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Introduction

Launched last month, the GeForce GTX TITAN X is the fourth video card from the TITAN high-end video card series from NVIDIA, and the first one to support DirectX 12 (actually, DirectX 12.1), promising to be the fastest single-GPU video card to date. With superlative specifications, such as 12 GiB of memory, let’s see how well it performs in games using UHD 4K resolution, compared to the GeForce GTX 980.

The GPU chip used in the GeForce GTX TITAN X is called GM200, and it is based on the GM204 GPU present in the GTX 980. Both chips are based on the Maxwell architecture. The GM204 chip has 2,048 processing cores, divided in 16 units called “SMM” (Streaming Multiprocessor Maxwell) by the manufacturer, each one with 128 processing cores. On the other hand, the GM200 (nicknamed “Big Maxwell”) is 50% bigger, having 24 SMMs, for a total of 3,072 processing cores. The clock rate of the chip, however, is a little lower, since the TITAN X works at 1,000 MHz (1,075 MHz turbo clock) while the GTX 980 works at 1,126 MHz (1,216 MHz turbo clock).

The memory bus of the TITAN X is also 50% wider: while the GTX 980 uses a 256-bit bus, the TITAN X uses a 384-bit one, raising the bandwidth from 224 GiB/s to 336 GiB/s.

Additionally, NVIDIA equipped the GTX TITAN X with 12 GiB of video memory, against the 4 GiB available on the GTX 980.

For this review, we tested the GeForce GTX TITAN X on some games, comparing it to the GeForce GTX 980 with Full HD (1920 x 1080) and UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) resolutions. Unfortunately, we had no access to a Radeon R9 295X2, which would be the most direct competitor in price, even though this card uses two GPUs, and not only one.

In the table below, we compared the main specifications of the video cards included in this test. The price of the GTX 980 was researched at Newegg.com on the day this test was published; the price of the TITAN X is the price suggested by NVIDIA.

Video card Core clock Turbo clock Memory clock (effective) Memory bus Memory bandwidth Memory Processing cores TDP DirectX Price
GeForce GTX TITAN X 1,000 MHz 1,075 MHz 7 GHz 384 bits 336 GB/s 12 GiB GDDR5 3,072 250 W 12.1 USD 999
GeForce GTX 980 1,126 MHz 1,216 MHz 7 GHz 256 bits 224 GB/s 4 GiB GDDR5 2,048 165 W 12 USD 535

Let’s now take a closer look at the GeForce GTX TITAN X.