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

Conclusion

Until AMD’s Antilles-based Radeon HD 6990 launches, I’m personally not excited about high-end graphics. Radeon HD 5970s are back up to $600 dollars and more. That's a card that launched more than a year ago. Skip. GeForce GTX 580s cost $500. Unless you're buying at the top to pair a couple of flagship cards in an exorbitant $1000+ SLI or CrossFire setup, there’s waymore value in the mid-range right now.

GeForce GTX 460, Radeon HD 6870, GeForce GTX 570, Radeon HD 6950—any of those cards in a dual-board config are going to blow you away.

And now we have the GeForce GTX 560 Ti sitting squarely in the middle of those four other cards. From a performance standpoint, it’s almost exactly a drop-in replacement for GeForce GTX 470. From a pricing standpoint, it offers a $10 savings. Considering noise, the GTX 560 Ti is a definite winner, although the GTX 470 was never the gross polluter that earned GTX 480 its disdain. Power consumption favors the GeForce GTX 560 Ti too, showing up roughly 25 W under the GTX 470, on average.

All of these things, taken individually, are incremental improvements that Nvidia really needed to introduce anyway. The GeForce GTX 470 stood out in the company’s portfolio amongst more elegant products, like the GTX 460 and GTX 570, as a result of its big, hot GF100 graphics processor. Thus, even with all of those little points considered together, it’s frankly difficult to get excited about GeForce GTX 560 Ti. There’s nothing wrong with the card per se; it’s just a better version of the GTX 470 it replaces in an already-competitive mid-range market for 10 bucks less.

I’m hesitantly more enthusiastic about some of the partner boards that center on GF114. Gigabyte’s GV-N560SO-1GI wasn’t able to beat the GeForce GTX 570 in any of our benchmarks, but it did get danged close. Gigabyte swears that card is going to sell for $269. That still seems mighty low to me for a 1 GHz board. Should it maintain that price, though, it’s a slam dunk, grand slam, hat-trick against the $349 GeForce GTX 570. Fortunately, I’m sending the board I tested here to Thomas Soderstrom for a GeForce GTX 560 roundup in progress, so we’ll have confirmation on pricing and a full performance breakdown very soon. Depending on the other cards, though, this could be an award winner.

How about the competition? Although the GeForce GTX 560 Ti is almost universally faster than Radeon HD 6870, and only about $20 pricier (now $40 pricier, in light of AMD's zero-hour pricing), I’d be remiss in not mentioning that several 6870s are selling for under $200 after a rebate (admittedly, I detest chasing after companies to send rebates). Even still, in a CrossFire configuration, that’s $100 total savings versus the GeForce GTX 560 Ti in SLI. The Radeon HD 5870 still looks compelling as well, but only if you can find it for less than Nvidia’s new GeForce card.

It’s a great time to upgrade from something two or more generations old, without a doubt. If you’re already sporting a decent card from the last year, though, GeForce GTX 560 Ti won’t really give you a reason to spend another $250. It’s a little faster, a little cooler, a little more efficient, and a little cheaper than the GeForce GTX 470 that waves farewell.

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112 comments
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  • reprotected
    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. :)
    0
  • Anonymous
    Wow, it's not as powerful as I expected with that kind of energy use.
    8
  • liemfukliang
    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.
    2
  • geekapproved
    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
    -9
  • hardcore_gamer
    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
  • anacandor
    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!
    -1
  • amazing2
    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

    :)
    2
  • James296
    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
    1
  • cknobman
    GeekApprovedFAIL


    Bigger FAIL
    7
  • hixbot
    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.
    -1
  • cronik93
    I think it was a good choice for he AMD to make a 1GB version of the 6950 to compete with the 560.
    4
  • leiuno
    what is "unshorn" ?
    0
  • wolfram23
    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
    0
  • Onus
    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
  • Onus
    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
  • scrumworks
    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
  • Anik8
    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.
    -1
  • Tamz_msc
    If this drops to 220$ or less in a couple of weeks, AMD will have no answer for it.
    0
  • jprahman
    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.
    1
  • rohitbaran
    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.
    2