Nvidia warned us it was coming, but until very late last night we had no idea what they were talking about, or if we should even be excited. Would they announce lower end Kepler parts to fill out the midrange? Would they announce you could finally “buy” a GTX 680? Expectations were high when Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun took the stage for his keynote in Shanghai China, and my friends, meet the all new dual-GPU $999 GTX 690.
The GTX 690 has yet to hit the benchmarks, but considering that under that fancy plated aluminum heat sync is a pair of GTX 680’s, we are going to go ahead and say what you’re looking at here is probably the fastest card money can buy. In total, the GTX 690 has 3,072 CUDA cores, running at a 915MHz base clock, with a 1019MHz boost clock. Both of those numbers are slightly lower than those found on a standard GTX 680, but not by much, and its certainly understandable considering how much heat your generating in such a small area. The memory clock sits at 6Ghz, and each GPU has access to a dedicated 2GB block of GDDR5 RAM totaling 4GB of frame buffer.
The design of the card itself is also pretty amazing. Aside from the plated aluminum on the outside, it is also fitted with polycarbonate windows on the front to give it a very unique look. The card runs on a 10-phase power supply, and each GTX 680 core will have its own water-vapor chamber as you can see from the shots below.
Nvidia promises limited availability of the GTX 690 by May 3rd, with add-in board partners joining the party on May 7th. If you have $999 burning a hole in your wallet, and you need bleeding edge performance, its safe to say the GTX 690 will be the card to beat for the foreseeable future.