On Thursday, Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) launched what it is claiming to be the “world’s most powerful GPU for the PC.” The new Titan V video card brings Nvidia’s advanced Volta architecture to a form factor that can be used in a consumer PC. NVDA stock got a nice 1.4% bump on the news.
Nvidia chose an AI conference to announce its new Titan V video card. The setting was appropriate because, although the new Titan V is packaged to fit in a consumer PC — as opposed to being designed for use in specialized data center computers — it is aimed at professional users rather than gamers.
In the Titan V announcement, company CEO Jensen Huang says:
“Our vision for Volta was to push the outer limits of high performance computing and AI. We broke new ground with its new processor architecture, instructions, numerical formats, memory architecture and processor links. With Titan V, we are putting Volta into the hands of researchers and scientists all over the world. I can’t wait to see their breakthrough discoveries.”
Nvidia suggests the Titan V will also be ideal for developers working in high-performance computing, AI and deep learning.
Here are the details of what the company calls “the most powerful PC GPU ever created.”
- 110 TeraFLOPS processing power
- 640 Tensor cores
- 5120 CUDA cores
- 3D stacked memory
- 12GB HBM2 memory frame buffer
- 21 billion transistors
- Nvidia VOLTA architecture
- MSRP $2,999.00 (limit two per customer)
Yes, you read that last point correctly: a $2,999 price tag. That alone makes it clear that although it will fit in a consumer PC, this video card is not intended for the consumer market.
Most Powerful Graphics Card Bragging Rights
You’d be correct if you suspect that you’ve heard that “most powerful video card” label tossed around more than once this year. Nvidia and rival Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) have been battling back and forth over bragging rights.
For example, in April, Nvidia announced the Titan Xp, which it billed as being the world’s most powerful graphics card. In May, AMD responded with the Radeon Vega graphics card, which just edged out its rival’s offering in processing power.
However, the Titan V is a true leap forward in graphics processing power for a card that will fit in a PC. Where the Titan Xp and Radeon Vega were offering 12 Teraflops and 13 Teraflops, respectively of peak processing power, the Titan V leverages Nvidia’s Volta architecture to hit 110 Teraflops. As Nvidia says, that’s nine times faster than the company’s previous most powerful PC video card, while offering “extreme energy efficiency.”
Potential Impact on NVDA Stock
Bragging rights are great, but the question for investors is, will a ninefold increase in performance be enough to continue powering NVDA stock? It’s up over 88% on the year, but it has stumbled over the past month.
Those bragging rights may actually be more significant than they seem. The Verge points out that Nvidia’s current line-up of video cards remains among the best for PC gaming and that mature technology costs Nvidia a lot less to manufacture.
The Titan V can be marketed at the researchers and other professionals who truly need 110 Teraflops of processing power in their PC. Meanwhile, with its current video cards already competitive, Nvidia can heavily promote them as being part of a lineup that includes “the most powerful PC GPU ever created.”
Those who can’t afford the Titan V itself (which would be most people), are likely to pick up the next best in Nvidia’s lineup, the gamer-focused GTX 1080i, instead of going to the competition.
The halo effect of the Titan V is likely to help keep sales of those previous generation PC gaming graphics cards — and NVDA stock — humming, while helping Nvidia gain more traction in the growing market for AI and deep learning.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.