Review: NVIDIA Titan V, The Best You Shouldn’t Buy

Posted on December 26, 2017 by Brad Sams in Hardware with 9 Comments

Earlier this month, NVIDIA surprised many in the high-end PC community with the announcement of the Titan V. The card, which is not targeted at gamers, is designed for machine learning hardware and comes with a hefty price point of $2999. In addition, this card is based on the Volta architecture, unlike the current gen cards that are built on Pascal.

This card is for those who need high-compute performance to crunch massive databases for machine learning and AI applications. But, for those of you lucky out there to not have a budget and want to throw everything you can into a gaming rig, the Titan V is a great choice. And seeing as this card is $3000, I borrowed this card from Ryan and you should check out their very in-depth review, here, because if I spent $2999 on a graphics card, there would be no food on my table.

Everything aside, this card is the top dog of the market right now and no one is disputing this. It’s not a value proposition, it’s honestly not even a great gaming card, but it is the best card that money can buy right now.

With 5120 CUDA Cores, 640 Tensor Cores, 1200MHz core clock and a 1455 MHz boost clock, the Titan V is a beast. When you add in that it has 12GB of VRAM and can hit FP32 performance of 13.8TFLOPS, this card kills it in the performance category. Keep in mind the TDP is 250w running across 21.1 billion transistors.

During the holiday break, I have been playing a few different games with this card and documented the performance in the graphs below. The takeaway here is that it bests the 1080Ti in every benchmark and when you are paying a roughly $2200 premium for the Titan V over a 1080Ti, that’s not a surprise.

While the performance gains are a solid 10-15FPS over the 1080Ti, that’s not a massive jump but it is notable. But there is a huge caveat here, the drivers for this card are far from optimized for gaming and even at this point, they are barely optimized for just about anything as the card is only a few weeks old and it’s a new architecture.

The TimeSpy score is the easiest way to see the performance gains and it’s quite noticeable with a score crossing the 10,000 point mark. For reference, the machine used to test these cards is an i7-6700k, 16GB of RAM with Samsung 840 EVO SSD that is running on top of an MSI Z170A KRAIT GAMING motherboard. All cards used in these benchmarks tests are kept at their factory clock with the latest available drivers.

Also, the PUBG benchmarks are running on version 1.0 of that game which is notoriously un-optimized which means you shouldn’t look too deeply at these specs. That being said, it continued the trend of outperforming the 1080Ti in all aspects of that game with all settings on Ultra.

I fully expect performance out of this card to increase a modest amount during the next few months as NVIDIA releases driver updates and fine tunes the hardware. That being said, what we are seeing here is the future of the GTX lineup and what will likely become the 1100 series cards as well.

At the end of the day though, you should not buy this card for gaming. Yes, it is a beast, yes, it is the high watermark for the industry but for the gaming crowd, it is not a good value in any way as the performance gains are not large enough over a 1080Ti at this time to justify the price tag.

That being said, if money is no object and you are building for the highest performance possible, the Titan V is the card for you. And of course, if machine learning is your thing, the Titan V is the obvious choice.

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