards and both Crossfire and SLI only expand to 4 GPUs, not 6, or 8.

  4. Premium User Badge

    stahlwerk says:

    Honest question: Who is this for?

    Academics use bulks of cheaper off-the shelf consumer parts or the professional cards for DP.
    Professionals use bulks of cheaper off-the shelf consumer parts or the professional cards for DP.
    Cryptocurrency-“Miners” use bulks of cheaper off-the shelf consumer parts (and mostly AMD since NV got complacent with CUDA).
    Sane “End users” will not need that kind of power for at least 5 years (5k multi monitor gaming?!).

    A fool and his money, I guess.

    • d3vilsadvocate says:

      actually, 4K gaming warrants at least a SLI setup. I sometimes struggle with only one 670GTX @ 2560×1440. So more performance for more pixels is only making sense.

      However, at THAT price tag I don’t see any sane person buying this to be honest.

    • Low Life says:

      For the people who look at it and say “Why not?”.

    • Premium User Badge

      stahlwerk says:

      The answer comes from the blog post linked in the blog post:

      “If you’re in desperate need of a supercomputer that you need to fit under your desk, we have just the card for you,” Jen-Hsun said.

      desperate.

      your turn.

    • MadMinstrel says:

      I could certainly use one or two for offline rendering. Those times add up real quick when you’re waiting hours per frame.

    • Premium User Badge

      puppybeard says:

      It seems to me like a prestige, “look what we can do” product, rather than something that would be purchased by anyone other than rich hobbyists.

      • Premium User Badge

        Bury The Hammer says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re also going to recycle stuff like this into their future products either. You’ve got to push the boundaries and try and predict where things are in future years. But you’re right. It’s a “LOOK HOW MUCH BETTER WE ARE THAN AMD” card for the brand, rather than anything that will make any money directly. And hey, it even got them an article in RPS, which in terms of PC gaming is one that that cares least about graphics. So, y’know, publicity.

    • Mctittles says:

      It’s for psychology in pricing mainly. Nvidia realized that after selling a $1000 card, journalists and consumers alike started seeing the $500+ cards as “cheaper”. By adding a couple thousand to that, now the $1000 cards start to seem affordable.
      I mean really it’s all pennies for the materials, they are just experimenting with number priming and finding the cap. Kind of like how some clothing stores have an extremely over priced ugly handbag when you walk in so you feel smarter and better when you buy the lower priced nicer looking one they wanted you to buy anyway.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Anyone who needs the DP performance of Tesla or Quadro but doesn’t want to spend the cash.

      • Sic says:

        … is the correct answer.

        The performance on precision floating point on consumer nVIDIA cards now are utter rubbish (the last series that had OK performance was the 500-series). If you want to set up something like a Resolve suite on a limited budget, Titans are the way to go.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Hammer says:

    There will be people who will buy as many of these as they can SLI.

    And I weep for them.

    • SomeDuder says:

      How come? I mean, I certainly don’t have the money nor the inclination to buy this thing, but if folks with money want to splurge, why not? I certainly don’t feel outraged at nVidia for this particular thing.

      • DodgyG33za says:

        Exactly. I don’t get it. People will quite easily spend more than that getting extras for a car without blinking, but somehow this is weird.

        I spend a good deal of my day in front of my PC – for work and entertainment. Certainly more time than I spend in my car. Having a good one is money well spent. Not that I will be getting this card, but I can understand those that will.

  6. TormDK says:

    “Also, it’s basically two regular Titans slammed together, but with special Nvidia tweaking to avoid overheating and mechanical roars that would frighten even the Beast that stirs beneath the Earth.”

    Yes, that is Nvidia’s master plan after all. To keep the Beast that stirs beneath the Earth still.

    It’s impossible to get a good nights sleep otherwise.

  7. Premium User Badge

    puppybeard says:

    Will this give me a solid framerate in towns in DayZ?

    • kyrieee says:

      I think the FPS problems in DayZ are CPU related, it’s creating too many drawcalls. Look at your GPU usage, it’s probably higher out in the woods and way lower in a big city.

      • Premium User Badge

        puppybeard says:

        I think you’re right!

        It’s kind of a standing joke that people start wanting fancier graphics cards to fix the fps in DayZ.

  8. Demon Beaver says:

    It gets really cold around here sometimes, can I use it as a radiator? I’d consider it then… gaming and heating in one not-really-cheap package!

  9. Keyrock says:

    It takes a special combination of snob and dumbass to buy one of these.

  10. kael13 says:

    That’s nothing. I want one of their IRAY VCAs (or whatever they’re called) for a cool $50,000.

  11. Volcanu says:

    I think many people miss the point about why they make these type of ‘marquee’ cards. Its the same reason that TV manufacturers make panels that cost £10-20k and why some mainstream car manufacturers make concept cars and F1 cars.

    They stand out as a headline grabbing “look what we can do” showing off the company’s technical know how, and ability to deliver power. It creates the image that the company is the market leader from a technological standpoint. This sticks in many consumers minds when they come to purchase a graphics card, a TV or a car- they go to that manufacturer, but naturally pick something more affordable.

