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GeForce GTX 690 Review: Testing Nvidia's Sexiest Graphics Card

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May 3, 2012 1:50:29 PM

I wonder, given the price of the 690, just how limited the quanitities will be. Which brings up another question, one that Nvidia (and AMD as well) would probably be reluctant to answer: are they making and shipping fewer of the top-shelf Halo cards today than they did 5 or six years ago?
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21
May 3, 2012 1:59:36 PM

Looks very nice. Pity I'll never own one.
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23
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May 3, 2012 2:05:54 PM

im waiting for the 680 3gb sli
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-12
May 3, 2012 2:07:58 PM

Ah, the Bugatti Veyron of video cards... I'll take three, thanks!!!
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28
May 3, 2012 2:08:27 PM

It CAN play Crysis.
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34
May 3, 2012 2:10:39 PM

....... Lamborghini’s Reventón ...... +infinity for mentioning that work of art T_T didn't even read the article until after I got my fix for the Lamborghini’s Reventón on the net haha. That car may be the only proof left to us of the old gods, in particular Mercury (god of transport) lol
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-6
May 3, 2012 2:13:41 PM

680s are already nearly nonexistent, so I expect these 690s to be just as mythical and hard-to-find as the Radeon 6990.
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16
May 3, 2012 2:19:45 PM

LaHawzel680s are already nearly nonexistent, so I expect these 690s to be just as mythical and hard-to-find as the Radeon 6990.


6990 aren't that hard to find. Back in January before the 7000 series came out, you could easily pick one or two up. I am pretty sure in 6 month, the 690 will be easy to grab.
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18
May 3, 2012 2:41:16 PM

That pair of 690s with the matching bridge looks so sweet, I want 2!

;) 
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23
a b U Graphics card
May 3, 2012 3:02:37 PM

I wonder if someone will come out with a version that has a stock water-cooler built in? Then it really would the card to get ^^
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3
a c 88 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
May 3, 2012 3:06:41 PM

That would have to be the sexiest looking graphics card
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4
a b U Graphics card
May 3, 2012 3:23:05 PM

WTF!?!

GTX 590 launch...

GTX 580 launch price: $500
GTX 590 launch price: $700
Difference: 140%

Now today GTX 690 launch...

GTX 680 launch price: $500
GTX 690 launch price: $1000
Difference: 200%

So, is it just me or is nVidia really gouging on the price here?
Why the hell else would they be charging an additional 43% more than their last dual GPU launch while using less silicon?

Come on AMD, we really need some more competition here.
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21
May 3, 2012 3:26:43 PM

Again the used out dated drivers for the AMD Graphics card!!!! UPDATE TO 12.4 TOM'S!
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26
May 3, 2012 3:33:24 PM

Very nice card ...is there an mmog game that will use that much power ?? LOL ...
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6
May 3, 2012 3:33:30 PM

Yeah..why were the 7 series using 12.4 drivers when the 6 series is using 12.2? In 12.4 they said UP TO 80% increase using MSAA. Which shows in these MSAA enabled charts the difference between them!
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10
May 3, 2012 3:41:57 PM

outlw6669WTF!?!GTX 590 launch...GTX 580 launch price: $500GTX 590 launch price: $700Difference: 140%Now today GTX 690 launch...GTX 680 launch price: $500GTX 690 launch price: $1000Difference: 200%So, is it just me or is nVidia really gouging on the price here?Why the hell else would they be charging an additional 43% more than their last dual GPU launch while using less silicon?Come on AMD, we really need some more competition here.


The only use case for that much graphics hardware is excessively high multi monitor resolutions like 6k x 2k in 3d. AMD doesn't need to invest in new PCB designs to make a dual cpu GCN chip yet because the demand is so low.
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-8
May 3, 2012 3:55:12 PM

you'll have a better chance finding a 4 leaf clover in you back yard, then finding a 690 at a store!!!
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14
a b U Graphics card
May 3, 2012 4:03:55 PM

Too sexy for my wallet
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11
a b U Graphics card
May 3, 2012 4:05:02 PM

is it bad if i desperately want one?:( 
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10
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
May 3, 2012 4:06:11 PM

This is an awesome piece of hardware. $1k though... ouch!
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8
May 3, 2012 4:07:12 PM

araasAgain the used out dated drivers for the AMD Graphics card!!!! UPDATE TO 12.4 TOM'S!

