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Written by Olin Coles   
Wednesday, 02 May 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Video Card Features
First Look: GeForce GTX 690
NVIDIA Kepler Dual-GPU Details

NVIDIA Kepler Dual-GPU Details

On prior dual-GPU video cards, compromises had to be made in order to produce a final product that performed well while still delivering excellent acoustics. In the past, GPU power has been the largest gating factor. For instance, clock speeds had to be lowered dramatically for GeForce GTX 295 and GTX 590. However, thanks to the GTX 690's robust board design and Kepler's tremendous power efficiency, the GeForce GTX 690 largely overcomes this issue.

To best deliver optimal cooling performance in the smallest footprint possible, each GPU has its own dedicated cooling unit consisting of a self-contained copper vapor chamber and a dual-slot heatsink. These two heatsink rest atop an aluminum baseplate, which provides additional cooling for the PCB and board components. Channeling cool air through the GPU coolers is a center-mounted 80mm axial fan, which NVIDIA optimized to use the most ideal fin pitch and fan angle at which air from the fan hits the fin stack to maximize air movement while minimizing noise output.


Low-profile airflow channels are molded into the aluminum baseplate section directly below the 80mm cooling fan, which encourage smooth airflow all the way to outer edges. All of the components located under the cooling fan are made low-profile, so that they won't cause turbulence or obstruct airflow. NVIDIA acoustic engineers fine-tuned the GeForce GTX 690 fan control software so that changes in fan speed would occur gradually, rather than in noticeable and annoying audible steps.


With both heatsinks removed, two NVIDIA graphics processors are exposed as illustrated below. Armed with 3072 CUDA Cores and 4GB of GDDR5 memory, the GeForce GTX 690 offers performance similar to that of two GeForce GTX 680 cards running in SLI. However, the GeForce GTX 690 boasts a number of key advantages over GeForce GTX 680 SLI: the GTX 690 only needs one PCI Express graphics slot, and the GeForce GTX 690 board runs cooler and quieter than GeForce GTX 680 SLI while also consuming less power. Finally, two GeForce GTX 690 cards can be combined together to support Quad SLI.

An onboard PLX bridge chip provides independent PCI Express 3.0 x16 access to both processors for maximum multi-GPU throughput. Two independent 28nm NVIDIA Kepler GPUs combine to offer 16 SMX units, equal to twice the amount available with GeForce GTX 680. The memory subsystem on GeForce GTX 690 remains similar to the GTX 680, consisting of four 64-bit memory controllers (256-bit) with 2GB of GDDR5 memory per GPU operating at 6008 MHz data rate. The base clock speed of the GeForce GTX 690 is 915 MHz with a typical Boost Clock speed of 1019MHz, which is only 3.9% below the GeForce GTX 680's 1058 MHz Boost Clock.


NVIDIA engineers have used the top-quality electronic components across the entire board, which has been designed for maximum efficiency in order to properly power and cool the twin GPUs at the heart of GeForce GTX 690. Featuring a 10-phase power supply with a ten-layer 2-ounce copper PCB provides the GeForce GTX 690 video card with high-efficiency power delivery with less internal resistance, lower power consumption, and less heat generation.


Lower power and less heat also enhances the board's longevity, while the added PCB layers provide maximum signal integrity. The result of these efforts is not only lower noise output, but also a less-perceptible noise. By eliminating board clutter, high-frequency sounds are removed. When you listen to the fan alone, it's clean and smooth.

Examining the outer-exposed printed circuit board (PCB) on the underside of the video card reveals a few small differences compared to GeForce GTX 590, namely the absence of aluminum heatsink plates covering the backside of each GPU, and the inclusion of a Richtek Technology Corporation RT8802A multi-phase synchronous PWM advanced digital power controller with over-volting capability.


Now that you've seen what this video card offers for hardware features, make sure to read our NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Benchmark Performance Test Results (available 03 May 2012).

So what do you think of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Kepler graphics card, and are you planning to buy one?

