Color Correction Gear Head: September 2016 Edition

September 7, 2016

In this installment of Color Correction Gear Head we take a look at the Pascal Titan X GPU, LG B6 OLED, & some fantastic Focal Speakers


Nvidia Pascal Titan X, LG B6P OLED, Logitech MX Master & Focal Alpha And CMS 65 Speakers

I get pretty excited this time of year about gear.

In just a couple days IBC starts, which is bound to bring dozens of new products for the colorists. Apple has their annual fall gadget announcement, many big companies gear up for the Christmas holiday shopping season, and rumors start flying about CES in January.

This time of year is also when I clear out gear that for whatever reason is not working for me or I want to upgrade, and I’ve just started that process for 2016 – so that means lots of new toys for future Gear Head Articles.

As always, if you have a piece a gear that you think would be useful to other colorists and finishers please let me know and I’ll try to get my hands on it to share my thoughts.

Remember, Gear Head Articles are not meant to be detailed reviews of pieces of gear, but rather to make you aware of new gear and to provide a high-level opinion of the equipment. Like any purchase, be sure to do your own detailed research.

Nvidia Pascal Titan X

In the very first Color Correction Gear Head article, I discussed the powerful and then new GTX 1080.

The GTX 1080 has earned praise for its power from gamers and content creators alike.

Based on Nvidia’s new Pascal architecture, the GTX 1080 has set a new price vs. performance benchmark.  Put simply, the GTX 1080 is a kick ass card.


Pascal Titan X
It even looks mean, right? The Pascal Titan X provides blistering performance but is a tad pricey at $1200. Image Courtesy Of NVIDIA.


But, as I hinted in that article covering the 1080, I was pretty confident that Nvidia would be coming out with a Pascal version of the Titan X and indeed that’s exactly what NVIDIA did the first week of August.

The new Pascal Titan X keeps the same name, but in terms of performance, the new card sets a new standard.

Here are some specification highlights:

  • New 16nm architecture vs. 28nm for older Maxwell Titan X
  • 3584 Cuda Cores up from 3072 in Maxwell Titan X
  • 12GB of G5X memory – same amount as the previous generation, but newer faster memory technology
  • Increased memory speed 10Gb/s vs. 7GBs in the previous generation, increased memory bandwidth 480 GB/s vs 336 GB/s
  • Much faster clock speeds – 1417MHz vs. 1000Mhz base clock and 1531MHz vs 1075MHz memory clock (this is big leap)
  • Pascal Titan X is capable of 11 teraflops vs. 7 in the previous generation. This is a key indication of what the Pascal Titan X is capable of.

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve sold my Maxwell Titan X cards and swapped those cards for Pascal versions. Many of you are probably thinking ‘why, Rob?’

Well, besides being a gear addict, the performance of the Pascals is fantastic (and will probably get better as updated drivers/CUDA 8 is fully implemented).

So far there is nothing that these cards can’t handle – Standard Candle Test, 6k, etc., are all handled with grace.

Using the Standard Candle Test, I’ve been able to get real-time with all the project versions of blur, noise reduction etc. Adding more nodes to these tests produces pretty much the same real-time results.

While I’ve yet to dive deep into the numbers, my initial impressions are that the Pascal Titan X cards are 25% faster/more capable than the previous generation.

Many gaming sites claim even 50 or 60% performance increases – but those are games, not grading software!

One other reason I went to the Pascal Titan X cards was to trim down on the number of cards I was using for various setups I use in my facility.

I’ve found that 2 Pascal Titan X cards are performing just about the same as 3 or 4 previous generation Maxwell cards – again haven’t put that to a scientific test, but with 2 cards in a capable system I’ve been able to handle everything I do on a daily basis with ease.

Putting 1 card in a z840 and 3 into a PCIe Cubix expander, I do see some performance gain with 3 cards (especially with 6k and NoiseReduction/OFX), but I have seen little difference adding a 4th card. This makes me think the sweet spot is 2-3 cards.


titan x unbox
Beautiful & powerful. I’m not immune to taking unboxing photos of new gear!


I’m sure some workflows like 8K Stereo HDR VR (is there such a thing?) might benefit from 4 or more cards, but it’s hard to imagine that for the typical lifetime of a GPU of 2-3 years that the Pascal Titan X cards will be a limiting factor for most users.

The downside of these new cards?

They’re expensive.

Sold only through Nvidia for $1200 (limit 2 per house) I have to admit I think that Nvidia went in the wrong direction price wise.

I was hoping they’d keep the same $1000 price as the previous generation, or maybe come in around $950 marking a healthy, but not huge price jump over the going price for a GTX 1080, but alas they didn’t.

It’s also unclear to me if Nvidia will let 3rd parties like EVGA, MSI, etc., build Titan X cards to utilize better cooler designs and higher overclocked card speeds.

