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Thread: Introducing the GeForce GTX 690

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    Default Introducing the GeForce GTX 690

    April 28th, 2012

    By James Wang

    When NVIDIA set out to build the Kepler GPU architecture more than four years ago, our primary focus was power efficiency. We found that processors were increasingly being limited by the amount of power they could consume and dissipate. The only way to improve performance was to be able to do more work with the same amount of power.

    That was our focus with Kepler, and when the GeForce GTX 680 launched last month, reviewers praised not only its record-setting performance, but also its incredible power efficiency.

    Bjorn3D, a website that has tested graphics cards since the Voodoo era, summed it up nicely when it said: "Not only is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 the fastest single GPU card, but it is also the most power efficient and quietest high-end flagship card we have ever tested here at Bjorn3D."While power efficiency is important to high-performance graphics cards, it becomes critical when building dual-GPU graphics cards. Here, two GPUs must vie for a finite amount of power, cooling, and board space. And it is here that Kepler shines the most.

    The new GeForce GTX 690 is NVIDIA's flagship graphics card. Powered by two Kepler GPUs, itís both a record setter in 3D performance and incredibly power efficient. In fact, the GeForce GTX 690ís performance is almost identical to a pair of GeForce GTX 680s in SLI, but with significantly reduced power and noise.

    Not content with delivering only raw performance, our engineers went a step further. From Ferrari's F12 Berlinetta to the B&W's Nautilus loudspeaker, the flagship of any product category is invariably as much about form as it is about function. With the GeForce GTX 690, our engineers and industrial designers set out to create a new visual aesthetic to express the raw, uncompromising power of a dual-GPU Kepler graphics card.
    Industrial Design

    http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/art...ticle-keynote/

    The industrial design of the GeForce GTX 690 is a direct reflection of what lies beneath the cover: two Kepler GPUs, tremendous graphics horsepower, and a product of exceptional longevity. Visually, the design draws parallels to an F1 engine block with its raw metal look and exposed fin stacks.

    The card's front plate is composed of two different materials. The exterior frame is made of cast aluminum with trivalent chromium plating, giving the board a durable, matte finish. The central fan housing is created from injection molded magnesium alloy. Magnesium alloys are used throughout the automotive and aerospace industry (including the engines of the Bugatti Veyron and F-22 Raptor) for their light weight, heat dissipation, and acoustic dampening properties. To create the intricate geometries required for the fan housing, we used a form of injection molding called thixomolding, in which liquid magnesium alloy is injected into a mold. This allows us to create fine geometries and a tight, perfectly coupled fit.
    Cooling and Acoustics

    The overall experience of gaming on a high-performance graphics card is very much influenced by its heat and noise output. The ideal card is fast, but stays cool and quiet.

    The GeForce GTX 690 is cooled via a pair of custom vapor chamber heat sinks. Unlike a traditional heat sink that uses conduction to move heat away from the GPU, a vapor chamber exploits the superior heat conducting characteristics of evaporation. Inside each vapor chamber is a small amount of purified water. As the GPU heats up, the water evaporates, carrying away heat in the process. Once the vapor reaches the top of the fin stack, it cools, condenses, and the process repeats itself. It's similar to a miniature form of water cooling but, because the liquid is entirely self contained, there's no need for tubing and no chance of leaks.




    Channeling air through the heat sinks is a center-mounted axial fan. The smoother the airflow, the lower the noise output. Here, our engineers spent considerable effort optimizing the fin pitch and angle at which the air hits the fin stack. The area directly underneath the fan is carved with low-profile channels to encourage smooth airflow and all components under the fan are low-profile so they wonít cause turbulence or obstruct airflow. Our acoustic engineers also fine-tuned the fan's control software so changes in fan speed occur gradually rather than in discrete steps.

    The sum total of these efforts is not only in 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.

