Nvidia is rumoured to be expanding its GeForce GTX Titan
family, tripling the stock-keeping units (SKUs) on offer by bracketing the existing model with a down-rated GeForce GTX Titan LE and an up-rated GeForce GTX Titan II.
According to details obtained by 3DCenter.org
, Nvidia is pleased enough with the success of the high-priced Titan - or has enough of the GK110 graphics processing units (GPUs) cluttering up its warehouse, if you're more cynical - that it plans to increase the line-up. First to launch will be a cut-down model dubbed the GeForce GTX Titan LE, to be followed by a GeForce GTX Titan II or GeForce GTX Titan Ultra.
First, the cut-down version. Using marginal chips that just didn't make the grade for inclusion in the GeForce GTX Titan, the LE version will featuring 2,496 CUDA cores across 208 texture mapping units (TMUs) compared with the Titan's 2,688 cores across 240 TMUs. The GK110 is further knobbled with the reduction to 40 raster operation pipelines and a 320-bit memory interface. Memory is also reduced, down to 5GB of GDDR5 from 6GB in the full-fat Titan. More pleasing is a claimed reduction in power consumption: where the GeForce GTX Titan has a peak power draw of 206W, the GeForce GTX Titan LE should sit closer to 180-190W.
For those who would prefer to go upmarket, the GeForce GTX Titan II unlocks more of the GK110's capabilities rather than reducing it. Using specially binned parts, the board - which may launch as the GeForce GTX Titan Ultra - is claimed to include 256 TMUs and 2,880 CUDA cores along with the same 48 ROPs and 384-bit memory interface of the first Titan. Its clock speed gets an additional boost, too: the 837MHz of the original Titan is claimed to be upgraded to 950MHz in its successor - a move which ups the power draw to an estimated 220-230W.
It's worth mentioning at this point that 3DCenter.org's write-up of the rumours, received from an unnamed source, involves a certain amount of guesswork: "probably" and "estimated" are two of the key words to take away from its English translation. The news of 2,880 CUDA cores available on the GeForce GTX Titan II, in particular, seems high: that's the total number of cores available on the GK110 GPU, meaning the chips would have to be absolutely perfect with zero defects - something the company has not yet managed to achieve even for its high-priced GK110-based Tesla K20X accelerator boards, which have 2,688 active CUDA cores.
The GeForce GTX Titan LE, on the other hand, seems a much more likely prospect: designed for those who can't quite justify the top-end Titan, the Titan LE's CUDA core count of 2,496 matches Nvidia's GK110-based K20 accelerator board - making the Titan LE a consumer-oriented K20 in the same way as the Titan is based on the faster K20X.
Nvidia, naturally, has refused to comment on the rumours, but with 3DCenter.org's source pointing to a summer 2013 launch for the GeForce GTX Titan LE and a late-2013/early-2014 launch for the GeForce GTX Titan II, fans of the green camp's work shouldn't have long to wait to find out if the rumours are true.
Read our Nvidia GeForce Titan review