Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Review

Written by Harry Butler

January 25, 2011 // 1:53 p.m.

Tags: #geforce #gtx-560 #gtx-560-ti #overclocking #recommended #ti #vs-ati

Companies: #nvidia

Conclusion

It’s hard not to be impressed by the GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB. It comes into what’s always been a very competitive spot in the market, and slots between the Radeon HD 6870 1GB and HD 6950 2GB on price. For the most part, it betters both across the range of games we tested with, especially when we used 4x AA. It’s only at 2,560 x 1,600 that the HD 6950 2GB justifies its higher price tag by delivering notably superior performance. At the more common 1,920 x 1,200 or 1,680 x 1,050 resolutions, the GTX 560 Ti 1GB is either as fast as the HD 6950 2GB or is faster.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Review GeForce GTX 560 Ti Conclusion
Click to enlarge

What’s more, the excellent mid-range performance is complimented by one of the best reference coolers we’ve ever seen. The triple-heatpipe cooler not only kept the card very cool, peaking at just 37°C above ambient under load, but the cooling fan was inaudible over the already quiet fans in our test system. Compare this to the intrusive whhosh of GeForce GTX 480 1.5GB of last March and it’s clear that Nvidia and its Fermi architecture have come a long way in the last year, producing a card that’s not only fast, but easy to live with.

The overclocking potential of the GTX 560 Ti 1GB is also fantastic. Our stock card happily reached a GPU core frequency of 950MHz and we could overclock the memory to 1.125GHz (4.5GHz effective), resulting in a decent boost in performance with insignificant increases in power draw and waste heat. The cooler even remained as whisper-quiet as when the card was at stock speeds.

While the arguably reserved stock frequencies no doubt help the card look like a solid overclock, the GTX 560 Ti 1GB should be phenomenally popular with overclockers, and even more-so with card manufacturers. Pre-overclocked cards will be ubiquitous and with the performance of an overclocked GTX 560 Ti 1GB matching that of a stock-speed GTX 570 1.3GB in some circumstances, manufacturers even run the risk of competing with their own higher-spec cards.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Review GeForce GTX 560 Ti Conclusion
Click to enlarge

The launch price of £199 is fair too, even if you only consider stock-speed performance. With factory overclocked cards set to extend beyond this price by £20 or so, and Nvidia giving board partners free rein to produce cut-down versions too, it’s possible that the GTX 560 Ti 1GB will dominate the £175-£250 graphics market. Nothing in that price range can convincingly compete.

The only realistic alternative to the GTX 560 Ti 1GB is to mod a Radeon HD 6950 2GB into an HD 6970 2GB. This would normally be a warranty-voided procedure, but PowerColor has a card that does this out of the box – the PCS++ HD6950 2GB. Equally, the Internet predicts that AMD will soon release a Radeon HD 6950 1GB card to at least compete directly with the GTX 560 Ti 1GB on price, though it's likely to be only as fast or slightly slower than the 2GB card already on sale.

These bits of AMD news don’t alter the fact that the GTX 560 Ti 1GB is a fantastic card. It’s easy to live with and delivers not only great stock-speed performance, but tons of overclocking potential too. If you’ve held off upgrading until all the cards are on the table then, you’ve got our permission to feel smug – the GTX 560 Ti 1GB is an excellent buy.

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Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Review GeForce GTX 560 Ti Conclusion

Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB


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