Halo Graphics Boards and Nvidia’s Bungled 10-series Launch

Nvidia just started shipping the GTX 1060 for about $300, the lowest-priced card in their 10 series, and now they’ve announced the new generation of Titan X at $1200. With cars the “halo” model is one that nobody is ever going to buy, but it’s designed to appeal to car enthusiasts and bring them in the showroom for whatever else the company has. With graphics cards like this new Titan X, well, I’m not sure I see the point anymore. Maybe if you’re younger and more enthusiastic about silicon-snorting framecrushers. I’m old and happy with my 1070.

The 1060 is a great value, but the Titan X is a waste of money for anyone. The $1200 price is ridiculous compared to the $700 1080. No game is going to fully take advantage of what the Titan X offers. You can get most of the performance from any of the other boards Nvidia offers. 

Why not announce all of these cards at the same time? With the announcements coming so late after the announcement and release of the other 10-series cards you can’t quite make the justification “well, at least I’m not spending $1000 on the Titan X” when deciding to purchase the 1080 that the halo product is supposed to enable.

In the face of the 1060, the 1070 seems like a good value, and the 1080 and Titan X are extremely ridiculous. Perhaps the Titan X will finally be able to support 4K gaming at reasonable frame rates, which even the 1080 is not capable of.

Nvidia should stick with three cards at a time, announced at the same event on a regular schedule, and released at about the same time. The 1070 and 1080 were announced together months ago and released later but still can’t be purchased easily, the 1060 was announced more recently and finally released now, and now we have the Titan X announcement with a release next month on the 2nd and no price. This staggered product communication and release schedule is not helpful to people making purchasing decisions. Finally, there was a product called the Titan X with the previous generation of chips.

Nvidia doesn’t have an exclusive lock on the idea of a halo graphics board, it’s just that they announced this card today at a ridiculous price, made a very poor naming decision, and the whole 10-series launch was fragmented. Unlike halo vehicles, graphics cards aren’t collectible or classic. It’ll be obsolete in a year or 18 months. I don’t think it’s wrong to buy one if you’re into it, but it isn’t a rational decision. The Titan X product seems kind of gross, and it makes the 10-series launch look bungled.

Author: Jack Slater

A Philadelphian exiled to Hawaii. You can follow or contact me on Twitter where I'm @TimeDoctor, via the contact page, or via e-mail to zjs AT zacharyjackslater dot com More here.

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