Print 48 comment(s) - last by inperfectdarkn.. on May 3 at 2:50 AM

Price of entry is high, but so is the payoff

NVIDIA today unleashed a graphics card that is sure to whet the appetites of hardcore PC gamers around the world. Unfortunately, the price of entry is so high that only those with massive amounts of disposable income will be likely to take the plunge. 
The new GeForce GTX 690 uses dual Kepler GPUs on a single board. Compared to the single-GPU GTX 680, NVIDIA says that performance nearly doubles in most gaming situations. The GTX 690 is of course built on a 28nm process and brings with it 3,072 CUDA cores. 
For the truly insane gamers, two GTX 690s can be paired in SLI mode for some quad-core graphics goodness. 
"The GTX 690 is truly a work of art -- gorgeous on the outside with amazing performance on the inside," doted Brian Kelleher, senior vice president of GPU engineering at NVIDIA. "Gamers will love playing on multiple screens at high resolutions with all the eye candy turned on. And they'll relish showing their friends how beautiful the cards look inside their systems."
All of this performance comes at a cost, however. The GTX 690 will have an MSRP of $999 when it launches in limited quantities on May 3 -- wider availability will come on May 7.  

Quad-core SLI goodness

Source: NVIDIA

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By ksdp37 on 4/29/2012 4:21:37 PM , Rating: 2
$1,000+ for a graphics card!?!?

Totally blowing things out of proportion. Bit of a problem when only 2 companies produce gaming cards and there isn't much competition out there.

RE: Ridiculous
By Warren21 on 4/29/12, Rating: 0
RE: Ridiculous
By ksdp37 on 4/29/12, Rating: 0
RE: Ridiculous
By Robenger on 4/29/12, Rating: -1
RE: Ridiculous
By Robenger on 4/29/2012 7:42:08 PM , Rating: 2
I could not disagree more with what you are saying. I don't see how you can say that they are on the edge of a monopoly when AMD holds the cards right now with pricing and availability.

Specifically "Just like Intel's CPU's. Most of the newest benchmarks don't even look at AMD comparisons, only against Intel's other CPU's." Where on earth do you see this? Any notable review/benchmark site ie (Tomshardware, Anandtech, Overclockers3d, Legitreviews, etc) all use AMD processors in their respective benchmarks.

RE: Ridiculous
By someguy123 on 4/29/2012 7:42:24 PM , Rating: 2
Nvidia isn't on the verge of a monopoly...they lost a pretty huge amount of marketshare ever since the HD4k was released. The reason the 690 is priced at 1k is because the 680 is priced at 500. Blame AMD for trying to milk the market by introducing the 7970 at $550 when it was clear that they could've priced it much lower since they did a pretty big drop a while after the 680gtx launched.

RE: Ridiculous
By Shig on 4/29/12, Rating: -1
RE: Ridiculous
By StevoLincolnite on 4/30/2012 4:09:47 AM , Rating: 5
I play at 5760x1080.
I can max any game on both my 2x 6950 2gb cards unlocked into 6970's and overclocked. (Without Anti-Aliasing.)

The only exception to this is Battlefield 3, but turning off HBAO fixes that.

Games these days are targeted at the console hardware, GPU's have gotten increasingly beyond those demands, so the only *real* way to use all that power is with substantially higher resolutions and copious amounts of Anti-Aliasing.

Right now, I see no need to upgrade my cards to the Radeon 7000 series or the Geforce 6xx series, the price/performance just isn't in it right now.

RE: Ridiculous
By FITCamaro on 4/30/2012 7:19:15 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I have a 7950 and it runs everything beautifully. Until the next gen consoles come out, even cards 2-3 years old are sufficient for today's games for the most part.

I mostly play SW:TOR on my PC these days and running around I'm at 90-110 fps. The only time it goes into the 40s is when I'm on Fleet and there is several dozen people around.

