NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 twin-Kepler official

NVIDIA has launched its latest graphics card, the GeForce GTX 690, with twin Kepler cores making it the world's fastest, at least for the moment. The GPU company hasn't wasted the opportunity to make the GeForce GTX 690 look the part, either, with superlatives galore: a trivalent chromium-plated aluminum frame, thixomolded magnesium alloy fan housing, and dual vapor chambers with a nickel-plated finstack.

If you've not been keeping up with your Journal of Exotic Materials subscription, all you really need to know is that NVIDIA says the GeForce GTX 690 runs faster and cooler than you'd expect from a twin-GPU behemoth. Inside there are 3,072 CUDA cores, capable of almost double the frame rates of the single-GPU GTX 680, while simultaneously being more power efficient and quieter than a twin GTX 680 NVIDIA SLI setup.

There's NVIDIA Surround support, and a new 10-phase, heavy-duty power supply with a 10-layer, 2oz copper printed circuit board and a center-mounted axial fan with optimized fin pitch and air entry angles. Finally, the company has used low-profile components along with ducted baseplate channels "for unobstructed airflow, minimizing turbulence and improving acoustic quality."

All of the usual suspects have jumped on board to offer the dual-GPU card, with limited availability from May 3, and then broader sales from May 7. NVIDIA expects the GeForce GTX 690 to be priced at around $999.