We have already given a view of what we expect from the upcoming generation of graphics cards. Now it seems Nvidia may indeed have decided to bring out its GK-110 ‘Big Kepler’ card – the same one we’ve long considered a candidate for the GTX 780 name – a little early.
Never passing up the chance to confuse and generally annoy everyone (particularly journalists) with rebranding, rumours are that GK-110 will instead be rolled out under the new ‘GeForce Titan’ moniker. This makes a certain amount of sense given there are already 18,688 GK-110's in a different Titan; the world’s most powerful supercomputer (a fact Nvidia is justifiably very proud of). It will be interesting to see if Nvidia follows that naming convention with the rest of its 2013 lineup (likely to be sped up versions of the GTX 600 series) or reserve Titan for its biggest puppy of all.
Specs are something we have already covered, but they do make for impressive reading still. At 7.1 Billion transistors (five times the count of an i7 3770k) Titan’s silicon would be the largest GPU ever and as far as we know the largest processor of any kind ever made. This takes form in the total possible 2880 cores, although we will likely see some ‘SMX clusters’ of cores disabled. The probable result is a GPU with 2304, 2496 or 2688 active cores, as compared with 1536 in a GTX 680. Memory looks to be 3 or 6GB based on its 384-bit bus and TDP (power draw/heat dissipation) somewhere south of 300w.
Performance from this... well Titan is a good name, should be of the 'rather epic’ level. Rumours are currently pegging frames per second at around 85% that of a GTX 690. It is worth noting here that this will be from a single piece of silicon - not using any software to tie together two chips means more consistent results. As such it is quite possible that minimum frame rates (an enthusiast's true benchmark) will match the GTX 690. Unlike with dual-chip cards those who are truly game should be able to put four of these puppies into SLI.
Much like the GTX 690, Nvidia doesn’t want chip partners cheaping out and you'll see essentially one cooler design, probably a dual vapour chamber one reminiscent of the '690. Scandiwegian site Sweclockers say "multiple sources" confirm release is already set for February. By our mark, if it does get released pricing will be around the $AU 900 level; also we'll basically break into Nvidia's offices to review one if we have to.
And finally: yes. Any GK-110 based card will gorram well be able to play Crysis.