NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 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. Which one is the best? Check it out.

We are reviewing the reference model for the GeForce GTX 560 Ti provided by NVIDIA. 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. Therefore, the video card you will see in this review is exactly the same one you will find on the market under several different brands. In order to differentiate themselves, partners may also release models with a different cooling solution and/or overclocked.

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

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 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti

Below we have an overall look at the NVIDIA reference model for the GeForce GTX 560 Ti. It requires two six-pin auxiliary power connectors.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti
click to enlarge
Figure 1: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti
click to enlarge
Figure 2: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti

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

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti
click to enlarge
Figure 3: Video connectors

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti (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.

GeForce GTX 560 Ti
click to enlarge
Figure 4: Video card with the cooler removed

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

GeForce GTX 560 Ti
click to enlarge
Figure 5: Voltage regulator circuit

The GPU heatsink can be seen in Figures 6 and 7. It has a copper base, three six-mm heatpipes, aluminum fins, and an 80 mm fan.

GeForce GTX 560 Ti
click to enlarge
Figure 6: The GPU heatsink

GeForce GTX 560 Ti
click to enlarge
Figure 7: The GPU heatsink

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 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, which support up to 2.5 GHz (5 GHz DDR) and since on this video card memory is accessed at 2 GHz (4 GHz DDR), there is still a huge 25% 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.

GeForce GTX 560 Ti
click to enlarge
Figure 8: Memory chips

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.

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

Call of Duty 4 - Maximum

1680x1050

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

177.4

20%

GeForce GTX 570

169.0

14%

Radeon HD 6950

155.6

5%

Radeon HD 5870

150.3

1%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

148.2

 

Radeon HD 6870

142.4

-4%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

Call of Duty 4 - Maximum

1920x1200

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

162.3

29%

GeForce GTX 570

144.6

15%

Radeon HD 5870

130.8

4%

Radeon HD 6950

130.4

4%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

125.4

 

Radeon HD 6870

123.5

-2%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

Call of Duty 4 - Maximum

2560x1600

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

108.4

27%

GeForce GTX 570

100.4

18%

Radeon HD 6950

92.2

8%

Radeon HD 5870

91.8

7%

Radeon HD 6870

87.3

2%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

85.4

 

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.

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

Crysis Warhead - Very High

1680x1050

Difference

GeForce GTX 570

44

16%

Radeon HD 6970

39

3%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

38

 

Radeon HD 6950

36

-5%

Radeon HD 5870

34

-11%

Radeon HD 6870

32

-16%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

Crysis Warhead - Very High

1920x1200

Difference

GeForce GTX 570

38

12%

Radeon HD 6970

34

0%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

31

 

Radeon HD 6950

31

0%

Radeon HD 5870

30

-3%

Radeon HD 6870

27

-13%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

Crysis Warhead - Very High

2560x1600

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

24

20%

GeForce GTX 570

24

20%

Radeon HD 6950

21

5%

Radeon HD 5870

21

5%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

20

 

Radeon HD 6870

18

-10%

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.

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

FarCry 2 - Ultra High - AAx8

1680x1050

Difference

GeForce GTX 570

99.1

17%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

84.6

 

Radeon HD 6970

81.9

-3%

Radeon HD 6950

78.4

-7%

Radeon HD 5870

74.4

-12%

Radeon HD 6870

70.6

-17%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

FarCry 2 - Ultra High - AAx8

1920x1200

Difference

GeForce GTX 570

84.7

8%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

78.3

 

Radeon HD 6970

74.3

-5%

Radeon HD 6950

70.7

-10%

Radeon HD 6870

70.6

-10%

Radeon HD 5870

65.6

-16%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

FarCry 2 - Ultra High - AAx8

2560x1600

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

55.4

8%

GeForce GTX 570

55.2

8%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

51.3

 

Radeon HD 6950

50.4

-2%

Radeon HD 5870

44.2

-14%

Radeon HD 6870

42.4

-17%

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.

