Why would you want to buy a GTX690?

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 3, 2012 - 01:07 PM |
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.

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"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."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP
Author:
Manufacturer: NVIDIA

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. 

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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.  

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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.

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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.

Continue reading our review of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 dual-Kepler graphics card!!

Questions for GTX 690 Live Review - Win an NVIDIA Crowbar!!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 2, 2012 - 02:37 PM |
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?

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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!

If you want, you can also send me a message on Twitter @RyanShrout or on our PC Perspective Facebook page.  

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!!

 

There is plenty of blame to go around when you are talking about the GTX 680

Subject: General Tech | May 2, 2012 - 01:05 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, TSMC, gtx680

The GTX680 would be far outselling the HD7870 if it was available anywhere but NVIDIA's biggest problem is that there is no supply to sell to the customers that want this card.  If SemiAccurate's sources are correct NVIDIA has yet to ship 10,000 cards in total, which really makes NVIDIA's stance that the supply problems are just a perception issue hard to swallow.  Mostly the fingers have been pointed at TSMC and the difficulties they have had with their 28nm production line, but that is getting old as well; if their 28nm process was inherently flawed they would not be at 95% capacity and AMDs GPUs would be just as rare as the new NVIDIA cards.  Could the issue lie with NVIDIA's chip design being flawed and producing incredibly low yields?  Is it that somehow the design takes an incredibly long time on the line in order to produce a wafer and so yields are not low so much as slow?  It is really hard to peg down exactly what is going on behind the scenes since neither of the companies involved are willing to discuss the causes behind the shortages.  That is the normal way of things however, no matter what company you talk about, you are far more likely to see denials and finger pointing than an explanation ... similar to children when you think about it really.

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"Nvidia has been busily blaming TSMC for their many supposed failings on 28nm, but SemiAccurate has learned what is really going on. The short story is that the finger pointing around the Kepler launch problems should be at Nvidia, not TSMC."

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Source: SemiAccurate

Cheaper GTX 670 GPU Spotted At Malaysian Retailer

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 2, 2012 - 07:35 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, msi, gtx 670, gpu

It seems like MSI has some cheaper Kepler based NVIDIA graphics cards coming soon if this photo from Malaysian retailer Cycom turns out to be legitimate. Spotted by Lowyat user Chapree, the photo appears to be an MSI GTX 670 graphics card. Further, the card appeared on the company’s website at a price of 1399 Malaysian ringgits which translates to just under $462 USD.

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Interestingly, the box contains a typo for Displayport in the form of “DispalyPort.” While that may indicate a fake card, it doesn’t totally rule it out either. The NVIDIA GTX 680 is the only available Kepler card (if you can find one to buy that is!), and many users are clamoring for some cheaper options. Here’s hoping they are coming sooner rather than later!

Source: Lowyat

Jen-Hsun Huang's reveal of the GTX 690

Subject: General Tech | May 1, 2012 - 05:11 PM |
Tagged: jen-hsun huang, nvidia, GTX 690

Jen-Hsun Huang is always entertaining and informative to watch and that is exactly what you can do at NGOHQ.  They captured his speech at the Gaming Festival where he revealed the dual GPU GTX 690.   He also unveiled NVIDIA’s cloud-based GeForce Experience technology which is intended to take stock of your computers components and set your games options to provide the best balance of performance and quality without you having to find out on your own.

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"Nvidia's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang keynote from the GeForce LAN / Nvidia Gaming Festival in Shanghai, China. The event was attended by more than 6,000 gamers from across China. The GeForce GTX 690 was announced there."

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Source: NGOHQ

PC Perspective and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Live Review - Thursday, May 3rd @ 1pm EDT

Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards | April 30, 2012 - 09:55 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, video, geforce, GTX 690, live, live review

We all know the reviews are coming soon - the GeForce GTX 690 is set to be launched this Thursday.  The dual-GK104 Kepler solution with the $999 price tag will likely be the highest performing graphics card on the market (and by a lot) and we are going to be discussing the launch, the technology and a lot more in our PC Perspective Live Review.

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Starting Thursday, May 3rd at 1pm EDT / 10am PDT, NVIDIA's Tom Petersen will join me at our live page (http://pcper.com/live) to talk about the new graphics card, the performance and feature characteristics that go into building a high-end solution like this and take questions from the viewers. 

You might have seen our original GTX 680 Live Review where Tom and I hosted a similar event - this is definitely something you won't want to miss out on!  

Be sure to set your calendars and join us Thursday afternoon for the event!  You can use the chat room at http://pcper.com/live to interact and ask questions or follow me on Twitter and reply to me during the show. 

NVIDIA Crates the GeForce GTX 690

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 30, 2012 - 03:17 PM |
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.

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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.

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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. 

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I have included quite a few more photos of the unboxing and the card itself if you continue to the full post right here!!

NVIDIA Announces GeForce Experience Cloud Service for Quality Presets

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 29, 2012 - 01:25 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, geforce experience, geforce

After spilling the beans about the new GeForce GTX 690 card at the GeForce LAN in Shanghai, NVIDIA's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang also let loose on the GeForce Experience, a cloud-based service that promises to simplify the configuration of game settings based on your hardware.

The is incredibly simple but equally impressive in its scope: based on your particular hardware configuration including the processor, memory capacity, storage speed and of course the graphics card, the NVIDIA tool will set the optimal in-game settings and resolution.  The breadth of being able to cover ALL the available hardware in the enthusiast market and even the mobile field is enormous but NVIDIA is confident that they have the personnel and testing systems in place to cover it all.

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The process is pretty straight forward - when a user opens a game for the first time they will be presented with a screen that shows the default or current game settings side by side with the settings recommended by NVIDIA's GeForce Experience.  You can simply hit apply and the configuration files will be updated to the new settings and you are ready to start gaming.  Of course, users can simply use that GFE settings as a "base" and then modify them as they see fit.  

This will be particularly useful for the mobile market that is usually never addressed by the in-game auto configurations from companies like Valve, resulting in incredibly low frame rates or a horrible 800x600-style experience.  Now users will with machines running the somewhat unknown GT 540M will have the option to get some more modern, and hopefully realistic, settings easily applied.  

Obviously the goal is make gaming on the PC as simple as gaming on consoles and this type of service will definitely move the industry in the right direction.  With the beta supposedly starting in June, this is going to demand a long-term vision and constant and vigilant updates as new games, new driver revisions and user upgrades will constantly change what the "optimal" settings will be.  We wish NVIDIA the best of luck to be sure and we will be testing out the service in the not too distant future.  

NVIDIA Announces dual-GPU Kepler GeForce GTX 690

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 28, 2012 - 11:55 PM |
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.

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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.  

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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.  

Continue reading for more details and photos of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 4GB Graphics Card!!