MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC Video Card Review
By Gabriel Torres on January 25, 2011


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

The GeForce GTX 560 Ti is the latest addition to the GeForce GTX 500 series from NVIDIA, coming with a very affordable USD 250 price tag, competing directly with the Radeon HD 6870. The MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC is a factory-overclocked GeForce GTX 560 Ti with a better cooling solution that, believe it or not, comes at the same price point as the standard GeForce GTX 560 Ti. Let’s check it out.

When a new graphics processor is released, typically “manufacturers” (called “partners” by NVIDIA) don’t actually manufacture video cards using the new chip; they buy the cards already assembled from NVIDIA and only add their own sticker, box and product manual. The MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC, however, is a nice exception to this rule. Not only it comes with a different cooling solution, but its printed circuit board is actually different from the one used on the reference model.

The reviewed card comes overclocked, with the GPU running at 880 MHz instead of at 822 MHz (7% increase), the processing cores running at 1,760 MHz instead of at 1,644 MHz (7% increase) and memory running at 4.2 GHz (effective) instead of at 4 GHz (5% increase). The MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC allows you to increase the GPU voltage, using MSI’s AfterBurner utility.

In the table below we compare the main specs of the video cards included in our review. They are all DirectX 11 parts.

The effective clock rate of the GeForce GTX 560 Ti is actually 4,008 MHz.

Video Card

Core Clock

Shader Clock

Memory Clock (Real)

Memory Clock (Effective)

Memory Interface

Memory Transfer Rate

Memory

Shaders

Price

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/O

880 MHz

1,760 MHz

2.1 GHz

4.2 GHz

256-bit

134.4 GB/s

1 GB GDDR5

384

USD 250

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

822 MHz

1,644 MHz

2 GHz

4 GHz

256-bit

128.3 GB/s

1 GB GDDR5

384

USD 250

GeForce GTX 570

732 MHz

1,464 MHz

1.9 GHz

3.8 GHz

320-bit

152 GB/s

1.28 GB GDDR5

480

USD 350

Radeon HD 5870

850 MHz

850 MHz

2.4 GHz

4.8 GHz

256-bit

153.6 GB/s

1 GB GDDR5

1,600

USD 270 - 290

Radeon HD 6870

900 MHz

900 MHz

2.1 GHz

4.2 GHz

256-bit

134.4 GB/s

1 GB GDDR5

1,120

USD 220 - 240

Radeon HD 6950

800 MHz

800 MHz

2.5 GHz

5 GHz

256-bit

160 GB/s

2 GB GDDR5

1,408

USD 300

Radeon HD 6970

880 MHz

880 MHz

2.75 GHz

5.5 GHz

256-bit

176 GB/s

2 GB GDDR5

1,536

USD 370

Prices were researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

You can compare the specs of these video cards with other video cards by taking a look at our AMD ATI Chips Comparison Table and NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table tutorials.   

Now let’s take an in-depth look at the NVIDIA reference model for the GeForce GTX 560 Ti.

The MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

Below we have an overall look at the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC. It requires two six-pin auxiliary power connectors.

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC video card
click to enlarge
Figure 1: MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC video card

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC video card
click to enlarge
Figure 2: MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC video card

This video card has one mini HDMI and two DVI-D connectors.

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC video card
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Figure 3: Video connectors

The MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC (Contíd)

In Figure 4, you can see the video card with its cooler removed and, in Figure 5, a close-up of the voltage regulator circuit. As explained before, the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC uses a custom-designed printed circuit board.

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC video card
click to enlarge
Figure 4: Video card with the cooler removed

The voltage regulator circuit uses solid capacitors, solid ferrite-core coils (which make the regulator to have higher efficiency because they have lower energy loss than iron-core coils; these components are military-grade), and low RDS(on) MOSFET transistors (i.e., higher efficiency).

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC video card
click to enlarge
Figure 5: Voltage regulator circuit

The GPU cooler can be seen in Figures 6 and 7. It has a nickel-plated copper base, four eight-mm nickel-plated heatpipes (thicker than the heatpipes used on the reference model), aluminum fins, and two 80 mm fans. According to the manufacturer, this cooling solution works 20° C (68° F) cooler than the reference model.

