The internet echo chamber is at full volume regarding the curious lack of availability of Nvidia’s Titan Z dual GPU monster graphics card. A variety of sites are reporting that this mythical card has been delayed and these stories are all almost universally based on the complete lack of inventory at major e-tailors. Nvidia itself has been characteristically silent on these rumors. But we also have videocardz reporting that the Titan Z has been held back to improve the design. [Editor’s note: We love speculation that is pure nonsense as it keeps us entertained. Unless, of course by “design” they mean the decorative shroud for the card.] As with most rumors there is certainly a kernel of truth somewhere.
As it is Nvidia will not be launching the Titan Z in April, it’s too late for that. Did AMD’s R9 295X2 force Nvidia to rethink the Titan Z? Possibly. At half the price of the Titan Z with a performance profile that’s likely to be quite similar, the R9 295X2 is a solution that, for gamers at least, should end any reasonable interesting in purchasing one of Nvidia’s latest benchmarking queens. Could Nvidia redefine the Titan Z so as to make it more competitive? Sure, a $1500 price drop and a good game bundle would go a long way towards making the Titan Z competitive. Assuming that Nvidia made those two changes consumers would be presented with a relatively simple choice: water cooling or air cooling.
But that’s not where we’re at today and if the Titan Z launches in the next few weeks with a $3000 price tag and a slightly improved air cooling solution then it will be very difficult to make an argument in favor of buying a Titan Z. The one metric that the Titan Z is a clear winner in is double precision compute performance which should come in at a bit under 2.7 Tflop/s assuming 8 Tflop/s of single precision compute with a 1/3 ratio of double to single precision compute performance. No other non-professional GPU can offer that kind of double precision performance so this card would likely go over pretty well with CUDA developers.
Titan Z could also offer lower power consumption than the R9 295X2. If we look at the GTX 770 versus R9 280X and GTX 780 versus R9 290 comparisons it looks like there’s a good chance that the Titan Z will offer better performance per watt than the R9 295X2 in gaming workloads. At its current price point though, and given the level of performance it provides, I sincerely doubt that any prospective buyers will choose one GPU over the other based solely on performance per watt.
To sum it up all nicely Nvidia’s Titan Z is an irrelevant offering to gamers at its announced price point. Only if Nvidia can cut the price in half will Titan Z become an option worth exploring for high-end gaming rigs. Much like all the prior offerings in Nvidia’s Titan line these cards are not going to be winning any performance per dollar contests. In the mean time we can entertain ourselves by wondering if Nvidia will release a more consumer oriented dual GPU offering to compete with the R9 295X2, or if the Titan Z is all were going to see from the green team before the rest of Maxwell lineup lands in the second half of this year.S|A