Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Free Article Join Over 1 Million Premium Members And Get More In-Depth Stock Guidance and Research

What to Expect from NVIDIA Corporation's Next $1,200 Graphics Card

By Ashraf Eassa - Mar 3, 2017 at 10:30AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The same chip as before, but with everything turned on.

Graphics specialist NVIDIA ( NVDA -4.46% ) recently announced a new graphics processor for gamers, called the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. The 1080 Ti is, per the company, 35% faster than its previous-generation GeForce GTX 1080 flagship graphics processor, and it even manages to edge out its $1,200 Titan X.

A reasonable way to think about the 1080 Ti, then, is as a significant price cut on the Titan X.

NVIDIA's Titan X graphics card

Image source: NVIDIA.

However, NVIDIA is surely going to want to have something viable to sell at the $1,200 price point since there's little point in buying the current Titan X with the 1080 Ti available for sale. Here's what I expect NVIDIA's Titan X replacement is likely to be.

Full-fat GP102

The current Titan X and the 1080 Ti are based on a chip that NVIDIA has code-named GP102. The GP102 chip that powers the Titan X has some functional units disabled, which means that the company could potentially sell fully enabled versions of the chip that deliver improved performance.

The 1080 Ti has the same number of processor cores, which NVIDIA calls CUDA cores, enabled as the Titan X does (3,584 out of a total of 3,840 physically present on the chip), but it is cut down a little more in some other areas (fewer render output units and a narrower 352-bit memory interface compared to the Titan X's 384-bit memory interface -- don't worry too much about the specifics).

However, NVIDIA claims that the 1080 Ti is faster than the Titan X, despite the former having fewer of its components enabled. NVIDIA seems to be achieving this (assuming NVIDIA's marketing claims hold up) by using faster memory than it used on the Titan X to compensate for the narrower memory bus, and it is running the chip at a modestly higher frequency than it did the Titan X.

The logical next step for a potential Titan X would be to simply release a fully enabled version of GP102 paired with the faster 11-gigabit per second memory that NVIDIA is using on the GTX 1080 Ti (the Titan X uses slower 10-gigabit per second memory).

NVIDIA would likely be able to sell this at the same $1,200 price point that the current Titan X occupies. The company clearly wouldn't be able to make much of a performance-per-dollar pitch to potential customers, but such a product would certainly appeal to those gamers willing to spend lavishly to get the absolute best gaming performance available.

When will we see it?

NVIDIA probably isn't going to release such a product this month -- NVIDIA seems to like to space out its product launches so that it is continuously releasing new products into the market and staying in the spotlight.

In fact, the proper venue for such a launch is probably the company's annual GPU Technology Conference in May. The company has made it clear that it likes to launch new graphics cards at this event, and a Titan X graphics card based on a fully enabled GP102 chip seems like the perfect product to announce at the event.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

NVIDIA Corporation Stock Quote
NVIDIA Corporation
$306.93 (-4.46%) $-14.33

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 12/05/2021.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Our Most Popular Articles

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with the Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from the Motley Fool's premium services.