I'm sure the e-Pen1s crowd will buy these though just to say they have them.

RE: Ridiculous
By Jedi2155 on 4/30/2012 7:45:17 AM , Rating: 3
Still running my 5870 I got nearly 3 years ago, and its running everything great. Might go to a GTX 680, but performance is good enough in most things right now, that I still don't have enough of a reason to upgrade.

RE: Ridiculous
By FITCamaro on 4/30/2012 9:47:35 AM , Rating: 2
I say wait until you actually need it. No sense upgrading just for the hell of it. Get a new card when you need it so you have the lastest instead of always being stuck behind. The only reason I got a 7950 was because my 5970 died.

RE: Ridiculous
By Reclaimer77 on 4/30/2012 8:53:20 PM , Rating: 2
I'm tired of getting burned by ATI's, now AMD's, terrible drivers and software quality in general. Honestly I cannot believe it's been this bad for THIS long. It's mind boggling. Simple crap like aspect ratio scaling being screwed up, like seriously ATI? How can you not get that right?

But despite their complete incompetence in the driver and software coding department, they can't keep their products on the shelf. So I guess they have no incentive to correct this historical problem.

*waits for the inevitable "I haven't had a an issue, so you must be wrong" reply.*

RE: Ridiculous
By Jigar2speed on 5/1/2012 12:35:00 AM , Rating: 3
Why do you waste your time in putting allegations that were true till 2003-4 ?

I have been using ATI cards since 2006 and yes, i would agree the drive did suck before, i have zero issues as off date.

Oh btw, let me know any AMD card getting burned down due to driver issues... Wait Nvidia did that last year ;P

RE: Ridiculous
By Skywalker123 on 5/1/2012 9:39:43 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't had an issue, so you are an idiot

RE: Ridiculous
By someguy123 on 5/1/2012 12:37:03 AM , Rating: 2
It's odd that you were massively voted up when you're pulling numbers from god knows where.

At that resolution, those 6950s are barely going to be able to play BF3, much less run the game hitting its 60fps cap with everything turned up. Whats with this nonsensical glorification of computer parts? The 6950 is fine but you're not getting good frames at 5760. I doubt that crossfire setup even gets good frames at 2560 in demanding games.

The 690 is overkill for the vast majority of people, but for those who want one for whatever reason at least have a choice. You always hear developers complaining that the average hardware isn't as good as the new cycles. Well, you need new overpowered cards in order to reduce the price on the old cycle and bring more people up to speed.

RE: Ridiculous
By StevoLincolnite on 5/1/2012 3:54:57 AM , Rating: 2
At that resolution, those 6950s are barely going to be able to play BF3, much less run the game hitting its 60fps cap with everything turned up.

Perhaps you missed the part where I stated my 6950's are fully unlocked into 6970's then overclocked pushing my performance above the 6970.

I also run without Anti-Aliasing (It's a fillrate/memory killer at that resolution) and without HBAO.

No, I won't be getting 60fps, I'm happy with 35-40fps and Battlefield 3 is probably the most demanding game out right now which I hardly play.

I can pull up benchmarks too.

Notice the Radeon 6970 in crossfire with HBAO on and all settings on maximum, with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic filtering is getting 39fps minimum at 5040x1050?

You need to take into account of when a Benchmark is performed as over time nVidia and AMD have a history of improving performance with Driver optimizations.

RE: Ridiculous
By someguy123 on 5/1/2012 5:58:15 AM , Rating: 2
So how does this negate the newcomer cards? You're not obtaining the FPS cap, you have no AA and you have no AO enabled. You're basically saying that, by reducing the quality, it's playable, which is meaningless. Clearly there is room for these new cards when your system (which is pretty above average) can't max out that resolution.