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC video card
click to enlarge
Figure 6: The GPU cooler

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC video card
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Figure 7: The GPU cooler

The MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC uses eight 1 Gbit GDDR5 chips, making its 1 GB video memory (1 Gbit x 8 = 1,024 MB = 1 GB). Each chip is connected to the GPU using a 32-bit data lane, making the video card’s 256-bit memory interface (32 bits x 8 = 256).

The chips used are K4G10325FE-HC04 parts from Samsung – the same ones used on the reference model –, which support up to 2.5 GHz (5 GHz DDR) and since on this video card memory is accessed at 2.1 GHz (4.2 GHz DDR), there is still a huge 19% margin for you to increase the memory clock rate while keeping the chips inside the maximum they support. Of course you can always try to overclock the memory chips above their specs.

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC video card
click to enlarge
Figure 8: Memory chips

In Figure 9, you can see all accessories that come with this video card: two power adapters, one DVI-to-VGA adapter, one mini-HDMI-to-HDMI adapter, manual, and CD.

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC video card
click to enlarge
Figure 9: Accessories

Before seeing the performance results, let’s recap the main features of this video card.

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC video card include:

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

How We Tested

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions the only variable was the video card being tested.

Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

Driver Versions

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 3% error margin. Thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

Call of Duty 4

Call of Duty 4 is a DirectX 9 game implementing high-dynamic range (HDR) and its own physics engine, which is used to calculate how objects interact. For example, if you shoot, exactly what will happen to the object when the bullet hits it? Will it break? Will it move? Will the bullet bounce back? It gives a more realistic experience to the user.

To get accurate results, we had to disable the 80 FPS limit in the game. To do this, input the command, “/seta com_maxfps 1000” (minus the quotes) into the console (` key). It can be set to any number greater than 200.

We ran this program at three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600, maxing out all image quality controls (i.e., everything was set to the maximum values in the Graphics and Texture menus). We used the internal game benchmarking feature, running a demo provided by NVIDIA called “wetwork.”We are putting this demo here for downloading if you want to run your own benchmarks. We ran the demo five times, and the results below are the average number of frames per second (FPS) achieved by each video card.

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

Call of Duty 4 - Maximum

1680x1050

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

177.4

15%

GeForce GTX 570

169.0

9%

Radeon HD 6950

155.6

1%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

154.8

 

Radeon HD 5870

150.3

-3%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

148.2

-4%

Radeon HD 6870

142.4

-8%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

Call of Duty 4 - Maximum

1920x1200

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

162.3

23%

GeForce GTX 570

144.6

9%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

132.2

 

Radeon HD 5870

130.8

-1%

Radeon HD 6950

130.4

-1%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

125.4

-5%

Radeon HD 6870

123.5

-7%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

Call of Duty 4 - Maximum

2560x1600

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

108.4

20%

GeForce GTX 570

100.4

11%

Radeon HD 6950

92.2

2%

Radeon HD 5870

91.8

2%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

90.2

 

Radeon HD 6870

87.3

-3%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

85.4

-5%

Crysis Warhead

Crysis Warhead is a DirectX 10 game based on the same engine as the original Crysis, but optimized (it runs under DirectX 9.0c when installed on Windows XP).

We used the HardwareOC Crysis Warhead Benchmark Tool to collect the data for this test.We ran this program at three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600, all at very high image quality (but with no anti-aliasing and no anisotropic filtering) and using the Airfield demo. The results below are the number of frames per second achieved by each video card.