    Performance

    A dual-GPU graphics card is similar to two-way SLI condensed into a single graphics card. Historically, though, the dual-GPU card has always lagged behind its SLI counterpart in terms of performance. When two GPUs are brought onto the same card, their combined heat output outstrips the capacity of even the most capable cooler. As a result, clock speeds must be lowered. For example, in the Fermi generation, the fastest single-GPU graphics card had a graphics clock speed of 722 MHz and a memory data rate of 4008MHz. On the dual-GPU card, the graphics clock was 607 MHz and the memory data rate was 3212 MHz.

    This is where Kepler's fanatical focus on power efficiency pays off most handsomely. The GPUs on the GeForce GTX 690 have a boost clock of 1019 MHz, just a hair (2.8%) shy of the GeForce GTX 680 at 1058 MHz. What's more, all other specs are identical; the number of cores, memory speed, and memory bandwidth per GPU are the same on both cards.

    What this means is that the GeForce GTX 690 performs more or less just like a pair of GeForce GTX 680s in SLI; almost nothing was compromised in bringing two Kepler GPUs to the same board.

    GeForce GTX 690 Specifications
    CUDA Cores 3072
    Base Clock 915 MHz
    Boost Clock 1019 MHz
    Memory Configuration 4GB / 512-bit GDDR5
    Memory Speed 6.0 Gbps
    Power Connectors 8-pin + 8-pin
    TDP 300W
    Outputs 3x DL-DVI
    Mini-DisplayPort 1.2
    Bus Interface PCI Express 3.0



    In gaming performance, the GeForce GTX 690 is truly amazing, playing almost all of today's games at maximum settings with little effort. To really stretch its legs, you want to hook up three monitors and play your favorite games at 5760 x 1080, in NVIDIA Surround mode or, better still, in NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround.



    In the games above, the GeForce GTX 690 is on average 75% faster than the GeForce GTX 680.


    Quad SLI

    Despite the stupendous performance of the GeForce GTX 690, some gamers are destined to clamor for more. That's where Quad SLI comes in. When two GeForce GTX 690s are connected via an SLI motherboard, four GPUs work in unison in Quad SLI mode. Each GPU works on a distinct frame for a total of four frames in flight at a given time. The resulting performance is simply otherworldly.In Battlefield 3, at 2560 x 1600 with all settings maxed out, the framerate exceeds 120 FPS. Crysis 2 runs just shy of 100 FPS. And in the most demanding game, Metro 2033, the performance scales almost linearly to reach 56 FPS.



    Quad SLI improves performance by 50-90% in graphically intensive titles.

    Smoother Edges and Smoother Framerates


    NVIDIA FXAA and Adaptive V-Sync, two technologies we introduced at the GeForce GTX 680 launch, become even more useful on the GeForce GTX 690.

    Gaming at high resolutions, especially in Surround mode, consumes a large amount of memory. Traditional MSAA, which typically consumes 4x the memory, often becomes impractical to use. FXAA, on the other hand, consumes no additional memory and achieves comparable if not superior results, making it possible to game at oversized resolutions with antialiasing enabled.



    FXAA in Portal 2. Click here for a zoomed 4xMSAA vs. FXAA comparison.



    Similarly, Adaptive V-Sync, which toggles V-Sync on and off depending on the frame rate, is a natural partner to the GeForce GTX 690. At very high frame rates, frames tear not just in two, but into multiple, discrete bands. With Adaptive V-Sync enabled, a solid 60 FPS can be maintained without tearing. And should the frame rate dip below 60, V-Sync is dynamically disabled to prevent stuttering.

    Improved Frame rate Metering

    Kepler introduces hardware based frame rate metering, a technology that helps to minimize stuttering. In SLI mode, two GPUs share the workload by operating on successive frames; one GPU works on the current frame while the other GPU works on the next frame. But because the workload of each frame is different, the two GPUs will complete their frames at different times. Sending the frames to the monitor at varying intervals can result in perceived stuttering.

