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Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti review

The next generation of mid-range Fermi graphics

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Nvidia geforce gtx 560 ti


Architecturally we've already seen pretty much everything that the GTX 560 Ti has to offer. This is an incremental update, on exactly the same lines as the previous two GTX 5xx series cards.

That is to say the essential make up of the GF114 GPU itself is unchanged compared to the GF104 of the GTX 460, but the performance and power draw of the card has been improved thanks to more component-related reasons.

Like the two GTX 5xx cards before it the changes in the GeForce GTX 560 Ti begin at the transistor level. This includes the use of slower, low-leakage transistors on non-timing sensitive pathways with faster ones dropped in the more critical lanes where it's more important to go fast than run green.

There is also the GTX 5xx series' now-traditional extra Streaming Microprocessor (SM) included, making a total of 8 compared to the GTX 460's 7. The ROPs count hasn't changed, but that extra SM gives the GTX 560 Ti a grand total of 384 CUDA cores and 64 texture units to play with.

That gives this new card a lot more graphical processing power to play around with.

The cooling improvements seen on the GTX 580 and GTX 570 though aren't reiterated in the GTX 560 Ti. There's none of the vapour chamber tech that rests on the two GF110 chips, instead it's got an extra heatpipe linked into a larger heatsink and fan array.

This new card though isn't going to generate the sort of heat the GTX 580 and GTX 570 do, the former regularly topping the 80degree mark. To that ends the extra heatpipe/chunkier fan combo keeps it ticking over around the same figures as the GTX 460.

What has been tweaked though, compared to the previous two 5xx series offerings, is in line to keep it overclocking like the daemon the previous generation's card was.

The 4-phase power circuitry has reportedly been replaced with a more 'robust' one with speedier 5Gbps memory modules. Nvidia calls this making the GTX 560 'overbuilt'.

That's all according to Nvidia though; my lack of engineering qualification precludes me from pulling the power circuitry apart and investigating further.

Suffice to say the GTX 560 Ti has got some serious overclocking chops sitting inside that unassuming exterior.

The memory overclocking itself was limited only to what we could push it to within MSI's Afterburner GPU overclocking software. Hitting 2,404MHz on the memory clock is pretty impressive and, as you can see on the following page, adds up to some serious performance figures.