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

GeForce GTX 560 Ti: Old Suffixes Mean New Cards

Because Nvidia enables the complete GF114 GPU, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti’s specs match the graphics processor’s full implementation. The result is a GPU with ample shader power, thanks to 384 CUDA cores. Its wider SMs facilitate 64 texture units across those eight modular elements. That’s the same number as a GF110, though it takes 16 SMs to enable similar functionality on the flagship GeForce GTX 580. Nvidia is able to run the GPU’s fixed function circuitry at 822 MHz, while the CUDA cores get clocked at 1644 MHz (the 1:2 ratio we’re used to seeing).

As with GeForce GTX 460 1 GB, GeForce GTX 560 arrives with all four of its ROP partitions enabled, outputting up to 32 pixels per clock. Four 64-bit memory pathways aggregate to 256 bits. Armed with 1 GB of 1002 MHz GDDR5 memory, that’s a maximum of 128.3 GB/s of bandwidth.


GeForce GTX 560 Ti
GeForce GTX 570
GeForce GTX 460 1 GB
GeForce GTX 470
Graphics Processing Clusters (GPCs)
2
4
2
4
Streaming Multiprocessors (SMs)
8
15
7
14
CUDA Cores
384
480
336
448
Texture Units
64
60
56
56
ROP Units
32
40
32
40
Graphics Clock
822 MHz
732 MHz
675 MHz
607 MHz
Shader Clock
1644 MHz
1464 MHz
1350 MHz
1215 MHz
Memory Clock (Data Rate)
1002 MHz (4008 MT/s)
950 MHz (3800 MT/s)
900 MHz (3600 MT/s)
837 MHz (3348 MT/s)
Memory Capacity
1 GB GDDR5
1.25 GB GDDR5
1 GB GDDR5
1.25 GB GDDR5
Memory Interface
256-bit
320-bit
256-bit
320-bit
Memory Bandwidth
128.3 GB/s
152 GB/s
115.2 GB/s
133.9 GB/s
Fillrate
52.6 GTexels/s
43.9 GTexels/s
37.8 GTexels/s
34.0 GTexels/s
Manufacturing Process
40 nm TSMC
40 nm TSMC
40 nm TSMC
40 nm TSMC
Form Factor
Dual-slot
Dual-slot
Dual-slot
Dual-slot
Display Outputs
2 x DL-DVI, 1 x mini-HDMI2 x DL-DVI, 1 x mini-HDMI2 x DL-DVI, 1 x mini-HDMI2 x DL-DVI, 1 x mini-HDMI
Thermal Design Power
170 W
219 W
160 W
215 W


On the outside, GeForce GTX 560 Ti looks a lot like GeForce GTX 460. Both cards employ axial cooling fans that blow over an aluminum array of heatsink fins on a copper base. They’re both dual-slot cards with the same array of display outputs, including two dual-link DVI connectors and one mini-HDMI port. Moreover, the two cards require a pair of six-pin auxiliary power inputs.

There are actually quite a few differences between the boards, though. For one, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti is nine inches long, while the GTX 460 is an 8.5” card. Under the plastic shroud, Nvidia arms the GTX 560 with one additional heatpipe (it now sports three) to dissipate thermal energy more quickly. There’s also a metal baseplate sitting on the board’s memory ICs and power circuitry. Previously, those components were simply left exposed under the shroud.

Granted, I’m only talking about the reference design here. We’ve already pulled several GTX 560s in-house that don’t abide Nvidia’s version of this card. The Gigabyte card I cover later in this piece, for instance, is 9.5” long, employs two fans, four heatpipes, 6+1 power phases (versus 3+1 on the stock version), and a completely different PCB.

Nvidia also arms its reference design with the same power-monitoring circuitry first introduced with GeForce GTX 580 to prevent overloading the voltage regulation circuit. The company says it’s up to each board partner to decide whether to include it on their GeForce GTX 560 Ti offerings, though.

So Yeah, About That Ti…

Depending on your age, the Ti suffix attached to Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 560 Ti may or may not make sense. The short story is that, back in 2002, Nvidia capped its “performance-oriented” cards with the Ti designator and its “budget-friendly” cards with MX. There were a number of different models in the GeForce4 Ti lineup, mostly based on the NV25 GPU, but I distinctly remember the GeForce4 Ti 4200 being the value leader. If you’re good with Google, you can even find a couple of GeForce4 Ti 4200 reviews I wrote back in 2002. Great, now I feel really old.

Anyway, Nvidia is bringing its Ti suffix back. When the company asked me what I thought about this card’s name, I rolled my eyes at first. “Cute, guys.” But the name actually makes some sense if you peer into the crystal ball. GF114 is an ASIC that could conceivably drive a number of different graphics cards. And rather than start hacking into its number scheme (GTX 555, GTX 550, and so on), I imagine we might see a GeForce GTX SE if Nvidia introduces a less-capable iteration of GF114.

I hope Nvidia will tread carefully there, though. Differentiating with a suffix isn’t as concise as using the already-accepted number system. And if you remember back to the GeForce4 days, the less-expensive MX boards got slammed for trailing the slowest GeForce3s in performance. These days, performance isn’t the end-all—we have a lot more base functionality to take into account. Even still, the potential exists to confuse the less-savvy folks who pay more attention to games than the hardware they buy.

Fortunately, I don’t think that’s what Nvidia has in mind. I’m speculating here, but the company does have GeForce GTX 460 and GF104 fresh in its memory. As capable as it was back in July, partner boards started trickling out with increasingly more aggressive clocks (and higher prices). By the time AMD launched its Barts-based GPU, Nvidia had a hard time talking anyone into testing with specifically-picked higher-end partner SKUs to compete against AMD’s reference boards. Perhaps by segmenting the GeForce GTX 560 more granularly, it’ll get around a repeat of that situation, which I know was internally frustrating.

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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