Gainward GTX 690 is a spitting image of the reference card. When it comes to this particular cooler, Nvidia has every reason to be proud and if there was a graphics card beauty pageant, it would definitely rank highly. However, the GTX 690’s cooling deserves praise for much more than its looks – it’s efficient and isn’t loud. No wonder Nvidia likes to show this card off so much.
The cooler is two slots wide. On top of the cooler you’ll find “GEFORCE GTX” logo. The LED under the sign glows when the PC is ON.
The fan is enclosed in a magnesium bracket. Not only does this improve the looks, it ensures superior thermal and audio properties than most commonly used plastics and aluminum.
It’s obvious that the cooler received special treatment and every single inch of it breathes style. The side panels are made of polycarbonate and let users peek into the heatsink. The cooler actually has two separate heatsinks. The fan is placed in the middle, so as to cool both heatsinks at the same time.
Both heatsinks sit on nickel-plated vapor chambers. Vapor Chamber technology enables for making compact coolers, and GTX 690 is a perfect example of this.
Two GK104 graphics chips are linked via PCI-Express 3.0 SLI bridge chip (PLX design with 48 lanes). As for power supply, Nvidia used 10-phase power for the two GPUs and two phases for memory. The PCB is made of ten layers with 2OZ of copper per layer. All the components are low-profile, so that the cooler could sit on them comfortably and decrease turbulence and noise.
The card uses Samsung GDDR5 memory. The chips (model K4G20325FD-FC03) are specified to run at 1500 MHz (6000MHz GDDR5 effectively).
Complexity of the design is evident from the quite populated back of the PCB.
GTX 690 has four video connectors and all can be used simultaneously. The card has plenty of power to run 3D on three displays. The DVI connectors, all three of them, are dual-link capable. Two of them are DVI-I which means that they won’t support an analog VGA display. HDMI sound chip is in the GPU and that card comes with a DVI-to-HDMI dongle.
GTX 690 comes with a single SLI connector, meaning it can run in quad SLI.
GTX 690 requires two 8-pin power connectors.