A liquid nitrogen fanatic has successfully hit a world record by overclocking an Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 4GB to a whopping 1547MHz - over half again as fast as a stock card.
User TiN over the on the Kingping Cooling
forums took a stock Nvidia GTX 690 4GB dual-GPU graphics card - already the fastest card around - and subjected it to below-zero temperatures using liquid nitrogen cooling in order to achieve his world-record result. Originally, TiN had pushed the board to 1,600MHz, but stability issues forced a drop to 1,547MHz at which point the card was reportedly completely stable.
The impressive overclock left the board running over 500MHz above its stock clock, and pushed the board's 4GB of GDDR5 video memory to an effective speed of 7,336MHz. The results in the 3DMark 11 benchmarking suite are nothing short of breathtaking: paired with an Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E processor running at 4.5Ghz, TiN scored 20,962 points - a full 50 per cent above the stock clocks in the same system.
Not content with that impressive score, TiN then added another nitrogen-chilled GeForce GTX 690 4GB to the mix for quad-SLI. Although the presence of a second board - and a total of four GPUs - meant a drop to 1,450MHz, the results speak for themselves: 28,812 points in 3DMark 11.
While TiN's record-breaking efforts are not to be denigrated, they're not exactly suitable for day-to-day use: the cooling system, a pair of metal open-topped reservoirs with copper contact plates for the GPUs, need to be topped up with liquid nitrogen at frequent intervals and fill the room with no-longer-liquid nitrogen as the liquid evaporates on contact with 'warm' surfaces.
Despite this, it's an indication of just how far Nvidia's latest high-end GPUs can be pushed - given a powerful enough cooling system. With a more sedate watercooling setup, it should still be possible to push the GeForce GTX 690 4GB to impressive speeds - although the high retail price of the boards will likely leave many unwilling to experiment with anything too risky.