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Overclocking And Tessellation Performance

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

Beyond simply building a more capable cooler, Nvidia claims that hand-picking low-leakage GK104 GPUs helps minimize the GeForce GTX 690’s thermal output. As a result, the card slides in under a 300 W TDP. But company representatives say there is plenty of headroom left in the card for clock rates beyond the stock 915 MHz base and 1019 MHz typical GPU Boost frequency.

Using EVGA’s excellent Precision X tool, we managed to push a 150 MHz core and 25 MHz memory offset using a 20%-higher power target. Stability was marginal at those settings, though, so we nudged the voltage up from its .988 V default up to 1.025 V, which kept the card from crashing.

The resulting gains aren’t bad, ranging from a 13%+ speed-up in Battlefield 3 to a 5%+ boost in Metro 2033 at 2560x1600.

Tessellation

You can call it tradition by this point. Our examination of tessellation scaling is intended to quantify claims that both Nvidia and AMD make regarding continually-improving implementations of geometry processing. We like to use real-world metrics where possible, and HAWX 2 gives us an easy on/off toggle for applying additional vertices.

The only real take-away here is that a GeForce GTX 690 does as well as two GeForce GTX 680s in SLI, which improve on what a single GeForce GTX 680 achieves on its own. We’re not sure why the 680 bleeds off so much of its performance when you turn tessellation on, but there’s clearly a bottleneck hammering the frame rate harder than geometry.

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Top Comments
  • 34 Hide
    chumly , May 3, 2012 2:08 PM
    It CAN play Crysis.
  • 28 Hide
    Luscious , May 3, 2012 2:07 PM
    Ah, the Bugatti Veyron of video cards... I'll take three, thanks!!!
  • 26 Hide
    araas , May 3, 2012 3:26 PM
    Again the used out dated drivers for the AMD Graphics card!!!! UPDATE TO 12.4 TOM'S!
Other Comments
  • 21 Hide
    robwright , May 3, 2012 1:50 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?
  • 23 Hide
    milkshakez7z , May 3, 2012 1:59 PM
    Looks very nice. Pity I'll never own one.
  • 28 Hide
    Luscious , May 3, 2012 2:07 PM
    Ah, the Bugatti Veyron of video cards... I'll take three, thanks!!!
  • 34 Hide
    chumly , May 3, 2012 2:08 PM
    It CAN play Crysis.
  • -6 Hide
    rebel1280 , May 3, 2012 2:10 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
  • 16 Hide
    lahawzel , May 3, 2012 2:13 PM
    680s are already nearly nonexistent, so I expect these 690s to be just as mythical and hard-to-find as the Radeon 6990.
  • 18 Hide
    phamhlam , May 3, 2012 2:19 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.
  • 23 Hide
    Marcus52 , May 3, 2012 2:41 PM
    That pair of 690s with the matching bridge looks so sweet, I want 2!

    ;) 
  • 3 Hide
    frombehind , May 3, 2012 3:02 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 ^^
  • 4 Hide
    monsta , May 3, 2012 3:06 PM
    That would have to be the sexiest looking graphics card
  • -7 Hide
    shin0bi272 , May 3, 2012 3:07 PM
    Imagine what this card could have been if they'd of used a 384bit bus per gpu...


    Also the design of this reminds me of my old leadtek 5900

    http://www.ixbt.com/video2/images/gffx-27/leadtek-5900lx-front.jpg
  • 21 Hide
    outlw6669 , May 3, 2012 3:23 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.
  • 26 Hide
    araas , May 3, 2012 3:26 PM
    Again the used out dated drivers for the AMD Graphics card!!!! UPDATE TO 12.4 TOM'S!
  • 6 Hide
    rglaredo , May 3, 2012 3:33 PM
    Very nice card ...is there an mmog game that will use that much power ?? LOL ...
  • 10 Hide
    jjrambo , May 3, 2012 3:33 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!
  • -8 Hide
    zanny , May 3, 2012 3:41 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.
  • 14 Hide
    ern88 , May 3, 2012 3:55 PM
    you'll have a better chance finding a 4 leaf clover in you back yard, then finding a 690 at a store!!!
  • 11 Hide
    pacioli , May 3, 2012 4:03 PM
    Too sexy for my wallet
  • 10 Hide
    hellfire24 , May 3, 2012 4:05 PM
    is it bad if i desperately want one?:( 
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