Skip to main content

Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan 3-way/4-way SLI preview (with 5,760x1,080 and frametimes)

Hardware.Info published a comprehensive review of the new Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan graphics card (opens in new tab), but it lacked one important item. How do two, three and four Titans perform together? We tested all SLI combinations, including 5,760 x 1,080 and frametime tests, and compared the results to GeForce GTX 690 Quad-SLI.

Nvidia itself only mentions SLI and 3-way SLI, and indicated that 4-way SLI would not be possible with the GTX Titan (opens in new tab). However, the Nvidia-sponsored overclocker Kingpin has already posted 3DMark scores with four Titan cards on We, of course, had to try our own 4-way SLI configuration, and we're happy to report that it's definitely possible.

And despite the rather steep pricetag of £829, Nvidia is aiming this graphics card at the type of gamers who would buy two or three of these. (Ed: note that you can get the Gigabyte GTX TItan 6GB card for as little as £795 from Kikatek (opens in new tab)).

The similarly priced dual-GPU GeForce GTX 690 performs about the same as the GTX Titan, but is louder, uses more power and is limited to SLI (so not three or four cards). Since you can combine three or even four Titans, you're able to get more performance out of the Titans than you can with two GTX 690s.

You obviously don't need this much graphical power for most things, but we've come up with a few extreme scenarios where a second, third or even fourth Titan can be very useful. (Read: Crysis 3!)

Crysis 3 in Full HD and Medium settings is best played with a single Titan. The single-card score of 116.1 fps is only slightly improved upon by a second card, and three cards have a negative impact on performance.

Four cards perform poorly in the frametimes test. There's a reason why Nvidia talks about 3-way SLI but not 4-way. With Very High settings 3-way SLI scores almost the same as normal SLI, and 4-way SLI decreases performance.

Nvidia was clear during its Titan presentation, that in order to play Crysis 3 on three monitors with maximum settings you need three Titans, nothing else was going to do the job.

And they were right. With a single Titan in 5760x1080 with Very High settings and 4x AA we got only 17 fps and a frametime score of 80.5 ms. Two Titans was not enough for a smooth experience either. With three Titans we achieved 42.1 fps and a frametime score of 50.4 ms. Better, but still not great. It turns out that adding a fourth Titan card did prove beneficial for this game, and the performance was increased to 53 fps with a frametime score of 32.2 ms.

5,760 x 1,080 on Medium Settings was playable with one Titan. SLI and 3-way SLI improved performance, but four cards and medium settings had a negative impact on both framerates and frametime scores. Ten other games were tested as well with one, two, three and four Titans. Those results you can find on Hardware.Info (opens in new tab).