In a surprise move by NVidia, a successor to the Maxwell-based Titan X was announced far earlier than expected this month. The Titan series has consistently held a reputation for unrivaled performance at a high premium, but just how far does this new GPU go?

Much to the dismay of technology reviewers, NVidia has opted to name their new card Titan X, the same name as the previous generation flagship minus the GeForce branding. For this purpose, the new Pascal –based Titan X has been dubbed “Titan XP” per the direction of major review personalities including Linus Sebastian to distinguish it from the previous Maxwell-generation Titan X.

Titan XP is based on a new Pascal chip, GP102, boasting 3840 CUDA cores clocked at 1417MHz at base and 1531MHz with boost clocks. The card also sports 12GB of the new GDDR5X memory that graced GTX 1080, enabling a data rate of 10Gb/s on a 384 bit bus. This memory is clocked at 1251MHz like GTX 1080 as well. Overclocking this card appears to be very successful across the board, with TechPowerUp reporting 12% performance gains on both the GPU cores and the memory modules. As always, though, your mileage may vary.

Not only does Titan XP look like a beast on paper, its real-world performance has shattered all major single-GPU benchmarking records. It is the most powerful consumer graphics card on the market to date, though it unfortunately falls just short of the glass ceiling of 60 FPS at 4K resolution on major gaming titles with settings cranked all the way to ultra. For that, 2-way SLI with GTX 1080s might be more effective.

And speaking of cost, Titan XP will run you $1200 USD, a hefty premium for the top preforming GPU on the market. Many of you may have noticed that this is a $200 price hike over previous generations of Titan GPUs from NVidia. The card’s price-to-performance ratio is certainly unbalanced, but Titan XP is not designed for that market and does not pretend to be. That space is currently reserved for cards like GTX 1060 or AMD’s RX 480, which offer smooth gameplay at 1080p and 1440p resolutions for $200-$300 USD.

Currently, the only Titan XP on the market is NVidia’s Founder’s Edition SKU (pictured) (previously referred to as “reference design”), which features the new, more aggressive angular vapor chamber seen on GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 blower-style cooler designs, though Titan XP, in keeping with Titan design patterns over the past several generations, sports a black paint job instead of GeForce silver.  The card runs hot despite its power-efficiency, so hopefully a few of the aftermarket solutions from companies like MSI and ASUS will address the heat and noise issues that accompany blower-style coolers.

Unsurprisingly, the new Pascal Titan X, no matter how poorly named it is, boldly steps forth as the new king of single consumer GPU performance. While perhaps not universally cost effective, Titan XP is free of compatibility issues that often burden SLI or Crossfire configurations. With AMD currently focused on high-value GPUs, NVidia’s high-end Pascal chips reign without parallel for the time being. If you are a consumer looking for the best of the best, look no further than Nvidia’s Titan XP.

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