The high end just isn't the same without the presence of monstrous dual GPU cards strutting their stuff. Their very existence reminds us that the flagship crown is important in the graphics card industry, even if the cards are overkill for almost the entire market. Today Nvidia announced their new behemoth, the GTX690, the first dual core Kepler card in their line up.
Nvidia didn't muck around when designing the new GTX690. It's essentially two underclocked GTX680's on a single PCB, backed up by an aluminium shroud and a pair of vapour chamber heatsinks. There's 3072 CUDA cores in total, running at a 915MHz base clock (which can boost to 1019MHz, a mere 39MHz lower than a single GTX680), with 4GB of GDDR5 memory on a 512 bit bus. All this with a TDP of 300W makes for an impressive card.
Nvidia claims that this beast is quieter than an equivalent SLI setup, thanks to tweaks to the fin stack and the addition of air channels. This ensures that air passing through the card remains unobstructed, minimising turbulence. The control software for the single centre mounted fan also adjusts gradually, to ensure rapid changes in fan noise don't occur. The vapour chamber heatsinks help to dissipate heat, and work by utilising the evaporation of purified water, which causes the transfer of heat to the cooler fins of the heatsink, before it condenses again.
The performance is likely to be comparable to 2 x GTX680 in SLI, and there's an SLI connector to hook up two GTX690's if you're insane enough to require more power. But at $999US RRP a piece, that may not be such a feasible idea. If you're eager to play with this ludicrous piece of tech, the release date is May 3rd, the same day as the new Galaxy S III is expected to be announced - should make for an exciting day in tech!