When it comes to personal preference you can really scrape the bottom in terms of thresholds of quality, especially with client configs, but I don't understand the argument of lowering quality while basically complaining that new cards are coming in and priced accordingly. 680/7970 are both large upgrades. 8 months ago I'd probably be seeing these strings of posts, except with the 5850 overclocked, and complaints that the 6950 was overkill and too expensive. It's a cycle that continues to baffle me.

RE: Ridiculous
By inperfectdarkness on 5/3/2012 2:50:42 AM , Rating: 2
and THAT is precisely why the cost of GPU cards will continue to go higher--and in the long run, the cost of consoles will go up as well.

you can thank developers who opted for console development over native PC development. if the next generation of consoles does manage to hit the market for <$400, it will be at a 50% loss to the manufacturer (with the possible exception of nintendo).

developers did it; gamers sanctioned it with their money. if you don't like it, take a look in the mirror and complain.

RE: Ridiculous
By ritualm on 4/29/2012 11:38:32 PM , Rating: 2
The $500+ gaming market is like the market for overly-expensive luxury items: very small. I could care less that nV has the top-end locked down with this $999 card, because in twelve months this won't even matter.

RE: Ridiculous
By TakinYourPoints on 4/30/2012 4:55:21 AM , Rating: 2
Totally. I understand that I'm in a niche with my GTX 680, but the GTX 690 is for a niche of a niche of a niche. It is more for NVIDIA's prestige and marketing than anything else.

They're only going to sell a few hundred of these worldwide. The number of people buying them is far outnumbered by the people talking about them, that's what's more important. Again, marketing. Now if NVIDIA could get mid-range and low end Keplers out there then it might actually mean something...

RE: Ridiculous
By ET on 4/30/2012 2:08:53 AM , Rating: 2
It's not a matter of competition, it's a matter of what the market will sustain, and obviously the market sustains this kind of price. Prices would likely not have been any lower even if AMD had competitive parts.

RE: Ridiculous
By bupkus on 4/30/2012 8:48:01 AM , Rating: 2
and obviously the market sustains this kind of price.
If this were their only product I would agree with you, but it is just a news getter and that is all.
Do you really think the numbers they sell will even pay for the prototype? It's the cost of publicity.

RE: Ridiculous
By TakinYourPoints on 4/30/2012 5:22:40 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. This is for publicity and prestige. Whatever actual profit they make will be due to increased mindshare when they sell mainstream Kaplers, not these $1000 SLI-on-a-stick cards that will only sell a few hundred units worldwide.

RE: Ridiculous
By boobo on 4/29/2012 8:20:39 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is supply. TSMC seems to produce so few fully working chips that, even at those prices, they still can't meet demand.

When their production volume starts increasing beyond the size of the ultra-enthusiast market, they'll have to lower the prices to keep selling... and AMD too.

RE: Ridiculous
By Schadenfroh on 4/29/2012 8:33:05 PM , Rating: 2
Whatever happened to the boards with 3 or 4 PCI-E x16 slots? Imagine having 4 of these dual-GPU boards working in SLI...

RE: Ridiculous
By ritualm on 4/29/2012 11:29:26 PM , Rating: 1
To run 3D 8K porn?

$4000 for 4 of these, plus the ridiculous money needed to make sure the rest of the system isn't creating a bottleneck to these cards? No thanks, I'd rather build a workstation cluster with that kind of money.

RE: Ridiculous
By bupkus on 4/30/2012 8:49:52 AM , Rating: 3
I'd rather by a nice used car.

RE: Ridiculous
By Spookster on 4/30/2012 4:59:38 PM , Rating: 3
By ritualm on 4/29/2012 11:29:26 PM , Rating: 1
To run 3D 8K porn?
$4000 for 4 of these, plus the ridiculous money needed to make sure the rest of the system isn't creating a bottleneck to these cards? No thanks, I'd rather build a workstation cluster with that kind of money.

Forget porn. For that price you could get a good prostitute. Just ask any CIA agent for a good reference.

