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Nvidia launches dual-GPU Geforce GTX 690

Twice the Kepler
Mon Apr 30 2012, 12:40

CHIP DESIGNER Nvidia has slapped two Geforce GTX 680 Kepler GPUs onto a PCB to launch the eye-watering Geforce GTX 690.

cooling-geforce-gtx-690Nvidia's Geforce GTX 680 was the firm's first GPU based on its Kepler architecture and helped the firm regain the single GPU crown from AMD's Radeon HD 7970. Now Nvidia has stuck two Geforce GTX 680 GPUs onto a graphics card to create the Geforce GTX 690, which will hold the crown as the fastest single-board graphics card currently available at least until AMD releases its dual-GPU Radeon 79XX.

For all intents and purposes Nvidia's Geforce GTX 690 is exactly the same as running two Geforce GTX 680s in SLI, with the dual-GPU board having 3,072 cores running at 915MHz, which can be boosted to 1,019MHz. The card has 4GB of 512-bit GDDR5 memory - exactly double that of the Geforce GTX 680 - with the board having a thermal design power of 300W.

Surprisingly Nvidia spent most of its announcement talking up the heatsink and fan used to cool the Geforce GTX 690. The firm said it incorporates two vapour chambers with the heatsink featuring nickel-plated fins while the fan housing is made from magnesium alloy, all of which is very impressive but hints at the power requirements for such a card, which needs two 8-pin power connectors.

Nvidia claims Geforce GTX 690 performance figures are close to double that of its single GPU Geforce GTX 680 in a range of games. AMD is also expected to bring out a dual-GPU version of its Radeon HD 7970 in the near future that will compete with the Geforce GTX 690.

Nvidia has slapped a $1,000 price tag on the Geforce GTX 690, adding that the card will be available in limited quantities - in the thousands according to HardOCP - from Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, Evga and Gainward.

The firm has also confirmed that the Geforce GTX 690 can be run in SLI, if you fancy splashing out $2,000 to ensure full visual splendour at 2560x1600 resolution without the framerate hit. µ


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