Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) has released its flagship graphics card for 2017. The $1,200 Titan Xp — aimed at the most demanding users, and billed as the “world’s most powerful” graphics card — is now available for order, in limited quantities.
The company also announced it will be releasing Mac drivers for its current graphics cards for owners of Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) computers.
Nvidia Titan Xp Launches
Up until now, NVDA had a gap in its 2017 graphics card lineup. At the top end was last year’s Titan X, for those who were willing to shell out $1,000 for a card that wasn’t quite as state-of-the-art as it was in 2016. In March, the company released the GTX 1080 Ti. This card goes for $699 and and offers performance that’s nearly on par with that of the more expensive Titan X.
That left no clear flagship option for gamers and high-performance PC owners who demand the absolute highest performance possible.
The new Nvidia graphics card, which was released on April 6, fills that slot. The Titan Xp is fast in every way than 2016’s Titan X. NVDA says it features more processing cores, faster clock speeds, faster memory and more teraflops (trillion floating point operations per second) than its predecessor.
Here are the raw numbers Nvidia is listing for the Titan XP:
- Built on Nvidia’s advanced Pascal architecture
- 12GB DDRX memory running at 11.4 Gbps
- 3,840 CUDA cores running at 1.6GHz
- 12 TFLOPs processing power
- Supports 8K resolution
Nvidia says the new Titan Xp is aimed at those who need extreme power, and claims the Titan Xp has up to three times faster performance than a Titan X with previous generation Maxwell architecture.
The performance crowd can order the Titan Xp now, direct from NVDA. Quantities are limited to two per customer at this point. The company says the new Nvidia graphics card will be an option through select PC manufacturers in the near future.
Nvidia Pascal Drivers Coming for Mac Users
At the same time it announced the Titan Xp, Nvidia also let Mac owners know it will be releasing Pascal drivers for MacOS. This means that Apple PCs will be able to run Pascal-based Nvidia graphics cards, including the new Titan Xp.
The practical side of that announcement is a little less promising, though.
Because Apple seals most of its computers and the Mac Pro (which the company recently promised to redesign) has very limited choices due to its design, installing an Nvidia graphics card isn’t an option for typical Mac users. Running one using an external GPU case or installing a card in a “hackintosh” made from standard Windows PC components are the primary scenarios where this could work.
Regardless of the practical side, in terms of optics, it’s no longer just Nvidia rival Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) that supports Mac with current graphics technology.
Potentially, Nvidia could try to partner with Apple to offer its video cards as options for future Mac releases, instead of the monopoly on that platform that AMD currently enjoys.
What About AMD?
Speaking of AMD, where is Nvidia’s graphics card competition?
With the release of the Titan Xp, Nvidia dominates the world of high performance graphics cards. AMD hasn’t been sitting still. While the past few months have been dedicated to rolling out its new Ryzen series PC processors, the company has been readying graphics cards based on its advanced Vega architecture. AMD is expected to release its Radeon RX Vega to compete head-to-head with the Titan Xp in the May timeframe.
For now at least, Nvidia can brag about having the world’s most powerful graphics card. The company is positioned to continue its domination in the PC industry as high-intensity applications like virtual reality and 4K gaming go mainstream, while adding the support for 8K gaming once it arrives.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.