Graphics Cards Guide
HardwareZone PlayTest with NVIDIA: Arrival of the Titans!
Meeting the Titans!
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan was launched recently last month and cards that boast of this prestigious lineage were available locally as early as late February. However, the prices of these cards were exorbitant as they were retailing for approximately S$1,600. Our experience with the GTX Titan left us with the impression that although it didn't fill any performance or price gaps (due to the existence of the GTX 690), it existed for higher reasons; i.e., as a demonstration of NVIDIA's superior engineering prowess, and as a luxury product that allowed its owner to bask in the fact that he possesses an offshoot of the world's most powerful supercomputer of the same name.
Rather than leave the GTX Titan to exist as a 'higher deity' whose presence is a mere figment of thought, NVIDIA and its partners decided to leverage on our PlayTest platform to reach out to our readers and forum members so that they can have a deeper understanding of the card's technical details and performance. At the same time, they can also experience first-hand the gaming experience with systems featuring GTX Titan graphics cards, which were kindly furnished by NVIDIA partners like ASUS, Gigabyte and Palit. With their generosity, two luck winners won themselves each a GTX Titan graphics card in a lucky draw held at the end of the event. Here's a short video overview of what took place at the event:-
We also took the chance to highlight to the attendees the different anti-aliasing techniques used to improve the quality of computer graphics during gameplay. Our senior tech writer, James Lu, also touched on the different game settings that will directly affect game performance and he gave tips on which to configure based on the gamer's discretion as well as the graphical compute prowess of his/her system.
After he had warmed up the audience with the informative primer on graphics techniques used in rendering images, Mr. Yeo Ngee-Seng, Regional Channel Sales and Marketing Manager from NVIDIA, took stage to introduce the GTX Titan and all its technical capabilties.
He spoke about the origins of the GTX Titan by paying homage to the supercomputer Titan that is currently the world's fastest supercomputer. Essentially, the Titan is a Cray XK7 supercomputer that is highly scalable in terms of petascale processing architecture. It comprises of an array of XK7 blade servers and each server is powered by a pair of XK7 node that is essentially an AMD 16-core Opteron CPU and an NVIDIA Tesla K20 GPU. This supercomputing system also marks the first deployment of the NVIDIA Tesla K20 GPU as Titan's peak performance is mainly due to the presence of 18,688 such GPUs.
Besides the informative presentations, the attendees of PlayTest were able to try out the different gaming systems on display. Seen above is the gaming setup from ASUS that featured their flagship GTX Titan card, the ASUS GTXTITAN-6GD5. Other NVIDIA partners at our event also included Gigabyte and Palit Microsystems.
At the end of the day, the participants who joined this edition of PlayTest with NVIDIA's GeForce GTX Titan were a lucky bunch. They got to experience first hand of what the fastest single GPU graphics card is capable of, understand what's so unique and special about the Titan, get practical tips on improving their FPS with their existing rig, how to go about selecting an ideal class of graphics card when upgrading, what kind of game play experience one can expect out of it and last but not least, two chances of winning a GeForce GTX Titan graphics card that was sponsored by ASUS and Gigabyte respectively.
If all this sounded interesting, we look forward to seeing you in a future PlayTest event, so look out for it and sign up early!