Last month, Nvidia launched the Titan Z — a dual-core version of its full GK110 architecture at a $3000 price tag. With AMD’s R9 295X2 sitting at $1500, it was genuinely surprising to see Nvidia hold the line on Titan Z’s price. The card’s low clocks (relative to the Titan Black or the GTX 780 Ti) meant, we theorized, that it would have a hard time competing against Nvidia’s own single-GPU cards. Now, a new review of the card has demonstrated just how poorly it compares to AMD — and even its own hardware.
Over at PC Perspective, Ryan Shrout has put the card through its paces. The GTX 780 Ti SLI is faster in most cases by 10-15%, while the R9 295X2 can blister past the Titan Z by up to 35%. It wins nothing, partly because the GTX 780 Ti is clocked at 876MHz, compared to just 706MHz for the Titan Z. The additional RAM might help in a game like Watch Dogs, which is known to be an enormous memory hog, but it’s no help in any of the 4K titles that PC Perspective tested.
These results are fairly expectable given the Titan Z’s clock rate, but it illustrates just how badly Nvidia miscalculated Titan’s positioning and price point. When I first wrote up the announcement, I opined that the only way this card makes sense is if it’s meant for rack deployments. An eight-slot motherboard could conceivably deploy two Titan Zs with three slots for each card, while the same motherboard could only mount two Titan Blacks in the same configuration. From this perspective, Titan Z offers double the GPU power and full-speed double-precision. That’s the Titan Z’s greatest strength — it packs more double-precision firepower than any other single card you can buy.