RE: Ridiculous
By TakinYourPoints on 4/30/2012 4:50:43 AM , Rating: 1
It doesn't work that way. Dual GPU cards are recognized as an SLI pair per card and they only have a single SLI connector, so only two can be used at a time anyways. 4-way SLI with two cards is the most you'd get.

In any case, even if 8-way SLI was possible the power draw would be ridiculously high. It would have to pull most of its power from the PSU (or multiple PSUs) rather than the PCI-E slots, otherwise you'd fry the mobo with all that juice going through it.

It'd be more for e-peen than anything else. Anything over standard SLI is overkill or actually delivers worse performance (driver issues I'm sure) unless you're running triple-monitor gaming with FSAA jacked up. The way performance scales is bizarre; in standard single monitor gaming the 3 and 4 way SLI benchmarks are equivalent to or worse than standard SLI.

RE: Ridiculous
By spread on 4/29/2012 10:21:41 PM , Rating: 5
It's $1,000 for TWO graphics cards and beefy ones as well.

Everyone screams "I'm getting ripped off!" until you realize the R&D required and the massive amounts of money spent to move this technology every year. If they only made just enough money to survive, they would barely have any to improve the tech and you would be getting the bottom of the barrel chips every year. But cheap.

Like VIA. Look at VIA.

RE: Ridiculous
By wordsworm on 4/29/2012 11:11:26 PM , Rating: 2
It's $1,998 for two of those puppies.

This is the cream of their crop as they work out the manufacturing kinks. It's always like this.

For the record, these are hardly the most expensive. Though, for playing games they are. Graphic designers can pay 3k+ for a top-of-the-line graphics card.

RE: Ridiculous
By theapparition on 4/30/2012 9:36:48 AM , Rating: 2
Graphic designers can pay 3k+ for a top-of-the-line graphics card.

Exactly. Hard to fathom for the gamer crowd, but the Quadro line from nVidia routinely goes into the $2-4k price range.

Expensive? Yes. But worth every penny when your employees can work better.

RE: Ridiculous
By TakinYourPoints on 4/30/2012 6:54:29 PM , Rating: 2
You are correct. The extra cash for Quadros pays for rock solid drivers, greater stability and compatibility, parts replacement within 24 hours, and resources aimed at much better product support.

The additional cost of a Quadro in a workstation is far offset by the potential time lost to professional designers/animators/engineers due to software issues or hardware failures.

RE: Ridiculous
By EricMartello on 4/30/2012 6:05:08 PM , Rating: 2
$1,000+ for a graphics card!?!?

Totally blowing things out of proportion. Bit of a problem when only 2 companies produce gaming cards and there isn't much competition out there.

At first it sounds like a lot, but when you consider that it provides about the same level of performance as two $500 cards in SLI/Crossfire it's not so bad.

The other consideration that people often overlook is longevity and that is a great reason to go for high end parts.

- Overclocking not necessary to gain performance; reliability increased.

- System has enough power to be useful for 3-5 years; bang-for-buck systems typically need annual upgrades to remain competitive (unless all you do is play old games).

- The cost-over-time for a system built with "value" as the focus will be about the same or more than a premium system. Resale Value is higher on premium parts.

- A premium system will be faster in its prime while a value system will always be "good enough" but not never excellent.

I typically recoup 60-80% of my costs by selling my old components to offset the cost of newer ones. I actually sold my Radeon 5970 at a premium over the original purchase price and got a MSI GTX-580 Lightning. The Radeon was the faster card, but I was having nasty issues with micro-stuttering and the GTX-580 was the fastest single-GPU card available at that time. Still more than enough for what I do even now.

If I was going to build a top-of-the-line gaming PC I would budget around $2,500. That would allow you to use the best quality components, including a high quality PSU. With that budget you can subtract from it based on the components you have that you will reuse (i.e. case, PSU, monitor, keyboard, speakers) or you can simply purchase more (dual SSDs for system drive, dual HDDs for storage, max out the memory, etc).

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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