NVIDIA Prepping A New Dual-GPU Titan?
According to reports from WCCFTech and other publications NVIDIA could be preparing to drop another bombshell into the GPU market, and this time at the very top of the performance tree. At a top secret event in New York City NVIDIA apparently showcased a new graphics card which features not one but two GM200 GPUs, and in so doing take the undisputed single-card performance crown once again.
NVIDIA's GM200 is the GPU at the heart of both the GeForce TITAN X and more consumer-oriented GeForce GTX 980 Ti. The culmination of their Maxwell architecture, the GM200 is a 3072 CUDA Core monster which clocks to over 1GHz. In its TITAN X incarnation the GM200 doubles as both a gaming GPU and Compute-capable design for business and academic. The size and complex nature of the design also places it at the top of the price charts; a Titan X is difficult to source much below £800, and even the GTX 980 Ti is a premium £500 part.
The most recent dual-GPU reference design from NVIDIA was the TITAN Z, which in fairness had its own issues. Based on the GK110 found in the original TITAN, the TITAN Z struggled to find a market after launching at an eye-watering $3000, and faced ferocious competition from the liquid-cooled AMD R9 295x2. Eventually the TITAN Z was reduced in price to $1500, but NVIDIA will need to make sure that they get the price right on launch to ensure that their newest flagship doesn't end up as a white elephant.
If NVIDIA can't rustle-up a fresh letter in the alphabet it's possible that the new card will launch under standard GeForce nomenclature, perhaps as the GTX 990, but the secrecy of the launch makes this seem unlikely. The closest recent analogue is the GeForce GTX 690, once again from the Kepler era but built around two slimmer GK104 chips.
This news comes ahead of a long-awaited dual-GPU launch from AMD. During E3 2015 the red team showed off a PCB with two AMD Fiji GPUs (the same found in the R9 Fury and Nano-series), and overall complexity indicated a design akin to two R9 Nano chips operating together. Little news coming in from AMD does however indicate that they may be pre-empted yet again by NVIDIA's launch.
Launching a high-end product like a dual-GM200 TITAN (perhaps TITAN ZX, but almost certainly not TITAN Y) would also be prime time for NVIDIA to experiment with reference liquid cooling due to such a cards immense cooling requirements. However designing the card for maximum compatibility with workstation and server environments may nip this idea in the bud.
It's not yet clear when the new card is due, but additional reports of review samples being sent out and worked on throughout the week indicate that the release is imminent rather than some time away.
NVIDIA have poured cold water over the rumours, suggesting that reports may be confused with NYC briefings for GTX 980 Notebooks the previous week. Although this doesn't rule out the potential for a dual-GM200 GPU in the near future, it does at least temper our expectations in the absence of more concrete evidence.