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The TITAN X vs. GTX 1070 SLI

Intro

This evaluation pitting GTX 1070 SLI performance against TITAN X performance is the fifth in our Pascal TITAN X series.  We have compared it with the GTX 1080 and found that the TITAN X was generally 20-30+% faster, depending on the resolution. We also compared the last generation 28nm Maxwell TITAN X with the new 16nm Pascal version and found the TITAN XP is at least 60% faster.  We also found the TITAN X to be a good overclocker.DSCN1594

To attempt to determine the current overall value of the approximately $850 one would need to spend on GTX 1070 SLI vs. spending $1200 for TITAN X, we will include all 26 games of our benchmark suite which feature our newest games, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and DOOM.  We also include Ashes of the Singularity, Hitman, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Total War Warhammer and Deux Ex Mankind Divided using both the DX11 and the DX12 pathways.slid

Last month, BTR received a TITAN X together with a WQHD ACER Predator X34 (21:9) G-SYNC display for evaluation from Nvidia.  The Predator X34 is an excellent display to pair with the TITAN X so we have added a new 3440×1440 WQHD resolution to our standard 3840×2160 and 2560×1440 benching resolutions.  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.

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.

The $1200 TITAN X vs. $850 GTX 1070 SLI

The 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. Besides being the world’s fastest video card, the Pascal TITAN X is also a hybrid card that is well-suited for Single Precision (SP) and Deep Learning compute programs.  It commands a premium price of $1200 which is $350 more expensive than spending approximately $850 for GTX 1070 SLI which require two GTX 1070s at around $400 each plus a High Bandwidth (HB) SLI bridge ($40).

The TITAN X is approximately 25-40% faster than a single GTX 1070, so it should make for an interesting performance comparison with GTX 1070 SLI being the “value” solution.  When SLI scales well, GTX 1070 SLI should be slightly faster than the TITAN X.  When it does not scale at all, then the TITAN X will be 25-40% or so faster than what is essentially one GTX 1070.

Using one powerful GPU generally has advantages beyond scaling when compared with using SLI solutions.  The single GPU is often perceived as “smoother”, and the user never has to wait for SLI profiles to increase performance.  However, the price difference between one TITAN X is about $350 more than buying two GTX 1070s in SLI.

The EVGA HB SLI Bridge

No longer do the flexible ribbon SLI bridges bundled free with SLI mother boards carry enough bandwidth for Pascal SLI.  Now High Bandwidth (HB) SLI bridges are necessary to support the bandwidth for high display resolutions.  We received a HB SLI bridge from EVGA which enabled us to run these benchmarks.  They are becoming more widely available to enthusiasts now.  Here are the features from EVGA’s site:

FEATURES

  • Separate models to support various card spacing configurations

  • Optimized for NVIDIA Surround, 4K+ and 120Hz+ gaming

  • EVGA logo illuminates and can be configured to display in Red, Green, Blue or White color

  • Compatible with GeForce GTX 1080/1070

Our HB bridge is “single spacing” and it also features a RGBW switcher to feature Green, Blue, White or (even) Red.  Here’s a closer look.

hb-sli-1

Here is the other side:

hb-sli-2Let’s check out the test configuration.

  • BreadFish64

    The way I see it, the only reason to buy a Titan, is to buy 2.
    Also, the EVGA bridge looks horrible with the FE cards

  • Ninjawithagun

    Titan XP is the way to go and no issues having to deal with SLI scaling limitations or microstutter, AND waaaaaay better for future proof DX12 gaming. NUFF SAID!

  • Jitesh Pratap

    Performance summary chart description needs updating (Chart is correct) : 2560×1440, 3840×1440, and at 3840×2160 should be 2560×1440, 3440×1440, and at 3840×2160.

  • nvooser

    I have 1070 SLI and I’ve found that games might have 1-2 settings that are SLI unfriendly and once you turn them off, scaling is pretty decent, approaching 1.7-1.8x. Never had stutter or smoothness issues.

    From the games I play only DOOM has SLI off. I don’t care for DX12 at this point and don’t even have Windows 10 to even try it.

  • Dima Korol

    Excuse me for my english. 2 x 1070 are much better because they will not lose so much in price if you will want so sell them for upgrade

  • I wish GPU rendering was in these tests. CUDA cores are everything to GPU rendering. Blender cycles has several GPU benchmark scenes available (e.g. the two BMW’s). You can get screaming performance from 3 x 780 Ti cards. I use 2 x 980’s which is pretty fast. But Titans and 10 series benchmarks would be great to see too. Obviously the memory plays an issue on the cards for huge textures in your scenes but with 4GB I have managed so far. 6GB even better and 12GB is probably overkill but gives you room to use many 8K textures. The cards do not need to be SLI for GPU rendering as it will see them regardless.