Nvidia’s Volta-based Titan V is a six-month-old graphics card at launch

The new Nvidia Titan V seems to have been secreted away in a wooden crate in some dusty Nvidian warehouse for the past six months.

Nvidia Titan V has been around for ages

The new Nvidia Titan V seems to have been secreted away in a wooden crate in some dusty Nvidian warehouse for the past six months, probably still being prodded by top men. Top… men. The first picture of it actually appeared in May of this year after an enterprising intern sold his chance of a continuing career with the green team for a few internet man points.

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Jen-Hsun caught us unawares last week with the unveiling and immediate launch of the Nvidia Titan V. He announced it at the unfortunately acronymed NIPS conference, offering us all the chance to get the new Nvidia Volta architecture into our desktop PCs… should we be able to stump up the necessary $3,000.

But even though its December launch was a seemingly well-kept secret it’s not the first time we’ve seen this card. The Titan V was photographed by a certain Mike Tsai while apparently interning at Nvidia Thailand, and it was subsequently shared on Facebook by one of his buddies. They might not be buddies any more.

Leaked Nvidia Titan V image

When we first saw that picture we were chugging back fistfuls of salt, unable to believe that a mere intern could have got hands on with a desktop version of Volta. And been allowed to live. With its NVLink connectors on the top it looks every inch like a Quadro GPU with a funky bronzey/gold shroud, so it couldn’t really be a Volta-based Titan, could it?

But that is essentially what we’ve got with the Titan V. Though apparently the NVLink connectors on this desktop card aren’t operational. I guess Nvidia are saving that for the $5,000 Quadro V6000…

So that means the Titan V has just been kicking its heels for the last six months, with Jen-Hsun holding it in reserve just in case he needed a GPU trump card at any point. And without any such need it seems he’s happy just to get it launched as an early Christmas present for the hyper-rich, ultra-enthusiast gamer.

Nvidia Titan V technical

The fact the desktop implementation of the Volta architecture seems to have been languishing in the stock rooms of Nvidia for the last six months is intriguing. Does that mean the mainstream version has been similarly held back and is just waiting for a time when people stop buying Pascal-based graphics cards? That doesn’t seem to be happening any time soon with so little AMD opposition, but if the expected increase in Vulkan-based games does happen the AMD Vega GPUs could suddenly start to deliver some much-need competition for the GeForce gang.

The timing of the Titan V launch still feels strange, however. Nvidia have traditionally not launched the Titan version of a new architecture until the mainstream desktop parts have been on sale for a while, and certainly not before the professional-level Quadro cards either. Given the Titan V has the same sort of price tag as a pro GPU, and seemingly the same design, maybe we’re seeing a repositioning of the Titan brand.

Or maybe it’s just indicative of the sort of price hike we can expect when we do finally see Volta-based graphics cards hitting our gaming rigs. Though there are still those who maintain Volta will never land in a more mainstream form, with the touted Nvidia Ampere architecture actually being the direct replacement for Pascal outside of the professional arena. But, I have to admit, I’m not one of them.