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May
28
2014

NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Z Review and 4K Benchmarks

NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Z Review and 4K Benchmarks

Introduction and Specifications

Called the "Ultimate Power" by NVIDIA, the new GeForce GTX Titan Z aims to take back the throne in the never-ending GPU war. With two fully unlocked GK110 GPUs (the same that are found in the GTX Titan Black and GTX 780 Ti), the GTX Titan Z comes in at a whopping $2,999 MSRP. Now, if you're wondering about how this behemoth of a video card performs and if should you put it in your next 4K gaming computer, you're going to have to read our review below to find out.

NVIDIA® CUDA® Cores 5760
Base Clock (MHz) 705
Boost Clock (MHz) 876
Memory Clock (Gbps) 7.0
Memory Amount 12288 MB GDDR5
Memory Interface Memory Interface 768-bit
(384-bit per GPU)
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) 672
Texture Fill Rate (billion/sec) 338

As far a specifications go, the GeForce GTX Titan Z features 5760 CUDA cores and 12 GB of GDDR5 memory with a GPU base clock of 705 Mhz while the Titan Black comes in with a GPU base clock of 889Mhz and 6 GB of memory. Being that this is a dual-GPU graphics card, the MHz trade-off was expected as both of the GPUs are on the same PCB. In addition, because both of the GPUs are on the same PCB, the card can get quite hot. That is why NVIDIA has opted to increase the size of the card to take up three expansion slots.

If you look at the card and compare it to others by price per performance, obviously solutions that use two separate cards will come out on top. The GeForce GTX Titan Z, however, is not aimed at that crowd. The Titan Z is aimed for more compact builds like Micro-ATX or Mini-ITX (like the Bolt II) or those who need an insane amount of compute power in servers.

You also need to note that the card does draw quite a bit of power (630w peak full system). In turn, you're going to want to be sure that you have a good quality power supply that can handle the load of the GTX Titan Z.

Build Quality and Design

The NVIDIA GTX Titan Z is simply one of the best looking graphics cards we have ever seen. It's outer shell is made mostly of aluminum and even includes a metal backplate to dissipate heat from the VRM and memory. If the card's design looks familiar, that's because it's essentially the same design as the GeForce GTX 690 but with a different fan and extra height.

Because it is a triple-slot card, you're going to want to make sure that your computer case supports the extra width. As far as I/O goes, you'll find the standard DisplayPort, HDMI, and pair of DVI outputs.

The outside of the card uses an all-aluminum exterior that provides extra strength as well as heat dissipation. The fan that cools the Titan Z is a center mounted axial fan that uses channels to move the air to each heat sink. Each of the vapor chambers offers 60% more volume than found on the Titan Black giving them a larger surface area to ease cooling.

Benchmarks

Because it is a dual-GPU card, we made sure to test it against both options currently out on the market. That includes single GPU solutions as well as dual-GPU solutions such as the AMD Radeon R9 295X2. For the overclocking benchmarks, we set the fan speed to 90% to see if the single fan was holding the pair of GK110s back. At that fan speed, we added a 130Mhz boost on the GPU base clock without any throttling,

Motherboard ASUS Rampage IV Black
CPU Intel 4960X at 4.6 GHz
Memory 32 GB Corsair Dominator 1866 Mhz
Monitor ASUS PQ321Q
Drivers 337.91

Battlefield 4

In Battlefield 4, the GTX Titan Z performed relatively were we expected it to. It's not as fast as two separate GTX Titan Blacks, but it does beat the AMD R9 295X2 in non-Mantle tests. When overclocked, it's essentially on par with the 295X2.

Bioshock Infinite

It seems that for every graphics card we test in Bioshock Infinite, NVIDIA solutions seem to always come out on top. The same results appears in this test where the GTX Titan Z finished the benchmark with 3 fps higher over the AMD R9 295X2.

Crysis 3

Crysis 3 is where we expected the greatest difference to be. However, to our surprise, the AMD R9 295X2 actually beat out the GTX Titan Z but still lost to the pair of GTX Titan Blacks in SLI.

Heaven 4.0

In the Heaven 4.0 benchmark, the GTX Titan Z beat the AMD R9 295X2 by 1.9 fps. Not a huge leap, but at 4K its the tiniest of gains that make a difference. When overclocked, the GTX Titan Z performed about the same as two GTX Titan Blacks in SLI running at stock speeds.

3DMark FireStrike Extreme

What's surprising to see here is the fact that the AMD R9 295X2 actually beat out the GTX Titan Z in 3DMark. We're not sure if it's driver optimizations or other variables at this point but the R9 295X2 was quite a huge leap ahead in terms of numbers.

Temperature

The card itself can be quite hot. Each GPU core operates at 82C and the card can give off a lot of radiant heat. You're going to want to make sure that your case has adequate air flow to ensure other components inside your case don't overheat by drawing in the heat of the GTX Titan Z.

Conclusion

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Z is definitely an amazing graphics card that performs well at Ultra-HD resolutions. Unfortunately, we didn't have multiple 4K panels on hand to test 12K surround sound and really push the VRAM of the Titan Z. Perhaps that is where it would have really outshined the AMD R9 295X2. However, with that said, until we are able to test those resolutions we are just going to have to judge it with what we have at the moment.

With the MSRP, the card is really meant for those who want an insane amount of power in a tiny package. Having two fully-unlocked GK110 GPUs on the same PCB with Double Precision makes this one heck of a work horse. If you are doing more than just gaming, the Titan Z has more than plenty of power to tackle compute applications.

What it really comes down to is what are your needs. Do you need the double precision performance of the Titan Z or are you looking to do 4K surround? To determine if the Titan Z is the right graphics card for you, you're going to want to look over what you actually want to do with your gaming computer or workstation computer. Is the price justified? Well... that's something you're going to have to figure out on your own by looking at your needs.

What are your thoughts on the NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Z. Let us know in the comments below!

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