The NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan is one of the most impressive graphics cards we've ever seen. Its GK110 GPU is far and away the most powerful GPU ever produced, completely demolishing previous flagship GPUs from both NVIDIA and AMD. From a single GPU card perspective, there is nothing that even comes close to touching it in terms of performance. In fact, it's almost as good as the dual-GPU GTX 690.
The problem is, while its performance is almost as good as a GTX 690, its price is exactly the same as a GTX 690. So why would anyone pay the same amount for something that's almost as good as a GTX 690, when you can just buy a GTX 690 for the same price?
Furthermore, it's not as if the GTX Titan holds any other significant advantages over the GTX 690 either: it's not much smaller - any case that it will fit into, the GTX 690 should also be able to fit into - and its thermal operation is about the same too. As we've seen, power consumption is also only about 7% less. Based on its performance output, the Titan should be priced about 15% cheaper than the GTX 690 (roughly US$850 or S$1275). So why isn't it?
If we had to speculate, it's because the Titan only exists because people have wanted it for nearly a year. Essentially, NVIDIA created it as fan service.
Consider that ever since NVIDIA released the GK104-equipped GTX 680 people have speculated over the possibility of a GeForce card with a GK110 GPU. The reason it hasn't been made before is because, realistically, it's neither cost-effective nor sound business sense for NVIDIA to do so.
The GK110 GPU is definitely not cheap to produce, which is why, up until now, it's only been available in the US$3000 Tesla K20 enterprise-class card (which itself has only been available since a few months ago). If NVIDIA releases the GTX Titan priced at US$850, not only does it lower its margins (in fact, based on the price of the Tesla K20, it might be making a loss), it also cannibalizes the sales of its own GTX 690 as enthusiasts looking for dual-GPU level performance may opt for for the slightly cheaper Titan instead.
But like we said, there is demand for the GTX Titan. So NVIDIA made it - but to do so, they've had to price it at US$999, giving you the option of either the GTX 690 or the GTX Titan. So while it doesn't fill any performance or price gaps, the GTX Titan does answer the question of "What if a GK110 GPU GeForce card existed?" Not to mention, it lets NVIDIA show off its engineering prowess.
Everything considered, if you're simply looking for the best performing NVIDIA card out there, for the same price, the GeForce GTX 690 is obviously a much better buy. But if the idea and prestige of owning a GK110-equipped card, the same GPU found inside the world's fastest supercomputer, appeals to you, you might be willing to take the slight performance hit to own a GTX Titan.