12.4 is in there :-P
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8
a b U Graphics card
May 3, 2012 4:07:34 PM

I can't help but wonder how differently this article would be written had this card, all things being equal, had an AMD badge on it. I'm not so sure that the $1000 price tag (and likely much higher street price) as well as the obvious paper launch coupled with permanent expectations of SEVERELY limited availability would be received quite the same way. I mean, cmon, comparing a graphics card to supercars? I think your comparison is more than a bit exaggerated.
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-6
a c 169 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
May 3, 2012 4:07:57 PM

Awesome review! A great card indeed but after owning multiple dual GPU cards,I'd rather stay with a single card.Too much driver problems.
Oh and the price.... :D 
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5
May 3, 2012 4:10:56 PM

Hmm so far the GTX 680 has been very scarce.

Bet these will even be even more scarce.

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5
a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
May 3, 2012 4:23:25 PM

*drool*

*looks at price tag*

*still continues to drool*
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4
May 3, 2012 4:25:41 PM

FINALLY! Triple monitor resolution testing!!!!!! Good job Tom's!! Please make this standard on all future GPU tests!!!!! Only wish you could go back in time and give me the 6950 Crossfire with those res's.
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4
a b U Graphics card
May 3, 2012 4:32:31 PM

2+2b=2gb usable vram!
and i think 2b is enough vram to max out any game.
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-6
May 3, 2012 4:37:47 PM

That looks just stunning. And the performance...wow.
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-5
May 3, 2012 4:41:48 PM

But can it play Crysis ?
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-13
May 3, 2012 4:45:21 PM

Just think...every time they sell one of these 2 people are missing out on a gtx 680, insttead of making 2,000 gamers happy there will only be 1,000 gamers with massive overkill lol
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1
May 3, 2012 4:46:53 PM

amd fanboy are pretty quiet those day, well they only can say its overpriced, well i can agree with them.
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4
May 3, 2012 4:55:38 PM

outlw6669WTF!?!GTX 590 launch...GTX 580 launch price: $500GTX 590 launch price: $700Difference: 140%Now today GTX 690 launch...GTX 680 launch price: $500GTX 690 launch price: $1000Difference: 200%So, is it just me or is nVidia really gouging on the price here?Why the hell else would they be charging an additional 43% more than their last dual GPU launch while using less silicon?Come on AMD, we really need some more competition here.

590 is not 2x580 btw so that's why the price is lowered than 2x580
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6
May 3, 2012 5:03:11 PM

Btw the 590l was $700 because both gpus were neutered...they had their cuda cores artificially limited...the only real full dual 580 card was the asus mars 2
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9
May 3, 2012 5:05:53 PM

Best looking card I have seen in a while, but a 1000 clams :( 
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5
May 3, 2012 5:31:47 PM

Dang, I was just thinking... meh, so it does well... but then I saw the resolutions it was running at, and then I looked at the FPS... :o  jaw dropped
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5
May 3, 2012 5:37:13 PM

Fantastic, well written article as always!
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3
May 3, 2012 5:49:52 PM

iknowhowtofixit said:
I can't help but wonder how differently this article would be written had this card, all things being equal, had an AMD badge on it. I'm not so sure that the $1000 price tag (and likely much higher street price) as well as the obvious paper launch coupled with permanent expectations of SEVERELY limited availability would be received quite the same way. I mean, cmon, comparing a graphics card to supercars? I think your comparison is more than a bit exaggerated.


Best GPUs for the money April overwhelmingly AMD. Nvidia did a paper launch less than a week before the cards became (very limited) available. People don't think the 680 and 7970 are too expensive so if the 7990 performs the same as two 7970s is it worth $950? All I am saying is people get mad whenever a review site says something good about a company they don't like or feel the review company is saying something bad about the company they like. Toms is pretty balanced IMHO, so try not to let company loyalty get in the way of how you view things. AMD and Nvidia are both great companies, but neither are perfect. I root for both teams!!!
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4
May 3, 2012 5:53:55 PM

rsktek said:
Dang, I was just thinking... meh, so it does well... but then I saw the resolutions it was running at, and then I looked at the FPS... :o  jaw dropped


