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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 aliasfox on 5/1/2012 11:05:58 AM , Rating: 3
I like it. Thoroughly over the top at the moment, and very few rational people will buy it, but like a Bugatti Veyron, it's done just to show that they can.

Though to be honest, even if we forget about consoles, the bottom of the PC market has the most catching up to do. The vast majority of people out there are running pre-SNB integrated graphics - of course you're going to be stuck with console ports and Bejeweled and Farmville when 80% of your customer base can barely push high-resolution 2D, let alone 3D (yes, I've personally had points where GMA950 had trouble scrolling through big Excel sheets).

If the bottom end moves up, there will be more people *able* to sample gaming, and likely more people to find it enjoyable - enough so that developers can focus more on creating for computers rather than leaving them (us) as an afterthought most of the time. SNB, IVB, and AMD APUs are all steps in the right direction, but even the 'ancient' 5870 is still 20x faster than integrated graphics (number pulled out of thin air). Developers can't develop for R5770/GF560 class cards when there's only 100k or even 1MM cards out there - sales rate to these customers will be too low.

Short version... make bottom end PC graphics better, and we'll get better graphics at the top end, too.




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