EVGA GTX690 Review including Quad SLI
We had a bit of a sweepstake in the OC3D offices regarding the GTX690. Experience testing all the previous twin-GPU cards had taught us that you're better off for pure performance having two single GPU cards in SLI than you are having a multi-GPU graphics card. It's just too difficult to squeeze the same performance out from a single PCB. But such were the gains that nVidia produced from the GTX680 we were cautiously optimistic that the GTX690 would buck the trend.
It hasn't, but it's as close as we've seen so far.
The first thing that strikes you about the EVGA GTX690 is the looks. We've seen many coolers but we have to say that this is one of the prettiest cards we've set our eyes upon. Everything is so nicely balanced with the central fan and symmetrical fins either side that you can see through the clear panels. It has even been made to look like the whole cooler shroud is made from metal and bolted together with allen bolts! It's a real treat. The cooler also works very well. When you consider that there are two full-power GK104 GPUs beating at the heart of it, it's only a couple of degrees hotter than the reference GTX680.
The performance is very good. What else did you expect from a £800 card? Throughout our testing it was extremely close to the GTX680 SLI and HD7970 Crossfire setups we've previously tested. Generally speaking it doesn't quite match up to having two single cards, either in raw performance terms or looks. Who doesn't like seeing two GPUs beating in the heart of their system. However, it is close enough in performance that the two side benefits you obtain from only having a single card, less power draw and less noise, might just tip the balance in the favour of the GTX690.
The GTX690SLI arrangement is everything you'd expect. It either works so well that you're left with your jaw hanging at the extraordinary frame-rates and 3D Mark scores possible, or it barely makes a difference over even a single-card. But we're not here to pass judgement upon that. If you've got £1600 to drop on a couple of GPUs it's very unlikely you care about the performance in gaming more than you care about world record 3D Mark scores and the size of your forum signature.
So all in all the EVGA GTX690 is everything you would expect it to be. Brutally large price, equally huge performance, and therefore a winner of our Overclock3D Performance award.