NVIDIA took a somewhat different approach during the lead-up to the launch of the GeForce GTX Titan. Not only was the GK110 GPU powering the card previously announced, but in terms of sheer performance alone, the Titan may or may not outpace the roughly 10 month old, dual-GPU GeForce GTX 690, depending on the workload. What the GeForce GTX Titan does offer, however, is the ability to fit into more form factors than the GTX 690 and it sets a new high-bar in terms of ultimate performance in ultra-high-end systems.
What you’ll see from a number of NVIDIA’s key system partners moving forward are new flagship and small form factor systems, all powered by the GeForce GTX Titan. As it stands today, there is no more powerful graphics setup than a 3-Way GeForce GTX Titan configuration. At the same time, the Titan’s lower TDP, cooler configuration, and acoustic profile make it well-suited to boutique small form factor systems as well.
To evaluate the GeForce GTX Titan, we were initially provided an absolutely gorgeous Maingear SHIFT Super Stock system, decked out with three Titans and a slick white and green paint job that would make even the most ardent auto enthusiast envious. An unforeseen issue with its motherboard ultimately prevented us from fully evaluating this new SHIFT configuration, but we’ll revisit it at some point in the future. One of the main reasons we were sent this high-end SHIFT system was because its 3-Way SLI setup supplanted Quad-SLI with a pair of GeForce GTX 690 cards as the premiere NVIDIA-based graphics configuration. A single GeForce GTX Titan may or may not outpace a single GTX 690 all of the time, but three GK110s is more powerful than a quartet of GK104s.
The GeForce GTX Titan also allows systems builders to offer killer graphics performance in form factors that couldn’t accommodate the GeForce GTX 690. Not only does the GeForce GTX Titan have a 20% lower TDP than the GTX 690, but it’s .5” shorter, and its cooler configuration exhausts hot air outside of a system. The GeForce GTX 690 exhausts some air outside of a system, but dumps the rest into the case. The GeForce GTX Titan is also quieter than previous high-end GeForce GTX 600 series cards, which is another desirable aspect for SFF rigs.
Companies like Maingear, Falcon Northwest, Digital Storm, iBuyPower, Origin and others will all be offering small form factor systems powered by the GeForce GTX Titan.