What Does The “Ti” on NVIDIA Graphics Cards Mean?

If you’re new to computer hardware, wading your way through the confusion of different model graphics cards to work out which is the better model is never fun.

Getting your head around the naming conventions for popular graphics cards can help make it a bit easier when comparing the different models of graphics cards.

That’s why in this article, we’ll take a look at what the ‘Ti’ on NVIDIA graphics cards stands for, what it means, and how it can help you choose a better performing graphics card. We’ll also look at some of the best ways to estimate how a graphics card model is going to perform.

What does the ‘Ti’ stand for in Graphics Cards?

The “Ti” on NVIDIA graphics cards stands for “Titanium” and means the card is more powerful than the non-Ti version with the same model number. For example, the “Ti” in the GTX 1050 Ti model name generally means that this card performs better than the GTX 1050, but not as good as the GTX 1060 (which is a higher model number).

Some people have argued that it stands for ‘Technical improvement’, which makes some sense because Ti cards are an improved version of the base model card. However, the general consensus is that it does stand for “Titanium” as it’s always stylised to match the atomic symbol for the element titanium in the Periodic Table.

Why NVIDIA Uses ‘Ti’ on Their Graphics Cards

NVIDIA uses “Ti” as a way to market a new-release, more powerful variant of an already existing graphics card model.  In fact, they did this publicly on Twitter with the release of the GTX 980 Ti:

Ti must stand for Titanium, as this official twitter statement seems to imply! Source: Twitter

We’re pretty certain that the claim that these cards are ‘infused with Titanium’ is a bit of a marketing gimmick and not meant to be taken literally, but hey, who knows. And, you have to admit, it does sound pretty cool.

In any case, NVIDIA has been producing Ti cards since their GeForce 2 series of cards back in 2001. You can see the full list of NVIDIA graphics cards (including detailed specifications) here.

How Nvidia Cards Compare: Ti Vs. non Ti Cards

So what’s the difference between a Ti card and a non-Ti card? Ti cards generally are more powerful than non-Ti cards with the same model number (for example, a GTX 970 Ti is faster than a plain GTX 970), as their design will include additional shader processors.

Shader processors in graphics cards are basically the computational cores that are responsible for carrying out the huge variety of specialized processing and rendering tasks that are required in order for your graphics card to output a visual display on your computer display. The more shaders a graphics card has, the faster and better able it is to perform.

The Best Way To Gauge Graphics Card Performance

So what’s the best way to tell how a graphics card will actually perform?

The best way to get a feel for how good a video card will run, is real-world benchmarking – that is, put it in a computer and see what framerates you get on your particular game of interest. Since this isn’t always possible for prospective buyers, another thing you can do is look at benchmark scores.

What are Graphics Card Benchmark Scores?

A ‘score’  is an arbitrary number assigned to each graphics card to indicate its relative performance. The score is created based off users who have run benchmarking software that test the particular hardware and assign it a numeric score to indicate its performance.

The one downside to benchmark scoring is that the number doesn’t mean much unless you are using it as a comparison to other model graphics cards. For example, here we can see that the GTX 1050 Ti scores higher and therefore will perform better than the GTX 1050, but we aren’t told much else about the cards’ performance.

The GTX 1050 versus GTX 1050 Ti. The Ti card scores higher, meaning it will perform better. Source: VideoCardBenchmark.net


Another Way To Gauge Video Card Performance: YouTube Gameplay Videos

Another easy test is to check out gameplay videos on youtube. People are increasingly uploading gameplay videos which show framerates when playing particular game titles on their hardware. Watching these kind of videos can give prospective buyers an idea of what to expect – they can look out for stuttering, FPS, aliasing, etc.

Since your graphics card and CPU are the most important hardware components that will affect gameplay, just make sure to search something like “<graphics card model> <CPU model> <game title>” in YouTube.

For example: “GTX 1050 Ti i3-8100 PUBG” yields a whole host of gameplay videos showing how the GTX 1050 Ti graphics card will perform with the game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

Source: YouTube

The Final Verdict

“Ti” cards, if they’re available are generally a good deal to look out for when choosing graphics cards – usually they are a good stepping stone between successive model numbers of grpahics cards and can be a good way to get a little bit more performance for your budget (especially if the next model up is just a little too expensive).

We also looked at how to gauge how a prospective graphics card might perform by doing a bit of hunting on youtube. This is our recommended method that we’d recommend for gamers who know what games they usually want to play and are considering a new computer or just a hardware upgrade.

Did you find this information on ‘Ti’ cards useful/helpful? Have you used the ‘youtube’ method for sussing out prospective graphics card models before? Let us know your thoughts or if you have any other questions by leaving a comment below!

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