Nvidia has been teasing us for a while now about going to introduce something new and they did it – the new GeForce GTX 690 dual-GPU graphics card, based on the new Kepler architecture. I could easily say that the GTX 690 is a worthy successor to the GTX 590 from last year, but since the 590 had some issues at first, I better say that the GTX 690 is more like the GTX 590 done right – much better cooling, less power and heat, and a lot more performance. But let us look at the specs first, before continuing talking about the new Dual-GPU card…
Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 Specifications:
Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 690 4GB
Graphics Processing Clusters: 8
Streaming Multiprocessors: 16 -16
CUDA Cores: 3072 +2048
Texture Units: 256 +128
ROP Units: 64 -32
Graphics Clock: 915 MHz (1019 Boost) +308
Memory Clock (Data rate): 6008 MHz +2594
Total Video Memory: 4096MB GDDR5 +1024
Memory Interface: 512‐bit +128
Total Memory Bandwidth: 192 GB/s per GPU+32
Fabrication Process: 28 nm +12
Transistor Count: 7 Billion total +1
Connectors: 3x Dual‐Link DVI, 1x Mini-DisplayPort 1.2
Form Factor: Dual Slot
Power Connectors: 2x 8‐pin PCI-E Power
Recommended Power Supply: 600 Watts
Thermal Design Power (TDP): 300 Watts -65
* The superscript numbers in green and red show the change as compared to the specs of GTX 590.
So, looking at the specs it is pretty much two GTX 680 GPUs on a single card, though the operating frequencies of the GPU (the normal and the boost one) are lower than on the GTX 680, but that is something needed in order to fit in the 300W TDP. And the GTX 690 should is able to handle quite a bit of overclocking like the GTX 680, so you should be easily able to compensate the difference in frequencies. So if you still haven’t upgraded to GTX 680, you might want to consider going for a single GTX 690 instead of two GTX 680s in SLI, or why not even two 690s in Quad SLI.
The question here however is what would you need a GTX 690 for when talking about stereoscopic 3D gameplay, clearly if you plan to play games in a triple display setup using 3D Vision Surround going for a GeForce GTX 690 (or two GTX 680 for that matter) is a must, even though a single GTX 680 is capable of supporting a 3D vision Surround. For a surround setup you not only need the outputs, but also the performance to back the tripled resolution as compared to using a single 3D display, and while a single GTX 680 can do a very decent job, playing at maximum detail levels on more demanding games would be more comfortable with two cards or the new Dual-GPU solution. The GeForce GTX 690 is also a great choice for everyone thinking about playing on 2D displays with higher resolutions such as 2560×1600 with maxed out graphics settings.
The recommended end user price of the GeForce GTX 690 is $999 USD, and the first cards are expected to be available starting May 3rd in limited quantities, with more coming up on May 7th, so just a few more days left. And considering the price is pretty much the same as of two GTX 680 cards, the GTX 690 could indeed be a good alternative, but lets see some in-depth reviews of the card first before making the final decision as it has only been just announced from Nvidia and there are no reviews available yet.