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Power Consumption And Noise

Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti Review: GF114 Rises, GF100 Rides Off
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Power

Having changed the way we do power measurements a few launches ago, I wanted to be sure we were getting good results with our charting method. Having run a number of DirectX 9, 10, and 11 games, I really wasn’t seeing any titles able to draw more than Metro 2033 (though apparently, older games can exact higher power requirements). I did notice, however, that lower resolutions are more taxing than high resolutions from a system standpoint. This makes some sense—if you’re not creating an artificially high GPU bottleneck, the CPU is forced to work harder. And so, our power logging test is now run at 1680x1050 using AAA and 4x AF.

Most obvious is that the Radeon HD 4870 X2 was an absolute beast back in its day. The dual-GPU card might still deliver decent performance in today’s games, but it really sucks down power in the process. Absolute speed might not be substantially higher, but performance per watt is comparatively through the roof.

The next worst-offender is the GeForce GTX 570, followed by the GeForce GTX 470. The difference, of course, is that the 570 is a much better performer, making a 4 W average power difference minor compared to the extra speed you get.

Graphics Card
Average System Power
GeForce GTX 560 Ti
263.3 W
GeForce GTX 570
292.6 W
GeForce GTX 460
241.0 W
GeForce GTX 470
288.9 W
Radeon HD 6950
253.1 W
Radeon HD 6870
234.1 W
Radeon HD 5870
249.6 W
Radeon HD 4870 X2
402.0 W


The GeForce GTX 560 Ti dips in under those two boards, using about 25 W less on average, but still more than AMD’s Radeon HD 6950 2 GB card—a product that is, on average, faster in the high-resolution environments we’d buy a card like this to play in. The 10 W average difference in system power swings the performance/W story further toward AMD.

The Radeon HD 5870, GeForce GTX 460, and Radeon HD 6870 fall in close to each other at the bottom of the chart. As you might have guessed from the benchmark analysis, though, the Radeon HD 5870 is definitely a performance favorite more than a year after it first emerged. These power numbers cement its value in today’s market, so long as you can find the boards for sale.

Noise

We weren’t able to include the Radeon HD 4870 X2 in our DirectX 11 benchmarks because it tops out with DirectX 10. But we were able to test its mettle in World of Warcraft, our power benchmark, and noise. That card serves as a good reference point here in our acoustic testing. Under load, it’s quite loud.

At idle, though, the Radeon HD 4870 X2 isn’t particularly offensive—none of the cards we’re looking at today are, really. The most obnoxious boards are generally flagships, not mid-range, mid-priced derivative solutions. And so we see fairly consistent idle noise.

To Nvidia’s credit, it really tackled the noise issues it had with its GF100-based boards, and the GeForce GTX 560 Ti is the quietest card tested here. During its 10th loop of the Metro 2033 Frontline benchmark, it remains barely any louder than idle—quieter than the GeForce GTX 460, even.

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  • 0 Hide
    reprotected , January 25, 2011 12:13 PM
    Some areas could be improved, but this is still pretty decent. Just lower the price 50 dollars please Nvidia and I will buy 10 of them. :) 
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , January 25, 2011 12:15 PM
    Wow, it's not as powerful as I expected with that kind of energy use.
  • 2 Hide
    liemfukliang , January 25, 2011 12:27 PM
    Please don't let me go away from Tomshardware because the disapearing of Print View Mode. If there is an official anounce about that please give me the link. In Indonesia internet is so slow and expensive. That way the print mode is so much help. I open an article, klik print view page. I go watching TV, eat, drink cofee, etc. About 10 - 20 minutes later the acticle is completed. I just save as mht for feature need (personal use). Lastly I read it.
    Btw TomGUIDE still have this print page view. Why only in Tomshardware the button is missing?
    Sorry for my OOT.
  • -9 Hide
    geekapproved , January 25, 2011 12:30 PM
    Quote:
    Either way, my conclusion on the GTX 560 Ti doesn't change. It still doesn't present me with the overwhelming urge to upgrade. AMD's cards simply look better in comparison, based on their performance.