ME TOO! :o 

In all serious I have a 680 and it is so hard not to sell it for one of these. I love my 680, but this way I get twice as much lovin and can 4 way SLI (rig only has two pci slots). 114 FPS not that cool... wait is that @ 2500X1600? I think I just shat myself.
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2
May 3, 2012 6:04:50 PM

Great card. I must say though that I am starting to get tired of any kind of judgement of cards by their exterior - Knowing that a sizeable design budget probably goes into just that. Maybe it will be nicer once CPUs with integrated graphics come into their own. I mean a CPU is just packaged like a CPU. I don't think that will change any time soon. I can only imagine how nice that will be for the sake of simplicity. Also cards like these are toys. Hardly a smidge on the total income graphics card makers make. And still the same amount of silicon real estate. Similar circuit boards across any given range. And then Just a fancy cooler strapped on. Ever taken of a graphics card's cooler? It's not so sexy. Only the power is sexy.
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-2
a b U Graphics card
May 3, 2012 6:11:45 PM

The amount of power these cards is mind numbing, I just saw the battlefield 3 benchmark one card ripping 3 hd screens on ultra on bf3 mind blow
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1
May 3, 2012 6:14:42 PM

Really need to think twice or may be thrice before going for 690 as it is a Bugatti Veyron for graphic card.
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0
May 3, 2012 6:17:57 PM

robwrightI wonder, given the price of the 690, just how limited the quanitities will be. Which brings up another question, one that Nvidia (and AMD as well) would probably be reluctant to answer: are they making and shipping fewer of the top-shelf Halo cards today than they did 5 or six years ago?

Actually, that's a really good question Rob. NV is saying as many 690s and 590s, but if you go back further, not sure how the comparison would look!
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0
a b U Graphics card
May 3, 2012 6:27:55 PM

I wonder what would be the AMD's answer to this BEAST? :D  im curious...
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2
May 3, 2012 6:37:10 PM

Bigmack....gpuboost is a feature...just doesn't have the right name...should be called something like adaptive gpu clocking...or smart clock....smartgpu clock
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-2
May 3, 2012 6:40:31 PM

robwrightI wonder, given the price of the 690, just how limited the quanitities will be. Which brings up another question, one that Nvidia (and AMD as well) would probably be reluctant to answer: are they making and shipping fewer of the top-shelf Halo cards today than they did 5 or six years ago?


I would assume the answer is yes.
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0
a c 127 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
May 3, 2012 6:41:47 PM

_Pez_I wonder what would be the AMD's answer to this BEAST? im curious...

Surely it will continue to be 2nd best, though it seems the prices are getting worse for 2nd best these days; harder to justify.
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-3
a c 127 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
May 3, 2012 6:57:10 PM

BigMack70If this card had 4GB vram per GPU, didn't have the unbelievably gimmicky GPU Boost "feature", and were actually available, I would trade my 7970 Crossfire setup for it immediately.However, I don't trust 2GB vram per GPU to last more than a year or two, GPU boost is stupid and not a feature but an annoyance, and this card will probably be gone within 5 minutes of being listed online.*sigh*

We've been hearing about the VRAM argument for years. It seems like the Radeon cards have always had more and even with that, for the last five years the top Geforce with less VRAM always seems to outperform the top Radeon card at the highest resolutions.

This leads me to believe a bigger factor in the overall performance has to do with the way the data are processed and not so much with how much is stored in VRAM. I'm sure the VRAM will increase over time. That much is true. So will processing speeds and efficiency. So will a need for larger disks, and so on...
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-3
May 3, 2012 6:57:24 PM

outlw6669WTF!?!GTX 590 launch...GTX 580 launch price: $500GTX 590 launch price: $700Difference: 140%Now today GTX 690 launch...GTX 680 launch price: $500GTX 690 launch price: $1000Difference: 200%So, is it just me or is nVidia really gouging on the price here?Why the hell else would they be charging an additional 43% more than their last dual GPU launch while using less silicon?Come on AMD, we really need some more competition here.


You forget, however, that the GTX 590 was 2 GTX 570s, not 2 GTX 580s. The GTX 690 is 2 GTX 680s. Big difference for purposes of what the card can/could do. The GTX 690, as Chris shows, is almost as good as 2 SLI'd GTX 680s, where as the GTX 590 was running equal to 2 SLI'd GTX 570s as benchmarks have shown.
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