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# builderDB62 2012-05-01 22:45
Just another awesome nVidia card!
I'd love to buy one, but just can't justify it when I already have a GTX580 lightning, and it does everything I need, and does it well!
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# GTX690Hu1tik 2012-05-01 22:47
its a nice card with excellent design but the cost of getting one. no way am I paying from one of them. I'm happy with my 590 :P
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# Nicealfresc0 2012-05-02 00:44
Nice write up. King of cards.
Can't wait for this tech to trickle down to the gtx660.

Does it take two six-pin PCI-E connections because they look like 8 pin to me (page 2 para 3).
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# RE: NiceOlin Coles 2012-05-02 08:21
Thanks- I've fixed the typo.
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# RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Video Card Featuresx3ckid 2012-05-02 06:29
In 3 or 4 years they will realease the 900 series then the 600 series will be very cheap . So lets say if we wait 30 years we will have such a powerful video card that all the cards in the present will be considered toys .
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# RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Video Card Featuresclaydough 2012-05-02 08:06
Between the fast release of the x90 version and the initial suspicions of a gtx 780 in the works...
I am more hesitant knowing that even if another incremental kepler release exposing true Kepler power initially touted ( 700 series )
That maxwell is at worst a year and a half away.

Everything depends on the power given to the new consoles. And since that is supposedly southern Islands. I would be mistaken to wait for cards that would be ablt to handle development in a new console generation. Sadly at best, I do not see anything that woul lead me to beleive that consoles have anything to look forward to ( our best PC experience today is not all that revolutionary compared to a console experience )
Unles Metro 2033 is better than my first impressions.

It's just to confusing...
And not knowing how things are going to develop when as much is critical at the pricepoint of 2 x90 card SLI.
But knowing that the 2013 date of Maxwell was supposed to mean production and not release...
That news now does not mean as much with 2013 a half a year away.
And if console games for the next 8 years will be as boring as southern Islands. I would rather not develop for consoles at all!
( at least last cycle consoles had some punch where the 7800 gtx tech in ps3 had longer legs than my actual gtx 7800! Hopefully, the southern island tech hold big surprises that make me eat my words )
And even if I wait another 6months and there is not a gtx 580 styled gtx 780 release...
Then by that time a maxwell release would only a single year away...
And for the performance and easy wait.

Considering every benchmark I see.
Everything sandy ivy and kepler seem very depressing for the price...
That Haswell and Maxwell will be about the same time I am hoping for a nice surprise then. ( and if consoles are underpowered compared to haswell and maxwell which will be released at the same time... I imagine a glorious future for PC gameing making a comeback )
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# RE: RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Video Card Featuresclaydough 2012-05-02 08:21
If Nvidia's own charts are correct
And two 680 chips scale that nicely! ( big congratulations ovr the improvement compared to the 590s )
And even if they did release 780's in the near future...
I imagine these cards could still be attractive considering that there was no rumors of a 790 card? In which case the 690 could still be attractive even if there was a gtx780 release depending on the price drops after a new version release.
I would not be so supicious if Kepler released with anything close to the kind of power originally being touted. ( 2x the power of fermi? maybe 400 series in SLI to come anywhere close to those claims )
In which case a rurmor of a series that explains the discrepency is more gentle for an nvidia zealot than markey lies.
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# IS this not beast?ssuamw 2012-05-03 03:50
HOLY #!!!!!!!!
this card is going to kick all ATI's and all Nvidia's for sure .
man this card ,OH no im over surprised ,
damn great card.
cant wait until I see the bench's .
I bet this card will score more than 90 fps in metro 2033 on ultra.
this is what a real beast is and should be.
ATI fan boys, this is a total loss. im also an ati fan boy to be honest.
I cant imagine. from the moment I saw this , I fell in love with nvidia .
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# NicePersojet 2012-05-03 05:35
the GeForce GTX 690 has both GPUs overclocked beyond 1200GHz(
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