by Will Park

Several hundred gamers descended tonight on San Francisco’s Mezzanine Lounge, one of the city by the bay’s primo music lounges, to revel in the afterglow of our GeForce GTX 680 GPU launch.

NVIDIA’s very own Tom Peterson – the man affectionately known as TAP, who combines unmatched engineering prowess with an equally satiric view of the world — MC’d the event. He kicked off the GeForce GTX Meetup with demonstrations of the unrelenting power of the undisputed king of gaming GPUs.

Mark Rein, Epic Games’ vice president and co-founder, wowed the crowd with a demonstration of Samaritan running on a single GeForce GTX 680 GPU (it previously took three GeForce GTX 580 GPUs to run this demo). TAP followed suit with demos of Battlefield 3 running with Ultra settings on a GeForce GT 640m-powered Acer M3 Timeline Ultrabook, real-time object fracture and NVIDIA’s smoother TXAA anti-aliasing technology. Attendees, who ranged from former Frag Doll members to graphic design artists, were generally too busy watching demos to even twitch to the multi-colored lights flicking across the dance floor.

Throughout the evening, waitresses weaved through a sea of gamers, like catering ninjas carrying platters of prime rib, sliders and cheesecake lollipops. The excitement surrounding the taco bar was punctuated by hoots and hollers from folks looking to score GeForce swag.

The musical stylings of DJ Ron Tron permeated the venue as no fewer than 300 fans mingled with likeminded gamers and NVIDIA employees in celebration of on-shelf availability of the GeForce GTX 680 flagship GPU.

Following a night of GPU-appreciation in a brimming nightclub atmosphere, TAP and crew announced the winners of our GTX Meetup Charity Raffle. In the end, one ecstatic winner had a chance to take home his choice of 10 high-end gaming PCs being showcased at the event.

Check out the photo gallery and video of the Meetup below.