    FAIL
  • 1 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , January 25, 2011 12:34 PM
    6950 is really better than a GTX560Ti, and consumes less power.Gigabyte's 1Ghz card is interesting.If it has the performance of a 6950 at $269, AMD'll be forced to reduce the price (again)
  • -1 Hide
    anacandor , January 25, 2011 12:40 PM
    I'd love to see some more benchies on that Gigabyte card like noise and temps, for only $20 more it seems like a steal!
  • 2 Hide
    amazing2 , January 25, 2011 12:44 PM
    liemfukliangPlease don't let me go away from Tomshardware because the disapearing of Print View Mode. If there is an official anounce about that please give me the link. In Indonesia internet is so slow and expensive. That way the print mode is so much help. I open an article, klik print view page. I go watching TV, eat, drink cofee, etc. About 10 - 20 minutes later the acticle is completed. I just save as mht for feature need (personal use). Lastly I read it.Btw TomGUIDE still have this print page view. Why only in Tomshardware the button is missing?Sorry for my OOT.


    Here you go:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/review_print.php?p1=2845

    :) 
  • 1 Hide
    James296 , January 25, 2011 1:12 PM
    I waited to see what this card was going to be like but it feels more like a rebranded GTX 460/470 as far as performance so I'm just going to skip the GTX 560 "Ti" and go for the GTX 570
  • 7 Hide
    cknobman , January 25, 2011 1:20 PM
    GeekApprovedFAIL


    Bigger FAIL
  • -1 Hide
    hixbot , January 25, 2011 1:27 PM
    So can the 6950 1GB be unlocked to a 6970? If not, I'm not sure it has the value the author mentioned, not when compared to the 2GB 6950 which comes with the free upgrade.
  • 4 Hide
    cronik93 , January 25, 2011 1:30 PM
    I think it was a good choice for he AMD to make a 1GB version of the 6950 to compete with the 560.
  • 0 Hide
    leiuno , January 25, 2011 1:57 PM
    what is "unshorn" ?
  • 0 Hide
    wolfram23 , January 25, 2011 1:57 PM
    Can't wait to see what the next gen can do when I may be upgrading... but still, the performance increases over last gen are pretty impressive, and the price/performance ratio is way better now too
  • 1 Hide
    Onus , January 25, 2011 1:57 PM
    I've been waiting for this. Bummer though, I was really hoping for a single PCIE power connection. Oh well. It looks like the most powerful card out there with only one is the HD6850.
  • 1 Hide
    Onus , January 25, 2011 2:01 PM
    leiunowhat is "unshorn" ?

    Unshorn = not sheared, e.g. used to describe sheep before their fleece is harvested. Or, in this case, a graphics card without some of its circuits cut out.
  • 1 Hide
    scrumworks , January 25, 2011 2:13 PM
    That 20 1GB Radeons is only for that single Sapphire model. XFX currently has two 1GB models 20pcs each and I'm sure others follow soon. And that's only at newegg.com.
  • -1 Hide
    Anik8 , January 25, 2011 2:21 PM
    This is chickenshit with everybody blindly slamming the gtx 560.IMO it performed reasonably well and is at par with the 6950.
    Moreover the card has exceptional overclocking headroom and the OC charts are simply overwhelming.
  • 0 Hide
    Tamz_msc , January 25, 2011 2:37 PM
    If this drops to 220$ or less in a couple of weeks, AMD will have no answer for it.
  • 1 Hide
    jprahman , January 25, 2011 2:38 PM
    Wow this kinda sucks, I built my LGA1156 i5-760, 2xGTX 460 rig three months ago. So now because of the Sandy Bridge launch and now this it's already obsolete.
  • 2 Hide
    rohitbaran , January 25, 2011 2:42 PM
    Well, it doesn't help bring the price of Radeon 6950 any lower. Once AMD launches the 1 GB version of Radeon 6950, this card will be in trouble.
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