If you’ve followed NVIDIA’s video card launches over the last few years, then there’s a pretty clear pattern to the company’s release schedule. If the company starts things off with a cut-down Titan, as they did with the Kepler and Pascal generations, then a full-fledged Titan is sure to follow. And sure enough, with the recent launch of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti – which effectively put the original Titan X Pascal out to pasture – NVIDIA is back again to launch their full-fledged Titan for this generation: the NVIDIA Titan Xp.

As a sort of mid-cycle replacement for the original NVIDIA Titan X (Pascal), this is a bit more of a low-key launch for the company. There’s nothing new to talk about as far as the design goes, the market positioning, etc. Instead what we have is simply a fully-enabled GP102 GPU coming to an NVIDIA prosumer card, making it the most powerful video card NVIDIA offers.

NVIDIA GPU Specification Comparison
  NVIDIA Titan Xp GTX 1080 Ti NVIDIA Titan X
GTX Titan X
CUDA Cores 3840 3584 3584 3072
Texture Units 240 224 224 192
ROPs 96 88 96 96
Core Clock 1481MHz? 1481MHz 1417MHz 1000MHz
Boost Clock 1582MHz 1582MHz 1531MHz 1075MHz
TFLOPs (FMA) 12.1 TFLOPs 11.3 TFLOPs 11 TFLOPs 6.1 TFLOPs
Memory Clock 11.4Gbps GDDR5X 11Gbps GDDR5X 10Gbps GDDR5X 7Gbps GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 384-bit 352-bit 384-bit 384-bit
VRAM 12GB 11GB 12GB 12GB
FP64 1/32 1/32 1/32 1/32
FP16 (Native) 1/64 1/64 1/64 N/A
INT8 4:1 4:1 4:1 N/A
TDP 250W 250W 250W 250W
GPU GP102 GP102 GP102 GM200
Transistor Count 12B 12B 12B 8B
Die Size 471mm2 471mm2 471mm2 601mm2
Manufacturing Process TSMC 16nm TSMC 16nm TSMC 16nm TSMC 28nm
Launch Date 04/06/2017 03/10/2017 08/02/2016 03/17/2015
Launch Price $1200 $699 $1200 $999

Relative to the previous (and now discontinued) Titan, things are pretty straightforward. The last 2 SMs have been enabled, and both the GPU and memory clockspeeds have seen a minor bump as well.

Perhaps more meaningful is to compare the Titan Xp to its only real competition on the market, the GTX 1080 Ti. What does a Titan get you over a Ti for this generation? Okay, it gets you about the same thing: the last 2 SMs are unlocked, and the memory clockspeed has seen a very small bump. However reflecting how NVIDIA opted to hobble the GTX 1080 Ti just a little bit to leave room for the inevitable Titan, NVIDIA’s prosumer card gets a bit more memory and a bit more memory bandwidth, thanks to the re-enabling of the full 384-bit memory bus.

Bringing back the last 32-bit memory channel and its associated GDDR5X chip gives the Titan Xp a total of 547.2GB/sec of memory bandwidth, 13% more than its lower-tier sibling. Otherwise on the GPU performance front, we’re looking at 7% more shader/texture/geometry throughput and 9% more ROP throughput. Or to compare it the last-generation flagship GTX Titan X (Maxwell), from flagship-to-flagship NVIDIA has improved GPU performance by 84%, ROP throughput by 47%, and memory bandwidth by 63%.

As for power and other design considerations, this hasn’t changed. The Titan Xp is still a 250W card, and it’s still designed like the last Titan X, clad in black with NVIDIA’s current-generation heatsink and shroud design. Simply put, if you’re a regular NVIDIA high-end customer, then NVIDIA has made it very easy to pull out your GTX 780Ti/980Ti/Titan and replace it with the new Titan Xp.

However before we get off of the specifications entirely, there’s one aspect of the new Titan Xp that surprises me: the memory capacity. In the previous generations, Titan cards have offered the full memory capacity for their associated GPU, equivalent to NVIDIA’s Tesla and Quadro cards. For the original Titan, this was 6GB, and 12GB for the Titan X (Maxwell). However with the Titan Xp, NVIDIA is still only offering 12GB of VRAM, while the otherwise equivalent Quadro P6000 gets 24GB. This is an interesting departure from the norm for the company.

I have a couple of ideas on why this is, though it’s all speculation. The first is that this is a market reason: NVIDIA needs to enforce better market segmentation between the prosumer Titan and the professional Tesla. Typically this is done via their respective driver sets and what features these cards offer (Tesla not being rigged for workstations, for example). However Titan X (Maxwell) was very popular in the previous generation, and it may be that it did a little too well compared to the Tesla, and NVIDA is concerned that there will be a repeat performance here even though they’ve done a much greater level of feature separation via the differences in the GP100 and GP102 GPUs.

The other theory is that NVIDIA can’t have it all – they can’t both have super-fast GDDR5X, and 24GB of it in clamshell mode at the same time. It’s telling on the memory bandwidth front that NVIDIA has overclocked the Titan Xp’s memory just a bit; 11.4Gbps, even though partner Micron’s GDDR5X tops out at 11Gbps. Granted, 12Gbps is coming, but I think Micron would be announcing that and NVIDIA would just run with 12Gbps. In any case, this compares starkly to the Quadro P6000, which does get 24GB of VRAM, but with its GDDR5X underclocked to 9Gbps. Or to take it one step further, the Tesla P40, which doesn’t get GDDR5X at all and only has GDDR5. NVIDIA and Micron have definitely pushed the envelope with GDDR5X, so given the additional complexities of clamshell mode, it’s not unreasonable to speculate that a 12GB card is for technical reasons along these lines.

