From Climate Modeling to Crysis 3 – How GeForce GTX TITAN Drops Big Science On Your Gaming Experience

by Brian Caulfield

Until recently, if you wanted to see NVIDIA’s most far-out GPU technology you had to travel to a secure government facility.

Drive deep into the wooded hills of East Tennessee, show your ID to the stone-faced guard, and you’ll gain entrance to a realm with technology so advanced it’s science-fictioney.

Turns out that when the scientists here need to model the combustion inside an engine or create models of Earth’s climate can also be used to create GPUs that deliver a primo gaming experience. That’s why we released the GeForce GTX TITAN this week: we wanted to do something special for gamers.

It’s here that many of those special capabilities were first put to the test. Oak Ridge National Laboratory – once nicknamed the ‘Secret City’ – played a key role in developing the Manhattan project. And it remains a center for some of the world’s most far-out research.

It’s now the U.S. Energy Department’s largest science and energy laboratory. And to accelerate their work, researchers here have assembled a machine known simply as Titan.

The World’s Fastest Computer

This is a machine that is awesome to behold, as are its capabilities. Imagine a basketball court filled with jet-black cabinets that resemble the monolith from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey.’ Those cabinets contain 18,688 NVIDIA Tesla GPUs. Titan is, put simply, the world’s fastest computer.

Built using the same Kepler architecture that powers Titan, each GeForce GTX TITAN contains 7 billion transistors and 2,668 GPU cores. And it can delivers 4.5 teraflops of single precision and 1.3 teraflops of double-precision processing power.

This muscle delivers some surprising benefits for gamers.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Titan supercomputer

Because it relies on Kepler GPUs to do its work, Titan needs just 9 megawatts of power – compared to the 30 megawatts a machine with a more conventional design. When put to work in the GeForce GTX TITAN, that same technology puts more graphics muscle into a machine that uses less power, and – as a result – can have a far more compact form factor. It can also run cooler, meaning a loud fan won’t get in the way of a great acoustic experience.

And like the GPUs you’ll find inside Titan, the GeForce GTX TITAN is built to scale. As many as three GeForce GTX TITANs can be yoked together in SLI mode, allowing gamers to put the same massively parallel approach used to model what goes on inside nuclear reactor cores to work taming the most demanding PC titles.

We’re also giving gamers the kind of control that researchers have long demanded. Our new GPU Boost 2.0 technology will boost graphics performance and support unlocked voltage and advanced controls for even more gaming control and overclocking customization.

Yes, It Can Play Crysis

And, like Titan itself, the GeForce GTX TITAN just looks cool. At Oak Ridge, Titan is cooled by 1,353 gallons of coolant pumped through gleaming stainless steel pipes and into Titan’s jet-black cabinets. This is a serious piece of hardware. Same goes for the GeForce TITAN GTX. It’s housed in a high-quality aluminum frame that includes a high-efficiency vapor chamber cooling system.

In short it looks like what it is: a serious supercomputer you can take home and slip under your desk.

And yes, it can play Crysis 3.