    The GeForce GTX 690 features a metering mechanism (similar to a traffic meter for a freeway entrance) to regulate the flow of frames. By monitoring and smoothing out any disparities in how frames are issued to the monitor, frame rates feel smoother and more consistent.

    Conclusion

    The work of integrating two full fledged-GPUs onto a single board is a tremendous engineering challenge. It is a perpetual tug of war between the constraints of performance, power, heat, and noise. The end product is almost always a compromise.

    The GeForce GTX 690 may very well be the first dual-GPU graphics card that emerged in full form, free from compromise. Itís the world's fastest graphics card by a wide margin. Itís quieter and consumes less power than its predecessor. Itís crammed with features that eliminate jaggies and sustains smooth framerates. And to top it off, itís made of the finest materials, expertly constructed, and with a look that speaks directly of the power that is housed within.

    At a MSRP of $999, it's not a graphics card for everyone. But for enthusiasts who demand the very best and gamers who want a graphics card that will last for generations, the GeForce GTX 690 represents the ultimate in gaming from NVIDIA.


    http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/art...ticle-keynote/

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    Priced at $999, its Nvidia's most expensive Geforce card in history.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5795/n...nching-may-3rd
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...k104,3188.html

    The reviews will come by the end of this week. Cant wait

    Thanks for the news

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    That is one sexy looking card. The writing on the side "Geforce GTX" lights up when it's on and also makes a beep after it starts.

    But pricing isn't impressive, no reason to pick this over 2x680s. Lets just hope this isn't another disaster like the 590.

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    Still where the hell are the lower ranking cards of the series?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trave160 View Post
    Still where the hell are the lower ranking cards of the series?!
    660 and 670
    বাট রিমেমবার, জলিল নেভার ডাই, আর মরলেও ডাই এনাদার ডে।

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    Am sort of looking forward to the 660 only, inshallah its at a better price when it releases

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    GTX670 will be priced @ $399
    GTX660ti will be @ $249
    hopefully u guys will see these cards announced on 7th MAY
    the most interesting part i am finding is Nvidia is using GK104 core on all 4 of these cards GTX660ti,GTX670,GTX680 nd GTX690....now i am getting it why Nvidia was disappointed on HD7000 series cuz their mid-range part(GK104) was enough to take down AMD cards but its a good news for those who gonna skip this tier of GK104 cards....cuz GK110 is set demolish everything......now what is nvidia gonna do? will they release the GK110 on August as rumoured or will they wait till Fall...

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    ^Most prolly fake, I heard that too, but its hard to beleive, but if its true & if the cores are locked using bios then Will they unlock like the 6950 ? If so then that'll be bad marketing for the 680 so I don't think NV will make that mistake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EviL AnGeL View Post
    ^Most prolly fake, I heard that too, but its hard to beleive, but if its true & if the cores are locked using bios then Will they unlock like the 6950 ? If so then that'll be bad marketing for the 680 so I don't think NV will make that mistake.
    for instance lets take the GTX660ti.... its another GK104 product with lots of stuff scraped out such as a complete Graphics processor from the cluster of 680/670 totaling at 6 SMX’s, 1152 Cores, 96 TMU’s, 24 ROPs and a 1536MB 192-bit wide memory interface Core clock runs at 1006MHz and boost clock is maintained at 1056MHz while memory runs at 6GHz effective.

    as for GTX670 its just toned down 680 with one SLI connector so basically they are all sharing the same same cores. Nvidia just handicapped the cores nd few features....as for unlocking i dont think Nvidia cards r that unlock friendly as AMD cards..

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    Nvidia cards aren't usually locked by BIOS like the 6950 was. THey are physically different, either the additional parts are lasered off or they were faulty to begin with (just like the 560 448 core). Even the 6950 later on was the same and couldn't be unlocked.