In any case, NVIDIA’s handling of the Titan Xp and their intended market hasn’t changed from the previous generation Titan. This means NVIDIA is walking an interesting line with partners and customers in positioning this as a prosumer card. At $1200 it’s 71% more expensive than the GTX 1080 Ti, all for one last GB of memory and 5-10% more performance. That last bit of flagship performance from NVIDIA has always come at a price, and the Titan Xp is no exception.

The expected customer base then is both professionals and consumers, however one that leans more strongly towards professionals than the Maxwell generation. Professionals would just as well work with NVIDIA directly, whereas consumers have (and generally still do) work via NVIDIA’s partners, whom of course won’t be promoting the Titan Xp since they don’t get to sell it. Which is not to say that you can’t buy it and game on it – for those whom money is no object, this will happen – and it’s even conveniently on the GeForce website. But even then, the NVIDIA Titan Xp (remember, this isn’t a GeForce) doesn’t get the same level of promotion with consumers and gamers as past iterations have. The prosumer card is decidedly more professional, especially with the almost-as-good GeForce GTX 1080 Ti right below it.

Meanwhile, on a personal note, I’m entirely nonplussed with the name. NVIDIA named the previous Titan X (Pascal) poorly, and they seem content to continue that trend here. Because the previous Pascal-based Titan was called the “Titan X”, it’s very common to see it informally referred to as the “Titan XP”. Except now we have NVIDIA selling the “Titan Xp”, which is not the same card as the “Titan XP”. I appreciate NVIDIA at least not calling this the “Titan X” yet again – and I assume that all of this started from someone wanting to call it the “Titan X Plus” but they really need to find better names. My suggestion: either pick unique Titan names, or at least go with yearly model numbers like cars and iPads.

Anyhow, for those whose wallets are deep enough to buy NVIDIA’s latest prosumer and budget deep-learning card, the card will set you back $1200. Like the previous Titan, the NVIDA Titan Xp is being sold exclusively through NVIDIA’s website, and has already gone on sale today.

Source: NVIDIA

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • sharath.naik - Thursday, April 20, 2017 - link

    500$ more per card for 8% performance advantage?, or 40% more for 8%. You could get 2 1080TI and it would cost you 16% more for 80% more performance. This is no longer a "personally subjective matter", it is foolishness.
  • bji - Friday, April 13, 2018 - link

    Amazingly, I actually bought a Titan Xp this week. I never thought I would, and I didn't even remember having this conversation, but when reading Anandtech's review of the card I discovered this blast from the past.

    These days (one year since this discussion started), crytocoin mining has pushed the availability of the high end Nvidia cards down, and consequently, the price way up. It is hard to find a well built 1080ti for less than $1,000 (you can get bottom barrel ones for ~$900, but those are cheaply made with poor quality fans etc). On Nvidia's site the 1080ti is still $699 but is generally always sold out. But they have the Titan Xp for $1,200.

    So at this point, your choices are: spend $1,000 for a 1080ti, spend $1,200 for a Titan Xp, or wait around checking Nvidia's site all the time and hope to get lucky and score a $699 1080ti.

    My time is valuable, so I'm not going to spend it constantly checking Nvidia's site. So that option is out.

    That leaves the $1,000 1080ti or the $1,2000 Titan Xp. The Titan Xp is more than 10% better than the 1080ti, and now at only a 20% price premium. And you can buy the founder's edition straight from Nvidia. Totally worth it.

    I never thought I'd buy a $1,200 GPU, but with the way cryptomining is driving prices up, I am not sure when if ever the prices are going to coime down. So I'll just enjoy this Titan Xp in my VR rig for a few years ...
  • Nagorak - Saturday, April 8, 2017 - link

    Doesn't impress me.
  • TristanSDX - Friday, April 7, 2017 - link

    haha, NV strategy:
    First - cheating, sell Geforce rebranded as Titan for high price, while collecting real Titan chips
    Second - normalization, sell Geforce as Geforce, and Titan as Titan
    Most loyal clients, as best victims to drain their pockets :)
  • bji - Friday, April 7, 2017 - link

    Anyone who willingly buys something is not a victim, except in the rare case of the buyer being under duress for some reason and having no alternative -- and this is CERTAINLY not a case of that.
  • tamalero - Friday, April 7, 2017 - link

    Misleading is a good tactic for Nvidia. I mean, anyone remembers the debacle of the 970 GTX?
  • edzieba - Friday, April 7, 2017 - link

    You mean where it had such good performance that nobody noticed the last 512MB was not full-duplex for months until Nvidia told everybody?
  • mapesdhs - Monday, April 10, 2017 - link

    People still harp on about that today as if it ever really meant anything, all the while ignoring the fact that the 970's memory design had hardly any affect on gaming at all. I said often that those playing games which would end up using close to 4GB RAM would likely want a GPU with more raw power than a 970 anyway, so indeed it was a non-issue from the start. People do seem to love to wallow in the FUD though.
  • Cellar Door - Friday, April 7, 2017 - link

    The market really needs Vega at this point - it is just silly how Nvidia can run train on their customers every witch way they want.
  • shabby - Friday, April 7, 2017 - link

    When you're on top got can do whatever you want, blame amd for not competing first.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now