In the ever competitive world of PC graphics things are constantly changing and with that change we have come to expect greater performance and value with each new video card release. The product update cycle seems never-ending: First a new reference design will be launched and shortly following that we see the Add In Board (AIB) partners launching their tricked out versions of the new card in an attempt to put their own spin and supposed improvements on the base design.
Nvidia has stepped up with a new card and has launched recently the GeForce GTX 560Ti, continuing down the road of replacing the 4-series of cards. The GTX 560Ti carries a suggested price of $249, aiming it squarely at the mainstream/performance segment. While the flagship cards from both Nvidia and ATI tend to grab all the headlines and industry buzz, make no mistake that the mainstream to performance segment is where these graphic giants make their money.
The GTX 560Ti follows in the same footsteps as its bigger brother, the GTX 570 which we reviewed here. Just like the GTX 570 replaced the GTX 480, the GTX 560Ti is stepping in to directly replace the GTX 470. After an initially botched Fermi launch, Nvidia was able to find salvation in the GTX 460, a solid performer that is now somewhat of the go-to example of the performance vs. value equation.
To that end, we will be comparing the GTX 560Ti directly with the GTX 460 along with some other card offerings to see what advancements have been made and determine exactly what the GTX 560Ti brings to the table. To put things into perspective, we will not be simply looking at a stock GTX 460 for comparison purposes but instead the overclocked MSI N460 HAWK running at 780MHz Core 1560MHz shader and 1800MHz/3600MHz memory.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 560Ti specs
A quick glance at the GTX 560Ti's specs shows that it does indeed offer advancements over the previous 4-series of cards. The GTX 560Ti also continues to carry the 5-series banner by implementing the power monitoring hardware used by both the GTX 580 and GTX 570. An interesting note here is that the power monitoring hardware is an optional feature for the GTX 560Ti and therefore AIB's may choose not to implement it as a cost saving measure, so it's caveat emptor as usual. The full specs of the GTX 560Ti are as follows:
- core clock speed 820MHz
- 384 CUDA cores at 1640MHz
- 8 PolyMorph engines
- 64 texture units
- 32 ROP units
- 4 x 64 bit memory controllers
- 1GB GDDR5 memory at 4008MHz
- 170 Watt TDP
- 100°C thermal threshold
The GTX 560Ti does offer gains in almost all areas when compared to the specs of the GTX 460 (even the overclocked MSI N460GTX HAWK) even if none of those differences are particularly earth-shattering. One look at the GTX 560Ti shows that it is even similar in physical appearance to the GTX 460, hinting again that we are looking at more of an evolutionary upgrade as opposed to revolutionary one.
In order to pump all that graphic goodness to your monitor, the GTX 560Ti offers the now standard two dual-link DVI connectors as well as one mini-HDMI port. Sadly, there is no Display Port included. Power is fed to the GTX 560Ti by way of two six-pin power connectors. As you can see in the picture below, the GTX 560Ti sports only one SLI connector, so triple SLI and beyond will not be an option with this card.
Test system configuration
The arrival of the GTX 560Ti also marks the introduction of our new testbed featuring Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture:
- Intel Core i7 2600K processor at 3.4GHz
- Intel DP67BG motherboard
- 2x 2GB Kingston DDR3-1600 MHz memory
- 160GB Intel X25-M SSD
- Enermax eevolution 1000w PSU
- Samsung SyncMaster 2443BW 24-inch 1900 by 1200 pixel resolution display
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