Nvidia announces twin-Kepler, 4GB GeForce GTX 690 GPU

By Lee Kaelin on April 30, 2012, 8:30 AM

Nvidia has announced its latest graphics card, the range-topping twin Kepler-based dual GPU monster GeForce GTX 690. The combination of two GTX 680 GPU cores onto one board makes this the fastest graphics solution on the market, for the moment at least.

It also oozes the visual quality and performance the namesake suggests, with its trivalent chromium-plated aluminum frame, thixomolded magnesium alloy fan housing, and dual vapor chamber with nickel-plated fins. It's certainly different, but a refreshing move from the usual cosmetic finishes of more traditional graphics cards that clearly sets it apart as something rather special.

"The GTX 690 is truly a work of art - gorgeous on the outside with amazing performance on the inside," claimed Brian Kelleher, senior vice president of GPU engineering at Nvidia. "Gamers will love playing on multiple screens at high resolutions with all the eye candy turned on. And they'll relish showing their friends how beautiful the cards look inside their systems."

Under the hood is just as purposeful, with the two Kepler GPU's providing a total of 3,072 CUDA cores for more than double the framerates of its single core cousin, the GTX 680. It also includes 4GB of GDDR5 RAM at 6.0Gbps running on a 512-bit bus and a base clock of 915MHz, although it can be boosted to 1019MHz in "select" scenarios -- quite what qualifies as that is a little unclear right now, however.

Video output is provided by three dual-link DVI ports and a single Mini-DisplayPort 1.2 output. Power is provided by two 8-pin connectors using a new 10-phase heavy duty power supply which is connected to a ten layer two-ounce copper PCB. Nvidia also claim the dual-GPU card is more power efficient and quieter than running a pair of GTX 680's in SLI.

The new GTX 690 will be available in limited quantities from May 3, with full store availability from May 7 onwards. As many already suspect just by looking at the finish of it, it's not going to be cheap. Pricing is set at just a dollar under $1000.

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