A History Lesson in Ti
NVIDIA has always left the best for last in its GeForce GTX and GeForce RTX graphics cards with its Ti, or Titanium range of GeForce graphics cards. Ti cards are the fastest of the series, until you get to the TITAN family -- which usually have the absolute best the GPU architecture at the time offers, as well as more and sometimes faster VRAM.
NVIDIA launched its first Ti series graphics card with the GeForce2 Ti at the time, which was second only to the higher-end GeForce2 Ultra at the time. This is all the way back in 2001, with the GeForce 2 succeeding the GeForce 256 in 1999. NVIDIA followed up the GeForce2 Ti with the GeForce3 Ti500 graphics card in October 2001.
Next up was the GeForce4 family of graphics cards which really unleashed the Ti cards, with NVIDIA launching the GeForce4 Ti4200, Ti4200 8x, Ti4400, Ti4400 8x, Ti4600, and the Ti4600 8x. The GeForce4 Ti4800 8x was also known as the GeForce4 Ti4400SE -- with these cards coming out between 2002-2003.
But when NVIDIA launched the GeForce FX family of graphics cards, it dropped the Ti branding and opted for some XT, Ultra, and PCX series graphics cards instead. NVIDIA stuck with the no-Ti rule with the GeForce 6000 series, with its flagship card launching in 2004 as the GeForce 6800 Ultra.
After that NVIDIA launched the GeForce 7000 series cards, which still had no Ti family of cards but there was the first-ever GTX branded card in the GeForce 7900 GTX. NVIDIA had a dual-GPU graphics card in the GeForce 7900 GX2 and GeForce 7950 GX2. Man those were the days, seriously -- and we're talking 2006 here.
Nope, the GeForce 8000 series graphics cards didn't feature a Ti or Titanium model, but it did have the GeForce 8800 GTX and GeForce GTX 8800 Ultra which were ridiculously powerful at the time -- at least back in 2006/2007 when they launched. Two of those cards in SLI were monstrous setups of the day.
Then came the GeForce 9000 series in 2008, where NVIDIA with the ridiculous 3-way GPU capable GeForce 9800 GTX and GeForce 9800 GTX+ with another dual-GPU card in the GeForce 9800 GX2.
After that was some nomenclature changes, with NVIDIA moving away form the 4-digit GeForce names to 3-digit (GeForce 9800 down to GeForce GTX 280). Speaking of the GTX 280, NVIDIA had the GeForce GTX series in full swing here with the GTX 280, GTX 285, and the dual-GPU GeForce GTX 295 and plenty of others.
Ti was still absent with the infamous GeForce GTX 400 series graphics cards and its GeForce GTX 480 AKA leafblower.
Personal note: this is when I started working with TweakTown as I started conversing with the then GPU Editor Shawn Baker. We talked all day, all week, all month long about Fermi and its failures on the infamous Overclockers Australia forums.
After that the Ti is still missing in 2011 with the launch of the GeForce GTX 500 series led by the GeForce GTX 580 and dual-GPU GeForce GTX 590 graphics cards. The GeForce 600 series quickly came and went as well, led by the GeForce GTX 680 and dual-GPU GeForce GTX 690 graphics cards.
But boy did NVIDIA strike back with Maxwell and the launch of the GeForce 700 series.
NVIDIA broke out of the gate with the far-out-it's-fast GeForce GTX 780 graphics card in May 2013, but in May 2013 the company surprised with its GeForce GTX 780 Ti -- the return of Titanium.
NVIDIA didn't stop with the return of Titanium with the GTX 780 Ti, but it also released the beast that was TITAN. NVIDIA released the GeForce GTX TITAN in February 2013, followed up a year later by the GeForce GTX TITAN Black, and even the dual-GPU beast in the GeForce G TX TITAN Z.
The company didn't stop with Maxwell and rode the lightning right into the GeForce 900 series, led by the kick ass GeForce 980 Ti (which I'm benchmarking here today) and the newer GeForce GTX TITAN X graphics cards. This all happened in 2014 with GeForce GTX 980 starting out, led in June 2015 with the GeForce GTX 980 Ti.
Oh boy, did NVIDIA turn the heat up in 2016 with the release of its GeForce 10 series graphics cards led by the GeForce GTX 1080 -- and not even a year later the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. NVIDIA also unleashed a new TITAN in the TITAN X and TITAN Xp graphics cards in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
After that NVIDIA came back with a vengeance and changed up its GeForce branding from GTX to RTX with Turing and the GeForce 20 series. NVIDIA's new flagship debuted with the slightly lower-end cards, with the new GeForce RTX 2080 Ti launching inside of the same month as the GeForce RTX 2080 and GeForce RTX 2070 graphics cards.
It wouldn't be a new graphics card launch without a new TITAN, but NVIDIA took this one to the next level and strapped 24GB of GDDR6 onto the TITAN RTX -- up from the 8GB on the RTX 2070/2080 and 11GB on the RTX 2080 Ti.
It's safe to say Ti kicks ass, and gamers know it.
The road of Titanium has been long, and they represent some of the best of the best in GeForce graphcis cards.
But how does the older GeForce GTX 980 Ti perform in 2020? Surprisingly well. The same goes for the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti but we already knew that... and the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti? Well, we know that thing is a beast in its own right.
However, I've thrown in a bunch of other graphics cards into the benchmark charts to see how the Ti series graphics cards match up today in 2020 against the likes of AMD's new Navi-based Radeon RX 5000 series, as well as the older HBM2-powered Vega-based Radeon RX Vega graphics cards.
Let's do this!
NVIDIA GeForce GTX/RTX Reviews
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Review: No Seriously, Just Buy It
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Review: The Titan X Is Dead
- MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Lightning Video Card Review
Last updated: Apr 21, 2020 at 03:21 pm CDT