NVIDIA, ASUS GTX 560 Ti Reviewccokeman - January 25, 2011
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The GTX 560 Ti is a card that is in a position to really make a case for an upgrade. You get performance that is better than the HD 6870, GTX 470, and GTX 460 — all cards that at one point had been or are currently at the $250 price point. The thought process with the naming leads you to believe that the GTX 560 Ti is going to replace the GTX 460, when in fact it is the drop in replacement for the GTX 470. On its own merits, the reference card offers considerable performance improvements due to its revamped architecture and increased clock speeds that allow it to be a game changer for those working on their 3-year upgrade cycle looking to save some loot. The success of the GTX 460, with its serious overclocking credentials, led NVIDIA to really design this offering for the gaming enthusiast. The GTX 560 Ti gets a four phase power circuit, 5Gbps rated GDDR5 memory, all the transistor level tweaks of the GF110, and a cooling solution that really keeps the GF114 core running cool. Even when the voltage and clock speeds were maxed out, the core never went higher than 75 degrees Celsius under load. That alone is impressive for a Fermi-based card. My, how times have changed! As a card designed to hit the right price point for gamers, the rest of the NVIDIA ecosystem needs a mention as well since combining two of the GTX 560 Ti's will bring additional options to get you into an immersive gaming environment. You have 3D Vision to give you that stereoscopic 3D rush, Surround that can be combined with 3D Vision to add to that experience, PhysX for added realism in games that support it, and the GF114's parallel computing architecture that can use CUDA for accelerated image processing in games. All in all, a win.
Not only did I look at the stock-clocked reference card from NVIDIA, but also the ENGTX560 Ti DirectCUII TOP from ASUS that takes the performance to another level with its 900MHz core clock speed right out of the box. What I got with this card was a card jam-packed with ASUS-exclusive features that make the card like the Bionic man — Better, Faster, Stronger! ASUS built this card with its Xtreme Design feature set as well as its new SAP (Super Alloy Power) components that include proprietary construction methods for the chokes, MOSFETs, and capacitors. This technology uses highly magnetic, heat resistant, and anti-corrosive metals to reduce power loss, enhance durability, and in the end, have a cooler running component. The end results are chokes that run 35 °C cooler, capacitors that see a 2.5x increase in useful life, and a Super Hybrid engine that gets a 15% performance boost. Lowering the heat output and increasing component life are good things. ASUS took care of the heat from the GPU with its DirectCUII heat pipe, direct contact cooling solution. Instead of a single fan, ASUS equipped this version with dual dust-proof fans that should allow you to keep the card cooler for an extended duration. Everything about this card from ASUS is meant to increase reliability for the long term. You also get GPU Guard, which includes a method of preventing PCB flex with both an adhesive under the GPU socket and a structural brace attached to the spine. These are all features available for a slight upcharge over the suggested e-tail cost of the reference GTX 560 Ti. By slight, we are talking $20. Improved cooling alone is worth that!
The performance was good right out of the box with both of these cards and when it came time to overclock them, I was able to hit over 1GHz on the GF114 cores of both cards and well over 1150MHz on the GDDR5 memory. These bumps in performance from overclocking were not just small bumps, but significant jumps in performance, allowing the GTX 560 Ti from NVIDIA and ASUS to wipe the floor with the HD 6870, its direct competitor. Either AMD has some price drops coming soon or it will be conceding the $250 price point to the performance of the GTX 560 Ti.
- Great Performance
- Awesome Overclocking
- Cooling Performance
- ASUS Design and Construction