    Apparently it works well to drive sales…In which case this isn’t silly at all.

  12. TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

    Basically, a big part of that price difference is justified by the fact that both GPUs are designed to run exactly on the same clock speed, thus eliminating the situation in which one GPU bottlenecks the other, except for the fact that the majority of this statement is PR and 100% optimisation with variable clock speeds is unlikely.

    This essentially means that they are attempting to fix a problem that they created in the first place. I had fixed clock in my 580 long before this boost crap, MSI afterburner allowed me 5 different OC profiles and so i used the first two as DOWN clock, the third as “stock”, and the last two as mild and strong OC.

    I’m pretty sure most enthusiasts who actually care about clock speeds would never fire up a game without MSI afterburner with custom fan profiles, custom clocks and so on. I’m also certain those people are longing for a return to fixed clocks.

    And no, that program doesn’t make anything crash, the only risk comes with enabling the overlay.

  13. troushers says:

    I’m looking at hooking two of these up to a water boiler as an efficient home heating / PC graphics rendering dual use home system.

  14. Arithon says:

    Two questions. Will it fit in a laptop and can they be used in SLI?

    • trjp says:

      Laptop – see picture – whaddayathink? :)

      p.s. for some reason, when I posted this it changed into a registration code!?!?!?

      I removed that – but noted the code for later usage

      Is RPS giving free games with random postings? :)

  15. trjp says:

    Zoiks and – why?

  16. imsotiredicantsleep says:

    I think it’s funny that people will envy those who spend £100k on a fast car that’ll never break 70 mph, but ridicule anyone who would pay £3k on a gaming rig that will bring many more hours of entertainment. That’s before you even consider the many legitimate professional applications for wanting as much graphics processing power as you can get your hands on (fancy 3D modelling, offline rendering etc. etc.) It’s way out of my price range, but if I could afford to blow £3k on a hobby I’d take a graphics card over a bag of metal sticks…

    Also, did anyone else read “GRAPHICS GRAPHICS GRAPHICS” to the tune of The Magic Roundabout?

    “You’ve been very useful…”

    • trjp says:

      I’ve owned the cars of which you speak and can assure you that they regularly break 70mph and that I managed to get plenty of hours of enjoyment from them – often even when they were standing still.

      I don’t begrudge people anything but I do find it quite funny when people try to justify their toys as anything other than toys.

      I didn’t need a fast car – no-one needs a Titan – we choose to buy them to satisfy some inner need and we should just be happy about that.

      When you start to defend your hobby – you lose the argument altogether.

      • imsotiredicantsleep says:

        I think, ribbing tone aside, we’re saying the same thing. I’m not knocking the guy who buys the car, but the people who look on and judge: “ridiculous”, “Are you kidding me”, “I feel sorry for you”, “special combination of snob and dumbass”, etc…

  17. SuicideKing says:

    @Nathan: Small correction, these are two Titan Black Edition GPUs, not just two Titans.

    (The Blacks have a full GK110 chip and faster clocks like the 780 Ti, but also get the double precision floating point performance of the original Titan).

    BTW i find it funny that Nvidia is talking 5K when you basically NEED two 780 Tis or R9-290Xs to get well rounded performance at 4K.

    Also it’s worth mentioning that 12GB VRAM is split 6GB per GPU.

  18. Vodka, Crisps, Plutonium says:

    Um, to justify the value of a current-gen console purchase?

    I know it’s RPS, no one is playing consoles here, so I wasn’t surprised to not see that kind of conspiracy assumption here.

    P.S. to be serious, though, I agree with said above that it’s a niche product that’ll probably find its place in some small creative studio workstation, which also has some brand marketing “Nvidia = top of the range” value to it.

  19. RegisteredUser says:

    Huh.

  20. Premium User Badge

    shinygerbil says:

    Just look at that guy!

    Muscles straining, the effort visible on his face, as he holds aloft all the GRAPHICS.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I’m amazed health and safety regulations allow him to handle it without protective gear and special equipment.

  21. Papageno says:

    Who buys this ridiculous thing? 3000 bucks? Nuts.

  22. Sharongamer978 says:

    3000 bucks?! Are you kidding me?!!

  23. RPSRSVP says:

    So for 95% of people, GTC 2014 revealed that unified virtual memory, originally scheduled to arrive with Maxwell has been delayed to Volta which has been renamed to Pascal and 20nm die shrink is still a while away.

    As of right now, there are less than 5 unmodded games that strain sub $1000 GPU’s at resolution of sub $1000 monitors. How many will there be by the time 20nm high end GPU’s are launched?

  24. Tei says:

    Imagine what type of equipment have the NSA to brute force* break protocols like VPN.

  25. Megakoresh says:

    Next step:
    Gold-plated chip at €39,999 with emerald claws on the side and a special cooling mechanism that runs on the tears of enviers.
    Because why not?

  26. RPSRSVP says:

    Nvidia misses the “good old days: http://i.imgur.com/rl7JLpq.jpg