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

Noise And Temperatures

Both AMD and Nvidia do an admirable job of keeping idle noise low, even from dual-GPU cards and dual-card arrays.

This is a result of idle temperatures that remain manageable.

I flipped back and forth trying to figure out which of the GeForce GTX 690’s two GPUs would get hotter, but the warmest processor only got up to 78 degrees under load. That’s particularly impressive considering a single GeForce GTX 680 peaks at 79 degrees, while two 680s in SLI push the inside card’s chip to 83 degrees.

Maintaining that modest temperature isn’t a problem for the GeForce GTX 690, either. True to Nvidia’s word, its flagship operates more quietly than a pair of GeForce GTX 680s in SLI (though it measured a little louder than a GeForce GTX 590).

The more meaningful victory is over a single Radeon HD 7970—not to mention the acoustic train wreck that is two. Fortunately for AMD, its board partners are abandoning its reference cooling design en masse. In Five Radeon HD 7970 3 GB Cards, Overclocked And Benchmarked,  all four of the aftermarket-cooled models ended up quieter than the card with the noisy centrifugal blower (though Gigabyte’s three-fan implementation did get pretty loud under its maximum overclock).

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • robwright
    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?
  • milkshakez7z
    Looks very nice. Pity I'll never own one.
  • guzami77
    im waiting for the 680 3gb sli
  • Luscious
    Ah, the Bugatti Veyron of video cards... I'll take three, thanks!!!
  • chumly
    It CAN play Crysis.
  • rebel1280
    ....... 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
  • lahawzel
    680s are already nearly nonexistent, so I expect these 690s to be just as mythical and hard-to-find as the Radeon 6990.
  • phamhlam
    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.
  • Marcus52
    That pair of 690s with the matching bridge looks so sweet, I want 2!

  • frombehind
    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 ^^