For now, I think if you can afford it, the Titan X is an unbeatable card.

While the Nvidia P6000 with a whopping 24GB of 5X memory is officially the top consumer desktop card it’s significantly more expensive.

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Homepage Forums Color Correction Gear Head: September 2016 Edition

  • R.NeilHaugen

    Any time you start going on “gear” I think that maybe at a Mixer you should have people bring their gear reels rather than colorist reels … 😉

    Actually, this was a useful and fascinating set of gear to read about though … so thanks!

  • Marc Wielage

    Good to hear that the LG B6 is decent and calibrates well. I know several people looking for reliable replacements for HD plasmas that are in the process of failing…

  • Robbie, i don’t know if i missed it but how does new Titan X compares to 1080? is the difference in performance and power consumption (not to mention the price) worth going for titan X?
    I remember your thoughts on testing out 2x1080s and it sounded very impressive..

  • RobbieCarman

    It’s a very hard choice. The Titan X is indeed faster, better etc. But at $1200 its a serious leap from the 1080. Unless max performance is what you must have then I think doing two + overclocked 1080s might be the better value.

  • Thanks Robbie, thats what i think too. Or maybe even 3 overlocked 1080s, all though 2 will provide power i usually need. Just think with all the open FX plugins and how quickly I picked up on using them maybe 3 is the way to go.

  • Would be fantastic an insight about how to calibrate that monitor and how to get the best results ?

  • Andrew Denis

    Great choice in speakers. We do mixdowns and mastering here, and after evaluauting everything from Adams and Genelecs to Barefoot and Event, and went with Focal Trio’s. I have been an audiophile for over 4 decades and find that there are more and more good and bad choices each year. With Focal, you get a lot more than increased SPL as you move up their line. Each step had significant clarity, range, soundstage and other benefits. The deciding factor is mostly budget and intended use related, which, believe it or not, is not generally the case with many speaker lines. However, i do have a great pair of Magnepans that are phenomenal for general listening and presentation purposes. They tend to awe customers in terms of imaging and clarity, and cost me about $1k for the pair with sub. If they are in your budget then I really recommend giving them, or Martin Logans a try.

  • Andrew Denis

    I found two used Titan X (12GB) for about $1,200 for the pair on Amazon, and have been using them in parallel on my 5.1 Mac Pro for months now. It is so nice to be able to do 4×4 4K RAW and Red 6K in realtime, but it requires a properly striped disk array (i.e. do NOT use the bundled disk utility on Macs or PC’s for any performance critical array creation) and upsizing the power supply. I got the Titan’s with Amazon’s 3 year warranty (about $25 if I recall), which is a protection that I used successfully for a LED TV replacement about 12 months ago; so, you get many of the advantages of new at about 50% off. Obviously there are cheaper sources than Amazon for used equipment, but I like the relative safety and convenience.
    We are just evaluating a dual 1080 rig we assembled, and so far are finding that especially with the extended overclocking advantages of the new Pascal architecture, it will be the way to go for complex ultra res grading and editing. Also, while we were previously doing virtually any 4K task with a single 12GB Titan X, the single 8GB 1080 occaisionally ran into a VRAM wall; but that is a function of really pushing it past where I expect most people and tasks require. However, there are occaisional glitches with the 1080 (stutters, occaisional lock-ups maybe every 2-3 days, etc), which, based on log dump reviews, are very likely due to the new drivers. I expect that those 1080 driver issues will be addressed soon. However, obviously no discounts to be had with the 1080 tech.
    So, personally, I would take advantage of the increasing number of bleeding edge users that are dumping their 12GB Titan X’s for the shiney new 1080’s. However, in 6-12 months, I expect that we will be adding some more 1080’s to our studio, as things should be stable by then.

  • Robbie Carman

    agreed on all points.

  • Robbie Carman

    agreed they’re great. The reason I got into them was our audio team is on the SM9s which are just stunning. Like jaw dropping stunning. Will look into the Magnepans

  • Great insight. Does the dimming service menu ‘hack’ completely remove the ABL for SDR?

  • Rob, I’m thinking to jump on the Alpha 65 for monitoring. But I see inputs are only XLR and RCA. How to you manage to 1/ link the pair of speakers together and then 2/ make the input go into a computer (which usually is a 3.5mm jack). Sorry for asking a bit late, and thank you!

  • Hi Rob, I’m consider to buy LG B6 OLED. I have FSI CM250 OLED. Mostly work with 1080p25 HD timeline. I have Declink Extreme HD 3d+. Is it possible to feed FSI HD SDI signal and HDMI HD to LG? What is quality of HD signal on LG UHD oled? Probably by FSI boxIO. Which one did you buy?
    One another question. Which GUI resolution do you recommend to work in DaVinci Resolve Studio 12.5- 2 x GTX 980 TI . 2560×1440 (25″) or UHD (25″).

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