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

Aliens vs. Predator - Very High - AAx4, AFx16

1680x1050

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

47.9

29%

GeForce GTX 570

43.3

17%

Radeon HD 6950

42.1

13%

Radeon HD 5870

37.7

2%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

37.1

 

Radeon HD 6870

31.4

-15%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

Aliens vs. Predator - Very High - AAx4, AFx16

1920x1200

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

39.6

31%

GeForce GTX 570

35.2

17%

Radeon HD 6950

35.1

16%

Radeon HD 5870

30.8

2%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

30.2

 

Radeon HD 6870

25.6

-15%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

Aliens vs. Predator - Very High - AAx4, AFx16

2560x1600

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

24.6

33%

GeForce GTX 570

22.0

19%

Radeon HD 6950

21.7

17%

Radeon HD 5870

19.0

3%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

18.5

 

Radeon HD 6870

15.8

-15%

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.

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

Lost Planet 2 - High - AAx4

1680x1050

Difference

GeForce GTX 570

61.30

27%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

48.10

 

Radeon HD 6970

45.20

-6%

Radeon HD 6950

40.20

-16%

Radeon HD 6870

35.70

-26%

Radeon HD 5870

31.10

-35%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

Lost Planet 2 - High - AAx4

1920x1200

Difference

GeForce GTX 570

54.20

29%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

42.00

 

Radeon HD 6970

41.70

-1%

Radeon HD 6950

33.60

-20%

Radeon HD 6870

30.60

-27%

Radeon HD 5870

27.80

-34%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

Lost Planet 2 - High - AAx4

2560x1600

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

37.85

44%

GeForce GTX 570

35.50

35%

Radeon HD 6950

27.40

5%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

26.20

 

Radeon HD 6870

23.90

-9%

Radeon HD 5870

23.80

-9%

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.

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

3DMark Vantage - Performance

1680x1050

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

3424

27%

GeForce GTX 570

3285

22%

Radeon HD 6950

3023

12%

Radeon HD 5870

2814

5%

Radeon HD 6870

2745

2%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

2690

 

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

3DMark Vantage - Performance

1920x1200

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

2641

30%

GeForce GTX 570

2466

21%

Radeon HD 6950

2334

15%

Radeon HD 5870

2208

9%

Radeon HD 6870

2148

6%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

2034

 

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

3DMark Vantage - Performance

2560x1600

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

1573

34%

GeForce GTX 570

1414

20%

Radeon HD 6950

1383

18%

Radeon HD 5870

1352

15%

Radeon HD 6870

1287

9%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

1176

 

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

3DMark Vantage - Extreme

1680x1050

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

2071

28%

GeForce GTX 570

1932

19%

Radeon HD 6950

1765

9%

Radeon HD 5870

1702

5%

Radeon HD 6870

1668

3%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

1624

 

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

3DMark Vantage - Extreme

1920x1200

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

1611

28%

GeForce GTX 570

1507

19%

Radeon HD 6950

1415

12%

Radeon HD 5870

1380

9%

Radeon HD 6870

1314

4%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

1263

 

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

3DMark Vantage - Extreme

2560x1600

Difference

Radeon HD 6970

1005

32%

GeForce GTX 570

910

20%

Radeon HD 6950

882

16%

Radeon HD 5870

875

15%

Radeon HD 6870

824

9%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

759

 

Conclusions

In most scenarios the new GeForce GTX 560 Ti crushed its main competitor, the Radeon HD 6870: it was between 10% and 37% faster on Lost Planet 2, between 17% and 18% faster on Aliens vs. Predator, between 19% and 21% faster on Far Cry 2, and between 11% and 19% faster on Crysis Warhead. On Call of Duty 4 we saw a technical tie, with the GeForce GTX 560 Ti being 4% faster at 1680x1050 but both cards achieving the same performance at 1920x1200 and 2560x1600. On 3DMark 11 at 1680x1050 (both Performance and Extreme profiles) both cards achieved the same performance level, but at higher resolutions the Radeon HD 6870 was up to 9% faster.

It is true that you can find the Radeon HD 6870 for between USD 10 and USD 30 less than the GeForce GTX 560 Ti, but based on our results we believe that paying a little bit more for the new GeForce GTX 560 Ti is well worth it.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-560-Ti-Video-Card-Review/1180


© 2004-13, Hardware Secrets, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Total or partial reproduction of the contents of this site, as well as that of the texts available for downloading, be this in the electronic media, in print, or any other form of distribution, is expressly forbidden. Those who do not comply with these copyright laws will be indicted and punished according to the International Copyrights Law.

We do not take responsibility for material damage of any kind caused by the use of information contained in Hardware Secrets.