The Well-Named Titan Video Card

I don't normally write here about computer hardware, but this is worth a couple of paragraphs, I think - Nvidia's new Titan video card. A video card is something most computer users don't know or care much about - unlike PC gamers, who live and die by the latest benchmarks, showing which card has a slight edge over the other. The video card (or graphics card) is the hardware that converts the data from the computer so you can see it on your monitor. On many consumer desktop computers, and in most all-in-one and notebook computers, the video card is an integral part of the system board. There is no separate "card".

[caption id="attachment_6559" align="aligncenter" width="300"]titan Nvidia's "Titan" Video Card[/caption]

However, people who play computer video games are a maverick breed, and resort to a separate higher performance video card that can be installed in special slots inside their computers. You can also purchase gaming PCs with a discrete video card already installed and ready to go.

Most computer are not like the purpose-made video game consoles such as the X Box 360, but are flexible enough that the hardware can be tweaked to excel at different tasks - like video games. The current crop of video cards have separate, dedicate processors in them, and often quite large amounts of very fast RAM. They are a specialized tool indeed, and are capable of displaying fast moving  and complicated action on screen at high frame rates, so the games appear realistic and fluid.

There are also ways to combine more that one video card to further increase performance.  Bearing in mind that a good video gaming card might cost several hundred dollars on it's own, you can see where this is going. The Nvidia GeForce GFX Titan costs $1,000 - the cost of a nice laptop. It's currently the fastest single-GPU (graphics processing unit) video card on the market, and you can combine three of these things at once if you are so inclined.

The Titan is remarkable also because it is fairly compact and also rather quiet - somewhat unusual, as these things can generate an amazing amount of heat and usually require  noisy fans. Oh, it also contains 7.1 BILLION transistors...

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