Nvidia unveils the GeForce GTX 690

Nvidia unveils the GeForce GTX 690
The GeForce GTX 690 will be faster and pricier than its predecessor

At the Nvidia Game Festival 2012 in Shanghai, Nvidia CEO and co-founder Jen-Hsun Huang pulled back the curtain on the GeForce GTX 690 graphics card.

The company teased the GTX 690 successor earlier this week, and didn't disappoint with the announcement of the successor to the high-end, power efficient GTX 680.

According to Nvidia, the 690 will outperform the 680 in speed, noise reduction, and (chiefly) power efficiency.

However,The 690 will over-perform in price when it becomes available in select stores May 3 for a cool $1,000 (compared to the 680's price of $650).

Nvidia asserts that the cost is well worth the graphical gain.

"When Nvidia set out to build the Kepler GPU architecture more than four years ago," said James Wang of Nvidia, "our primary focus was power efficiency. We found that processors were increasingly being limited by the amount of power they could consume and dissipate.

He continued, "The only way to improve performance was to be able to do more work with the same amount of power."

Thixomolding performance

The specs on this card boast similar components to the GTX 680, but do away with excess noise, heat, and power consumption.

The hearts of the GTX 690 are two 28 nanometer Kepler GPUs, boost-clocking in at 1019 MHz and utilizing 3,072 Cude cores.

It also sports 4GB of GDDR5 memory, though Nvidia said that with FXAA and Adaptive V-Sync on-board, tearing and stuttering are a thing of the past.

This beast can also be paired with another GTX 690 to run up to four 2560x1600 displays. Nvidia's tests claim that with Quad SLI enabled, Battlefield 3 runs at more than 120 fps, Crysis 2 runs just under 100 fps, and Metro 2033 (apparently the most graphically demanding game of this generation) at 56 fps.

And for those unsatisfied by performance alone, the GTX 690 looks as smooth as it (reportedly) runs.

Descriptions like "trivalent chromium-plated aluminum" and "thixomolded magnesium alloy" mean that this graphics card was made with light metals, and "laser-etched LED lighting" means it glows.

Loaded jargon aside, the GeForce GTX 690 has all the purported statistical trappings of the world's fastest graphics card.

Hardcore gamers with high-end rigs and higher-end hardware budgets can look forward to playing at unprecedented speeds May 3, with Nvidia's add-in card partners following suit on May 7.

Via Engadget, Nvidia