The Battle of the TITANS – Pascal TITAN X vs. Maxwell TITAN X


This evaluation is the third in our Pascal TITAN X series.  We have just compared it with the GTX 1080 and found that the TITAN X was generally 20-30+% faster, depending on the resolution.  This time we want to compare the last generation 28nm Maxwell TITAN X with the new 16nm Pascal version.  Nvidia claims that the Pascal TITAN X is at least 60% faster than the Maxwell TITAN X, and we want to see how much improvement that Nvidia has made since March 17, 2015 when the Maxwell TITAN X launched.DSCN1608

We will include all 25 games of our benchmark suite, and we have added a new 3440×1440 WQHD resolution to our standard 3840×2160 and 2560×1440 benching resolutions.  We have dropped 1920×1080 as it is meaningless for such powerful cards as the TITAN X.

The new TITAN X is Nvidia’s fourth GeForce GPU based on 16nm Pascal architecture.  It is much faster than the GTX 1080 – formerly the world’s fastest video card. The TITAN X is premium-priced starting at $1200, $200 more than the Maxwell TITAN X, and it is only available directly from Nvidia.  Besides being the world’s fastest video card, the Pascal TITAN X is also a hybrid card like the Maxwell version that are well-suited for Single Precision (SP) and Deep Learning compute programs.

We received a TITAN X for evaluation from Nvidia together with a 3440×1440 ACER Predator X34 (2K/21:9) G-SYNC display.   The Predator X34 is a top-rated 34″ WQHD S-IPS display, and it is an excellent match for the TITAN X.  Popularly called “2K”, super-widescreen WQHD displays are rightly becoming popular, and we are going to bench top gaming video cards regularly at this resolution instead of at 1920×1080.DSCN1574

Part 4 of our TITAN X mini-series will be posted by this weekend, and it will also use our entire 25 game benchmark suite devoted to overclocking the new Pascal TITAN X, and Part 5 will be devoted to Compute and to Deep Learning TITAN X benchmarks.  If we can get another GTX 1070, we will compare the TITAN X with GTX 1070 SLI.

Instead of repeating all of the same information in last week’s TITAN X introduction, we are going to highlight the differences between the Pascal and the Maxwell TITAN X.  The Pascal TITAN X is based on GP102 whereas the Maxwell version is based on GM220.  The Pascal TITAN X has a total of 12 billion transistors and 3584 CUDA cores, and it comes equipped with 12GB of GDDR5X whereas the Maxwell TITAN X has 8 billion transistors, 3072 CUDA cores, and 12GB of GDDR5.  Pascal’s CUDA Cores have evolved over Maxwell’s to become more efficient, and you can check out our Nvidia GTC 2016 wrap-up article for the details in our Pascal Deep Dive.

The Pascal TITAN X also features Peak Single Precision performance – 11 TFLOPs FP32 (32-bit floating point) – and also has a new instruction set for deep learning inference that the Maxwell TITAN X lacks, 44 TOPS INT8.  Both cards feature 12GB of memory for scientific applications and also for extreme resolutions in gaming.  Here are the key differences between the Maxwell and the Pascal TITANs.

Pascal TX v Maxwell TXEven though they are both aimed at scientists and researchers, both of the TITANs are still gaming cards, and the new TITAN X supports all of the same new features that Nvidia’s Pascal architecture brings.  Pascal delivers high clock speeds while using relatively little power – the new TITAN X runs over 1.5 GHz with a TDP of 250W. Pascal’s 16nm manufacturing process allows the TITAN X to perform faster than Maxwell generation GPUs giving it a huge performance lead over the older TITAN X.

Our testing platform is Windows 10 Home 64-bit, using an Intel Core i7-6700K at 4.00GHz which turbos to 4.4GHz for all cores as set in the ASRock Z7170 motherboard’s BIOS, and 16GB of G.SKILL DDR4 at 3000MHz. The settings and hardware are identical except for the cards being tested. Today, we are featuring all 25 games of our benchmark suite, and we are also including four DX12 games – Ashes of the Singularity, Hitman, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Total War Warhammer – plus Futuremark’s recently released DX12 benchmark, Time Spy.


Here are the specifications for the Maxwell TITAN X:

Here are the full specifications for the Pascal TITAN X:




How does the Maxwell TITAN X compare with its predecessor?

From the specifications alone, we see that the Pascal TITAN X is considerably faster than its Maxwell predecessor.  To confirm this and to show how much faster, we are going to look at 25 games to compare the performance of the GTX 1080 with the TITAN X.  We are also adding a new feature to BTR’s reviews – percentages of increase between the two video cards.  We will explain how we calculate our percentages in the “Test Configuration”.

For this evaluation, we are going to concentrate on comparing the performance between the two TITAN Xes.  AMD’s flagship, the Fury X, is generally slower than the Maxwell TITAN X, and it is consistently beaten by the GTX 1080 in all the benchmarks that we have run.  AMD is pinning their hopes on next year’s big chip, Vega.

Let’s check out the test configuration.

  • Golemming

    Great. Now i only need to rob bant to be able to afford it…

  • Hans Schulze

    Use PNG files for tables, not JPG…

  • Hi, very useful benchmark. We are looking for comparisions between these gpu and we found your site.
    We saw another benchmark (not for gaming but for deep learning/machine learning) here
    and also here the Titan X Pascal wins!!

  • MaomeKat

    excellent charts, but why are the 1080gtx numbers/fps missing for the orfinary layman to understand how a 600$ cards fits with 1200$ and to see hwo much improvement… 🙁

  • Onion

    Great charts, but I was really surprised on the 1080 vs the Titan x pascal only because they have a huge budget difference and the Titan x pascal is only a little bit better. I also thought that Titan series of gpu’s was for rendering video and photos like high quality kinds of videos, not for gaming. If you know why the Titan x pascal was benchmarks for games, please reply.

    • apoppin

      The Pascal Titan X is a GeForce gaming card also. It is the world’s fastest video card besides being a hybrid compute card. The introduction to this evaluation states:
      “The TITAN X is premium-priced starting at $1200 and it is only available directly from Nvidia. Besides being the world’s fastest video card, TITAN X is a hybrid card that is also useful for Single Precision (SP) and Deep Learning compute programs.”