Hi there, I am trying to decide on weather or not to get a GTX 690 or 2 x 680's for my setup which I will be wanting to run demanding games such as BF3 and upcoming Crysis 3 in 3D both now and in the next 3 years(top titles then) without buying new cards, and I would also like to make it future-proof so I can double said graphics setup to meet demands at that time(3-5 years) I know that a 690 is superior in noise and power draw, but I wonder if it is better in 3D and for the future or not?
I have GTX 680's in SLI using a 3D Vision setup. It runs quite well and I'm happy with the performance. Metro 2033 at near 60 FPS all the time at DX11, High, 4x AA, +Tessellation. Very high drops it into the 40's. There was only one area that gave me troubles, but lowering settings didn't seem to help (This area is known to have issues for everyone). The Witcher 2 also plays near 60 FPS with Ultra, minus ubersampling and no DoF effects (DoF is not wanted in 3D anyways). After the most demanding games, the system runs just about everything maxed.
Well, I would have to go with the gtx 690 - actually doesn't perform 10% less than two gtx 680s - it actually performs only about 2-3% less and the power draw and air flow is much better than two SLi 680 - especially if your want to run two ASUS Directcu II GTX 680s in which non-reference heatsink designs tend to cause problems with cooling with SLi / crossfireX. Air flow and power draw will be advantages to two gtx 680s. If you get a gtx 690 now, you save yourself PCI-E 3.0 space by not having to (depending on your current mobo) upgrade to a 3 SLi compatible motherboard. A gtx 690 / sli 680 is overkill for a single monitor set up for now - what can you lose by going after the gtx 690? What's more, due to the shortage of kepler chips, you'll be better off hunting for ONE gtx 690 as opposed to TWO gtx 680s. What's more, if you do upgrade and have a 2 PCI 3.0 slot mobo, get the GTX 690 and SLi that later for a quad-SLi on a two slot mobo!
another option to got is SLi 670's - also a very comparable solution to two GTX 680's - just overclock them. Hopefully this helps you!