Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Galaxy GeForce GTX 560 Ti GC Video Card Review

Today, NVIDIA continues the new GeForce GTX 500 series line with the introduction of the GeForce GTX 560 Ti. We will test this new $257 video card against the competition and find out what the real value is at this sweet spot of gaming goodness. You may be surprised at the results, but you might also save some money.

Introduction

"Ti" or Titanium, is a chemical element with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22. It is very strong and resistant to corrosion, so it is used in building high-speed aircraft and spacecraft, and is even used to market and brand video cards. We haven’t heard "Titanium" referring to a GeForce product since the GeForce 4 series of GPUs back in 2002. In the GeForce 4 series "Ti" indicated the higher end performance models, while "MX" described the lower end models. Right now, there are no "MX" models being announced and likely will not be, but there is the brand new GTX 560 Ti we are talking about today.

Known for its lightweight and strength, titanium is lighter than steel but just as strong. And just like the real world metal, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti delivers incredible performance in a small package. -NVIDIA

On November 9th, 2010, NVIDIA launched the GeForce GTX 580 at $499 to eagerly awaiting gamers. The GeForce GTX 580 was a huge success for NVIDIA and refreshed the NVIDIA name in the eyes of gamers. The GeForce GTX 580 performed well and brought temperatures and power usage back in check. Following the GeForce GTX 580 NVIDIA launched the GeForce GTX 570 at $349 with great success as well. Both video cards offer great performance for gamers at acceptable prices for the performance delivered.

Naturally, NVIDIA is now releasing a GeForce GTX 500 series variant at a lower price. The new GeForce GTX 560 Ti will vary in pricing due to third party add-in-board partner feature differences. Expect the variance in price to be between $249-$279, with the higher spectrum reserved for the highly overclocked video cards with unique features. This pricing puts the new GTX 560 Ti roughly $100 less than the GeForce GTX 570 and fills a market space that is considered the "sweet spot" for gamers. While not yet selling, we are seeing the GTX560 Ti from Galaxy listed on Amazon for $257.50 with Free Super Saver Shipping.

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

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The GeForce GTX 560 Ti fills the sweet spot that the very successful GeForce GTX 460 1GB once dominated. NVIDIA is hoping for another GTX 460 success with the GTX 560 Ti. In order to make this happen the GeForce GTX 560 Ti contains all the transistor level hardware improvements found in the GeForce GTX 580 and GeForce GTX 570. What this means is that NVIDIA is able to increase clock speeds higher, with less leakage, and better power efficiency with reduced thermal temperatures.

The GeForce GTX 560 Ti is based on a 40nm fabrication process and contains 1.95 Billion transistors. The GeForce GTX 560 Ti utilizes 384 CUDA Cores with 64 Texture Units and 32 ROP Units. The core graphics clock will run at 822MHz while the CUDA Cores will run at 1.644GHz. There is a standard of 1GB of GDDR5 on a 256-bit memory bus running at 4GHz. This provides 128GB/sec of memory bandwidth. The TDP of this video card is 170 Watts and a 500 Watt power supply is recommended.

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The GeForce GTX 560 Ti should also be a great video card for hardware enthusiasts looking to boost frequencies.

To enable maximum frequency headroom, the GTX 560 Ti reference board design has essentially been overbuilt. Compared to the original GTX 460 board, we’ve added more robust 4-phase power circuitry, faster 5Gbps memory modules, and improved cooling. The new cooler features an additional copper heatpipe and a larger heatsink and cooling fan. Finally, a baseplate was added to cool the graphics memory and the GPU’s power circuitry. -NVIDIA

The inclusion of this added power circuitry and cooling features should help ensure some headroom with overclocking. Keep in mind add-in-board partners will also be designing custom cooling solutions, so we look forward to seeing some highly overclocked models of these video cards out there. We expect to see retail versions of this card clocked at 1GHz/1000MHz.

Galaxy GeForce GTX 560 Ti GC

Today, we are evaluating the Galaxy GeForce GTX 560 Ti GC video card. The Galaxy GTX 560 Ti GC is a factory overclocked video card and will vary in price depending where you purchase it. As of right now, Amazon lists it at $257.50. The pricing you will likely see today on the street could be anywhere from $249-$279.

The frequency boost on the Galaxy GeForce GTX 560 Ti is not much. The graphics core clock has been raised to 835MHz versus 822MHz and thus the CUDA Cores are at 1.67GHz versus 1.644GHz. The memory remains the same. Therefore, we do not expect this overclock to affect performance, and we can call it representative of a non-overclocked reference video card, it just isn’t going to make any kind of real-world gameplay impact. We thought our readers would appreciate seeing the review of a non-reference card rather than one shipped to AICs by NVIDIA.

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What makes the Galaxy GeForce GTX 560 Ti unique are in its custom features. The Galaxy GTX 560 Ti GC uses a proprietary "TwinBlade" dual 90nm silent fan cooler. This cooler provides 1.8x more cooling fins than the reference cooler. It allows a 10c cooling improvement over the reference cooler with 11db less noise. This also uses the third generation detachable design for easy fan cleaning.

On the hardware side of things the Galaxy GTX 560 Ti uses a Dual BIOS and Xtreme Tuner HD Overclocking software which is included in the package. You will also find direct voltage measurement points on the video card.

We did not have time to do a serious overclocking segment on this card today to meet the embargo date, but will be following that up directly. So expect to see a quick follow-up article on this Galaxy video card.

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The Galaxy GeForce GTX 560 Ti GC measures slightly over 8" when measuring the PCB. However, because the back fins of the shroud stick out, the total length is closer to 9". The Galaxy GeForce GTX 560 Ti GC requires two 6-pin power connectors to operate. SLI is fully supported on this video card. Unlike the reference model, this unique cooling system has improved thermals for the GPU, but it appears the baseplate is gone (compared to the reference design) to cool the memory chips with; these are exposed. Inside the box you will find the driver installation CD, user manual, Mini HDMI-to-HDMI Adapter and DVI-to-VGA Adapter. On the video card itself are two DVI connectors and a Mini HDMI connector.