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

Crysis Warhead - Very High

1680x1050

Difference

GeForce GTX 570

44

10%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

40

 

Radeon HD 6970

39

-3%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

38

-5%

Radeon HD 6950

36

-10%

Radeon HD 5870

34

-15%

Radeon HD 6870

32

-20%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

Crysis Warhead - Very High

1920x1200

Difference

GeForce GTX 570

38

15%

Radeon HD 6970

34

3%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

33

 

Radeon HD 6950

31

-6%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

31

-6%

Radeon HD 5870

30

-9%

Radeon HD 6870

27

-18%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

Crysis Warhead - Very High

2560x1600

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

24

14%

GeForce GTX 570

24

14%

Radeon HD 6950

21

0%

Radeon HD 5870

21

0%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

21

 

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

20

-5%

Radeon HD 6870

18

-14%

Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2 is based on an entirely new game engine called Dunia, which is DirectX 10 when played under Windows Vista with a DirectX 10 compatible video card.

We used the benchmarking utility that comes with this game, setting image quality to Ultra High (with x8 anti-aliasing) and running the “Ranch Long” demo three times. The results below are expressed in frames per second and are an arithmetic average of the three results collected.

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

FarCry 2 - Ultra High - AAx8

1680x1050

Difference

GeForce GTX 570

99.1

13%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

87.3

 

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

84.6

-3%

Radeon HD 6970

81.9

-6%

Radeon HD 6950

78.4

-10%

Radeon HD 5870

74.4

-15%

Radeon HD 6870

70.6

-19%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

FarCry 2 - Ultra High - AAx8

1920x1200

Difference

GeForce GTX 570

84.7

5%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

80.5

 

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

78.3

-3%

Radeon HD 6970

74.3

-8%

Radeon HD 6950

70.7

-12%

Radeon HD 6870

70.6

-12%

Radeon HD 5870

65.6

-19%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

FarCry 2 - Ultra High - AAx8

2560x1600

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

55.4

5%

GeForce GTX 570

55.2

4%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

52.9

 

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

51.3

-3%

Radeon HD 6950

50.4

-5%

Radeon HD 5870

44.2

-16%

Radeon HD 6870

42.4

-20%

Aliens vs. Predator

Aliens vs. Predator is a DirectX 11 game that makes full use of tessellation and advanced shadow rendering. We used the Aliens vs. Predator Benchmark Tool developed by Rebellion. This program reads its configuration from a text file (our configuration files can be found here). We ran this program at 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600 resolutions, with very high settings, 16x anisotropic filtering and 4x anti-aliasing.

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

Aliens vs. Predator - Very High - AAx4, AFx16

1680x1050

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

47.9

22%

GeForce GTX 570

43.3

10%

Radeon HD 6950

42.1

7%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

39.4

 

Radeon HD 5870

37.7

-4%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

37.1

-6%

Radeon HD 6870

31.4

-20%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

Aliens vs. Predator - Very High - AAx4, AFx16

1920x1200

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

39.6

24%

GeForce GTX 570

35.2

10%

Radeon HD 6950

35.1

10%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

31.9

 

Radeon HD 5870

30.8

-3%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

30.2

-5%

Radeon HD 6870

25.6

-20%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

Aliens vs. Predator - Very High - AAx4, AFx16

2560x1600

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

24.6

25%

GeForce GTX 570

22.0

12%

Radeon HD 6950

21.7

10%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

19.7

 

Radeon HD 5870

19.0

-4%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

18.5

-6%

Radeon HD 6870

15.8

-20%

Lost Planet 2

Lost Planet 2 is a game that uses a lot of DirectX 11 features, like tessellation (to round out the edges of polygonal models), displacement maps (added to the tessellated mesh to add fine grain details), DirectCompute soft body simulation (to introduce more realism in the “boss” monsters), and DirectCompute wave simulation (to introduce more realism in the physics calculations in water surfaces; when you move or when gunshots and explosions hit the water, it moves accordingly). We reviewed the video cards using Lost Planet 2 internal benchmarking features, choosing the “Benchmark A” (we know that “Benchmark B” is the one recommended for reviewing video cards, however, at least with us, results were inconsistent). We set graphics at “high,” anti-aliasing at “4x” and DX11 at “full.” The results below are the number of frames per second generated by each video card.

