GeForce GTX 690 Review: Dual NVIDIA GK104 GPUs

Power Consumption, Noise, Temps

Before bringing this article to a close, we'd like to cover a few final data points--namely power consumption, temperatures and noise. Throughout all of our benchmarking and testing, we monitored acoustics and tracked how much power our test system was consuming using a power meter. Our goal was to give you an idea as to how much power each configuration used while idling and while under a heavy workload. Please keep in mind that we were testing total system power consumption at the outlet here, not just the power drawn by the graphics cards alone.

Total System Power Consumption
Tested at the Outlet

WIth essentially double the resources of a GeForce GTX 680, it should come as no surprise that the GeForce GTX 690 consumes more power than its single-GPU based counterpart. But considering the GeForce GTX 690's very strong performance relative to NVIDIA's previous dual-GPU flagship, the GeForce GTX 590, the GTX 690's power consumption characteristics seem downright impressive. The GeForce GTX 690 consumed 39 fewer watts than the GTX 590 while idling and almost 20 fewer watts under load, despite offering significantly better performance. That's a testament to the power efficiency of the GK104 GPU.

All of the work NVIDIA put into designing the cooling hardware for the GeForce GTX 690 also seems to have paid off. Throughout testing, we found the GeForce GTX 690 to be very quiet, especially considering how powerful the card is. While idling, the GTX 690 is essentially silent and can't be heard over a typical CPU or PSU cooling fan. And under load, while the cooling fan does spin up and become audible, it's emits a very low tone that's not distracting at all. After hours of benchmarks, we monitored GPU temps on the card with a constant loop of Unigine Heaven running and found that the GPU temp peaked at around 80'C (idle temps were around 38'C). Even after hours of benchmarking and a constant load being placed on the GTX 690 though, the fan on the card maxed out at only 55% of full speed.

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