Zotac's GeForce GTX TITAN offers unparalleled single-GPU gaming performance
Just when you try convincing a non-PC gamer to betray their platform of choice with the “but it's not really that expensive to be a PC gamer” argument, something like the GeForce TITAN comes along. Granted, the TITAN isn't a starting point by any stretch of imagination. It is finality, epitomising the best that graphics technology can offer today in terms of a single-GPU configuration. With 2,668 GPU cores, 7-billion transistors, 6GB of GDDR5 memory, Nvidia GPU Boost 2.0 and Surround technology, it is the Holy Grail of graphics cards that comes at the cost of your soul — plus interest.
But then again, if you were in the market for a super-card like ZOTAC's GeForce GTX TITAN AMP! Edition, budget isn't really much of a constraint — just like if you're looking to buy a car and the Ferrari Enzo made your shortlist. The “basic” TITAN sports a maximum retail price of Rs. 89,000 (you should be able to procure one for around 70,000 bucks, however). And just like most Ferraris, the TITAN does exactly what it's supposed to: make a mockery of anything you can throw at it. The latest games are hardly a challenge — even when running at absurdly high resolutions across multiple monitors. But unlike a supercar whose engines are meant to send shivers down spines, the TITAN is a quiet beast — so quiet in fact that you will probably forget it's sitting in your PC until it starts throwing a hundred frames-per-second at you in your favourite game.
The card the TITAN would replace in our test rig was the unassuming GeForce GTX 660Ti. Literally no other component had to be swapped out to make room for the super-card. While loosely resembling its fatter cousin, the GTX 690, the TITAN seems to have been fed a strict diet — it's less long and slightly thinner, no doubt as a result of the single GPU configuration. However, you will still need two slots in your motherboard to accommodate it — but one thing's for sure: nothing would have looked better inside your PC than this magnesium alloy-cased beauty. The fact that it didn't require any more juice than the already-present 700-watt PSU pumped out was a bonus, making the whole exercise entirely worth the effort.
Using the TITAN for a single monitor setup would be a waste, however, because this card exists only so that you can plug in multiple monitors via its HDMI, dual DVI and DisplayPorts for surround gaming at resolutions of 5760x1080 and beyond. The TITAN simply obliterated the 100fps mark on most of the games thrown at it in Full-HD. So if you're going to be playing on a single screen or TV, you will never reach the card's full potential. In terms of sheer overall performance, there are still two cards in the market that have the TITAN beat: Nvidia's GTX 690 and AMD's HD 7990, but both sport dual GPUs, consume a lot more power, and can create quite a racket inside your PC cabinet. Level the playing field by stacking either of those cards up against two TITANs in SLI, however, and it's no-contest.
But is the card worth it? If you've got money to burn, pick up three of these cards and triple-SLI your way to gaming glory (this might sound like an exaggeration but it is indeed, viable). On the other hand, if you're a rig-builder with an eye for aesthetics, I can confidently assure you that there isn't a better looking card out there. Your decision should be governed by the number of displays you are intending to plug the TITAN into. If it's just one, you probably don't need it. But if you're a flight simulation enthusiast or simply love the idea of peripheral vision in your games, the TITAN is easy to recommend. Most significant, however, is the idea of the GeForce TITAN itself — a “luxury” graphics card that aims to fill the void between the brute force of Nvidia's most powerful card and the ever-popular mid-range category.