    I won't find it surprising if they do use GK104 for all of them because the power efficiency is there. The 680 is 195TDP, usually the high end cards have 300TDP. Great stuff :<

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    i hope that my gtx 560s will be able to withstand all the high demanding games set on ultra for atleast 2 years(at the last of 2013 or first of 2014) inshallah, then will get new 2 of then prevailing nv high end or mid range cards(again inshallah)

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    Quote Originally Posted by aayman View Post
    Nvidia cards aren't usually locked by BIOS like the 6950 was. THey are physically different, either the additional parts are lasered off or they were faulty to begin with (just like the 560 448 core). Even the 6950 later on was the same and couldn't be unlocked.

    I won't find it surprising if they do use GK104 for all of them because the power efficiency is there. The 680 is 195TDP, usually the high end cards have 300TDP. Great stuff :<
    yeah true and actually the GK110 is rumoured to have 300TDP...and seeing at the release dates it will be great time for 580 owners to get one of that cuz dat will be the real 580 replacement

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    Quote Originally Posted by naved777 View Post
    yeah true and actually the GK110 is rumoured to have 300TDP...and seeing at the release dates it will be great time for 580 owners to get one of that cuz dat will be the real 580 replacement
    What is it with products like these taking so much power, if i even had 690.My mom would scream at me for the electric bills about the PC more than what my Air-Conditioner generates.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trave160 View Post
    What is it with products like these taking so much power, if i even had 690.My mom would scream at me for the electric bills about the PC more than what my Air-Conditioner generates.
    The 690 is dual GPU, its quite remarkable that it has only 300W TDP. The new architecture makes all of this possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trave160 View Post
    What is it with products like these taking so much power, if i even had 690.My mom would scream at me for the electric bills about the PC more than what my Air-Conditioner generates.
    meeeh to me if the hardware performs power consumption can take a pee......nd why BD people r so concerned abt power consumption when buying PCs hardwares? i have noticed this after coming to bd nd this really amazes me so the point is one will not buy for eg a 300TDP GPU for power consumption even he got the bucks?

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    Quote Originally Posted by naved777 View Post
    meeeh to me if the hardware performs power consumption can take a pee......nd why BD people r so concerned abt power consumption when buying PCs hardwares? i have noticed this after coming to bd nd this really amazes me so the point is one will not buy for eg a 300TDP GPU for power consumption even he got the bucks?
    Everything is costly in BD. Having a higher power consuming GPU limits expansion for the future and the recent price hikes in electricty isn't helping much either.

    I don't really care about power requirements when there is load but I can't stand high idle power usage and heat. That heats up my whole room and I refuse to keep my AC on 24/7 or even 12/7

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    BD tay electicity bill total 80% percent barono hoisay, ei year a , do u know that? agay jekhanay ashto 500TK, oikhanay ashay 800TK!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trave160 View Post
    What is it with products like these taking so much power, if i even had 690.My mom would scream at me for the electric bills about the PC more than what my Air-Conditioner generates.
    You really don't know a thing about power consumption do you, still spamming are we? Why does your mom not scream when that inefficient freezer is turned on 24/7 then or that incandescent bulb churning out 100-150w of power just to give you 60-70w of energy.

    Learn a few things about kW/h and then comment, and lmao you even compared it to an A/C.

    No offense.
    Last edited by dipanzan; May 1st, 2012 at 13:13.

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    Quote Originally Posted by naved777 View Post
    meeeh to me if the hardware performs power consumption can take a pee......nd why BD people r so concerned abt power consumption when buying PCs hardwares? i have noticed this after coming to bd nd this really amazes me so the point is one will not buy for eg a 300TDP GPU for power consumption even he got the bucks?
    There are fools you know. But in regard to our country -
    Electricity is pretty costly here + it is not that much reliable at all...and even there are some fools that think buying a 1200W PSU for a rarely 300W consuming pc is bad for bill... so you can't say..

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by @bhi; May 1st, 2012 at 13:40.

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