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Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti review

Seth Barton
25 Jan 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
200
inc VAT

A great card for the money, and better than the AMD competition if you buy an overclocked version, or are happy to tinker yourself.

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Specifications

Nvidia and AMD (formerly ATI) are certainly fighting for the attention of gaming enthusiasts - with numerous cards around the £200 mark. Back in July Nvidia launched the excellent GeForce GTX 460 for just shy of that amount. More recently, AMD waded in with its Radeon HD 6870 card for around £180 inc VAT; and the Radeon HD 6950 for £220 inc VAT. Now Nvidia is back with the GeForce GTX 560 Ti, again at around £200.

In fact the 560 Ti is available at a range of prices, because Nvidia has encouraged manufacturers to produce overclocked versions of the card. This is so much so that there are few stock versions available. Our initial testing here is with the reference card from Nvidia, which has a core clock speed of 822MHz and its 1GB of GDDR5 memory runs at 1GHz. However, there are cards retailing at the same price as reference cards, but with clock speeds pushed up to 900MHz - such as the Palit GeForce GTX 560Ti Sonic Edition.

Palit GeForce GTX 560Ti Sonic Edition

Clock speed isn't everything in a graphics card, but you should certainly regard performance figures here as a baseline. Of course, you could use a free online tool, such as MSI Afterburner to overclock the card yourself, as we did with some impressive results - see below.

Even in its reference form, there's no doubting that the GTX560 is a big step up over its predecessor. The base clock speed is up by 145MHz from 675MHZ and memory is up by 100MHZ from 900MHz. Just as important is the use of all eight streaming multiprocessors, as only seven were in use in the GTX 460. This gives an additional 48 stream processors for greater parallel processing power.

We still keep our old Call of Duty 4 test around, as it's useful for gauging the increase in performance over a long time, and for getting meaningful figures out of low-end cards and integrated chips. For cards of this pedigree though it's a walk in the park now, scoring 87.8fps at Full HD resolution, even with 4x anti-aliasing enabled.

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