GK104 takes a step down
While the graphics power found in the new GeForce GTX 690, the GeForce GTX 680 and even the Radeon HD 7970 are incredibly impressive, if we are really honest with ourselves the real meat of the GPU market buys options much lower than $999. Today's not-so-well-kept-secret release of the GeForce GTX 670 attempts to bring the price to entry of the NVIDIA Kepler architecture down to a more attainable level while also resetting the performance per dollar metrics of the GPU world once again.
The GeForce GTX 670 is in fact a very close cousin to the GeForce GTX 680 with only a single SMX unit disabled and a more compelling $399 price tag.
The GTX 670 GPU - Nearly as fast as the GTX 680
The secret is out - GK104 finds its way onto a third graphics card in just two months - but in this iteration the hardware has been reduced slightly.
The GTX 670 block diagram we hacked together above is really just a GTX 680 diagram with a single SMX unit disabled. While the GTX 680 sported a total of 1536 CUDA cores broken up into eight 192 core SMX units, the new GTX 670 will include 1344 cores. This will also drop the texture units to 112 (from 128 on the GTX 680) though the ROP count stays at 32 thanks to the continued use of a 256-bit memory interface.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 5, 2012 - 06:28 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nvidia, msi, kepler, gtx 670, asian colorful
Earlier this week we reported on a rumored MSI GTX 670 graphics card with a “DispalyPort” that was coming out soon. A new photo of the MSI card is below along with the box (though the typo is covered up by the card). Swelclockers has now gotten their hands on even more photos of the alleged GPU–this time from manufacturer Asia Colorful. The two rumored cards are said to be based on the NVIDIA reference design, and supporting the rumors, both cards do look very similar in design.
The alleged MSI GTX 670 GPU
The cards that appear to be Kepler based GTX 670s have a black PCB that extends about 3/4ths of the length of the heatsink and fan cooler. Except for a bit of overlap, the heatsink covers the PCB and the fan is located in the part of the card that hangs past the edge of the PCB. It also looks like they have moved the PCI-E power connectors to the outside edge of the card–a different rumored GTX 670 had the PCI-E power on the back edge of the card.
The underside of the Asia Colorful GTX 670 graphics card.
As far as specifications, the cards support PCI-E 3.0, two DVI outputs, an HDMI and what looks like a DisplayPort output. Beyond that, the card is said to be based on a scaled down version of NVIDIA’s Kepler architecture based GTX 680 GPU. For the GTX 670, NVIDIA has allegedly disabled 192 CUDA cores for a total of 1344. They have also reduced the base GPU core clockspeed from 1,006MHz on the GTX 680 to 900MHz. Although the card still uses the same 256-bit memory interface, the GTX 670 has a reduced memory (GDDR5) clockspeed of 5GHz versus 6GHz on the GTX 680. Because of the scaled back nature of the card, it has a lower TDP of approximately 150W.
Because they have been spotted in retailer’s hands, the GTX 670 is likely very close to release. Rumors are now suggesting that the card will be sold for somewhere between $349 and $379 USD.
Also on the Kepler front, is this cool looking single slot Kepler-class GPU that may or may not be a custom designed GTX 670. What Kepler rumors have you heard, and are you looking forward to the cheaper GTX 600 series cards?
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 3, 2012 - 08:04 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, nvidia, kepler, GTX 690, GK104, geforce
A PC Perspective Live Review Recap is a recorded version of a previously live streamed event from http://pcper.com/live. If you couldn't make the original air time, or simply want to re-watch, the on-demand version is provided below!
On the launch day of the new GeForce GTX 690 graphics card, NVIDIA's Tom Petersen once again returned to the PC Perspective offices to talk about this impressive new $999 gaming solution. Based on a pair of GK104 GPUs, we already posted our full review of the GeForce GTX 690 today but this information and discussion with Tom is worth seeing again.
I want to thank Tom for stopping by and speaking with us and I want to thank the thousands of viewers that tuned in to the live stream to make the event a success!
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 3, 2012 - 01:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, GTX 690, GK104, geforce
The GTX690 is certainly the fastest single PCB card on the planet and this generation of NVIDIA's dual GPU card shows great improvements from previous dual GPU cards, but at $1000 MSRP it is essentially the same price as a pair of GTX680s. [H]ard|OCP's testing shows that the GTX690 performs at 95-98% of a pair of SLI'd GTX680s so there really is no noticeable performance difference. This begs the question as to why one might prefer the GTX690 to a pair of GTX680s; to which there are several answers. The most obvious is the size difference, with a GTX690 taking up one PCIe 16x slot and taking 2 slots on the back of the PC, where an SLI setup requires two PCIe 16x slots and takes up 4 slots on the back. Not only will the GTX690 leave you more room in your case it will provide better airflow as you will not have two cards sandwiched against each other as will be the case with many motherboards you would also have a much easier time setting up quad SLI. As well there is the power consumption to consider, in Ryan's testing the GTX690 needed 30W less than the SLI rig and over 100W less than a pair of HD7970s. That also resulted in the GTX690 operating at a slightly cooler temperature as well as being quieter, which is almost as important as the performance. The GTX690 is a beast and if you can afford it ... and find it for sale ... it makes more sense that buying a pair of GTX680s.
