Nvidia has warmed the public up to the official announcement of the GeForce GTX 690 graphics card in many ways. They started a countdown to a secret event and also sent prybars to hardware reviewers. Yes, prybars rather than graphics cards! This PR move was quite successful as there were dozens of ways of using that tool proposed in forum discussion around the Web, although the correct answer was obvious enough. Of course, samples of the new product were sent out as well, just a few days prior to the market release. Anyway, we’ve managed to make our own preparations just in time. We’ve prepared for you this review of the fastest graphics card available today!
It’s no secret already that the GeForce GTX 690 is a dual-GPU card with two GK104 Kepler processors, so it should have something in common with the earlier products of this kind like Nvidia GeForce GTX 590 or AMD Radeon HD 6990, such as large size, high power consumption and high PSU requirements, high temperature and a noisy cooler (compared to single-GPU products). A dual-GPU card is also supposed to depend on software optimizations to deliver its best performance. Running a little ahead, we can tell you that Nvidia has managed to overturn or at least shake nearly all of these stereotypes with its GeForce GTX 690. So, let’s take a look at it.
Closer Look at Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 2x2GB Graphics Card
Technical Specifications and Recommended Pricing
The technical specs of the new Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 are summed up in the following table side by side with the specifications of the GeForce GTX 680 for comparison purposes:
Wooden Box and Prybar
We’ve never seen packaging like that in our many years of testing graphics cards. It is a large and sturdy wooden box nailed up all over.
It’s impressive, to say the least, especially when you realize that this rude packaging contains a high-tech $999 product. That’s what the prybar for, by the way. The binary code on the side of the box, 0b1010110010, stands for the graphics card’s model number (690) and there’s a warning on the top: “Caution. Weapons Grade Gaming Power”.
Although the prybar doesn’t contain 1500 shader processors and can never reach an operating frequency of 1 GHz, it turned out to be perfect for its job. We opened the box up in just a few seconds.
The two thick sheets of foam rubber securely fix the masterpiece of engineering thought, the object of desire for millions of common gamers, the No.1 item on the shopping list of a few thousand wealthy enthusiasts – the GeForce GTX 690 graphics card.
There are no accessories, not even power cables, but that’s just a prelease sample for testing purposes. GeForce GTX 690 will be available from many brands such as ASUS, EVGA, Gainward, Galaxy, Gigabyte, Inno3D, MSI, Palit and Zotac and these makers are going to put everything necessary into the box (we’re not sure about the prybar, though). Once again, the recommended price of the new card is $999.