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

Lost Planet 2 - High - AAx4

1680x1050

Difference

GeForce GTX 570

61.30

18%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

51.90

 

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

48.10

-7%

Radeon HD 6970

45.20

-13%

Radeon HD 6950

40.20

-23%

Radeon HD 6870

35.70

-31%

Radeon HD 5870

31.10

-40%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

Lost Planet 2 - High - AAx4

1920x1200

Difference

GeForce GTX 570

54.20

25%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

43.40

 

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

42.00

-3%

Radeon HD 6970

41.70

-4%

Radeon HD 6950

33.60

-23%

Radeon HD 6870

30.60

-29%

Radeon HD 5870

27.80

-36%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

Lost Planet 2 - High - AAx4

2560x1600

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

37.85

34%

GeForce GTX 570

35.50

26%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

28.20

 

Radeon HD 6950

27.40

-3%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

26.20

-7%

Radeon HD 6870

23.90

-15%

Radeon HD 5870

23.80

-16%

3DMark 11 Professional

3DMark 11 Professional measures Shader 5.0 (i.e., DirectX 11) performance. We ran this program at three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600, selecting the four graphics tests available and deselecting the other tests available. We used two image quality settings for each resolution, “Performance” and “Extreme,” both at their default settings. The results being compared are the “GPU Score” achieved by each video card.

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

3DMark Vantage - Performance

1680x1050

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

3424

19%

GeForce GTX 570

3285

14%

Radeon HD 6950

3023

5%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

2876

 

Radeon HD 5870

2814

-2%

Radeon HD 6870

2745

-5%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

2690

-6%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

3DMark Vantage - Performance

1920x1200

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

2641

21%

GeForce GTX 570

2466

13%

Radeon HD 6950

2334

7%

Radeon HD 5870

2208

2%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

2175

 

Radeon HD 6870

2148

-1%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

2034

-6%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

3DMark Vantage - Performance

2560x1600

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

1573

25%

GeForce GTX 570

1414

12%

Radeon HD 6950

1383

10%

Radeon HD 5870

1352

8%

Radeon HD 6870

1287

2%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

1257

 

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

1176

-6%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

3DMark Vantage - Extreme

1680x1050

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

2071

20%

GeForce GTX 570

1932

12%

Radeon HD 6950

1765

3%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

1721

 

Radeon HD 5870

1702

-1%

Radeon HD 6870

1668

-3%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

1624

-6%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

3DMark Vantage - Extreme

1920x1200

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

1611

19%

GeForce GTX 570

1507

11%

Radeon HD 6950

1415

5%

Radeon HD 5870

1380

2%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

1354

 

Radeon HD 6870

1314

-3%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

1263

-7%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

3DMark Vantage - Extreme

2560x1600

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

1005

24%

GeForce GTX 570

910

12%

Radeon HD 6950

882

9%

Radeon HD 5870

875

8%

Radeon HD 6870

824

2%

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

810

 

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

759

-6%

Conclusions

If you are thinking on buying the new GeForce GTX 560 Ti, the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC is a no-brainer: it costs the same as the reference model, but it is faster, provides a better cooling solution, and allows you to increase the GPU voltage, giving you an extra tool for overclocking.

The MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC was between 3% and 8% faster than the standard GeForce GTX 560 Ti. Compared to its main competitor, the Radeon HD 6870, the reviewed video cards was way faster: between 18% and 45% faster on Lost Planet 2, 25% faster on Aliens vs. Predator, between 14% and 21% faster on Far Cry 2, between 17% and 25% faster on Crysis Warhead, and between 3% and 9% faster on Call of Duty 4. On 3DMark 11 the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC was 5% faster at 1680x1050 using the “Performance” profile, but both achieved the same performance level at higher resolutions. The reviewed card was 3% faster at 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 using the “Extreme” profile, but at 2560x1600 both achieved the same performance level.

It seems that AMD released a Radeon 6950 with 1 GB at an aggressive price to compete with the GeForce GTX 560 Ti, however AMD didn’t tell us that they were going to release this video card nor provided us a sample.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/MSI-N560GTX-Ti-Twin-Frozr-II-OC-Video-Card-Review/1181


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