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NVIDIA, ASUS GTX 560 Ti Review

ccokeman    -   January 25, 2011
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Testing:

Testing of this trio of GTX 560 Ti cards from ASUS and NVIDIA will consist of running them and comparison cards through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of equal and greater capabilities to show where they fall on the performance ladder. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles to give you an idea of how the cards perform relative to each other.

The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustment will be made to the respective control panels during the testing, with the exception of the 3DMark Vantage testing, where PhysX will be disabled in the NVIDIA control panel. I will test the cards at stock speeds, then overclocked in order to see the effects of any increases in clock speed. The cards are placed in order from highest to lowest performing in the graphs to show where the cards fall by comparison.

 

 

Comparison Video Cards:

 

Overclocking:

  • NVIDIA Reference GTX 560 Ti 1017/2034/2352MHz
  • ASUS GTX560 Ti DirectCU II TOP 1004/2008/2408MHz

Reference card:

The NVIDIA reference card scaled very well with the voltage available in MSI Afterburner 2.1.0 Beta 6 and allowed the clocks to reach up and over 1GHz. NVIDIA says it overbuilt this card so that it would have some outstanding overclocking and it was not wrong. NVIDIA included a four phase power circuit, heavy duty copper heat pipe cooling, 5Gbps memory, and two 6-pin power connections to make sure the current is available to the card. I started conservatively with this card since the reference GTX 580 and 570 I tested were not the best overclocking cards I have seen. In fact, they were a bit toward the lower end of the bell curve in terms of clock speed. The GTX 560, on the other hand, just kept going all the way up to 1040MHz when the voltage was cranked up to 1150mv. This was stable for most games, but would not pass through Unigine's Heaven benchmark with any reliability. The card scaled well up to about 960MHz, where it needed more voltage to get stable and then each step took a bit more voltage, so I had to drop the final speed on the core to 1017MHz, where it could pass any benchmark all day long. The memory scaled as well as the GF114 core and hit speeds of 1175MHz or QDR 4704MHz. You can choose not to increase the fan speed when adding voltage to the core, but I increased the fan to its highest level to keep the temperatures down to see the highest clock speeds on air. With the voltage maxed out and the fan at its maximum indicated 75%, the temperatures hit a relatively cool 75 degrees Celsius under load. The fan made a little noise, but that noise was barely audible outside the case. When the testing was all said and done on the NVIDIA card, I saw an increase of 195MHz on the core and 176MHz on the memory — both of these in the realm of 20+ percent. Now let's see what the ASUS TOP and MSI offerings have up their sleeve.

 

ASUS GTX560 TI DirectCU II TOP:

Seeing as how this card from ASUS looks like it was built for balls-out overclocking, that is the expectation I had when I first laid eyes on this card. With clock speeds 80MHz on the core and 50MHz on the memory faster than the reference card specifications, out of the box, the question was how much head room was going to be left? What I found out was that there was some head room, but not as much as I had hoped for with the ASUS-designed PCB and cooling solution. That really comes down to what the silicon will yield more so than anything with the build quality. By using ASUS's Smart Doctor utility, I was able to boost the clock speeds up to 1004MHz on the fixed function units, 2008MHz on the CUDA cores, and 1202MHz (4808 MHz QDR). To do this required the voltage to be increased up to the 1150mv limit in Smart Doctor. The clock speeds I reached were stable throughout the entire test suite, not just a quick run through a single benchmark, so this may seem a little lower than some of the other numbers seen, but stability is where it's at. When it came to cooling, the DirectCUII cooling solution benefits from the installation of a second fan delivering temperatures better than the reference card in both stock and overclocked scenarios. When it comes down to it 100+MHz out of the core and 150+MHz out of the memory, that's not a bad trade off for your time on a factory-overclocked card. You may see results that are similar, higher or lower, but regardless, if this is the median, the 1GHz on the core ain't to bad.

 

Maximum Clock Speeds:

In the past, I had used MSI's Kombuster utility to check for stability coupled with the ability to run through the entire test suite. I have found that some game tests would still fail with this utility, so I have moved to testing with several games at maximum settings through several resolutions to verify the clock speeds that are listed below. Why the change? I have found some cards will play fine at a 4xAA setting, but fail when using 8xAA due to the increased graphics load. If it fails, then the clock speeds and tests are rerun until they pass.

   

 

  • Gaming Tests:
  1. Aliens vs. Predator
  2. Metro 2033
  3. Crysis Warhead
  4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  5. Just Cause 2
  6. Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.1
  7. Batman: Arkham Asylum
  8. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  9. 3DMark 06 Professional
  10. 3DMark Vantage
  • Usage:
  1. Temperature
  2. Power Consumption



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: ASUS GTX 560 TI DirectCUII TOP
  3. Specifications & Features
  4. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  5. Testing: Aliens vs Predator
  6. Testing: Metro 2033
  7. Testing: Crysis Warhead
  8. Testing: Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
  9. Testing: Just Cause 2
  10. Testing: Unigine 2.1
  11. Testing: Batman Arkham Asylum
  12. Testing: Battlefield Bad Company 2
  13. Testing: 3DMark 11
  14. Testing: 3DMark Vantage
  15. Testing: Temperatures
  16. Testing: Power Consumption
  17. Conclusion
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