Overclocking the TITAN X

Intro

This overclocking evaluation is the fourth of our Pascal TITAN X series.  After introducing it ten days ago, we compared it with the GTX 1080 and found that the TITAN X was generally 20-30+% faster.  Then we compared the last generation 28nm Maxwell TITAN X with the new 16nm Pascal version and found that the Pascal TITAN X is at least 60% faster.  Now we want to overclock the TITAN X as far as we can to see how well it scales with 25 games.DSCN1594The new TITAN X is Nvidia’s fourth GeForce GPU based on 16nm Pascal architecture.  It is much faster than the GTX 1080 which was until recently, the world’s fastest video card. The TITAN X is premium-priced at $1200, and it is also a hybrid card that is well-suited for Single Precision and Deep Learning compute programs.

Instead of repeating all of the same information in our TITAN X introduction, we are instead going to highlight its specifications.  The TITAN X is based on GP102 with a total of 3584 CUDA cores and it comes equipped with 12GB of GDDR5X for scientific applications and also for extreme resolutions in gaming.  The TITAN X also features 11 TFLOPs FP32 Peak Single Precision performance and also has a new INT8 instruction set for deep learning inference.  The TITAN X is still a gaming card, and it supports the same features of the other Pascal GPUs.  Pascal delivers high clock speeds while using relatively little power – the GeForce TITAN X runs over 1.5 GHz with a TDP of 250W. TitanX specs

We received a TITAN X for evaluation from Nvidia together with a WQHD 34″ 3440×1440 ACER Predator X34 (21:9) G-SYNC display.  Popularly called “2K”, super-widescreen WQHD has been added to our standard 3840×2160 and 2560×1440 benching resolutions instead of 1920×1080 as it is meaningless for powerful cards such as the TITAN X  Metro-LL-WQHD

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 TITAN X clocks being tested. 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.

How well does the TITAN X Overclock?

The TITAN X is a 12-billion transistor 250W TDP chip which should tend to overclock less than the smaller and lower-TDP GPUs of the Pascal family.  We are going to look the performance of the stock TITAN X compared with it overclocked as far as it can go with up to 100% fan speeds using MSI’s latest beta version of Afterburner.  We are also using a new feature recently added to BTR’s reviews with this TITAN X series – percentages of difference between the stock and overclocked results.begin at stock

We are going to concentrate only on overclocking the TITAN X.  AMD’s flagship, the Fury X, is slower than the GTX 1080 and in our ongoing tests, it has failed to win a single benchmark.  The TITAN X is in a class even higher than the GTX 1080, and it might be better to compare the TITAN X performance with Fury X CrossFire or with GTX 1070 SLI.  AMD is pinning their hopes on next year’s big chip, Vega.

Let’s check out the test configuration.

  • gilahacker

    Would love to see results with water cooling. 🙂

    • Ninjawithagun

      I have my Titan XP water cooled using an EKWB full cover water block and back plate. Overclocks for GPU is a solid 2088Mhz (+220Mhz in MSI Afterburner) and GDDR5X is at 10,800Mhz (2 x 5400Mhz; +400Mhz in MSI Afterburner). Temps are amazing at a max of 50C under full load benchmarking. Actual temps when gaming vary between 32C-46C. And those temps are with an Intel 3930K @ 4.5Ghz (1.41V) in the same cooling loop! O.O

      • gilahacker

        Nice. ☺️

        I’ve installed mine, but had some other issues with the machine and have been too busy to troubleshoot them, so I’m unsure how it’ll perform on air in my system. I’d like to water cool it, but may move to a new case with more room for that first.

        • Ninjawithagun

          Any updates your system issues? I hope that you were finally able to get the Titan XP working 😉

          • gilahacker

            I’m visiting family. Won’t be back home for another week and a half. :-/

          • Ninjawithagun

            Errrg…man, I know all about that…lol

          • Ninjawithagun

            Back in town yet?

          • gilahacker

            Yep. Just got everything working last night. Played Doom at 4K w/ all graphics options maxed out and it was buttery smooth. The Steam controller I bought certainly takes some getting used to though!

            The fan on the card definitely gets loud, but it’s not *too* bad. I barely notice it when playing unless I actually think to listen for it. I’d still like to water cool it with that EKWB block. I need to see if I can cram a reservoir/pump in my case.

            I’d really like to properly water cool the CPU too. I have an H80i GT closed loop cooler on it now, but it doesn’t really seem sufficient. I might have to upgrade to a case with room for larger radiators.

          • Ninjawithagun

            Let me know if you want some advice on water cooling. A lot of it depends on how much you want to spend and what size of case is right for you. The smaller the case, the greater level the challenge. I have a Corsair 540 Air Carbide case and it is great for a water cooled build. The power supply, all the cables, and the pump/res unit sit hidden on the right side, while all the ‘eye candy’ resides on the left (visible) side. I’m already eyeing upgrading from X79 to X99 just to be able to use the new EKWB motherboard mono waterblock. It would cut down significantly on the number of tubes I have running from the CPU to the chipset and VRMs from 4 to 2 and would look a lot better as a well. Anyhoo, so let me know if you have any questions regarding your upcoming ‘rebuild’ 😉

          • gilahacker

            The problem I run into is that most cases don’t have room for all my drives. I have 10×3.5 (HDD), 1×2.5 (SSD), and 1×5.25 (Blu-ray burner). My gaming machine is also my media server.

          • Iluv2raceit

            I think it’s time for you to segregate into two systems; gaming and server.

          • gilahacker

            I’ve considered it, but since I had already built a decent system and only needed to install a video card and assign it to a Windows VM to be able to also use it for gaming, it was kind of a no-brainer. Less space needed, less cables to mess with, less overall power draw (and therefore heat output), etc. and I didn’t have to buy all the parts for a separate system. It’s just more efficient to do everything in one box.

  • Ninjawithagun

    Mark, I forgot to say “THANK YOU!” for doing such an outstanding job with this review. It is still one of the handful of detailed reviews on how well the Titan XP performs stock vs. overclocked. I would like to ask if you could throw in some Titan XP performance numbers in the future – should you ever get hands on a second Titan XP 😉

    • You are welcome and it is our pleasure to bring you this review. I was amazed that BTR was picked as one of five North American tech sites to get a Titan XP from Nvidia, and I doubt that we will get a second one for further mGPU evaluation. However, we are going to continue this series next week with the Titan XP vs GTX 1070 SLI.

    • apoppin

      You are welcome, and it is our pleasure to bring you this review. I was amazed that BTR was picked as one of five North American tech sites to get a Titan XP from Nvidia, and I doubt that we will get a second one for further mGPU evaluation. However, we are going to continue this series next week with the Titan XP vs GTX 1070 SLI. I am getting some interesting results now.

      • Ninjawithagun

        My two cent guess is that the Titan XP (TXP) is performing on par and sometimes even better than the two GTX1070s in SLI, especially at higher UQHD and 4K/UHD resolutions. Multiple factors would cause this; 1) 192-bit memory bus, 2) slower GDDR5 memory (and less of it vs. TXP), and way less shader cores per rendered frame as the SLI has to share the alternate frame rendering duties.