NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Preview

Author: SKYMTL
Date: April 28, 2012
Product Name: GeForce GTX 690
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892. To many this may just be a number with little meaning but in the graphics world it represents a nagging thorn in NVIDIA’s side. After leading the pack for almost a decade, NVIDIA has experienced 892 consecutive days without a product that can be called the fastest graphics card in the world. Granted, they’ve been in sole possession of the single GPU crown in nearly every generation since the GeForce lineup’s inception but lately, the industry’s premier title and the bragging rights that go with it has remained an elusive goal…until now.

As we’re posting this preview, NVIDIA’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang is likely still up on stage at the massive GeForce LAN presenting the latest addition to NVIDIA’s GTX 600-series lineup: the GTX 690. It was high time that a GeForce-branded product became king of the hill and make no mistake about it: the GTX 690 is meant to absolutely trample the competition.

Before we go on, let’s get one thing straight: like the GTX 590 before it, the GTX 690 is a dual GPU card. But don’t allow this small fact dissuade you from reading further. As we will see on the upcoming pages, NVIDIA has designed the GTX 690 to be unlike any other card that’s come before it. Not only have top shelf materials been used but unlike previous generations, the GTX 690 has sidestepped the usual dual GPU limitation of reduced specifications. That’s right; there is a pair of fully enabled GK104 cores beating at its heart, all but ensuring its ascension the gaming market’s upper reaches.

Typically, the flagship product is released closer to the end of an architecture’s gestational cycle yet not this time. NVIDIA’s Kepler design seems to be maturing quite well even though it is still quite new and it has already set a high water mark in terms of performance per watt. This has allowed NVIDIA to leverage the GK104’s cores onto a single PCB without having to worry about power consumption or heat production.

Some of you are probably wondering about price at this point and like it or not, the GTX 690 wont’ come cheap. NVIDIA is targeting this thing at the ultra high end market and as such, it will enter the retail channel at $999, making it one of the most expensive graphics cards ever introduced. With its two fully enabled GTX 680 cores, did you expect anything less?

While the GTX 690 is being unveiled today, this shouldn’t be considered any official launch. Rather, NVIDIA is previewing it in front of their massive GeForce LAN event in Shanghai, China and we’re able to bring you a sneak peek inside. Expect a full article on May 3rd, the GTX 690’s actual release date.

Until then, onto the next page for some more details!

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