Not Quite Extreme, Way Beyond Mainstream
What do you call a hardcore gamer who can’t afford the fastest parts, yet won’t settle for much less? We like to call them enthusiasts. But then again, we think the weekend warrior who spends six weeks in his garage turning a $3000 sedan into a race car is a bit more enthusiastic than the guy who buys a $150 000 status symbol. In the computer world, that’s what overclocking is often about.
The GeForce GTX 560 Ti was designed for just such a market. Unfortunately, not all graphics cards are created equal. Factory overclocked parts satisfy a third market, giving potential overclockers a chance to taste the performance of high-end parts when he may otherwise have been unable to “catch a break” in his own overclocking attempts. This is guaranteed speed without the prestigious model name that goes with it.
Only five of the many brands vying for this market were able to supply cards in time for today’s comparison. Before we set out to establish performance and value leadership, let’s take a look at the specifications of each competitor.
|GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1 GB Comparison Specifications|
|Asus ENGTX560TI DCIITOP/2DI/1GD5||Gigabyte GV-N560SO-1GI||MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC||Palit GTX560Ti Sonic||Sparkle Calibre X560||Sparkle SX560T1024D5MH|
|GPU Clock||900 MHz||1000 MHz||880 MHz||900 MHz||1000 MHz||820 MHz|
|DRAM Data Rate||GDDR5-4200||GDDR5-4580||GDDR5-4200||GDDR5-4200||GDDR5-4800||GDDR5-4008|
|DVI||Two Dual-Link||Two Dual-Link||Two Dual-Link||Two Dual-Link||Two Dual-Link||Two Dual-Link|
|VGA||By Adapter||By Adapter||By Adapter||Onboard||By Adapter||By Adapte|
|Output Adapters||DVI to VGA Full HDMI||DVI to VGA HDMI Cable||DVI to VGA Full HDMI||None||DVI to VGA HDMI Cable||DVI to VGA Full HDMI|
|Weight||24 Ounces||22 Ounces||24 Ounces||19 Ounces||24 Ounces||22 Ounces|
|PCB Version||C1040P R1.00||Custom||Custom||Custom||P1040||P1040|
|VRM||Seven Phases||Seven Phases||Six Phases||Five Phases||Four Phases||Four Phases|
|Warranty||Three Years||Three Years||Three Years||Two Years||Lifetime||Lifetime|
One company sent a second, standard-speed part to set the reference by which we could judge the level of improvement for other products. While it would be easy to simply hand a top-speed award to the fastest card, differences in warranty, price, and functionality make today’s comparison a true competition.