It’s been over a year since Nvidia’s first GF110 GPU rolled into our labs, when the GTX 580 1.5GB promptly demolished all single-GPU graphics card opposition and remained at the top of our benchmarks for over 12 months.
A year on, though, and there have been disappointingly few GPU developments in 2011. The GTX 560 Ti 1GB’s appearance in January and the dual-GPU showdown between the GTX 590 3GB and HD 6990 4GB in March rounded out this generation of GPUs, leaving us looking forward with anticipation to winter and the prospect of smaller, more efficient and more powerful GPUs.
While the big games arrived by the truckload in the form of BF3, Skyrim and Batman Arkham City, both AMD and Nvidia have remained eerily silent when it comes to news of new GPUs. Come back in 2012 we’re told; there’ll be nothing more in 2011.
The GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Core's GPU has two disabled SMs
Imagine our surprise, then, when Nvidia unveiled its latest GPU, the GTX 560 Ti 448 Core, just in time for Christmas. Sadly it’s not a brand new GPU architecture, though, and despite its GTX 560 Ti name, it isn't even based on the GF114 GPU of its namesake.
Instead, the GTX 560 Ti 448 Core is built using the larger, more power hungry GF110 GPU; the full-size Fermi GPU found in both the GTX 580 1.5GB and GTX 570 1.3GB. Just as the GTX 570 1.3GB is a cut down version of the GTX 580 1.5GB, the GTX 560 Ti 448 Core takes another bite from the GPU, disabling another streaming multi-processor (SM) and dropping the stream processor count down to, you guessed it, 448.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same shader count and architecture layout as the GTX 470 1.3GB from back in March 2010, only with the power and thermal enhancements from using low leakage transistors shared across the GTX 5xx series.
As well as dropping the stream processor count, the scrapped SM also means fewer texture units (56 compared to the 60 of the GTX 570 1.3GB) and one less tessellation unit.
Other than the disabled SM though, the GTX 560 Ti 448 Core is very similar to the GTX 570 1.3GB. They share the same stock clock speeds; a core frequency of 732MHz and memory frequency of 950MHz (3.8GHz effective). As both cards also have one of their six memory controllers disabled, this means the GTX 560 Ti 448 Core also boasts the same 1,280MB (1.3GB) of GDDR5 memory as its more auspicious stablemate.