"Is the GeForce GTX 690 the best dual-GPU video card ever built? We'll compare performance to GeForce GTX 680 SLI and Radeon HD 7970 CFX to see where the new beast from NVIDIA stands. We overclock the dual GPUs and push these as far as we can. Surely this is the best performance ever experienced from a single video card."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690: The Dual-GPU Beast Arrived! @ Bjorn3D
- NVIDIA GTX 690 Review @ OCC
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 4GB Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Launch Review @ Neoseeker
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Review: Ultra Expensive, Ultra Rare, Ultra Fast @ AnandTech
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Benchmark Performance @ Benchmark Reviews
- VIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Video Card Features @ Benchmark Reviews
- "All Inclusive": Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 2x2 GB @ X-bit Labs
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 4 GB @ techPowerU
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Dual-GPU Graphics Card Launch Review @ HardwareHeaven
- NVIDIA Geforce GTX 690 DirectX 11 Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 @ Guru of 3D
- PowerColor PCS+ HD7970 vs Gainward GTX 680 Phantom Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Gainward GeForce GTX 680 Phantom @ Techspot
- 1 GHz with Passive Cooling: Arctic Accelero S1 PLUS and Turbo Module @ X-bit Labs
- Sapphire HD 7870 Review @ OCC
- MSI Radeon HD 7870 HAWK @ Guru of 3D
- HIS Radeon HD 7870 @ FunkyKit
- MSI Radeon HD 7870 HAWK 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- How Does Intel’s HD 4000 Compare on the IQ Scale? @ Kitguru
- DirectX 11.1 Specifications Released @ NGOHQ
Subject: General Tech | May 3, 2012 - 12:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: NVIDA, amd, graphics card, TSMC, 28nm, kepler, southern islands, gtx690, gtx680, gtx670, gtx610
Enthusiasts were offered a bit of hope this morning with news from DigiTimes that more capacity at TSMC will be available for AMD and NVIDIA which would mean more dies being made and hopefully a larger supply of GPUs. Since TSMC seems to have finished playing with their Cortex A9 process, there is a good possibility that the GTX680 and perhaps even the GTX690 will become common enough that the great unwashed actually have a chance to purchase one. We can also hope that it will give NVIDIA a chance to build up stocks of the GTX670 and 610 which are due out at the end of the month and June, respectively. Unfortunately, if a certain site is correct that may not be the case as NVIDIA will be redoing their mask and not be able to take advantage of the extra capacity TSMC could make available for them. Perhaps if this scenario is true AMD will be able to leverage TSMC to flood the market with Southern Island GPUs and hope to win the availability war as the performance crown is firmly on NVIDIA's head in this generation of GPUs.
"AMD and Nvidia, impacted by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's (TSMC's) fully-booked capacity, had rather weak shipment performance in the first quarter; however, as more capacity will be gradually released by TSMC, shortages of 28nm graphics cards are expected to improve in late May, according to sources from graphics card makers."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Gimp 2.8 Finally Released @ Slashdot
- The 2012 Top 7 Best Linux Distributions for You @ Linux.com
- Microsoft will ditch Window Live brand ahead of Windows 8 launch @ The Inquirer
- RIM unveils BlackBerry 10 platform @ DigiTimes
- AMD outs Roadrunner mainboard for Open Compute @ The Inquirer
- Biggest Tech Failures of The Last 10+ Year @ Techspot
GTX 690 Specifications
On Thursday May the 3rd at 10am PDT / 1pm EDT, stop by the PC Perspective Live page for an NVIDIA and PC Perspective hosted event surrounding the GeForce GTX 690 graphics card. Ryan Shrout and Tom Petersen will be on hand to talk about the technology, the performance characteristics as well as answer questions from the community from the chat room, twitter, etc. Be sure to catch it all at http://pcper.com/live
Okay, so it's not a surprise to you at all, or if it is, you haven't been paying attention. Today is the first on-sale date and review release for the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 4GB dual-GPU Kepler graphics card that we first announced in late April. This is the dream card any PC gamer out there combining a pair of GTX 680 GK104 GPUs on a single PCB and running them in a single slot SLI configuration and is easily the fastest single card we have ever tested. It also the most expensive reference card we have ever seen with a hefty $999 price tag.
So how does it perform? How about efficiency and power consumption - does the GTX 690 suffer the same problems the GTX 590 did? Can AMD hope to compete with a dual-GPU HD 7990 card in the future? All that and more in our review!
Kepler Architecture Overview
For those of you that may have missed the boat on the GTX 680 launch, the first card to use NVIDIA's new Kepler GPU architecture, you should definitely head over and read my review and analysis of that before heading into the deep-dive on the GTX 690 here today.
