Where in the world is Nvidia's Titan Z graphics card? The dual-GK110 monster was revealed in March, but we haven't heard much about it since—at least not officially. Rumors abound that the card is delayed or possibly even canceled altogether. The reason? The $2,999 Titan Z is apparently slower than AMD's dual-Hawaii Radeon R9 295 X2, which sells for a mere $1,500.
As it turns out, there's some evidence to support that claim. A member of the Linus Tech Tips forums has posted images from a review of the Titan Z published by Hong Kong computer magazine E-Zone. My browser's translation engine can't make any sense of the Chinese characters in the images, but the numbers in the performance table are easy to understand. According to E-Zone, the Titan Z is slower than the Radeon in 3DMark, Battlefield 4, and Sleeping Dogs. The GeForce actually comes out ahead in Batman: Arkham Origins and Tomb Raider, though.
Interestingly, E-Zone indicates that the Titan Z consumes about 60W less than the Radeon under load. The GeForce GPUs reportedly run 20°C hotter than their Hawaii counterparts, too, likely due to cooling differences. The Titan relies on traditional air cooling, while the Radeon is strapped to a closed-loop liquid cooler.
When asked about the cancellation rumors, Nvidia told Gamers Nexus that the Titan Z is still on track for a Q2 release. The second quarter usually ends in June, but Nvidia's fiscal schedule lags behind the normal calendar by two months (the company's first fiscal quarter ended April 27), so we could be waiting a while for the Titan Z to make its official debut.
Even if the dual-chip Titan isn't the fastest gaming card around, its double-precision compute prowess should be a hit with folks who use GPUs for general-purpose number crunching. We should also note that E-Zone's benchmark scores appear to be in frames per second. Our latency-focused methods exposed some troublesome frame time spikes in the Radeon R9 295 X2 that don't show up in FPS averages. We ran into multi-GPU scaling issues with the card, as well. Despite what the initial numbers say, the Titan Z may yet provide a better overall gaming experience. Thanks to Videocardz for the tip.