NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 4GB Video Card ReviewWed, May 02, 2012 - 8:00 AM
Closer Look At The GeForce GTX 690
The GeForce GTX 690 graphics card on the test bench today is a dual-slot video card that uses two GK104 GPUs, so it is fairly larger. This card measures in at 11-inches in length, which one inch longer than the GeForce GTX 680! NIVIDIA went with an exotic industrial design on the GeForce GTX 690 and the looks are unlike anything that we have seen before.
Each GPU has its own distinct cooling unit and NVIDIA placed clear polycarbonate windows over each of them, so you can see each of the nickle plated heat sinks.
Turning the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 over there is not much of interest as none of the memory chips or major components are located on the backside of the PCB. NVIDIA is using a 10-layer 2oz copper PCB on the GeForce GTX 690 to help with high-efficiency power delivery with less resistance, lower power and less geat generation. We used a pair of dial calipers and found the mounting holes around the GPU are spaced 58mm apart.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 2GB GDDR5 graphics card has three dual-link DVI outputs (two dual-link DVI-D and one DVI-D) along with a mini-DispalyPort connector.
The top of the card looks sharp and after using the card for the first time we quickly noticed that the GeForce GTX logo on the edge of the board is LED backlit! The lettering is laser-etched and the lighting is just right to add some flair to any chassis.
The back end of the GeForce GTX 690 has a small opening to allow airflow to enter the fan.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 video card requires a 650 Watt or greater power supply with a minimum of 38 Amps on the +12V rail and two 6-pin PCI Express power connectors for proper connection. It should be noted that the NVIDIA minimum system power requirement is based on a PC configured with an Intel Core i7 3.2GHz CPU. These are pretty reasonable power requirements, so that is good news for everyone!
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 graphics cards has full SLI support and comes with a pair of SLI bridges located along the top edge of the graphics card. The NVIDIA GTX 690 series supports quad SLI configurations, so you can pair it with another card. We asked NVIDIA if you could pair this card with a single GeForce GTX 680 for a 3-way SLI setup and they said you could not.
With the magnesium alloy fan shroud removed we can get a better look at the two GPU coolers and how the layout is done. Each GPU has its own dedicated cooling unit; each self-contained cooler consists of a copper vapor chamber and a dual-slot heatsink. An aluminum baseplate provides additional cooling for the PCB and board components. Channeling cool air through the GPU coolers is a center-mounted axial fan. The section of the baseplate directly underneath the fan is carved with low-profile channels to encourage smooth airflow, and all components under the fan are low-profile so they won’t cause turbulence or obstruct airflow.
NVIDIA uses a 10-phase power supply with a 10-layer 2oz copper PCB on the GeForce GTX 690. Bewtween the two GPU’s you’ll notice another chip. This is the PLX bridge chip that provides independent PCI Express 3.0 x16 access to both GPUs for maximum multi-GPU throughput. The GeForce GTX 690 is ready to run in a PCIe Gen 3 slot for optimum performance.