La nueva Nvidia Titán V parece haber sido secretada en un cajón de madera en algún polvoriento almacén de Nvidia durante los últimos seis meses, probablemente todavía siendo empujada por los mejores hombres. Los mejores… hombres. La primera foto de ella realmente apareció en mayo de este año después de que un interno emprendedor vendiera su oportunidad de continuar su carrera con el equipo verde por unos pocos puntos de Internet.

Jen-Hsun nos sorprendió la semana pasada con el lanzamiento inmediato de la Nvidia Titan V. Lo anunció en la desafortunada conferencia de NIPS, ofreciéndonos la oportunidad de introducir la nueva arquitectura Nvidia Volta en nuestros PCs de escritorio… si pudiéramos conseguir los $3.000 necesarios.

Pero aunque su lanzamiento en diciembre fue un secreto aparentemente bien guardado, no es la primera vez que vemos esta tarjeta. El Titan V fue fotografiado por un tal Mike Tsai mientras estaba aparentemente internado en Nvidia Tailandia, y posteriormente fue compartido en Facebook por uno de sus amigos. Puede que ya no sean amigos.

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.

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.