Monday, April 30th 2012

A Crate at TechPowerUp's Doorstep

A little earlier this month, NVIDIA spent quite some money on premium courier to send us a package that wasn't exactly light. On opening it, we found a fun-size steel crowbar with an NVIDIA logo inscribed on it, and a message that read "for use in case of zombies or..." which was pretty cryptic. We thanked NVIDIA for the back-scratching tool, and got back to work. While Gabe Newell made the crowbar a pop-culture symbol, there is only one socially-acceptable use of this otherwise boring tool: opening wooden crates, which were used to ship stuff overseas, before modern containers came to be. One such crate made its way to our doorstep, not floating over the sea, but gliding its way over the Autobahn aboard another expensive "same day" courier.

The top of the crate sure was catchy, which cautioned us of "weapons grade gaming power". Its side had a geekspeak print. "0b1010110010" is binary for "690" (0b is a binary prefix). The other two lines make no sense. Upon opening the crate, and a sheet of foam, there it is, something we'll be toying with for the better part of this week.

We doubt if any AIC partner can match the design finesse of NVIDIA reference design GeForce GTX 690 (pictured below). Built with advanced materials such as a magnesium alloy that supercar engines are made of, NVIDIA's card design has some serious performance-oriented design gone into it. The central portion, which cools the VRM and bridge chip, is made of magnesium alloy, with copper+aluminum channel blocks cool each of the two GeForce Kepler 104 GPU systems.



The GTX 690 has three dual-link DVI connectors and a mini-HDMI, similar to previous-generation GeForce GTX 590. Like the GTX 680, you can run triple-monitor 3DVision Surround setups right off a single card. There's one SLI connector, which lets you pair the card with another of its kind (only). The card uses a 10-phase VRM, which draws power from two 8-pin PCIe power connectors, yet the TDP of the card is rated to be just 300W (relatively, not much).
Last but not the least, is the answer to a looming question with how big the card really is. It occupies no more than two expansion slots, and is just as long as a GTX 590.



As for prices, NVIDIA informed us that apart from its US MSRP of US $999, Britons will be staring at a £829 price-tag, and continental Eurozone buyers at 829€ (excl. VAT). Expect a thorough performance review on May 03.
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101 Comments on A Crate at TechPowerUp's Doorstep

#1
Sasqui
Brilliant marketing, you lucky people.
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#2
hhumas
i wish it would be my address lol ..
Posted on Reply
#3
MT Alex
I'm not much for marketing and fanfare, but that's pretty frickin' sweet.

Also, in the building trades, that is referred to as a "Wonder Bar" not a crowbar:)
Posted on Reply
#5
Dave65
That is one sexy card..
Posted on Reply
#6
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
The GeForce GTX thingie on the top lights up.
Posted on Reply
#7
zsolt_93
Seen the crate on the facebook profile of another hardware website. I immediately thought.. nVidia!!!. And then i saw the crowbar.. and then i remebered the gtx590 box. So GTX690 it is.
Posted on Reply
#8
raptori
ahahahhaa ... wow :eek: that's awesome crate
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#9
Sinzia
by: MT Alex
I'm not much for marketing and fanfare, but that's pretty frickin' sweet.

Also, in the building trades, that is referred to as a "Wonder Bar" not a crowbar:)
Also called a flat bar too!
Posted on Reply
#10
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: MT Alex
Also, in the building trades, that is referred to as a "Wonder Bar" not a crowbar:)
Wunderbar!
Posted on Reply
#11
syeef
Who do I have to kill to get one?
Posted on Reply
#12
the54thvoid
by: btarunr
As for prices, NVIDIA informed us that apart from its US MSRP of US $999, Britons will be staring at a £829 price-tag, and continental Eurozone buyers at 829€ (excl. VAT). Expect a thorough performance review on May 03.
They've made this ultra high end then. It's not a dual gpu like the 590 or 6990 are. It's a design statement like an Apple product or Bling watch. I can understand the pricing given the materials but it has to make you wonder how many they will be producing?

But that price is an absolute joke. If AMD get their shit together and release the 7990 for a shade under x2 the cost of a 7970 (maybe even <£700), we might get a better value proposition from them.

By pricing and designing it this way, they have made their own Asus Mars III. I don't think the partners will do much with it.
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#13
ironwolf
Could someone be kind enough to identify the 4 cards in that one pic, from left to right? The far left and far right in particular...
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#15
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
I really don't think the price is that bad given what it is. As the54thvoid said: It's a statement.
Posted on Reply
#16
No_Asylum
by: Sinzia
Also called a flat bar too!
or a Pry Bar.

And contrary to popular belief, they have ALOT more uses than opening crates or B&E.
Posted on Reply
#17
Delta6326
Thats is AWESOME!!! I would so buy one if it came with a crow bar and wooden crate.:rockout:

I hope this thing stays cool with all that awesomeness, to bad no backplate...


can't wait for your review!
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#19
Mindweaver
Moderato®™
The power connection is side by side and not stacked?
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#20
cadaveca
My name is Dave
Very nice card, appearance-wise.
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#22
AnnCore
Staff
OK. I'm getting one just for the "Wunderbar".




Just kidding. Getting a crow bar at the local hardware shop so I can break into some place to steal the money to buy this card...




...sadly, still joking.
Posted on Reply
#24
Mindweaver
Moderato®™
hefboom :p

All jokes aside.. I want this card! :toast:
Posted on Reply
#25
m1dg3t
By Zombies they mean customer's right? :rolleyes: I mean they are taking away all the fun stuff :(

Nice packaging and nice looking card! Looking forward to the review :toast:
Posted on Reply
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