Kepler is a 3.54 billion transistor GPU with 1536 CUDA cores / stream processors contained within and even in a single GPU configuration is able produce some impressive PC gaming performance results. The new SMX-based design has some modest differences from Fermi the most dramatic of which is the removal of the "hot clock" - the factor that ran the shaders and twice the clock speed of the rest of the GPU. Now, the entire chip runs at one speed, higher than 1 GHz on the GTX 680.
Each SMX on Kepler now includes 192 CUDA cores as opposed to the 32 cores found in each SM on Fermi - a change that has increased efficiency and performance per watt quite dramatically.
As I said above, there are lot more details on the changes in our GeForce GTX 680 review.
The GeForce GTX 690 Specifications
Many of the details surrounding the GTX 690 have already been revealed by NVIDIA's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang during a GeForce LAN event in China last week. The card is going to be fast, expensive and is built out of components and materials we haven't seen any graphics card utilize before.
Depsite the high performance level of the card, the GTX 690 isn't much heavier and isn't much longer than the reference GTX 680 card. We'll go over the details surrounding the materials, cooler and output configuration on the next page, but let's take some time just to look and debate the performance specifications.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 2, 2012 - 02:37 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, nvidia, live review, live, kepler, GTX 690, geforce
Yes, we realize it's actually a "flat bar" but that's nearly as cool to say. Either way, wouldn't you like to win one of these?
Tomorrow at 1pm EDT / 10am PDT we are going to be streaming a LIVE talk between myself and Tom Petersen centered around the GeForce GTX 690 dual-Kepler graphics card at http://pcper.com/live. We will talk about performance, power consumption, features, show demos and of course take user questions through our live chat room, twitter accounts and more.
But we also want to get your questions TODAY to help prepare for the event. If you have a burning question about the GTX 690 or the Kepler architecture and its features, leave us a comment below! (No registartion required.) Both NVIDIA's Tom Petersen and I will give you our feedback. The best question will take home an NVIDIA crowbar so you too can be prepared for the coming apocalypse!
Hurry though, we want them in tonight so we can sort and pick our favorites for the live event tomorrow. For all the details on tomorrow's show, make sure you check our post right here!!
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 30, 2012 - 03:17 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, GTX 690, geforce
There has been a lot of excitement building about the GeForce GTX 690 dual-GPU graphics card, with the apex during CEO Jen-Hsun Huang's keynote that released all kinds of details this weekend. We go our review sample of the new graphics beast this morning and needless to say NVIDIA felt the need to give this $999 video card a special ride.
With the imprint of "Caution: Weapons Grade Gaming Power" on the outside of the crate, NVIDIA obviously wanted to give us a chance to use the pry bar sent last week. And use it we did.
There isn't much more we can say about the card itself but I can tell you that the fit and finish of the design is just impressive to see in person.
I have included quite a few more photos of the unboxing and the card itself if you continue to the full post right here!!
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 28, 2012 - 11:55 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, jen-hsun huang, hd 7990, GTX 690, gtx 680, geforce, 7990
During a keynote presentation at GeForce LAN 2012 being held in Shanghai, NVIDIA's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang unveiled what many of us have been theorizing would be coming soon; the dual-GPU variant of the Kepler architecture, the GeForce GTX 690 graphics card.
Though reviews aren't going to be released yet, Huang unveiled pretty much all of the information we need to figure it out. With the full specifications listed as well as details about the stunning new design of the card and cooler, the GTX 690 is without a doubt going to be the fastest graphics card on the market when it goes on sale next month.
The GeForce GTX 690 4GB card is based on a pair of GK104 chips, each sporting 1536 CUDA cores, basically identical to the ones used in the GeForce GTX 680 2GB cards released in March. The base clock speed of these parts is slightly lower at 915 MHz but the "typical" Boost clock is set as high as 1019 MHz, pushing it pretty close to the performance of the single GPU solutions. With a total of 3072 processing cores, the GTX 690 will have insane amounts of compute horsepower.
Each GPU will have access to 2GB of independent frame buffer still running at 6 Gbps, for a grand total of 4GB on the card.
Sitting between the two GPUs will be a PCI Express 3.0 capable bridge chip from PLX supporting full x16 lanes to each GPU and a full x16 back to the host system.
In terms of power requirements, the GTX 690 will use a pair of 8-pin connectors and will have a TDP of 300 watts - actually not that high consider the TDP of the GTX 680 is 195 watts on its own. It is obvious that NVIDIA is going to be pulling the very best chips for this card, those that can run at clock speeds over 1 GHz with minimal leakage.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | April 23, 2012 - 09:58 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: nvidia, crowbar, kepler
Remember when NVIDIA updated their Facebook page with "It's Coming..." and a picture that you had little chance of learning its origin? Well the marketing team is at again, this time sending over a crowbar. No, seriously.
"For Use in Case of Zombies Or...<NVIDIA LOGO>". So either something BIG is coming later that I am going to need to open with said crowbar or maybe NVIDIA is partnering with Valve to announce Half-Life 3. That second guess is just wishful thinking, sorry.
If nothing else I guess we'll thank NVIDIA for the additional weapon for the eventual zombie apocalypse until such time as they sit fit to clue me in on the joke.