Usually the announcement of a new flagship desktop graphics card is a chance for Nvidia to crow about having the "fastest card ever," but things are a little different with the new GeForce GTX Titan Black. While it should indeed be a superior performer to the original Titan, launched last year, the company hasn't even pumped out a press release extolling its virtues (though it does devote a webpage to the Titan Black on its GeForce website).
A quick look at the specs can provide some explanation as to Nvidia's "silent launch" of the Titan Black. That's because there's not a whole lot different about the Titan sequel, though clock speeds are a tick higher (from 837MHz to 889MHz core clock, 876MHz to 980MHz boost clock, and 6GHz to 7GHz video memory clock) and there are a few more stream processors (2880, up from 2688) and texture units (240 instead of 224).
The major upgrade is the amount of GDDR5 video RAM, with the Titan Black offering twice as much (6GB) as the original Titan (or the more gamer-friendly GeForce GTX 780 Ti). All told, AnandTech estimates a performance improvement of roughly 15 percent over the Titan Black's predecessor.
The good news is that the extra graphics memory and faster performance is available for the same price as the original Titan. The bad news is, well, that price -- $999. That's probably another reason Nvidia is choosing to tout its new GeForce GTX 750 and 750 Ti budget cards today instead of the Titan Black.
Nvidia's stealthy launch hasn't deterred boutique PC builders from embracing the new card, with several racing to announce that their desktops can be purchased with the Titan Black. For instance, Origin PC is offering it in three different systems, while Digital Storm is making the Titan Black available in four desktop lines. AVADirect and Velocity Micro are also making it an option for their high-performance PCs.