The GPU race is as intense as ever, with AMD and NVidia neck-and-neck, trying to have the most powerful cards with the 22nm-based architecture. So far, all of the cards released by both parties, most notably the NVidia 680 and the AMD 7970, have been single-chip cards, meaning they have a single GPU on board. NVidia has just beat AMD to the punch of a dual-chip card with their NVidia GTX 690, and it looks to bring everything it promised and more.
A dual-chip graphics card works similarly to a dual-card configuration, except that the two cards are merged into one. The GTX 690 is essentially two GTX 680s, but due to the power and heat created by these cards, a few compromises had to be made. In the last generation, the GTX 580 was the powerful single-chip card used to make the GTX 590, but there was some drastic cuts made in the card’s power to prevent problems with power, heat, etc. The compromises were drastic, with the 590 only getting around 80-85% of the performance of SLI 580s. Such seems to not be the case in this generation.
From early benchmarks, it appears as if the GTX 690 is scoring as much as 95% of the scores of SLI 680s, which is amazing, being a single card. This makes the GTX 690 the most powerful single card available for purchase today, which is not an easy claim in this market.
Now, even for this unparalleled performance, the nearly $1000 price point is hard to justify, so how will this help the average consumer? Due to NVidia taking such a large step ahead of the competition, AMD will have to lower their prices to compete, as well as release the AMD Radeon HD 7990 as soon as they’re able. Otherwise, as lame as this may seem to many of you, it is extremely cool seeing that the bar has been raised this much, and this card is indeed the most powerful card out.
Hopefully we can get one to review and see if it really is as powerful as the first benchmarks suggest!