It has only been two months since Nvidia launched the GTX Titan, its super-powerful, extremely efficient, very expensive graphics card. The Titan isn’t the most powerful card on the market, but it’s up there, and given its power efficiency, brings a lot to the table. However, new leaks reveal that Nvidia doesn’t think the card brings enough to the table, and is working on two new models of Titan: a cheaper model, and an even faster one.
The report comes out of 3DCenter.org, which suggests that Nvidia will be giving the Titan two new buddies, expanding the card’s moniker into a brand rather than letting it sit stagnant on just one model. First, it would seem Nvidia realizes the Titan is a little too expensive at $1,000 — regardless of its strength and efficiency — and will be releasing a budget model of the card. The cheaper model, dubbed the GTX Titan LE, will reportedly feature 208 TMUs and 2,496 CUDA cores (the standard Titan has 240 TMUs and 2,688 CUDA cores). The LE’s memory will also drop from 6GB of DDR5 to 5GB, but its power consumption will drop as well, from the standard model’s 206W to around 180W or so.
If you already own a Titan and you’re happy a budget Titan might release so others can experience it, but are getting a little bored withits ruthless efficiency, 3DCenter.org also points out that a newer, upgraded Titan is on the books. The card, either dubbed the GTX Titan II or GTX Titan Ultra, will bump the TMUs and CUDA cores up to 256 and 2,880, respectively. The Ultra’s clock speed would increase from 837MHz to 950MHz, which would increase the TDP from around 206W to somewhere in the ballpark of 220W. As Bit-tech points out, though, the GPU used in the Titan — the GK110 — has exactly 2,880 available CUDA cores, which would mean if the Ultra is planning on offering that many, then Nvidia would have to avoid any little issue or defect — something at which the company hasn’t yet succeeded.
There isn’t yet word on what the price of either model might be.
If this information is a controlled leak from Nvidia — perhaps as a feeler to see which way the consumer market would want the company to go — the budget Titan would seem more likely to leave the Thunderdome. Everyone likes more power, but the rumored specs on the budget model aren’t that much lower than the standard Titan. There really aren’t enough consumer-grade products (games, mainly) that would justify an even more powerful card that’s even more expensive than the standard Titan. However, a product that is cheaper, saves even more power, and performs at a similar level is an enticing trifecta. It would also seem a little too soon for a Titan upgrade, but stranger things have happened in the hardware industry. (See: AMD destroys Nvidia at Bitcoin mining, can the gap ever be bridged?)
AMD’s $1,000 competitor, the Radeon HD 7990 launches on April 24, and with its dual-GPU setup, the single-GPU Titan can’t match its overall power (ignoring the comparison between dual and single GPUs). So, perhaps Nvidia is combatting the launch of the HD 7990 with some controlled rumors, or perhaps it’s combatting the 7990 with the budget Titan’s monetary savings. The report points to a 2013 summer release for a budget Titan, and a more vague late 2013 or early 2014 release for the Ultra. Should they actually exist, that is.